Galaxy Tab Economics: Which One Offers The Best Value?

Editor’s Note: Click here to see our updated chart with the newest prices and links to reviews of all four Tabs.

All four carriers have finally announced pricing and data plan costs for their versions of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the variety is pretty surprising. Two carriers — Sprint and T-Mobile — are selling subsidized versions that cost $399 and are tied to 2-year contracts. Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon all have the same unsubsidized price: $599. AT&T remains the outlier, selling its version of the Tab for $649, $50 above the others and $20 more than the 3G iPad with 16GB on board.

That’s a bold move, but perhaps AT&T believes that its data plan prices will entice customers. The carrier starts at $14.99 for 250MB a month, and its 2GB plan is less expensive than Sprint’s by $4.99 as well. But power users who are likely to burn through 2GB before they even hit the 15th may turn to the other three carriers, all of which offer 5GB plans.

T-Mobile charges a whopping $24.99 for 200MB and $39.99 for 5GB. I guess it’s all in the name of upselling. Verizon Wireless offers the most choices with 1GB, 3GB and 5GB tiers.

There are a few other differences — pre-loaded apps, access to hotspots, speeds, and mobile hotspot capability. Check out the comparison charts below and let us know which Galaxy Tab you think is the best deal.

Subsidized (2-Year Contract)

Carrier T-Mobile Sprint
Price $399 $399
After Mail-In Rebate? Yes: $50 No
Data Plans

200MB: $24.99/mo

5GB: $39.99/mo

2GB: $29.99/mo

5GB: $59.99/mo

Total Cost Over 2 Years

$999 (250MB plan)

$1,358 (5GB plan)

$1,095 (2GB plan)

$1,838.76 (5GB plan)

Options/Extras Enhanced speeds in HSPA+ areas, Mobile Hotspot included Mobile Hotspot, Sprint ID coming soon
Included Apps

Qik, Kindle for Android, Slacker Radio

Kindle for Android, Qik, Swype

Unsubsidized

Carrier T-Mobile Sprint Verizon Wireless AT&T
Price $599 $599 $599 $649
After Mail-In Rebate? Yes: $50 No No No
Data Plans
(per month)

200MB: $24.99

5GB: $39.99

2GB: $29.99

5GB: $59.99

1GB: $20

3GB: $35

5GB: $50

250MB: $14.99

2GB: $25

Options/Extras Enhanced speeds in HSPA+ areas, Mobile Hotspot Included in pricing Mobile Hotspot, Sprint ID coming soon Video calling not supported AT&T Hotspots, International passes for $24.99 and up
Included Apps

Qik, Kindle for Android, Slacker Radio

Kindle for Android, Qik, Swype V CAST Music, V CAST Song ID, VZ Navigator, Slacker Radio, Kindle for Android, Blockbuster On Demand, Let’s Golf, N.O.V.A. Nook for Android, AT&T Account Manager, AT&T Connection Manager, Quick Office, my AT&T
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