It was less than two months ago that the Galaxy S III was first announced to the world at Samsung's super classy special event. Now, the device is available inside the US borders. Though, there are a few catches. For starters, the device is only available on T-Mobile so far, according to a press release from Samsung. You can order it online, or from "select retail stores." This is in line with T-Mobile's previous statements where the company announced it would be splitting the launch in twain.
Samsung is taking advantage of their newfound clout in the Android ecosystem: it's the first Android phone to escape the cellular carriers' meddling changes. Sammy managed to pulled off a unified launch across all the major US carriers - there will be no weird variants, and no names that sound like Street Fighter II sequels.
Just over two weeks after the official Galaxy SIII announcement, and days before its target launch date, Samsung has released the ICS open source files for AT&T's own Galaxy SIII (otherwise known as SGH-I747M), as well as T-Mobiles variant - the SGH-T999V. These releases are in keeping with Samsung's recent pattern of timely source code drops, which has certainly been encouraging for developers looking to tinker with one of the hottest Android devices available.
While the Galaxy S III pre-order frenzy started early last week, we've yet to see the device going for anything less than retail price. Now, however, Amazon Wireless and Target Mobile both have the AT&T variant for $150 with an updgrade. Normally we see the best deals reserved for folks looking to sign a new contract, so this is definitely the exception to that rule.
Wirefly has also joined the game and started accepting pre-order for the Sprint variant of the device, albeit for the slightly higher price of $180 for both new contracts and upgrades.
In a Bluetooth SIG listing (a trade certification group), LG has officially confirmed the existence of the E970 and LS970. The former is possibly headed for AT&T (it has AT&T GSM and LTE bands - which could mean Rogers as well) and is packing a quad-core Qualcomm S4 Krait chip, complete with the latest Adreno 320 GPU goes toe-for-toe with the Galaxy SIII in GLBencmark. The 1280x768 resolution is something of an oddity - why the extra 48 pixels?
Back at CES in January we got a first glance at Sony's latest flagship phone, the Xperia Ion. In our time with it, the device made an impression with its 720P display and 12 megapixel camera. As expected, this device is finally showing up on AT&T with an announcement today of the device's availability later this month.
As you can see, this is a phone with some serious media credentials.
Although it isn't a new feature, one of Samsung's software perks with the Galaxy S3 is the inclusion of 48 GB of free space in a Dropbox account, an offer that lasts two years. Unfortunately, according to an official Dropbox support page, some U.S. users won't have the option to take advantage of this free space.
AT&T and Verizon have chosen to opt out of this promotion, though their reasoning is unclear.
It seems like we've been hearing about a Motorola device headed to AT&T codenamed "Dinara" for eons now. A new press shot of this elusive device has now fallen into the hands of The Verge, and it shows a very different handset than the one sharing the same codenamed that was released in China last year.
As you can see, this device is definitely running Ice Cream Sandwich, with a seemingly tolerable version of Motoblur (or whatever they're calling it these days) slapped on top of it.
As promised, AT&T has gone live with pre-orders for the hotly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy SIII, which was just confirmed for the carrier three days ago. Customers are now free to stake claim to the phone that may indeed change the way Android phones are sold in the US. AT&T is the second carrier to officially launch pre-orders, following Sprint. Verizon's pre-orders are also expected to begin today.
In case you've forgotten what makes the Galaxy SIII an awesome device, here's a quick look at its specs:
4.8" Super AMOLED 720p display
Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor at 1.5GHz
16GB onboard storage, expandable to 64GB via microSD
Ample 2100mAh battery
Android Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz overlay
To earmark your own unit (in either Pebble Blue or Marble White), just head over to AT&T's preorder page here.
Here in the United States, we've all been witness to an historic "second" this week (as opposed to a first) in the unified launch of the Galaxy S III, untainted by carrier modification, on all four of the major US wireless providers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile).
Now, you'll probably say "but David, the Galaxy S III is the first smartphone to launch as the same model on all four major carriers!" and you'd be right.