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Galaxy S9 deals: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint's offers

One carrier is letting you name an actual star.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
Sarah Tew/CNET

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus hit shelves today, and carriers are scurrying to lure buyers on board. Sprint is even rewarding early-bird customers with the honor of naming a star.

The Galaxy S9 ups the ante on last year's Galaxy S8 by bringing an upgraded camera with tricks like variable aperturesuper slow-mo video and 3D avatars called AR Emoji. It also packs a blazing fast Snapdragon 845 processor and a similar all-screen design as the Galaxy S8. Although we've discovered a few weak spots in some apps, the Galaxy S9 is set to be one of the best phones of the year.

Scroll down for the carrier deals, but keep in mind that they all work about the same way. You'll get your discount through a billing credit, which kicks in after one or two bills. All carriers require you to be a well-qualified buyer (that means you pass their credit check), and you'll have to pay the remainder of what you owe if you back out of the agreement or leave the carrier.

Read: CNET's full Galaxy S9 review.

Now playing: Watch this: Galaxy S9 mostly aces our real-world tests

Verizon's Galaxy S9 deal: A BOGO, and some iPhone love

The deal: Verizon starts us off with a BOGO (buy one, get one) deal. 

Anyone who buys a Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus through a device payment plan will get a $800 credit toward their next Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus. That means you essentially get the second Galaxy S9 for free, or a Galaxy S9 Plus for $130, which is $800 off Verizon's retail price.

The fine print: No plan or phone trade-in is required, but at least one of the Galaxy S9 phones must be activated on a new line of service. Also, the discount is applied monthly over 24 months, and starts one or two billing cycles after the purchase date.

iPhone bonus deal: If the Galaxy S9 isn't your cup of tea, or if another family member plays on Team Apple, Verizon is also offering 50 percent off the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X with a phone trade-in. This deal also starts on March 16 and requires you to purchase the device on a payment plan, use a Verizon Unlimited data plan and trade in an eligible phone.

Now playing: Watch this: The Galaxy S9 put up a good fight in our drop test

More fine print: Not all phones get you that full 50 percent discount. For example, you can get 50 percent off an iPhone 8 by trading in an iPhone 6S Plus, a Google Pixel or an LG G6, but only 35 percent off if you trade in a Galaxy S7 or HTC 10

The list also gets more selective as the iPhones get more expensive. So you'll have to trade in something like an iPhone 7 to get 50 percent off an iPhone 8 Plus, or trade in a Galaxy S8 Plus to get half off an iPhone X. Still if you're in the market for a new iPhone, it's worth checking to see how much your current phone can get you.

AT&T's Galaxy S9 deal: 50 percent off, plus S9 Plus and Note 8 deals

The deal: You can get 50 percent off the Galaxy S9 when you buy it through one of two AT&T Next plans, which works out to either 24 or 30 payments depending on which plan you choose. You can also get bill credits for the Galaxy S9 Plus and Galaxy Note 8, for up to $395. These are pricier phones, so the deal works out to less than half off. Your monthly bill will range from $26.34 to $39.59, depending on the phone and plan you pick.

The fine print: The offer ends March 31, 2018. You must add a new eligible line of service. The credit kicks in after three payments. You'll have to pay a $45 activation fee and a restocking fee if you return the phone. AT&T does not make things simple; you'll want to read all the details here.

Sprint's Galaxy S9 deal: A BOGO and a star

The deal: For a limited time (we aren't sure how long), you can lease a Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus and get a second Galaxy S9. You pay $33 per month for the Galaxy S9 and $38 per month for the Galaxy S9 Plus. Sprint also offers a Galaxy Forever plan that lets you upgrade to the newest Galaxy S phone each year. 

The fine print: Your savings are actually applied as a credit, so you wind up paying for the second phone each month, before zeroing out. Sprint will apply credit within two billing cycles. You must have an 18 month lease with either two new lines of service or one new line of service and one upgrade. 

Now playing: Watch this: Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: 6 key differences

The Galaxy Forever plan upgrades you as long as you've made 12 lease payments.

Sprint lets you name a star: If you act very, very fast, Sprint has a limited number of stars that buyers can redeem and name from the International Star Registry, which together form the Sprint Constellation. As of writing, Sprint said there were a few stars still available.

See Sprint's Galaxy S9 deal online.

T-Mobile's Galaxy S9 deal: 50 percent off the S9 Plus

The deal: Two years (24 months) of bill credits will get you 50 percent off the Galaxy S9 by the time you're done paying for your phone ($0 down, $30 per month, $720 full retail price) and up to $360 off the S9 Plus ($120 down, $30 per month, $840 full retail price). 

The fine print: That's $360 in total credits by the time you've finished paying off the phone. You'll need to trade in an eligible phone (there's a long list). You pay taxes on the full price of the phone. The credits kick in after two billing cycles.

See T-Mobile's deal online.

This story first published March 15 at 3:38 p.m. PT.
Update March 16 at 11:35 a.m. PT: Adds AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile deals.