Samsung Galaxy S4 Price Comparison: UK Price Plans & Tariffs Compared

March 31st, 2013

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is available on all of the UK’s major operators. We find the most suitable contracts and the cheapest deals.

Galaxy S4 ColoursSamsung’s Galaxy S4 has opened for pre-orders in the UK. Featuring a higher-resolution display, an upgraded camera and innovative new ways of interacting with your smartphone, the Galaxy S4 will build on the success of the Galaxy S3 and is likely to become one of the best selling smartphones of 2013.

Compared to the Galaxy S3, key improvements in the Galaxy S4 include:

  • A sharper and higher-resolution display. The display on the Galaxy S4 has more than twice the number of pixels. This means photos, videos and web pages will be clearer and sharper. The display on the Galaxy S4 has a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Measuring 5-inches along the diagonal, it clocks in with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch (441ppi). This is far higher than the iPhone 5‘s Retina display (326ppi).
  • Improved camera. Whereas the Galaxy S3 had an 8 megapixel camera, the Galaxy S4 has a 13 megapixel camera. In addition to the megapixel boost, Samsung have added some new shooting modes. This includes the ‘Dual Shot’ feature which allows you to capture a photo in both cameras simultaneously (the front-facing and rear-facing cameras).
  • New gestures. Using the new ‘Finger Air View’ feature, it’s possible to interact with your phone by hovering your finger above the display. The handset also features eye-tracking: videos will pause automatically as soon as you look away from the screen.

In this article, we take a look at the Galaxy S4 price plans that are available in the UK. We’ll compare the tariffs from each of the UK’s major operators and help you to find the cheapest and most suitable tariff.

Galaxy S4 Price Comparison Calculator

You can use this price comparison calculator to find the cheapest deal that’s suitable for you. Alternatively, scroll down for a full review and listing of the offerings from the UK’s mobile networks.

Samsung Galaxy S4:
  • 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED Display
  • 1.9GHz quad-core processor
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 13 megapixel camera with Flash & Dual Camera
  • Air Gesture & Finger Air View
  • 'S Health' monitoring software
  • View full review of Galaxy S4
Enter your typical monthly usage:
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Amount of data:MB (Typically ~250MB; how much is this?)
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Our price comparison is based on the “total cost of ownership” calculation. This is the total amount that you can expect to pay over the length of your contract. It takes into account the upfront payment for the handset as well as all of the subsequent monthly payments. On a 24 month contract, the total cost of ownership is calculated as:

Total Cost of Ownership = Upfront Cost + (24 x Monthly Cost)

Samsung Galaxy S4: Cheapest Tariffs

Based on our price comparison, we recommend the following tariffs for the Galaxy S4:

Galaxy S4 White Front And BackBest value for typical users. For most people, the most suitable tariff will be Three’s Ultimate Internet 500. For £35/month, you’ll get 500 minutes, unlimited texts and all-you-can-eat data with no download limits. Notably, there’s no upfront cost on this tariff and this helps to keep costs down. On most other networks, you should expect to make a fairly substantial upfront payment.

Over 24 months, the total cost of ownership is £840 on this tariff.

View Recommended Deal »

Best for light users. If you’re a light user, the Pay Monthly 16 tariff from T-Mobile can work out to be one of the cheapest tariffs in the long run. For £15.50/month, you’ll get 50 minutes, 250 texts and 1GB of internet per month. Whilst the tariff is a little short on minutes and texts, it comes with a fairly decent data allowance so you can comfortably browse the web, e-mail, chat and use apps. If you think you’ll need more texts, it’s possible to use instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, ChatON and Facebook Messenger at no extra charge.

Unfortunately, T-Mobile’s tariff comes with a hefty upfront charge of £400. The total cost of ownership comes to £772 over 24 months.

Best for heavy internet usage. If you’re a heavy internet user, we recommend Three’s The One Plan. Costing £37/month, it’s particularly notable as a tariff offering because tethering is included on the all-you-can-eat data plan. Customers can use the wi-fi hotspot feature on the Galaxy S4 to provide mobile broadband connectivity to their other devices. Supported devices include tablets, laptops, PCs, MP3 players, e-book readers and games consoles. Customers will also get 2000 minutes, 5000 Three-to-Three minutes and 5000 texts to use each month.

