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The Samsung Upgrade Program is now officially live in the UK. The program allows you to get a brand spanking new Galaxy phone on a 24-month repayment scheme. It works much like a standard carrier contract, but it is device-only, so you’ll still need a SIM contract or pay-as-you-go SIM card.

The first question you might ask yourself is what’s the catch? After all, why pay £569 for a Galaxy S7 outright if you can pay a £56.90 deposit and follow it up with 24 monthly payments of £24.58 with the option to upgrade to the Galaxy S8 in 12 months? The catch is that you’ll be paying 14.9% per annum interest on the “loan”.

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So how does it work and is it really worth it? Because you pay a 10% deposit upfront, the loan amount is £512.10 on a regular S7, repaid over 24 months. That means you’ll be paying an additional £76.30 in interest for a grand total of £646.82 (if you opt for the Galaxy S7 Edge the numbers all go up a little). On top of that you’ll need to have a separate SIM contract or a PAYG SIM card.

Now, you can pick up a Galaxy S7 on a carrier contract for around the same money, possibly even less depending on your personal usage habits, but then you likely won’t have the option to upgrade after a year – penalty-free – to the next Galaxy. However, you don’t pay interest on a carrier contract, so you’ll have to decide if paying that extra 75 quid is worth it to have the option to upgrade next year. You’re under no obligation to upgrade if you don’t want to, but it’s kind of the whole point.

One of the other upshots to the upgrade program is that if you choose to upgrade after a year, you’re not on the hook for the remainder of the loan amount. Samsung will “pay” that amount itself if you return your S7 in “good working condition” and upgrade to the S8. Upon receiving the Galaxy S8 your 24-month “contract” will start over from scratch. You can do this forever, just paying half the amount and upgrading each year, but you can only exit the program once you’ve paid for a device in full.

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What do you think of the Samsung Upgrade Program? Do you think it’s good value or not?

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