StraightTalk has become a popular alternative for those who don't need all the bells and whistles of flagship smartphones, or don't want the sometimes ruinous cost of keeping them connected. But even budget carriers move with the times, and the Wal-Mart partner looks like it's finally ready to embrace LTE. The Samsung Galaxy S III is now available for purchase on StraightTalk's website, and should be at your nearest Wal-Mart soon. The phone is unbranded and comes with a reasonable sticker price of $439.99 unsubsidized.

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There's just one fly in the ointment: It's a Sprint-compatible phone. The retail packaging for the GSIII popped up on HowardForums earlier today, and the LTE-S badge in the lower corner indicates that this model runs on Sprint's CDMA-LTE network. While most urbanites won't have a problem with that, Sprint does have a pretty poor reputation once you get outside city limits, and its LTE penetration is still lagging behind Verizon and AT&T.

gsiii st

If you're wondering why this is a disappointment instead of a given, StraightTalk uses different networks for different phones - some of the models sold under the StraighTalk brand work on Sprint CDMA frequencies, others on Verizon, and still more use the ubiquitous GSM standard. Prospective StraightTalk customers can even bring unlocked T-Mobile or unbranded GSM phones in and use them with the no-contract StraightTalk SIMs, though obviously they won't operate on the MVNO's licensed CDMA bands. GSM-LTE phones can't take advantage of the higher LTE speeds, at least at the moment. It looks like if you want LTE on StraightTalk, you've only got one choice for the time being.

StraightTalk's Galaxy S III comes in the standard blue and white colors, and is only compatible with the $45 Unlimited plan or $60 International Unlimited plan.

HowardForums via PhoneNews

Thanks, myl35!

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=535068153 Thomas Decker

    Looks like T-mobile is going to have to do a huge price drop on the s3 to keep up, they want $550 for theirs...

    • http://www.williamint.com William Aleman

      But you can't change the SIM card whenever you want or travel internationally.

    • http://twitter.com/s99nj S. Ali

      Why, you get roaming and first-party support with T-mobile. ST contract says they can cancel your contract at anytime.

      • http://profiles.google.com/gregrnel Greg Nelson

        I'm still waiting for a price drop before my cheap sensibilities allow me to pull the trigger. Plus at the current price, I couldn't decide between the HTC One and the S3, at around $440 it becomes a lot easier....

  • jonathan3579

    This is unexpected and good. I think I'm probably still better off keeping the BYOP option though. (Maybe T-Mobile will eventually open up LTE for us...)

  • John Karaman

    Guys, one question, can you use straight talk with att towers?

    • Metroview

      Yes you can but they stopped offering them on their site for good some time ago. I currently have their AT&T version SIM in my S3 and am only able to get 3G or HSPA+. The only one they offer now is the T-Mobile version but a few people are selling the AT&T SIM on eBay and such, but I have no idea if they still can be activated.

      • John Karaman

        Thanks. When you say "for good" do you mean they are not coming back?

        • Metroview

          That's what it seems like unfortunately. There's a huge thread on HowardForums about it titled "Ability to Order AT&T SIMs Removed From Straight Talk Site"

          • John Karaman

            thanks again.

      • Nathaniel Webb

        can you still order them from walmart's site? That's where i got mine and my wife is looking at doing the same thing when her verizon contract expires.

        • Josh Legoza

          I ordered one for my sister and brother-in-law from walmart in Feb or March and had no issues. Came in quickly even. I honestly expected to have problems given what's gone on at ST's site.

        • Patrick Hermey

          no you cannot unfortunately. its pretty much an ebay or amazon type thing and they run 30 bucks. you can however go through net10 and get an att sim. data is limited to 1.5gb and the customer service sucks balls. but it is still worth it if you dont need more then 1.5.
          two phones with auto pay on att sim is 85 bucks.

    • Stephanie Juarez

      How did you get your phone to get 3g? I have the VRZW S3 on ST and I have horrible data.

      • heath

        Is yours 4g lte phone? Verizon?

  • wolfkabal

    If you're going to go this route, go with Ting instead (Sprint), they currently have the S3 32GB version for under $500.

    • barnassey thomas

      Ting is really nice and all but this costs WAAAYYY less than them. Ive
      been with them for 6 months and their data prices leave much to be
      desired. Same with the fact this is unlimited. Straight talk phones on sprint are truly unlimited compared to some others.

      • wolfkabal

        I've been with Ting for 6 months as well, two devices and $37 every month. Hard to compete with that. It's all based on one's uses. I don't need unlimited, but my post was mostly for the device itself.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Ting doesn't offer roaming, I wonder if ST does.

