I have always purchased my devices unlocked and refrain from getting subsidize units from telcos. Anyway I saw this on SMART's website and got irked by them saying it is FREE. IT IS NOT FREE!
An unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 goes for about PhP 30,990.00 up-front.
Now if we look at the offering of SMART.
Let's break it down, you get locked for 2 - 2.5 years with the telco and you are actually paying more for the device. So before you sign on the dotted line and chain yourself to the telco do some simple arithmetic and really consider if it is worth it. Remember that contract HAS a monthly fee, you need to pay the said amount every month. Ask yourself: are you really consuming that much in calls, sms and data? Also remember an ETF (early termination fee) is included if you want to get out of the contract ahead of time.
On the surface, mobile phone subsidies are presented as a way to make the latest and greatest devices available and affordable to us the customers but don't be naive their primary purpose is to enslave us to the telco and earn more money for them.
If you have the cash, go for the up-front purchase, in my case I am already saving up for my next device which I will not be getting from a telco it may appear more expensive in the short-term but in the long-term I am saving more money by staying on a plan that fits me and I can even leave the telco because I am not locked to a contract.