Which S4 is Best?
Samsung make great phones, but they increasingly make things pretty confusing for their customers! There are a wide range of phones now using the "Galaxy" name, so many in fact it has long since stopped representing anything.
Similarly the fact that (at time of writing) there are already three completely different models available (S4, S4 Mini and A4 Zoom) all using the "S4" prefix.
The chances are if you are interested in an S4 it is going to be the flagship model. That is the one most heavily advertised, that is the one everyone is talking about.
Unless you specifically wanted the Zoom or Mini, then the "standard" (it is considerably better specced than the mini) is almost certainly the one you are looking for.
The official Samsung S4 promotional Video is included to the right for your perusal, this gives a great overview of some of the newer developments like air touch and Eye Tracking:
Official Samsung S4 Video:
S4 Mini Review from Android Authority:
S4 Zoom Review from PhoneArena:
Contract versus Pay As You Go on the S4 Series
Whilst the S4 is available on Pay As You Go the cost of the phones off air / contract free is such that you are probably going to be better off getting one on contract. Network providers subsidised the cost of new handsets in order to acquire new customers on contract. They do not offer any form of subsidy on Pay As You Go as there is no tie in with the network, i.e. you could take a cheap PAYG phone, throw away the SIM card, get it unlocked and use it on a rival network. So, in our opinion the best S4 deals are on contract not PAYG.
Finding the Best Contract Deals
Finding the cheapest contracts is easy using our comparison tool. You can specify a range of criteria in terms of minutes, text messages, data requirements and cost. You can also order the offers in different ways, for example cheapest overall cost (which will favour cashback deals), lowest line rental (which will look solely at monthly payments) etc.
They key to using our service effectively is to know what you need, or at least have a good idea, at least in terms of inclusive minutes and data which have the biggest impact on price.
One of the most useful features of our service is to be able to cap the price up to a maximum level. Once you have entered your criteria you can try bringing the monthly cost down incrementally to reduce the number of offers shown and tweak other settings until you find the kind of deals you want.
Understanding Minimum and Maximum Values
Most of the options in our comparison tool set either a minimum or a maximum value. Text messages, inclusive minutes and data all set a minimum value, i.e. we will only show deals that have at least the number of texts, minutes or data you require.
The reason for this is to ensure we do not exclude cheaper phones that offer more minutes than you require (it can happen, particularly with offers on 3 Network who have generous data allowances).
Other criteria such as price work on a maximum value, so we will only show offers where the price is equal to or below the amout you specify, so price is a "cap".
We are 100% Impartial
If you took the time to read the above points we would hope it is clear that we run a completely independent and impartial service. Our aim is to show the best deals regardless of the company selling them.
All our listings are based on a series of price sorting algorithms, which you can adjust and control using the "order by" option.
By default we always list by cheapest overall cost.
To Cashback or Not To Cashback!
Cashback offers were pioneered by the mobile industry though they are now more common in other sectors and can even be found in high street retail chains.
The reason they first appeared in the "mobile space" is to do with the fact that contracts are predominantly sold by retailers but the contracts themselves are of a fixed price with the network.
Retailers have no control over the monthly payments you make on a contract. By offering cashback retailers are able to indirectly discount the prices charged by networks.
Instant Cashback vs Cashback by Redemption - Important!
If you are considering a cashback offer you need to be very clear on the difference between automatic or instant cash and cashback by redemption. Automatic and Instant are guaranteed. Payment is made as soon as you complete the contract, no ifs buts or excuses.
Cash by redemption is a completely different animal and cash is not guaranteed to be paid but is dependent on you making a "claim" or rather multiple claims for your cash at different points throughout your contract. Whilst at first glance these offers look better (more cash back is offered) the reality is, they are better because no everyone receives their cash, eitehr forgetting to make claims on time or failing to send the required paperwork (usually phone bills) along with the claim.
Our advice is to stick with instant or automatic cash and avoid the complexities of redemption based deals unless you fully understand what you are doing.
Free Gifts and Other Incentives
Free gifts are essentially the same as instant / automatic cash, but instead of being given the cash you are offered some other product instead, usually consumer electronics, tablets and laptops often being the most popular.
In terms of value for money the these offers can vary somewhat, the key is to compare the value of the item being offered as a gift with the cash back available on a similar contract. For example, lookup the deal you want with the gift you are interested in. Then lookup the same deal with instant cash (you would normally be able to find a cash equivalent). Then go to third party sites like Amazon to find out the true retail value of the gift you are considering, then compare that value to the amount of instant cash you could receive as an alternative.
That will give you a good idea of whether the gift actually represents good value, and it also gives you an alternative in that, should the cash offer be higher you can take that money and just order the product of interest yourself.
Another consideration with free gift deals is to be clear on who is offering the warranty on the gift item and who you need to go to in the event that it develops a fault.
Our advice is usually to take instant / automatic cash instead of free gifts and use that money to go and buy the gift you are interested in as a separate purchase from a specialist retailer unless the gift offered with the phone is considerably more valuable than the equivalent cash offer.