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Get a Samsung Galaxy S7 and free mobile service for $439.99

From the Cheapskate: This is "2016's all-around phone to beat," for hundreds less than the price of new -- plus free minutes, messages and data every month. What's the catch?

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


Now Playing: Watch this: The Samsung Galaxy S7 is how a phone should be
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Cheap things come to those who wait.

If, for example, you'd insisted on having a Samsung Galaxy S7 ($279 at Amazon Marketplace) when it debuted earlier this year, you'd have paid $650. In fact, that's still the starting price for a new one.

Today, however, you can get a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S7 and free service for $439.99 shipped when you apply discount code CHPSK10 at checkout. That's the lowest price I've seen for this model, which is widely regarded as one of the best smartphones you can buy.

If you're thinking there's a catch, you're right: That free service is provided by Freedompop, and there are caveats associated with it. In fact, you probably know everything you need to about the S7 (watch the video up top if you want to know more), so from here on out I'm going to focus entirely on the service:

  • It's free for as long as you own the phone.
  • It includes 200 voice minutes, 500 SMS messages and 500MB of LTE data every month.
  • The Daily Steals deal includes an extra 1GB of data -- but for one-time use, not per month.
  • You get unlimited calls and text messages to (and from) other Freedompop phones.
  • Although the phone itself supports both CDMA and GSM networks, you must stick with Freedompop for six months before the company will unlock it.

This last point may be a dealbreaker for some, or it may be no big deal at all. If you spend most of your time connected to Wi-Fi, you might be able to get by on 500MB of data per month (though I kind of doubt it). You can bump up to an unlimited plan -- which includes 1GB of data -- for $19.99 monthly. There are other tiers available as well, but Freedompop's site continues to be so user-hostile, I couldn't easily locate them.

And, yeah, Freedompop: The Sprint-powered carrier has a well-deserved reputation for poor customer service. Then there's Sprint itself, which continues to offer the worst coverage -- at least in my neck of the woods. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon...all three work fine inside my house. But with Sprint, I get zero bars. If I drive half a mile, it's all 4G LTE goodness. Of course, your mileage may vary.

The phone itself, which I tested, arrived in mint condition, and it's every bit as good as you've heard. For what it's worth, I did try popping in Freedompop's WhatsApp SIM card, hoping to switch the S7 over to GSM, but it was rejected. If you contacted Freedompop, would they let you make that switch? No idea, but it does appear the phone would need to be unlocked at their end.

All that being said, this is an amazing deal on an amazing phone. If Sprint coverage is good in your area (best bet: check with Sprint-using friends), this is arguably the cheapest way to own and operate a Galaxy S7.

Your thoughts?

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