      • jonathan3579

        Straight Talk offers it on their GSM side.

      • Eric Lilly

        No roaming on Sprint with ST.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leonardob0880 Leonardo Baez

    dual core 1.5? my s3 have quad core 1.4

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      The Qualcomm ones with LTE are dual-core.

  • http://twitter.com/s99nj S. Ali

    Great deal.

  • Christopher Cotton

    HSPA+ Is good enough for me...LTE On sprint is shit coverage with fast speeds in like 1 town near me..not worth it

    Here is to hoping the metropcs merger with tmobile is a sign of good things to come from them and expanding coverage.

  • Daniel

    straight talk folks beware.....they actually shut your internet and sometimes service off if u go over their not so unlimited program

    • Rachel

      No they don't I've been on straight talk for 4 years

      • Diggidy

        Actually yes they can. I had an Iphone 5 on Straight Talk Sim last year and they shut my internet off because I only had 4G, which wasn't worth a damn to begin with. Once I used so much of that 4G it's supposed to go back to 3G. Since the Iphone 5 doesn't support 3G the internet shut off all together, where as the Iphone 4S has a feature where you can either use 3G or 4G. The like the IPhone 4s, the Samsung Galaxy SIII using the sim card program supports 4G and will downgrade to 3G once you've gone over you limit on 4G. Straight Talk has had to answer hard questions about this in the past year because of their lack of information to it's customers regarding this issue. Just a rule of advice, AT&T sucks not only for cell phone service but they suck as a company all together. They were making my father pay over $100 dollars a month for an old crappy land line, which he later switched to Straight Talk and has never gone back since.

        Now, I have the Samsung Galaxy SIII using Verizon towers and it's the best phone I've had on Straight Talk since I started using their service in 2010. It's only 3G, but its very fast. I highly recommend it. Good luck.

        • jamie

          If i have a GS3 that's at&t abd its never been cut on before but i have a n at&t sim card in it can i switch it.over to straigjt talk and have internet?

      • alvie

        Yes they do...I get a text message every month from them warning me that i have exceeded my data that is included in my unlimited plan and because of this they are slowing "throttling" my internet speed. It is part of their Terms and service agreement.

  • rudyy

    My Straight Talk S2 is not the "same phone" as other S2s, so beware that this likely is not the same as other S3s. Mine will not be upgraded and has had some features (including NFC) disabled. I will never trust ST again.
    Buy your own phone and then take it to ST or set it up yourself.

    • Tyi

      have you tried to upgrade from kies?

    • Joe

      I have an S3 from Straight Talk and my wife has one from AT&T. Same exact phone.

  • Bonnie Orcutt

    Can I switch my AT&T samsung falaxy 3 for straight talk?

    • NYVET

      Straight Talk screwed the pooch this time! I'm so @*#!%×+; disgusted that they would use Sprint for this FLAGSHIP phone rather than Verizon which works EVERYWHERE while Sprint is so ridiculously horrible for coverage is not funny! Really, I really can't understand why they would do this! There's ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I'll buy this phone, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I can only imagine how many sales they're going to lose because of this. I'm one. But hey, I guess they're doing well enough that they can make STUPID business decisions and get away with it. Hell, I'll go back to Verizon before I'll get a Sprint network device. Great job Straight Talk... way to LOSE sales!

      • Eric Lilly

        Sprint's coverage has been no problem for me over the last 5 years. Sprint's coverage on Straight Talk however, that's another story.

  • brye

    ST is a sham. False advertising (unlimited data, the "same" phones) I work at Walmart and see how they sucker people (especially the poor) in. I always try to keep a Verizon/AT&T/Sprint customer that attempts to switch to Straight Talk. If the say how "bad" their present company is, I simply tell them that they are going from bad to worse.

    • Joe

      I switched from Verizon to Straight Talk and love it. Phone works the exact same, except now I only pay 45/month instead of 85. Seems like paying at least 40 a month more for the same thing is way closer to being suckered. Even if Straight Talk decided one day to cap me at 2GB, it's not like Verizon offers unlimited data anymore.

      • nsanat

        I agree, Joe. I brought my own iphone from AT&T unlimited for $85 a month to straight talk. I notice a little lag in data from time to time, but not enough to go back to paying 85. I noticed lag with at&t from time to time also. It doesnt matter if you are "poor" or filthy rich. If you are paying twice the amount for basically the same service, you are a sucker.

      • Stephanie Juarez

        How'd you get your 4g data work? My current problem is the slow internet.

