Apple and Samsung continue to fight for supremacy as the top consumer electronics maker in the United States, and the latter has a new move up its sleeves to help thwart its competitor. Beginning in July, the South Korean handset maker will be kicking off a 21-day trial program that allows customers to test drive select smartphones, tablets and smart watches from its product lineup.

After quietly launching the trial program in Manhattan last month, Samsung will be extending the offer to Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Santa Clara. The devices available to test drive are the Galaxy S5 and Note III smartphones, the Gear smart watch and the Gear Fit fitness tracker. Prospective buyers can test the devices on different carriers, with Samsung compensating the wireless costs. A refundable deposit of $350 must be made beforehand… 

Ad Age reports that Samsung is offering this promotion at its so-called “Galaxy Studio” store in New York, alongside four small, pop-up mall kiosks in the other aforementioned cities. The company does not have a physical retail presence in the United States, however, meaning that participants will have to look elsewhere to purchase the Samsung devices they test.

The goal of the trial program is for Samsung to convince consumers to ultimately purchase its products, extending upon the $3.83 billion the company spent on advertising efforts last year. The promotion also helps customers become more familiarized with Samsung’s wide array of devices, especially those that belong to new product categories like smart watches and fitness trackers.

“Our trial program offers consumers the convenience and accessibility to explore and test Samsung Galaxy products in their own environment, enabling them to experience the incredible things they can do with our products and make educated decisions prior to purchase,” Melissa McNutt, senior manager of the division, told Ad Age in a statement.

Samsung is building upon T-Mobile’s new Test Drive program that it announced just over a week ago. The fourth-largest carrier in the U.S. is letting customers borrow an iPhone 5s for a week, at no cost, as part of its Uncarrier initiative. The promotion appears to be a success, as the carrier announced that over 12,000 customers had signed up to take home an iPhone 5s in just two days.

Will you test drive a Samsung device?

  • Brian 

    Not sure if allowing customers to experience crashes and bloated software for 21 days will do them any good, lol.

    • It’s still better than giving them a restrictive brick with zero personalization and an even worse crashing experience (http://bit ly/1ljOAOW)…

      • Alberto Espinal

        I rather have some crashes than malware, Troll!!!

      • xSeriouSx

        I’d rather do my thinking myself than rely on some herd master to tell me what’s safe and what’s not, numbskull!

      • Your Mother

        Android phones dont contain malware, users can get it if they download from suspect sources–same as iOS users.

        you people really need to grow up, the fanboy thing gets old after a while.

      • Alberto Espinal

        So you need to go to another site cause you are going to hear a lot of this here!!

      • eXoguti093

        Wouldn’t that mean that on iOS 7.1 apps will crash 17 out of 1000 times and on android it’d be 6/1000? Of course it would fluctuate but that’s not a big difference and I doubt it’d bother anyone unless you’re really picky, and from what I’ve seen looking at the RAM on an iPhone 5 for a while, idle or with apps open and games, it definitely has enough. I’m only experiencing crashes on my outdated 4s on 3D games

      • “and I doubt it’d bother anyone unless you’re really picky”

        I actually notice several crashes with Safari while in Super-Safe mode. In such case, I usually just give-up on trying to use my iPhone for browsing and switch to my Surface Pro. It will probably be less crashy on newer devices with higher capacity RAM, but so will it on other brand devices with double the RAM…

        “I’m only experiencing crashes on my outdated 4s on 3D games”

        I play no 3D games on this weaklink. Usually, if I want to play games (like Battle Run S2), I enter safe mode and all is fine.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        You’re right! Safari does crash and sometimes my device completely reboots. I’ve also used up a lot of storage space which is perhaps one of the reasons since if I remember rightly iOS uses the flash memory for extra temporary storage / RAM. I’m really hoping that with the iPhone 6 we see a specs bump and that 16gb is gone and 32gb becomes the new 16gb and then 64gb and 128gb…

      • Connor Mason

        My Nexus 5 has never completely rebooted on its own. All my iOS devices have. Surely Apple can fix its lacking hardware with the iPhone 6. Not that the 5S is incapable, but that iOS 8 and the A7 are too capable for the hardware.

      • TeddyBearStand

        Sure the apps may “crash” when I have long stopped using them in the background, and god forbid it takes a split second relaunching the app.
        The type of crashing the guy is talking about is SYSTEM crashing. That is, total lock ups, with a reboot necessary.
        The low memory crashes of apps on the iPhone due to low RAM is not even noteable.

      • “Sure the apps may “crash” when I have long stopped using them in the background”

        That’s the ideal case, and it rarely ever happens on my 4s. When browsing with a mere 5 tabs open in Safari, and I choose to quickly get some info from say my notes app, return to Safari after 10-15 seconds and it refreshes everything, losing the data I was typing in…or do you consider 10-15 seconds as a long period?

        “The type of crashing the guy is talking about is SYSTEM crashing. That is, total lock ups, with a reboot necessary.”

        I’ve had that happen to my 4s 3 times this month. They randomly occurred at the lockscreen as it loaded LockInfo, during my use of the mail app, and during use of Safari (when I press and hold in an attempt of bringing up the action menu). Guess I had too much in memory at that moment…

        “The low memory crashes of apps on the iPhone due to low RAM is not even noteable.”

        I notice it with Safari even when in super-safe mode, so, guess the reason is “I’m using it too much”…

      • Lebron

        Dude you’re crying about your 3 year old iPhone crashing on the latest software. Upgrade your device!

      • Not on the latest software dude. Stilll on iOS 6. And even if it were on the latest software, doesn’t mean it should be more crashy; that’s plain terrible programming.

