Samsung Galaxy S4 3 aa 600

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has been formally introduced less than 100 hours ago and yet the pricing and availability puzzle is coming together rather nicely already. The European release is slated for April 26, the US launch should happen around the same time, while Canada, India and other Asian countries will probably be left hanging until mid-May.

As for GS4 prices, we heard something from America, Italy and Germany and now it’s time to add a little extra for cravers of “the next big thing” in the UK.

Though pre-orders were said to only begin on March 28, two online British retailers have jumped the gun, allowing impatient folks to reserve a place in front of the line. Unlocked-Mobiles only has the SIM-free S4 up for grabs, while MobilePhonesDirect offers both the outright and on-contract versions.

The former is the way to go if you don’t like carrier restrictions, with both the white frost and black mist 16 GB S4s going for £529.98 including VAT. That’s $802, which definitely sounds like a premium, but it’s more or less what UK retailers charge for the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z as well.

Galaxy S4

Meanwhile, MobilePhonesDirect has the SIM-free GS4 listed at a steeper £564.99, but also free with 24-month O2, Vodafone, Orange or T-Mobile agreements. Monthly plans start at £32 with O2, £37 with Vodafone, £39.50 with Orange and £40.50 with T-Mobile, so again Samsung seems to be on-par with the competition (HTC One and Xperia Z).

Oddly, MobilePhonesDirect estimates shipping to start in “43 working days”, which, if we’re not mistaken, would set the launch date for May 20. Unlocked-Mobiles, on the other hand, expects the phone to be in stock on April 26 – the official release date in most European countries.

Both retailers should sell the “international” Exynos 5 Octa variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 with 4G LTE support on-board. Anyone ready to pre-order or are you goint to wait a little more to thoroughly analyze the market?