If you like the idea of being able to upgrade your phone once a year instead of every two, AT&T is more than happy to oblige with its Next plans... for a price. But adoption must have been a bit more tepid than they anticipated, because the monthly payments for phones on the Next plans seem to have been reduced without fanfare. Most phones have had their monthly finance-free charges reduced by a dollar, but some of the flagship phones have $5 reductions, scaling up to $60-100 in savings depending on when you upgrade.


The Galaxy S4 16GB and the HTC One are both $27 a month - $540 over the 20-month 0% financing period, or $324 if you trade one in as soon as the 12-month upgrade period expires. (Keep in mind, you have to trade it in in good condition, and you'll immediately start paying on your upgraded phone.) The tougher Galaxy S4 Active is now $26 a month on the Next plan, the Galaxy S III is a surprising $22 a month, the LG Optimus G Pro is $20, the HTC First "Facebook phone" is $19, and the Optimus G is just $17 a month. Other Android and non-Android phones are available, but aside from the various iPhones, they're not particularly notable.

Strangely, the Galaxy Note II is considerably more expensive at $34 a month - $680 after 20 months, and damned frustrating for anyone who buys it now only to see a new model pop up in a few weeks. According to this report from Engadget the lower prices are for a limited time, but there's no word on when they'll go back up. Naturally, all of these charges are on top of AT&T's regular plans.

Please keep in mind that the Next plans only make sense if you really do intend to get a new phone every year, and aren't planning on leaving AT&T at any time in the near future. If you do, the remaining balance on your phone will generally put you much farther in the hole than if you had simply bought it at the subsidized price and paid the early termination fee. AT&T's Next plans are still pretty poor deals when compared to the Jump! plans on T-Mobile, which allow upgrades every six months. And of course there's nothing like buying an unlocked or unsubsidized phone if you want to be truly free of the soul-crushing machinations of an increasingly anti-consumer corporate oligarchy carrier contracts.

Source: AT&T Next

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Shoryuken

    Go Home At&t - You're Drunk !

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

    I would still argue that even if you are planning on sticking with AT&T and upgrade every year, Next is still a pretty piss poor deal. With the GS4 as a reference, you'd pay $568 more than you normally would over two years, but at the end you'd have only one phone that you could sell (that you still owe money on). Whereas if you stick with the normal two year subsidy model, you could spend that extra money on buying a phone outright and then sell your old phone. It's pretty complex math to determine if it would be right for you (since each phone costs differently), but if the maximum savings these temporary deals are offering is $100, I'd bet against it. You can make more than that selling almost any year-old phone on the market.

    • Joseph Cascio

      You don't have to argue it. It's not complex math either. Anyone with half a brain can see how horrible these plans are. Now maybe if they added some sort of bonus at the end depending on the condition of the device after a year, then that might be pretty good. If you're like me, after a year my phone looks the same as day one. I should get $50-$100 bonus for a like new return. Or even waive the first 2-4 months on the new phone.

  • Cory Wilson

    A couple bucks... Who friggen cares. Still double paying either way.

  • wirelessmodz

    I just buy unlocked phones and pay full price to me its a better deal as I use prepaid anymore !

    • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer

      But I want LTE.

      • wirelessmodz

        I get LTE on T-Mobile prepaid and hspa+ too $30 a month !

        • socalrailroader

          Nice, but a lot of us (myself, Mendocino County in NW CA) are in areas T-Mobile is still 2G, while we have access to 3.5G and 4G on AT&T, Verizon and U.S. Cellular.

  • Jody Smith

    Not a great deal but I think people will complain no matter what even if it;s free.

    Bottom line: Stay with the 2 year contract option or just buy your own device outright if this is not your cup of tea.

    The fact that you can walk out of any AT&T store with the hottest phone with nothing out of pocket is attractive to some. Customers who use Verizon or AT&T already pay more so generally speaking they do not consider themselves penny pinchers.

    It's just another option for those who like to swap out their phones often and are willing to pay a premium for it. If you think about it we as Americans overpay for a lot of things but for some reason we accept it unless it's somehow attached to a phone bill then we are outraged. Next time you pay $9 for a bag of popcorn at the movies or $3 for a bottle of water remember you are paying a premium so that the businesses who offer these services can remain in business and make a profit at the same time. Nobody should ever be-grudge this business model.

    There is no reason for AT&T right now to match T-Mobile's pricing when they offer a better network experience and more coverage in more places.

    Let T-Mobie be the bargain brand for those who need it.

    • CoolCustomer

      Man I didn't think T-mobile was that bad on the west coast. Over here (the east coast that is) they are fine and provide better coverage than AT&T in most places (faster too).

      • izick

        Not true. Try going anywhere in the State of West Virginia and post back. Don't worry, I now I'll have to wait until you leave the state get back to me, because they have no coverage what so ever in the entire state!

        • CoolCustomer

          Sorry, I spoke too broadly. I never travel south of Delaware and I tend to say "East Coast" when I should be saying things like "Northeast". After doing some quick research you are right and T-mobile is dead last in WV. Makes me glad I live in the Northeast where their signal is great and their prices are even better.

          • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer

            T-Mobile came into existence in the US by buying up smaller regional carriers around the country. Most of said carriers always had poorer coverage compared to the big guys.

