Typically an unlocked Galaxy flagship will lose a couple features when compared to the same version carrier locked. In the case of the Galaxy S9 unlocked vs carrier locked, you would lose something like 1) voice over LTE (voice over LTE provides cleaner, clearer, sharper voice communication over LTE lines). Great feature where LTE is solid. 2) Visual voicemail or visual voicemail features like text to speach or speach to text. 3) OS and Security updates are much slower than carrier locked versions. But, like the other poster mentioned, we really don't know what is lost vs carrier locked until the phones are in hand. Last year I went with carrier unlocked S9. I lost VOLTE on Verizon, or maybe just Voice-over-WiFI (I just can't remember), and lost a feature in visual voicemail, but didn't lose visual voicemail. Updates were pathetic, months behind for security updates, but I love the unlocked freedom to move from carrier to carrier. I ordered unlocked again.
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Last year the Samsung S8 shipments were all of the sudden really consistent. When the release date neared suddenly everyone had Fed-Ex overnight tracking numbers for the phone. Yeah, sure some carriers may have shipped early, but Samsung direct was awesome. Some countries get the phone sooner due to logistics. It's not really a matter of fair or unfair. Furthermore, some countries get an Exynos chip instead of a Qualcomm 835/845. The best reason to pre-order from Samsung is to get the phone at home or the office instead of going to the cell dealer. The next best reason is to get the phone direct from Samsung is factory unlocked. The next best reason is 24-36 months interest free payments, and easy to pay off early if you want to upgrade to the next phone or go to another carrier. Don't worry so much about shipping dates and delivery days. It's really not worth the energy.
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