It’s “friggin’ huge,” as my colleague Jared Newman recently quipped, and Samsung’s Galaxy S III is also going to be friggin’ expensive if you’re in the U.S. and want firsties. While the phone’s stateside launch date is still “early June,” Amazon has started taking pre-orders for the international version.
The price of early: $800, coming at you in marble white or pebble blue (with 16GB of storage a piece). Unwired View noticed the phones on Amazon’s site along with the international model number — GT-i9300 — and that you can save some scratch (really just a couple dozen bucks) if you buy from a third-party discount merchant. Amazon’s listings say both versions will be released on June 1, though in the fine print, the site notes the expected dispatch date will actually be “on/after 4th June 2012” and that the “[date] may be subject to change, if there is any delay to the launch date from Manufacturer.” Sounds a little risky to me.
The upside of expensive: As Intomobile notes, the GT-i9300 will be unlocked, unbranded and thus capable of receiving the latest updates faster than any other version — it’ll run on AT&T’s HSPA network, including 4G HSPA+ support if you’re in a supported locale. The downsides: It doesn’t support LTE, nor does it support the 1700 MHz band, meaning no Verizon/Sprint LTE or T-Mobile HSPA for you.
The Galaxy S III is Samsung’s flagship 2012 smartphone, a handheld monster with an ARM-based 1.4 GHz Exynos quad-core processor, 1GB of memory, a 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED Plus display/touchscreen, an 8-megapixel supposedly “lag-free” camera and a Siri voice-recognition knockoff called S-Voice running on top of Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich.” Except for a rumored 12-megapixel camera, those specs aligned almost perfectly with the pre-launch rumored ones.
Meaning that if you were already jazzed about this thing before the launch, plan to use AT&T, can’t wait for Samsung to square its U.S. launch plans and have way more disposable income than me, your pre-order chariot awaits. If you can wait just a tick longer, however, the Galaxy S III is expected to launch in the U.S. shortly after its international debut.