Over 24 months, the total cost of ownership is £888.

A complete listing of all UK Galaxy S4 tariffs (24 months in length) follows:

O2: Samsung Galaxy S4 Tariffs

O2 is offering the Galaxy S4 on the O2 600 plan and on their flagship On & On plan.

Their cheapest offering is the O2 600 plan. For £32/month, you’ll get an allowance of 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB internet every month. You’ll also need to pay an upfront cost of £159.99 for the phone. Over the length of the contract (24 months), the total amount that you’d pay is £928.

If you’re looking for a tariff with unlimited calls or a bigger download allowance, consider the On & On plan. It comes with unlimited calls, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet for £32/month plus £179.99 upfront. This is a total of £948 paid over 24 months.

Tariff Minutes Texts Data Upfront Cost Monthly Cost Total Cost of Ownership
O2 600 600 Unlimited 750MB £399.99 £22.00 £927.99
O2 600 600 Unlimited 750MB £279.99 £27.00 £927.99
O2 600 600 Unlimited 750MB £159.99 £32.00 £927.99
O2 On & On Unlimited Unlimited 1GB £299.99 £27.00 £947.99
O2 On & On Unlimited Unlimited 1GB £179.99 £32.00 £947.99
O2 600 600 Unlimited 750MB £99.99 £37.00 £987.99
O2 On & On (2GB Data) Unlimited Unlimited 2GB £99.99 £37.00 £987.99
O2 On & On Unlimited Unlimited 1GB £49.99 £42.00 £1,057.99
O2 On & On (2GB Data) Unlimited Unlimited 2GB £99.99 £42.00 £1,107.99
O2 On & On (2GB Data) Unlimited Unlimited 2GB Free £47.00 £1,128.00
O2 On & On (4GB Data) Unlimited Unlimited 4GB £99.99 £47.00 £1,227.99
O2 On & On (4GB Data) Unlimited Unlimited 4GB Free £52.00 £1,248.00

For full information on O2′s Galaxy S4 tariffs, see the O2 website.

Orange: Samsung Galaxy S4 Tariffs

Orange is offering the Samsung Galaxy S4 on a range of Animal plans as well as on their flagship tariff The Works.

For many people, the best value offering is Panther 26. With Panther 26, you’ll get 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB internet for £26/month. There’s also an upfront fee of £249.99 for the phone which takes the total cost of ownership to £874.

If you’re looking for a tariff with more minutes, consider the Panther 31 plan with 400 minutes (total cost of £924) or The Works 36 which comes with unlimited calls (total cost of £964).

Tariff Minutes Texts Data Upfront Cost Monthly Cost Total Cost of Ownership
Dolphin 15.50 100 Unlimited 100MB £449.99 £10.50 £701.99
Canary 10.50 100 500 - £449.99 £10.50 £701.99
Panther 15.50 50 Unlimited 250MB £399.99 £15.50 £771.99
Canary 15.50 200 Unlimited - £399.99 £15.50 £771.99
Dolphin 20.50 200 Unlimited 100MB £449.99 £15.50 £821.99
Canary 20.50 300 Unlimited - £339.99 £20.50 £831.99
Panther 20.50 100 Unlimited 500MB £339.99 £20.50 £831.99
Dolphin 26 400 Unlimited 250MB £249.99 £26.00 £873.99
Panther 26 200 Unlimited 750MB £249.99 £26.00 £873.99
Canary 26 500 Unlimited - £249.99 £26.00 £873.99
The Works 26 Unlimited Unlimited 250MB £269.99 £26.00 £893.99
Panther 31 400 Unlimited 750MB £179.99 £31.00 £923.99
Dolphin 31 600 Unlimited 250MB £179.99 £31.00 £923.99
The Works 31 Unlimited Unlimited 500MB £179.99 £31.00 £923.99
Panther 36 600 Unlimited 1GB £99.99 £36.00 £963.99
The Works 36 Unlimited Unlimited 1GB £99.99 £36.00 £963.99
Panther 41 900 Unlimited 1GB £59.99 £41.00 £1,043.99
The Works 41 Unlimited Unlimited 3GB £79.99 £41.00 £1,063.99
Panther 46 1,200 Unlimited 1GB £29.99 £46.00 £1,133.99
The Works 46 Unlimited Unlimited 5GB £29.99 £46.00 £1,133.99
The Works 51 Unlimited Unlimited 8GB £19.99 £51.00 £1,243.99

Please see the Orange website for further details.

