Samsung Galaxy S3 Available Now
Summary: Samsung’s latest flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S3, officially hit shelves at 11am this morning after a lengthy live-stream launch event. The new features and hardware of the Galaxy S3 were...
Samsung’s latest flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S3, officially hit shelves at 11am this morning after a lengthy live-stream launch event. The new features and hardware of the Galaxy S3 were shown off in-between some filler-videos of questionable applicability. Ultimately the Galaxy S3 itself didn’t seem to take up too much of the overall stage time, but at least when the focus was on the device itself we did get to see a few demonstrations that both intrigued and impressed us.
Of course we’ve already heard about the new features of the GS3, but now that they have been given the legitimacy that comes with wide-spread availability we found a whole new level of interest.
The physical design of the Galaxy S 3 marks a step in the right direction for Samsung. While many have been unimpressed with the new “pebble” design, it can at least be said that Samsung has not ‘copied’ Apple this time around.
While we’re hesitant to get behind Samsung’s claims that the new Galaxy S3 was ‘inspired by nature’, we still think that it’s a fine looking smartphone.
One impressive statistic is that, despite the much larger size of the new display, the Galaxy S3 is only 16% larger than its predecessor.
The 4.8 inch 720p HD Super AMOLED display gives a great first impression. The crisp images offered by an HD display coupled with the vibrant colours we know that Super AMOLED can bring should immediately place the GS3’s screen as one of the best in the market.
Being touted as “Samsung’s answer to Siri”, S-Voice is a more toned-down version of voice-interface. Featuring similar functionality in some ways, such as the demonstrated ability to tell your GS3 to start playing Coldplay, or being able to tell your GS3 to “wake up”, S-Voice is a deeper level of voice integration that we’ve previously seen from Samsung. Of course it’s no Siri, but it doesn’t seem like it’s really trying to be.
Carrying along the same naming scheme, S-Beam is a system of transferring data that is reminiscent of HP’s doomed final line of smart devices. By tapping 2 Galasy S3s together, users can transfer data at high speeds using a combination of wireless technologies such as NFC. This method of transfer is secure and apparently capable of transferring 1GB in under a minute. This is a great-sounding function, but unfortunately currently has limited scope due to it only being available between GS3 handsets. We’d love to see this kind of thing being included in laptops, TVs and desktops for added usefulness.
As most folk who are interested are already aware the Samsung Galaxy S3 features a powerful quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor. The kind of processor is actually important here, as previous quad-core phones have featured the NVIDIA Tegra3 – a processor that does not allow for 4G LTE wireless broadband.
The Galaxy S3 has been said to feature 4G LTE wireless broadband. Unlike the disappointment we saw with the New iPad, or iPad 3, the GS3 will apparently also support this ultra-fast broadband in countries other than the US. We’re still being cautiously optimistic here, as we’ve been hurt before, but it’s an exciting notion nonetheless.
Currently Australia’s only 4G LTE network is offered by Telstra and only in selected metro areas.
Samsung has also brought in a faster form of WiFi connectivity for the GS3. WiFi bonding, as it is called, pretty much doubles the maximum speed of a Galaxy S3’s internet when connected over a WiFi network.
Camera and Video
The camera of the GS3 is where a lot of the focus has been laid. Rather than improving the number of megapixels (MP), as other manufacturers do, Samsung has worked on the software that supports their camera. Other than visual improvements, new features have been added.
Social Tag recognises the faces of your friends and allows you to immediately share any photo taken of a person with them via a variety of mediums such as MMS, Email or by posting it to their Social Media stream such as Facebook. Tapping on the face of a recognised person in a photo will open up your contact details for them, adding just one more way that you can quickly contact your friends.
Best Photo is a system whereby a user can take a rapid succession of photos and the GS3 will automatically pick the best ones out for you to choose from, rather than leaving you with a long list of similar pictures.
Pop-up Video allows a user to continue watching a video as a small pop-up or thumbnail while attending to other tasks. For instance, if you receive an email while watching a film you won’t have to pause. Just enable pop-up mode and part of your screen will remain dedicated to the video while you use the rest to check and respond to the Email. This small video pop-up can be placed anywhere on the screen that the user wishes.
Galaxy S3 Pricing and Plans
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is already available from major telcos. You can compare GS3 plans across multiple Aussie using our handy comparison service by following the link below.
- Virgin $29 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $20 per month
- Virgin $39 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $18 per month
- Virgin $49 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $10 per month
- Virgin $59 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $5 per month
- Virgin $89 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $0 per month
- Vodafone $29 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $20 per month
- Vodafone $39 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $15 per month
- Vodafone $49 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $10 per month
- Vodafone $59 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $5 per month
- Vodafone $79 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $0 per month
- Optus $50 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $12 per month
- Optus $60 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $5 per month
- Optus $80 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $0 per month
- Optus $99 Plan / Galaxy S3 is $0 per month
Only plan currently published is $82 per month
Buying Outright Vs. Plans
Currently the Galaxy S3 is valued at $789
Both the Vodafone and Virgin Mobile plans come in at $64 per month with $59 for the plan and an extra $5 per month in handset repayments.
Virgin Mobile Plan Analysis:
The $59 Fair Go Plan offers $700 of calls. This would give you 623 minutes of monthly calls (based on 3 minute calls) and 3GB of data per month (with the Bonus 2GB data promotion that Virgin is currently running).
Total Cost is $1,536 and the phone is worth $789 which essentially makes it $31.25 per month for the plan. That's pretty good for 3GB of data per month.
Other benefits include:
- Unlimited SMS within Australia
- Unlimited Virgin to Virgin calls (8-9% of the mobile population).
- International calls and texts are charged at higher rates (e.g. international text messages are 45c each), but when you call or text it comes out of the included value.
Vodafone Plan Analysis:
The Vodafone $59 plan offers $750 of calls. This would give you 673 minutes of monthly calls (based on 3 minute calls) and 1.5GB of data per month.
Total Cost is $1,536 and the phone is worth $789, this echoes the Virgin price of $31.25 per month for the plan once the value of the phone has been removed.
Other benefits include:
- Unlimited SMS (text) within Australia and to International numbers
- Unlimited calls to Vodafone / 3 Mobile (almost 30% of mobile phone market)
We'll keep adding plans to our comparison pages as more information becomes available.
Check out Galaxy S3 Pricing, Plans and Deals
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