Samsung launches Galaxy S III

With much fanfare and spectacle, Samsung today launched its latest smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S III, available on all major carriers from lunchtime today.

Samsung Galaxy S III
(Credit: Samsung Electronics)

Samsung held off announcing the device until today, despite providing launch dates for other regions at the beginning of the month. The company launched the device at Sydney's Capitol Theatre this morning.

The Samsung Galaxy S III features a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich, an 8-megapixel camera with a HD Super AMOLED display at 4.8 inches, 1GB of RAM, near-field communication (NFC) and up to 64GB of storage, with only 16GB offered to Australian customers today. The phone comes in a choice of marble white or pebble blue.

Vodafone was first out with its pricing plans (below), starting at $29 per month on a 24-month plan, with a $20 handset repayment. This plan comes with 400MB of data per month in the first 12 months, and 200MB per month in the following 12 months.

Vodafone pricing
(Screenshot by Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

Prices for Telstra start at $72 per month for $550 worth of calls, unlimited texts and 1.5GB of data per month, and plans go up to $129 per month for unlimited calls and texts and 3GB of data per month.

Optus plans start at $50 per month, with $12 per month in handset repayments. That includes $500 worth of calls, unlimited texts and 1GB of data. The highest Optus plan costs $99 per month, with unlimited calls and texts and 3GB of data per month.

Virgin Mobile has the device starting at $47 per month with $190 worth of plan credit and 250MB of data per month.

Virgin pricing
(Screenshot by Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

Customers will be set back $899 to buy the phone outright, but Allphones is currently selling the device for $798 for the 16GB model.

In addition to working on existing 3G networks, the Samsung Galaxy S III is compatible with long-term evolution (LTE) or "4G" networks, but Optus has said that the phone will only support HSPA+ on its network.

Telstra told ZDNet Australia that it was in discussions with Samsung to bring a 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy S III to Australia, but it would likely be several months before the device hits Australian shores.


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tattyhead posted a comment   

Yep - kind of silly to announce a variant without releasing it. I'm not convinced by the need for tons of storage space given the trends in cloud storage and streaming services. So long as I have enough space for some photos, a bit of music and a few movies or tv shows when I travel. The key thing is to get away from specs and provide a quality user experience which is something Apple have always done better.As for plastic builds, well, I do think my S2 feels a bit cheap but I've read about problems with antennas on metal chasis (iPhone 4 and Asus Transformer Prime GPS). These problems don't happen with plastic. Also, drop tests show plastic is just as good as metal so really its all about the feeling of quality than actual practicality. But people obviously choose aesthetics over practicality seeing the biggest selling phone has glass on the front and the back? How stupid is that? I've seen so many iPhones patched up with tape front and back!!


watchoutforwilly posted a comment   

Only 16 and 32 GB variations listed on the Samsung website. However, UK website lists 16, 32 and 64 GB variations. I wrote to Samsung and asked if the 64 GB model will be released in Australia, but didn't get an answer.

Very disappointing if we don't get the 64 GB here in Oz.


zi ggy posted a comment   

4G is barely compatible anywhere. first 4G must become more standard, or available to atleast 90% of sydney(no annoying loss of network), then i will consider if the s3's lack of 4G is a problem


ccampbell498 posted a comment   

Telstra will probably not persuade people from the GS3 as much but more to the ONE XL being a 4G device.


ccampbell498 posted a comment   

The 2012 iphone and the One XL will be probably be the best phones this year because of 4G. THe next iphone is bound to have 4g copatibility in Australiabecause of the ipad 3 disput. Also 4G on the next iphone will be the biggest selling points for Apple against the GS3 in Australia and the UK because of the lack of it on the GS3 as its the closest competitor.


ccampbell498 posted a comment   

I think the HTC One XL will sell better than the Galaxy S3 because of its 4G capability. It would also be ineteresting to do atest between the Galaxy S2 4G and the Galaxy S3 in terms of browser speed to see if 4g wins over a quad core procsor. Does the Galaxy S3 support 21mbps or the dual carrier 42mbps on telstra.


EvanK posted a comment   

I wonder how the possibility of a new iPhone launching soon will affect sales of this phone. I know I will be waiting to see what the new iPhone has before jumping into another 24 month contract..


Tattyhead posted a reply   

If you are waiting for the new iPhone then you will have a long wait. Most analysts say October or even later this year. Samsung had 6 months of strong sales last year before 4S came out so I expect we'll see the same thing again. Also, the original Galaxy S owners are now hitting the end of their 24 month contracts as well

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