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Depending on the phone (64 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB) and the plan you choose, you could pay anywhere from $430 to $1910 up front for the phone.
$1910 is the full price for the top of the line 512GB model. $430 would be the minimum payment required for a base 64GB iPhone XS on a $115 per month 2 year plan. The new iPhones are not cheap ($1415 for the 64GB alone) so you won't get one for free on a 2 year contract. Now Telus does have a trade-in program that can reduce the cost of a new device, especially if your iPhone 8 is in good condition.
If you're getting a new phone on contract, there's a really good chance you'll be required to get a new plan to go with it. You may want to talk to someone at a Telus store or call in and ask just to be sure.
Yes, you'd have to pay off your current phone either way. The trade in would get you some value back at least, to be used towards a new device. Seeing as how expensive the XS is compared to the 8, having to pay less for the XS isn't a bad thing.
If you've only had the 8 since January, why not keep it a bit longer? Rushing to pay off a relatively new phone only to get a much more expensive replacement device and new, likely more expensive, cell plan, doesn't make much sense.
Never pay-out a subsidized device balance, that's throwing money away. You have a contracted subsidy on the SGS 8, to pay Telus 390.00 (or any amount) to end your contract early is giving them more money than you'll pay them outside of service charges to the end of your contract. Save that money up, and at the ended of your contract, buy your iPhone. Also, if you wait until after your SGS 8 contract ends, Telus may send you offers you won't get now. I've had many offers sent for the newest iPhone in the last few months. You may want the new phone RIGHT NOW, but financially, you'll be losing big RIGHT NOW and into the near future. You lose nothing by being patient.
While that’s true. Not everyone experiences the same thing. My 8 Plus is lagging compared to my Xs.
That's not what @Nighthawk said, though. Comparing the speed of a older phone against one with a new and faster processor, is an unfair comparison. OF COURSE the newer one is faster.