            I used to live in Phoenix, where T-Mobile had spotty coverage (I've never been with them, myself) and friends with T-Mobile could not get a signal from inside my house. They had to step outside and then got a very very weak signal.

            On a nationwide basis, T-Mobile can't compete with the likes of Verizon and AT&T when it comes to any kind of coverage. Just look at their coverage maps. If T-Mobile cost the same as the other guys, they would have no customers.

          • CoolCustomer

            Origins aside I guess it would come down to whomever has the best coverage in your area. It sucks T-mobile isn't strong where you are otherwise you could take them up on their awesome pricing. They are however still rolling out better coverage and the Metro PCS buyout should help them a bunch. That being said your reasoning for why ATT charges more is a bit flawed. AT&T is about the same cost as Verizon and Verizon has nearly flawless coverage in this country, AT&T doesn't even compare. With Verizon switching to LTE (ditching CDMA at last) why anyone would pick AT&T over them is a mystery. The way I see it if you get good coverage with T-mobile there is no reason not to be with them, otherwise you might as well go with Verizon since AT&T is gonna charge you about the same and Sprint is all Sprint-like.

      • GinaDee

        Well when you consider that AT&T's LTE network alone is bigger than T-Mobile's entire 3G network you start to realize how spotty T-Mobile really is. They've been building their 3G network since 2008 too.

        • CoolCustomer

          Except AT&Ts LTE in NYC is slower than T-mobiles HSPA+. LTE speeds aren't even close to what their theoretical speeds are and won't be for some time. I really hate this stupid name game that companies use, all it does is hide/twist the facts. LTE doesn't even imply speed and current LTE networks (Verizon and AT&T included) don't even meet the standard for 4G. Meanwhile T-mobile's HSPA+ (in areas where they have comparable service aka the NE) speeds exceed those but people don't pay attention because it doesn't have LTE in front of it.

          Also you are wrong, AT&T's LTE network isn't anywhere near as large as all of T-mobile's coverage that is a gross exaggeration at best.

          • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer

            I dunno, I have AT&T in Portland, OR and when they turned on the LTE switch about a year ago, the difference between HSPA+ and LTE was like doing from a dialup modem to Broadband on a home computer.

          • HopelesslyFaithful

            portland is different than NYC....

      • socalrailroader

        Come up here to Northwestern California, it's 2G central with T-Mobile, while AT&T, Verizon and U.S. Cellular have extensive 3.5G and 4G.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    If anyone did use Next recently, you can request to get the difference and get onto these cheaper plans, just ask AT&T.

    Hello Artem,

    As I have promised earlier, I am sending you the information about your request on your AT&T Next Monthly Payments.

    I did some research about the AT&T Next Promotion Pricing and I found the following information as stated below.

    For existing AT&T Next customers, AT&T will be adjusting your monthly installment payment to the lower promotional pricing, and credit you for the difference for installment payments you have made so far as well as any tax differences associated with the device. You will be notified of your new lower price change via bill insert, e-mail, and mailed letter. You will receive bill credits within 4-6 weeks.

    I hope this information has been helpful in answering your questions. We are here to assist you and appreciate having the opportunity to serve you; we appreciate your business.


    Ninfa R.

    AT&T National Solution Centers

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      Also, if anyone did use Next recently...stop it. What is wrong with you?

  • FrillArtist

    Americans, when will you learn to save money? If you want a phone so bad. Save up the money and buy it outright instead of over paying with all these financing gimmicks and what not.

    • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer

      We've been trained to do otherwise here. And I can't save that kind of money in a reasonable amount of time.

    • rmeden

      The problem is most U.S. carriers do not offer plans without the financing gimmick. I think only only T-Mobile does. If you pay full price for a phone you're still paying the subsidy, just not using it.

  • lavadius eubanks

    I signed with att in March and I was eligible for an early upgrade in October 2014 but ever since they did this att next, I would have to wait to the last day my contract in 2015 to upgrade which is unfair

    • sootfoot5

      No, I don't think so, My two years isn't up until Nov and my husband's isn't up until Dec, but At&T says we can upgrade the old fashioned way now for $36. Perhaps if we wait till Nov/Dec the $36 would be waived but then, perhaps not. Either way, $36 isn't all that much to upgrade, especially since my phone is on the fritz.

  • sanguiseritmeus

    Ridiculous. Just keep your current phone in tip-top shape, and sell it to defray the cost of your new phone. Don't give these rapists any more money than they (don't) deserve.

    • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer

      You won't get much for it. Android phones advance so quickly that a phone that's a year old will have limited appeal. You'd be lucky to get $100.00 for a used Galaxy S3 (in like new condition).

  • Victoria Williams


  • Feather

    Why does ATT insist on charging for data plan, text plan & minute plan separately when others offer All-in-one at better rate... PROFIT and big profit too. Not a good deal for anyone on fixed income... Am in area just skimming edge of call coverage and they have NO plans to add any more coverage. Locked into 2 year deal is pits now must wait to go elsewhere for better coverage & phone upgrade or pay huge fee to get out.

  • Brian

    My wife went in to get a standard upgrade cuz it was like 3 years. She paid the difference for the new phone and I just realized her bill went up and I call and they say she signed this 20 month loan instead of paying like $75 bucks to just buy the phone. He never said anything to her about some program or loan? Any advise.