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Update, August 24: Samsung is out of loaner devices. According to the Samsung Promotions site, the company is out of test devices, due to “overwhelming demand.” This is said to be a temporary issue, so do check back later for a chance to try out the Samsung experience.

Original post, August 21: Samsung’s year to-date has seen release precious pair of premium products. It has also seen removal of solid staples that have sat silently for many years. Last week’s formal announcement of the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 continue with the new status quo, ergo microSD and removable batteries are obviously a major no-show. The debated reasoning for such drastic decisions are largely centered around increased competition in Asia and a desire to provide a more streamlined product, akin to something Apple might offer.

Indeed Samsung is quite eager to capture the hearts of iPhone users it seems, for it has just announced a new promotion that will allow anyone using one to rent the Galaxy Note 5 or Galaxy S6 Edge+ for 30 days at an impossible-to-turn-down price of just $1. From now until December 31st, interested applicants who reside in the USA, and are of 18 years of age or older, need simply register for the promotion on an iPhone and can get their [new] phone on.

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Samsung’s Ultimate Test Drive literally gives you the ability to do this…for just $1.

The devices will apparently ship with an activated SIM card, though no details are provided as to the specifics of what that entails. There are a lot of legal issues involved with this venture, not to mention the question of just what kind of service will be provided. Given that these phones are LTE devices, it would follow that a sizable amount of data would need to be included so that the testers could get a “feel” for the device and how it operates.

Likewise calling functionality is seemingly also relevant and thus the prospect of Samsung taking out an entire contract in the name of the test user seems like quite a generous offer, though until more details are disclosed ultimately we can only assume this is the case.

Of course the promotion does have a few caveats: a valid credit card is required to avoid those who might otherwise try to keep the device, and there are at least two surveys required in addition to Samsung having liberal rights to metadata collected during the rental. A clause about agreeing to receive telephone calls related to this trial is also mentioned. Additionally, there are specific terms and stipulations provided for the conditions in which the device is to be returned:

EQUIPMENT WHICH IS RETURNED OR REPAIRED IN ANY MANNER OTHER THAN AS SPECIFIED ABOVE SHALL RESULT IN CUSTOMER BEING CHARGED THE FOLLOWING:

Cost for Damages Types of Damages
$0
  • Trial Device Returned in Good/Excellent Condition
  • Accessories Do Not Have to be Included (Earbuds, Charging Cord, Charger)
  • Minor Scratches
$100
  • Major Scuffs and Scratches
  • Camera Does Not Work
  • Speaker Does Not Work
  • Trial Device Does Not Charge
  • Missing or Damaged Exterior Buttons
  • Cracked Screen
  • Water Damage
Replacement Cost
  • Trial Device Does Not Turn On
  • Unreturned

For reference,

  • With respect to a Samsung Galaxy S6, the replacement cost shall be Seven Hundred and Twenty Dollars ($720.00);
  • With respect to a Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, the replacement cost shall be Eight Hundred and Twenty Dollars ($820.00);

Indeed this promotion is potentially a fantastic idea for Samsung, one that would seemingly feel right at home were John Ledger to have announced it for T-Mobile. As the Galaxy series has matured, the amount of potential interest from Apple customers has arguably increased along with it, due in no small part by Cupertino’s restricted, “walled garden” approach to its mobile OS. While many US carriers offer liberal return options such that an “experiment” of this nature would be possible, Samsung has seemingly made it almost effortless to do so.

It is particularly interesting to read through the above return conditions, namely for the fact that (1) the trial user can apparently keep all the accessories and not be subject to a penalty. Even a major problem such as a scratched screen or water damage which typically command repair prices equal to a quarter of the device’s actual cost (if not more) is covered by a very reasonable $100.

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Samsung’s intent for this trial undoubtedly has something to do with the success Apple has seen with the iPhone 6 Plus, not to mention the profit picture painted by the press. Even the timing of the Unpacked event itself was allegedly because of a fear of Fruit. With this new trial, the Korean OEM may have just discovered a new way to get the iOS crowd to see just why Android is such a fantastic platform, and why Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 in particular, is the very epitome of the phablet form factor Apple so reluctantly, yet finally, chose to emulate.

What are your thought on this new experiment? Do you know any iPhone users that might be eager to test it out? Do you have an iPhone that you would consider registering with just to test drive the latest and greatest? Let us known in the comments section below.

Full Terms and Conditions can be found here.