T-Mobile’s 36-month payment plans could help bring $1,000 phones to more people

By | 16th October 2018

Galaxy Note 9

  • T-Mobile customers can buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with payments spread out over 36-months.
  • On this plan, monthly payments for the device are less than that of a Galaxy S9 on a 24-month contract.
  • Given the high price tags premium phones often carry, this could help more users afford them.


T-Mobile is letting customers pay for the Galaxy Note 9 over 36 months as part of a new trial. TmoNews spotted the extended plan over the weekend, though it doesn’t appear to apply to any other handset.  

Typically, smartphone buyers have 24 months to pay for a new handset and the associated line rental costs. Spreading these repayments over an extra year could significantly reduce the monthly price.

For example, at $24.17 per month, the 128GB version of the Galaxy Note 9 saves you more than $5 per month on the 36-month contract compared to the older Samsung Galaxy S9 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 on a 24-month contract.

Though neither us nor TmoNews nor found the option on any other phone, T-Mobile told TmoNews that it’s testing the plan out on a couple of devices. Given the high price (and popularity) of the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max, it wouldn’t be surprising if the offer was extended to those handsets, too. 

Editor's Pick

The move could potentially put high-end phones in the hands of more people. It wouldn’t necessarily result in a smaller total repayment at the end of the term (it may even be higher), but those who would typically be put off by high month-to-month costs might be happy to swallow another year of contract time in order to reduce them.

Modern smartphones aren’t exactly perfectly prepared for three years of use (most only receive major updates for two years), but from a hardware standpoint, they’re more than capable. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is over three years old now, yet with 4GB RAM, up to 64GB storage, a QHD display, and a 16MP camera that can take 4K video, it remains competitive.

If you also think that paying for a phone over three years is a good idea, then click the button below to go to the T-Mobile store and check out the offer. Give us your thoughts on it in the comments. 

Next up: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: In praise of incrementalism