        Look at Windows 8, it runs seamlessly on my ancient 2008 Laptop; faster than Vista (which it came with) and Se7en (which I installed myself), and there’s zero crashes. Look at Android Kitkat, it runs seamlessly of even more lower end hardware than it’s predecessor. Meanwhile, in the walled garden, people are proudly having their devices slowed down by the latest software…

      • TeddyBearStand

        On stock 7.1.1 my 5s has never crashed, not even once. Nor have apps (except snapchat but thats snapchat…)

        Now I am happily jailbroken running 30+ tweaks. Have yet to see a crash.

        Now on my dads S4, it crashes at least once a day. And all he does is go on facebook! Thats just sad in my opinion… I blame touchwiz though, nothing against vanilla android.

      • Maxim∑

        Haha that argument does not work with Samsung. knox and there bootloader is extremely locked down compared to all other Android devices.

        And the customization argument that doesn’t really work either anymore with ios 8.

        Also it’s easy to pull up information from articles that suite you

      • “knox and there bootloader is extremely locked down compared to all other Android devices.”

        Uhm, you don’t need to root it to personalize it; that’s the advantage of Android.

        “And the customization argument that doesn’t really work either anymore with ios 8.”

        And when was iOS 8 released to the general public?

      • Rowan09

        I rarely use my Note 2 and apps crash at least 3-4 times a day if I use it continuously. Apple doesn’t do multitasking like Android so I believe that’s why the lower RAM doesn’t affect it as much. I can’t remember but once having Safari crash on me on my 5s.

  • Nice to see them “copying” a future Apple rumor…

    • eXoguti093

      Completely off-topic but I figure you know about this more than I do. To power a screen with a high resolution what does it take, battery is an obvious one, but is it mostly CPU (if at all) or GPU that pushes the pixels?

      • It’s the GPU that pushes the pixels of the screen. The CPU does basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system.

      • eXoguti093

        So for example on the retina macbook lets say 13in (the one I have) OSX runs perfectly smooth at 2560×1600, but at HiDPI resolutions what makes it so laggy (well not so laggy but not completely smooth) than when not using HiDPI?

      • Sounds like that’s due to putting too much stress on the GPU, they all have their limits. Not sure what you’re referring to a HiDPI as of now, but in that case, it sounds like the GPU is unable to push in-motion pixels (i.e. their colours are currently changing, like say when moving a Finder window) at a frame rate over 30fps. So, you notice some judder due to the low frame rate…

      • eXoguti093

        Hm.. Well HiDPI are just scaled but sharp resolutions, like I’m using my mac at 1440×900 HiDPI which is why everything looks sharp instead of blocky and pixelated, I read somewhere it’s because it gets doubled and then scaled down so every UI element is taking advantage of all the pixels or something like that, I know that when I take a screenshot the resolution of it will be double like 2880×1600, the highest HiDPI is 1680×1050 which with third-party apps it lets me set the resolution at 3660×2100 which is not the native resolution but it shows. About the GPU though it makes sense.. OSX has a lot of animations like switching spaces and acceding launchpad and making apps full screen, that’s where it jitters or stutters, and I always wondered why this is never fixed, in a recent update they did increase the VRAM from 1024 to 1500 but it doesn’t feel to have done much

      • Maxim∑

        cpu actually renders 2D stuff on Android for the most part with Qualcomm

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Pretty sure the same’s true for iOS?

      • Maxim∑

        iOS is all GPU for rendering

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I thought the GPU was only used for 3D. At least I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that in Safari the GPU is only used for 3D animations which is why certain 2D animations can look sluggish…

  • I won’t test drive, its too troublesome. Android rocks, but I’m not a Samsung fan.

  • Blip dude

    Well, my iPhone could use a break, and I need it to be in Mint Condition at least until the next gen iPhone comes out.

  • Rowan09

    I don’t know if it’s still the same, but you were actually able to return a phone after 15 days on any US carrier. Test drive always existed, just written in fine print.

    • RayRayBeav

      You are right, I know AT&T is a 14-day return policy on all phones sold. Although, most people would probably not think of this.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Yes it’s pretty standard but what Samsung and T-Mobile are essentially doing is removing all of the restrictions. You test drive the phone for X days and then return it at which point you get charged if it isn’t in immaculate condition…

      • Rowan09

        T-mobile and Samsung is just giving it a name, but it’s the same thing.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Yep like I said. Same thing just no strings attached. You use the phone, look after the phone and then return the phone. There’s no fees to go through and since you aren’t signing a contract there’s nothing to cancel…

  • Qasim

    Bought my first android smartphone 6 days ago, resold it 2 days ago.

  • Dan

    It’s a good idea, but it will give people enough time to realize that Touchwiz (Samsung OS) is bloated garbage. Doubt it will play in their favor.

    I think vanilla android is great, but I absolutely hate it with all the crap Samsung puts in.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Will Samsung let you put vanilla android on it? Or is modifying the Samsung device during the test period via hardware or software not allowed?

      • Dan

        Good question, I doubt it

  • Corey B

    I think as a iphone owning a ipad and a MB. I wanted to try a galaxy S5 just to see how it is. I’m not sure if the iphone with out tweaking is going to be around for long with apple taking all the tweaks. I have a feeling apple is gonna allow some of the tweaks like moviebox and stuff available on a iphone soon. I keep hearing good things about the galaxy so bring it to Michigan!!

  • Your Mother

    No need to try., just got my Galaxy Tab S 8.4″ today and its AMAZING. passing the iPad Air 32GB LTE to the wife and kids.

  • I’m more interested in the iPhone trial than the Samsung one…