Samsung Galaxy S3, the much-awaited new generation smartphone, has finally landed in U.S. customers' hands with carriers making the device available for both in-store and online purchases.
Sprint made the Galaxy S3 available for in-store purchases from July 1, while AT&T announced that it would be selling the phone in its stores from July 6. Following suit, Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced that it would launch its version of the highly anticipated smartphone on July 10.
"Galaxy S III customers will have access to the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network which is available in 304 markets across the United States. Verizon Wireless 4G LTE will be in 400 markets covering 260 million people by the end of this year," the carrier said in a statement.
The Verizon variant of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is available in 16GB and 32GB models for $199.99 and $249.99, respectively, with a two-year customer agreement. While the 16GB model of the handset will be available both in stores and online starting July 10, the 32GB model will hit stores in coming weeks.
The Verge reported that many of its readers have received shipment notices from Verizon, suggesting that the carrier must have already started shipping pre-orders. If it holds true, the handset could arrive in advance "for those that got their pre-orders in right away."
According to BGR, the availability of Samsung's latest flagship smartphone on Verizon will mark the arrival of the phone on all four major U.S. carriers.
T-Mobile, on the other hand, launched the Galaxy S3 in 29 selected markets on June 21, while it postponed the in-store release of the device until June 29 with no specific release date announced thereafter. The carrier has also reportedly increased the phone's price. While other carriers are charging $199 for the 16GB and $249 for the 32GB, T-Mobile is "asking $279 for the 16GB and $329 for the 32GB, following a mail in rebate of $50," Motoring Crunch reported.
On the other hand, U.S. Cellular and regional carrier C-Spire are expected to get the phone in the coming weeks, CNET reported.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 in the U.S. features Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, while the international models come with the Quad-core Exynos 4 chipset including the Korea-bound version, which features the 4G LTE support.
Other key features of the U.S. variants of the Galaxy S3 include a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, surrounded by an ultra-thin bezel to maximize the viewing area of the handset; Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4G LTE connectivity, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP Rear-facing camera, a 1.9MP Front-facing camera and a 2100 mAh battery.
From the connectivity part, the Galaxy S3 comes with NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and MHL Video Out. It weighs 4.7 ounces (133.24 grams) and is 8.6 millimeters thin.
The Galaxy S3's other features include AllShare Play, Group Cast and Share Shot functions allowing users to share photos with others. Another feature, the S-Beam, allows easy transfer of large files from Galaxy S3 to another device by touching the backs of the two devices.
The much-talked about feature of the Galaxy S3 is S Voice, a language recognition technology allowing customers to control applications and services with words instead of touch. The handset also includes camera features like Best Shot to choose the best image from a series when taking a photo.
The South Korean tech giant claimed that sales of the Galaxy S3 could touch 10 million units by the end of July. The handset is planned to be shipped to 302 wireless carriers in 147 different countries worldwide by the end of next month.
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