T-Mobile is pushing its "Magenta Saturday" — November 19 to the rest of us — as a stress-free alternative to Black Friday, with various devices for low upfront prices. Be careful, though, as the operator is following the same labyrinthine pricing structure that it used for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus release earlier this month, and it's difficult to work out exactly what you'll be paying.
The Galaxy S II, for example, is going for a "down payment" of $49.99 after a $150 mail-in rebate, plus 20 monthly payments of $20 — this adds up to $449.99 total for the device, though of course that's without calls or data. Sure, that's $70 cheaper than an unsubsidized Galaxy S II ($529.99), but if you're chaining yourself to T-Mobile anyhow, you want the $229.99 subsidized price, right? Not so fast, because here's the actual "deal" — existing T-Mobile customers with over 18 months tenure can get these devices with the Unlimited Value plan, which is T-Mobile's cheaper option normally reserved for those on unsubsidized devices. The extra monthly payments offset the price difference, but basically you'll be saving $20 a month for the last four months of your contract, and paying a significantly lower cost for the handset on day one.