When did offering shoppers free in-home trials of new smartphones become the hot thing for manufacturers and carriers to do? All of a sudden it feels like everyone’s getting involved with one of these arrangements, from Motorola’s two-week Moto X trial for just one cent, to T-Mobile with its seven-day iPhone 5S loaners. Now it’s Samsung’s turn to go after consumers who need a little more hands-on time with a phone before making up their mind, announcing the start of its own twenty-one-day trial program.
The nice thing about Samsung’s offer is that it covers a range of devices: you can try out a Galaxy S5, Note 3, or one of the company’s Gear wearables – Samsung will go so far as to let you take home both a phone and a wearable, so you can see how they function together. Even carrier service is included, so you don’t have to worry about adding a loaner device to your account.
You’ll have to present a credit card on deposit in case of damages, but otherwise the loaner program is free to use. Sound too good to be true? Well, there is one big catch: you need to physically stop by a participating Samsung Galaxy Studio location to get started, and there are only five of those across the US – two in Texas, two in California, and one in New York City.
That takes the air out of this offer a little, but it still sounds like a pretty nice program, and we’re curious to see which OEM might next follow Motorola and Samsung with a loaner arrangement of its own.