Samsung announced on Monday that its 2012 Android flagship smartphone will be available from five U.S. carriers this month, with prices starting at $199. Soon after that, we saw Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and U.S. Cellular announce their own Galaxy S3 versions alongside availability details for each carrier.
In case you’re interested in buying the Galaxy S3 in the US but you’re not sure what carrier to pick, then we got you covered, as we’ll tell you everything you need to know before making the purchase.
The Galaxy S3 offered by the five carriers is identical to the international version design-wise, which is certainly surprising considering the garden variety of Galaxy S and Galaxy S2 designs that hit the U.S. in 2010 and 2011, respectively. For once, carriers were not able to convince Samsung to design custom Galaxy S3 versions, which is a step in the right direction. However, crapware apps from each carrier selling the Galaxy S3 will surely be found on board.
But the Galaxy S3 is not entirely similar to the international version when it comes to internal components. Instead of the 1.4 quad-core Exynos processor that equips the international handset, U.S. versions will come with a 1.5 dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. That’s even if your chosen carrier will not offer LTE support in your market anytime soon. In addition to that processor change, the U.S. Galaxy S3 version will also sport 2GB of RAM, double than the international version.
Verizon was the first carrier to announce the Galaxy S3. The device is now available for pre-order and it will cost either $199.99 or $249.99, for the 16GB or 32GB version, respectively. Those of you not interested in getting a new two-year contract with Verizon will be able to purchase the handset for full price – that’s $599 or $649, depending on the model you choose. Verizon’s Galaxy S3 release date was delayed due to unknown reasons, and is now scheduled for July 9.
What’s worth remembering about Verizon is that the carrier has the largest LTE coverage in the U.S. at this time, so if it’s LTE support that you’re interested in, Verizon could be the way to go.
The second largest mobile operator in the country was the last one to unveil Galaxy S3 launch plans. Initially, AT&T put out a sign-up page for the handset followed by a proper press release. AT&T will sell only the 16GB Galaxy S3 version, also priced at $199.99. The carrier will offer customers a 16GB microSD card for $39 – thus they’d end up with a 32GB Galaxy S3 that costs $238.99. The phone will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow, June 6, although we have no idea when the device will ship.
AT&T’s Galaxy S3 will also come with LTE support, but AT&T’s “real 4G” network can’t be compared with Verizon’s when it comes to coverage. However, AT&T’s “fake 4G” network – it’s HSPA+ network that’s also referred to as 4G, just like T-Mobile’s corresponding network – offers superior data speeds than Verizon’s and Sprint’s 3G CDMA networks, and covers “more than 260 million people.”
Alongside T-Mobile, Sprint was not afraid to announce a release date for the Galaxy S3. The carrier will have it in stores on June 21, with pre-orders starting on June 6. The smartphone will cost $199.99 or $249.99 with new two-year contracts, just like Verizon’s models. Full price for the Sprint Galaxy S3 appears to be in line with Verizon’s too.
The carrier plans to roll out its LTE network in more and more markets later this year, but you may have to keep relying on 3G when it comes to browsing the web from your Galaxy S3 until that happens. The good news is that Sprint has not canceled its unlimited data plans yet, so that could be a good reason to purchase the Samsung phone from this carrier.
Furthermore, Sprint’s Galaxy S3 will come with Google Wallet support too, in case NFC payments are on your agenda.
T-Mobile will also launch the Galaxy S3 on June 21, but the carrier is not offering the handset for pre-order. Furthermore, T-Mobile has not specified pricing details at this time although we would expect them to be in line with the competition’s.
What some T-Mobile customers will find annoying is that T-Mobile will sell them the same LTE-ready Galaxy S3 version, even though T-Mobile does not have offer LTE support yet. Some people would argue that the carrier should have gotten the international GSM version that packs that Exynos quad-core processor instead of the LTE model that comes with the dual-core CPU.
However, T-Mobile has its own “fake 4G” network in place, which you could find more suitable for your needs in certain markets than other 3G networks from the competition.
While U.S. Cellular is just a regional mobile operator that can’t really compete with any of the Big Four, some Galaxy S3 buyers will choose this carrier instead of going with any of the four offers mentioned above. That means they’ll have to wait a while longer to get their Galaxy S3 unit as U.S. Cellular will start pre-orders on June 12 and launch the device only at some point in July.
