Before the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge was launched last month, rumors suggested Samsung was looking at launching its own upgrade/lease program so that customers could upgrade their phone every 12 months. Over the past day or so, there appears to be a gathering rumor online suggesting that it will launch on March 11th, or that it’s only just launched in the UK. I can report with certainty that the upgrade program is live, and has been since pre-orders began.

How do I know? Because I used it to pre-order my very own S7 Edge. Here’s how it works…

It’s worth noting that before going in to depth, that rates and exact payments will certainly differ depending on the country it’s used in, if/when it launches in other countries. In the UK, Samsung teamed up with Close Brothers Retail Finance’s Pay 4 Later scheme and the terms are as follows:

  • Pay 10% deposit up front – £56.90 for S7/£63.90 for S7 Edge
  • Credit amount over two years – £512.10 for S7/£575.10 for S7 Edge
  • 24 monthly payments – £24.58 for S7/£27.60 for S7 Edge
  • Total amount payable, inc. 14.9% APR on credit – £646.82 for S7/£726.40 for S7 Edge

Of course, this isn’t just a finance deal. This is an upgrade program. Which means that after 12 months, you can return your handset to Samsung and upgrade to a new one.

As you’d expect with a financing/upgrade combo, there’s some fine print to wade through to get to the terms. Essentially, if your phone is still in good condition and working after 12 months, you return it to Samsung, they inspect it, pay off the remaining balance on your loan and you sign up to a new 24 month agreement on your next Galaxy phone.

At the end of the first year of your finance agreement, subject to 3.6, you may, if you choose and are eligible to do so, upgrade to the latest Samsung Galaxy handset. If you choose to do this, and you meet the conditions set out in these terms regarding the new finance agreement and your existing handset, we will settle the outstanding balance on your original finance agreement provided you are not in arrears and are up to date with payments under the agreement. You will be required to enter into a new 24 month finance agreement relating to the purchase of the new (upgraded) handset. We will notify you if the Upgrade Programme is available to you in any given year.

Qualifying for the finance means fitting the usual prerequisites:

  • Over 18, employed and work more than 16 hours per week
  • Good credit history with no late payments, debt relief orders, CCJ’s etc.
  • Permanent UK resident able to provide a 3+ year address history
  • Students cannot apply, unless they’re working more than 16 hours per week

Once you’ve agreed to the terms, actually applying is pretty straight forward. I had to fill in my name, date of birth and address history as well as supply my bank details for the direct debit payment and upload a photograph of my ID (passport or driving licence), before paying my 10% deposit. Once I went through the process, I got the following confirmation emails.

My reason for going with this method was to avoid getting signed up to another carrier line. The added expense when I already have more than one line wasn’t worth it for me. I’d more than likely be looking at paying £10-£20 per month extra that way. What’s more, the added flexibility of getting an unlocked unit and being able to pay it off when I like was also very appealing.

Although I didn’t place my pre-order until a few days later, the option to get it on Samsung’s upgrade program was there from the very first day in the UK. It’s certainly not brand new today, and you won’t have to wait until March 11th to take advantage. We don’t have any exact information on an international rollout, but if you see it available in your local online store, let us know.

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