Three: Samsung Galaxy S4 Tariffs

Three offers the Galaxy S4 on a choice of two tariffs, both with all-you-can-eat data (unlimited downloads).

For most people, Ultimate Internet 500 will be the cheapest suitable Galaxy S4 tariff. It costs £35/month with the phone being free upfront. For that you’ll get 500 minutes, 5000 texts and unlimited internet. The total cost of ownership is £840 over the next 24 months.

If you’re looking for more minutes, consider getting the Galaxy S4 on The One Plan. It’s an extra £2/month but the extra minutes can often come in handy. You’ll also be able to tether: use the wi-fi hotspot functionality on the Galaxy S4 for a free mobile broadband service. It’s compatible with a wide range of devices including tablets, laptops, PCs, games consoles, MP3 players and e-book readers. Tethering is not permitted on Ultimate Internet 500.

Tariff Minutes Texts Data Upfront Cost Monthly Cost Total Cost of Ownership
Ultimate Internet 500 500 5,000 Unlimited Free £35.00 £840.00
The One Plan 2,000 5,000 Unlimited Free £37.00 £888.00

There’s more about the Galaxy S4 on Three’s website.

T-Mobile: Samsung Galaxy S4 Tariffs

T-Mobile is offering the Samsung Galaxy S4 on a range of price plans.

Our recommend tariff is The Full Monty 26: you’ll get 500 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet for £26/month plus £270 upfront. The total cost of ownership is £894 over the next 24 months.

If you’re a light user, consider the Pay monthly 16 tariff. Although there’s a tiny allowance of 50 minutes and 250 texts each month, the plan comes with a fairly decent 1GB of downloads. This should be enough for browsing, e-mailing and general smartphone usage. If you run out of calls or texts, you can use apps such as WhatsApp, ChatON and Facebook Messenger to stay in touch with you friends. The Pay Monthly 16 tariff costs £15.50/month plus £399.99 upfront. This comes to a total of £772 over the next 24 months.

Tariff Minutes Texts Data Upfront Cost Monthly Cost Total Cost of Ownership
Pay monthly 7 basic 50 100 250MB £459.99 £7.00 £627.99
Pay monthly 11 basic 50 250 250MB £449.99 £10.50 £701.99
Pay monthly 16 basic 100 Unlimited 250MB £399.99 £15.50 £771.99
Pay monthly 16 standard 50 250 1GB £399.99 £15.50 £771.99
Pay monthly 21 basic 300 Unlimited 250MB £339.99 £21.00 £843.99
Pay monthly 21 standard 100 Unlimited 1GB £339.99 £21.00 £843.99
Pay monthly 26 standard 300 Unlimited 1GB £249.99 £26.00 £873.99
Pay monthly 26 basic 600 Unlimited 250MB £249.99 £26.00 £873.99
The Full Monty 26 500 Unlimited Unlimited £269.99 £26.00 £893.99
The Full Monty 31 1,000 Unlimited Unlimited £179.99 £31.00 £923.99
Pay monthly 31 standard 600 Unlimited 1GB £179.99 £31.00 £923.99
The Full Monty 36 2,000 Unlimited Unlimited £99.99 £36.00 £963.99
The Full Monty 41 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £79.99 £41.00 £1,063.99
The Full Monty 46 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £29.99 £46.00 £1,133.99
The Full Monty 61 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £19.99 £61.00 £1,483.99

You can see a full list of Galaxy S4 tariffs on the T-Mobile website.