U.S. Cellular will carry both the 16GB and 32GB of the handset, but pricing details are not available at this time. We’ll also remind you that U.S. Cellular has its own 4G LTE network, so if LTE is a major selling point for you, then you should also consider U.S. Cellular’s Galaxy S3 offer.
Those of you interested in getting your hands on an unlocked GSM international Galaxy S3 version – in order to try out that quad-core Exynos CPU that’s found on board – can purchase the device from Amazon and other similar retailers, although you’ll have to pay full price to get it. Or, you could enter our second Galaxy S3 competition to win a free Galaxy S3 unit.
What carrier will you choose for your Galaxy S3 model?
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Why are micro SD cards so unreasonably priced?$40.00 for a 16GB micro SD?
Just go to target and get a 16gb micro sd card for around $20.
EBay is the best that I’ve seen. That’s if you cipher through all the fake ones. Got a samsung 32gb micro SD class 10 for $42.
ya never purchase a microSD card directly from a phone sales location, they always jack up the price for no reason
32GB mobile microSD @ amazon for 19.99.
it’s sandisk. i’d take aData (which has faster R/W), they have the UHS-I (fastest SD card filesystem access so far), 32GB for $34.
Would love to roll with T-Mobile this time…
No one has mentioned if the Verizon s3 will even have a sd slot.
The article just stated that it is mostly similar to the international versions except the US version will have 2GB of RAM and a Dual core CPU…..
All the Galaxy S3 models being sold in the US are the same, except for the upgraded internal memory option. They ALL have micro SD slots.
I pre-ordered the white one AT&T yesterday and they said it will ship in 3-5 business days so we will see how true that is. I also bought a micro SD San Disk 32gig on Amazon for $25 but its only class 4 but works great for me. Also i did not see the Red SG3 being offered by AT&T as previoulsy reported.
Sprint website says it comes with a 32gig sd card
If you are an existing Sprint customer, buy from somewhere else. Sprint is giving new customers a $350 discount with a 2 year contract. Existing customers only get $150.
I’m an existing sprint customer and I pre-ordered my 32gb at $249 which is the same as new customer.
Same here! I received a 150 + a 250 order online discount? I am counting down the days and I am an apple user! This phone looks amazing!!
That would be my point…. Sprint claims they offer an upgrade discount to existing customers then cut the 2year contract discount and fudge the numbers so that the price works out the same.
hi , is your phone S3 I9300 ?!>
I got mine 199.00 under new two year contract same as new customer.
I jut checked my preorder status and it looks like they are shipping early. i ordered 7:05 on 6/6 and it ships 06/17!
not such a happy camper – apparently vzw has issues. My phone now ships 06/08/8252
so does the verizon one comes with a micro sd slot please i need to know before i go pre order it tomorrow
hi, whats’s the price of your phone ?! plz
US Ceullar prices are going to be higher then anywhere else. They are asking $249 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB, they will announce this on June 12th. You heard it here first….
hi, is this price with contract !?
Us cellular might have the highest prices for the phone but you get $100 rebate from it so thats $100 back in your pocket! Which puts it right along with all the other carriers.
Will Verizon’s S3 have NFC enabled, and will you be able to use Goggle wallet, pending the implementation of Verizon’s Isis system?
Will the extra GB of ram make up for the cut on processing speed?
Kyle, the dual core processor has actually tested faster in regards to handling LTE networks than a quad. You aren’t getting a cut in processing speed.
Visited a t-mobile store today to see the HTC One in person and decide if I want that on their sale this weekend (free after rebate) or if I want to wait for the S3. Guy working there said their price on S3 is going to be $300… Would love to confirm whether or not that is true but I suspect he was trying to get me to buy today.
Please include more rips on USCC in place of actual content next time, I felt like my carrier wasn’t insulted enough in this article.
Does US version of S3 is working on gsm networks?
Why author says that T-mobile will have international one? As I see they give US version of S3 o.O
Is there anyone who bought it on Sprint? What is your opinion about service, Becouse I am choosing between AT&T,Sprint,T-mobile….
I love this phone. But i dont understand why i have to purchase a new sd. They should be provided with the phone. Because you cant really do anything without it. Thats how they getchya. Lol but still.. really annoying.
Not really.. that’s why it comes in 32gb and 16gb. The external storageis just a plus