After hitting yesterday 28 countries across Europe and the Middle East, the hugely anticipated Samsung Galaxy S3 is finally closing in on its North American release. We have some good news for Canadian tech enthusiasts waiting for the S3, which could be interpreted as good news for Samsung fans in the US.
The first piece of Galaxy S3 news to come from the Great White North refers to the phone’s pre-orders, which will most likely start today. Rogers Wireless, the biggest mobile carrier in Canada, has put up a special web page with a countdown clock for the S3, which will run out at 12:00 PM EST, when the operator will start taking pre-orders. Here's the specs on this bad boy:
- Snapdragon S4 Dual Core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 Chipset
- OS (Shipping): ICS 4.0.4
- Data: LTE (SGH-i747 variation) and HSPA+ 42 (SGH-iT999 variation)
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Dimensions: 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
- Weight: 133g
- Memory: 16/32GB internal memory (SGH-i747)/ 16GB internal memory (SGH-iT999)
- Expandable microSD up to 32GB
- Display: 4.8 HD Super AMOLED 1280×720 (306ppi)
- Connectivity: NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, MHL Video Out
- Camera: 8MP Rear-facing, 1.9MP Front-facing
- Battery: 2100 mAh
- TouchWiz with Motion UX
- S Beam
- AllShare Play enhance functionality
- MP3/ACC+/WAV audio player
- DivX/Xvid/MP4/WMV/H.263/ H.264 Video Player
Did you notice the word, ‘LTE' in those specs and get excited? That's only for carriers, Rogers/Bell/TELUS/Virgin because the Wind/Videotron/Mobilicity will have that part of the baesband disabled. Sorry, folks.
The information is not confirmed and there is a small chance that the countdown will lead to something other than the start of the pre-ordering process, but then again, we’re almost sure that this is what that clock is all about.
Second up, we have even better news from Videotron, a small local carrier from Quebec. On Videotron’s official website, there’s a sign up page stating that the “new Galaxy is coming June 20th”.
That has been the most likely release date for the phone in Canada for a while now and is on-par with what we reported a couple of days back. This not a 100% officially confirmed information, though, and Videotron doesn’t state anywhere on its site that the S3 will start shipping on June 20, so the carrier could actually start taking pre-orders on that day (highly unlikely, but still possible).
Update, June 1st:
Samsung states that: “The GALAXY S III will be available for purchase in Canada starting on June 20, 2012. Samsung is pleased to be working with all of the leading wireless providers in Canada, to give our customers a choice of service provider. The SGH-i747 variation of the GALAXY S III will be available from Bell Mobility, Virgin Mobile, SaskTel, TELUS and Rogers Wireless. The SGH-iT999 model will be available from Videotron, Wind and Mobilicity.”
Finally, Best Buy Canada provides another piece of the puzzle, the pricing of the Galaxy S3 in Canada, so we can now say that we know (almost) all of the important things about Sammy’s new flagship. According to BB’s site, the S3 will start at $149.99 with a 3-year contract (from Rogers) and will be available for as much as $169.99 (from SaskTel). In between the two carriers, there are Telus and Virgin’s offerings, both operators being ready to sell the new Galaxy phone for $159.99.
Best Buy doesn’t state when we should expect the phones to start selling at any of the four major operators, but chances are that June 20 is the “magic day”. Also, the price tags haven’t been confirmed by the carriers, so they are only 90% sure for the time being.
We have nothing new to report on the Galaxy S3’s availability and pricing in the United States,
but it is very likely to see the phone released at the same time as in Canada, on June 20. The Canadian price tags, on the other hand, will be a hard act to follow in the US. But we’re still waiting for the S3 to be made available at around $200 with two-year carrier agreements across the States.
Stay tuned on our website in the next hours or so, because we will most likely be updating this post with confirmations and other details. In the meantime, our Canadian readers are asked to stay calm, get their budgets in order, and prepare for the time of their lives.