Vodafone: Samsung Galaxy S4 Tariffs

Vodafone is offering the Galaxy S4 on their flagship plan, Vodafone Red. You’ll get unlimited calls, unlimited texts and a choice of data plans (either 1GB, 2GB or 4GB). For 1GB of data, expect to pay £37/month plus £69 upfront. This comes to a total of £957 over 24 months – it makes Vodafone the most expensive network for getting a Galaxy S4 in the UK, second only to EE.

If you trade in your old smartphone, Vodafone will give you a discount of £5/month. This will save you a total of £120 over the next 24 months. Note that your old phone could be worth more on a recycling website.

Tariff Minutes Texts Data Upfront Cost Monthly Cost Total Cost of Ownership
Vodafone Red Unlimited Unlimited 1GB £69.00 £37.00 £957.00
Vodafone Red L Unlimited Unlimited 2GB Free £42.00 £1,008.00
Vodafone Red XL Unlimited Unlimited 4GB Free £47.00 £1,128.00

For more information, see the Vodafone website.

EE: Samsung Galaxy S4 Tariffs

EE Logo

The Galaxy S4 is being sold as a 4G-capable device in the UK. This means you can use it on the UK’s first 4G network, EE. With 4G connectivity, you can expect download speeds of around 15Mbit/s. This is approximately twice the speed of a 3G connection (around 8Mbit/s when using the dual carrier HSPA+ technology found on the Galaxy S4).

If you’re looking to get the Galaxy S4 on EE, there are a range of price plans starting at £31/month. All of EE’s plans come with unlimited calls and unlimited texts: you simply need to choose the amount of data that you want. We’d recommend going for at least 1GB of data per month – the average customer on EE uses around 1.4GB.

For the 1GB per month plan on EE, you’d need to pay £41/month plus £80 upfront. Over 24 months, the total cost of ownership is £1,064.

Due to the heavy costs of EE’s price plans, consider Three as an alternative. The One Plan costs £37/month with no upfront fee. For that, you’ll get 2000 minutes, 5000 Three-to-Three minutes, 5000 texts and all-you-can-eat data with no download limits. As Three’s offering has no download limits, you can use the Galaxy S4 to its full potential without any worries about data. Compared to Three’s DC-HSPA+ service (approx 8Mbit/s), 4G only offers a minor improvement (it’ll be offered to Three customers later this year at no extra charge).

Compared to EE’s 1GB/month option, you’d save a total of £176 by opting for The One Plan.

Tariff Minutes Texts Data Upfront Cost Monthly Cost Total Cost of Ownership
500MB plan Unlimited Unlimited 500MB £269.99 £31.00 £1,013.99
500MB plan Unlimited Unlimited 500MB £179.99 £36.00 £1,043.99
1GB plan Unlimited Unlimited 1GB £79.99 £41.00 £1,063.99
3GB plan Unlimited Unlimited 3GB £29.99 £46.00 £1,133.99
5GB plan Unlimited Unlimited 5GB £29.99 £51.00 £1,253.99
8GB plan Unlimited Unlimited 8GB £19.99 £56.00 £1,363.99
20GB plan Unlimited Unlimited 20GB £19.99 £76.00 £1,843.99

For full details of EE’s tariff plans, see their website. We’ve got a full review of EE’s price plans.

Other Ways To Buy Galaxy S4

Rather than buying the Galaxy S4 on contract, it’s possible to get it SIM-free or on Pay As You Go. The SIM-free price is yet to be confirmed but it’s expected to be around £620.

If you buy a SIM-free Galaxy S4, it’ll come unlocked and you’ll be able to use it on the network of your choice. For many people, a popular option is to grab a cheap SIM only deal from giffgaff. giffgaff has a range of Goodybag packages from £10/month for 250 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB internet. Over 24 months, the total cost of ownership would be £860 which is in line with what you’d pay on a contract.

You can check out our full review of giffgaff or order a free SIM card here.

    

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Ken Lo

I'm a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005 with the aim of demystifying mobile technology for the rest of us.

Before writing about mobile technology, my background was in space & atmospheric physics. I have also worked in software development. Nowadays, I help companies to explain mobile technology to their customers. Please check out my portfolio or get in touch for more information. I'm also on Google+.

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