Samsung Galaxy S III is a looker
Samsung Electronics' latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III, will arrive at Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA on June 21.
At Sprint, the highly anticipated smartphone will cost $199.99 for the 16GB version, and $249.99 for the 32GB version. AT&T will sell also sell a 16GB version for $199.99 but will pair it with a 16GB micro SD card for $238.99. T-Mobile also confirmed it would arrive on the same day, but didn't provide pricing information.
Verizon Wireless and AT&T said it would take pre-orders on June 6, but Verizon only said it would be available in the "coming weeks." AT&T on the other hand hasn't disclosed anything more specific except that it will offer an exclusize red-hued model. U.S. Cellular will also get the phone, but it doesn't launch with the regional carrier until July. It will make the phone available for pre-order on June 12.
Samsung is preparing for a major launch of the Galaxy S III, with Verizon Wireless and AT&T also committing to selling the phone this summer. Over the past two years, Samsung has worked to build up the Galaxy S brand. It now stands as the second most popular line of smartphones behind Apple's iPhone.
That Samsung is selling the phone in the U.S. speaks to the strength of the Galaxy S name. When the phones first emerged here, the carriers insisted upon slight tweaks and variations to the device, allowing each carrier to stand apart. Even the second generation got slight tweaks, including a different name at Sprint, with Verizon opting to skip the phone entirely.
Like the iPhone, the Galaxy S III is consistent across carriers.
The Galaxy S III will come with a dual-core Snapdragon processor optimized for 4G LTE network, a slight change from the quad-core processor that the international version uses. That's because there currently aren't any quad-core processors that play well with cellular radios, similar to the situation with the HTC One X.
The Galaxy S III is a slim handset with a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display. It supports 4G LTE and HSPA+ 42 speeds, has an 8-megapixel camera (hands on) with 1080p HD video capture and playback, and a bevy of software features to complement and enhance Android's Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
Samsung has also given the Galaxy S III 2GB of RAM and a very large, removable 2100mAh battery. There will be support for 16GB or 32GB of expandable memory, depending on the carrier, it seems.
Another nice touch, the Galaxy S III is topped with Gorilla Glass 2.0, a stronger, thinner type of the premium glass brand that Corning, Gorilla Glass' maker, unveiled this past January at CES.
And be sure to check out the in-depth hands-on by my colleague Jessica Dolcourt of the quad-core version of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
Editors' note: This post was updated June 4 at 3 p.m. PT with carrier release details.