s7 edge

There’s no denying that the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are fantastic smartphones. The tech press — and, it seems, consumers — pretty much all agree on that, and some of us (like me) have gone even a little beyond that and proclaimed it the absolute best smartphone available right now.

One of Samsung‘s (historic) problems, however, was the additional layer of bloatware — and subsequently, eternally slow updating times — that came with it due to carrier-specific deals, but fans of unlocked phones may have a chance to rejoice now…

In a quick — and frankly unexpected — move, Samsung has announced today that the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are available to buy, unlocked, across a number of retailers in the United States; and, best of all, they will work with all of the major carriers, including CDMA ones like Sprint and Verizon.

You will be able to grab one directly on Samsung’s website, or, alternatively, on Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Sam’s Club, and Target, with the S7 starting at $669.99, and an additional $100 for the edge variant. The units on sale are identical to their locked counterparts, save for the added apps; that essentially means that the SoC is still the Snapdragon 820, and not Samsung’s own Exynos.

While this is not the first time Samsung does this — the S6 too was launched in its GSM variant at some point — it is still a pretty notable move for a company as big as Samsung, which still sells the vast majority of its devices through the various carriers. There is no indication that such models will be ditched at once, but giving consumers the opportunity to buy a carrier-free model — albeit several months after the original launch — is still good news, which will hopefully be the case again when the Galaxy Note 7 (and next year’s S8) launches.

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