      • Fru602

        How hard was it to switch your phone over? I have a Samsung SCH-I200 and I want to call straight talk but they are such a pain to talk to and give out the wrong information a lot of the time! I'm currently with S.T. but the phone I am using now runs off of sprint towers and that's just not feasable for my area.

    • Me

      had strait talk for 4 years "LOVE IT" worked at radio shack for years still have strait talk and tethered it to laptop no cap ever


    Straight Talk screwed the pooch this time! I'm so @*#!%×+; disgusted that they would use Sprint for this FLAGSHIP phone rather than Verizon which works EVERYWHERE while Sprint is so ridiculously horrible for coverage is not funny! Really, I really can't understand why they would do this! There's ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I'll buy this phone, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I can only imagine how many sales they're going to lose because of this. I'm one. But hey, I guess they're doing well enough that they can make STUPID business decisions and get away with it. Hell, I'll go back to Verizon before I'll get a Sprint network device. Great job Straight Talk... way to LOSE sales! P.s originally posted as a reply to someone accidentally.

  • unhappy

    My new galaxy s3 from straight talk has a piss poor signal. I had gsm nokia e71prior, and had excellent coverage!

    • D

      Still have that E71. Take that sim out and pop it in a nexus 4. Blows the SIII on Sprint away.

  • Joe

    If I wanted to take my sprint galaxy s3 to straight talk would it work?

    • Robert

      Yes I did it a month ago

    • Jamie

      If i have an at&t GS3 that's never been cut on but it has an at&t sim card in it can i switch it to straight talk and have internet,calling,and texting?

  • Sharon

    Can I use my T-mobile galaxy's 3 to straight talk would it work

    • SM

      You would have to buy a Straight Talk T-Mobile compatible sim card for you galaxy s 3.

  • Mitchell

    I got an s3 from straight talk it's on Verizon an I love it posting from it now

    • Neil

      Did it say CDMA on the bottom left corner of the box? Are you only getting 3G with the Verizon network? Was the blue and white color both available on Verizon? Thanks

      • Mark

        ST sells 2 different models of the S3 depending on which zip code you are going to "use" it in. If you only want the S3 which works on Verizon (3G) then you should enter the zip code for Wyoming (82210) and have it shipped to your regular address. That zip code only works for Verizon. If you want the 4G model then you dont get Verizon. It is on AT&T or Sprint I guess. Another option would be to by an unlocked S3 compatible with AT&T (model number i747) and use the AT&T ST SIM card under the BYOP option. I guess I would rather have the Verizon coverage at 3G.

        • Kim

          mark i just bought my s3 but the coverge i get is horrible..how do i get the verizon coverage?

  • sue

    can i buy a galaxy s3 from ebay, and do i buy the unlocked one correct?

  • cindy gordon fannin

    I switched from at&t to straighttalk about 4 years ago....my husband and i had a $200.00 plus bill each month with at&t, with ST it is $90.00 a month , never a penny more ,for the two of us. We have NEVER had one problem with ST, very seldom have a dropped call whereas with at&t it was quite often and most times if we were at home we would have to do outside to make a call.

  • Angela Renee Wood

    Can i buy any phone and have it switched to straight talk? like if i buy a verizon or at and t or Sprint Galaxy S3 what are the "requirements" all i have to do is buy a SIM card right ? or does it have to be unlocked and have a clean ESN or whatever its called? lol

  • sabrina

    can u use straight talk in st.lucia

  • Lida

    I'm looking into buying a straight talk samsung galaxy (white) can anyone tell me if it's 3G or 4g and if it's 3G how fast is the internet on it. And what network tower does it run off of ?

  • Steven

    I have just switched to Straight Talk. I went with their "Bring Your Own Device" program. I bought an Android smartphone from http://www.flumongu7s.com and just inserted the Straight Talk SIM card. I have a great signal and the phone I got is super fantastic! I'm glad I switched.

  • Fru602

    I have a Verizon SCH-I2OO, can that be switched over to straight talk? It has a micro sim. I am currently with straight talk and have the lg optimus, which runs off of sprint towers. That is not the best connection for my area. I've been with straight talk for over 3 years now and I get the worst reception with the optimus! I've never had a complaint until I bought this phone!

  • Eric Lilly

    I heard that Straight Talk's Sprint coverage only works on Sprint's native network and has no roaming capabilities. That being said, there is a good chance you could be somewhere and have no signal whatsoever. It may be the deciding factor to opt for the Verizon version, that which only only runs on 3G but has far more coverage on the Straight Talk system.