4G Samsung Galaxy S III is “coming”


news Korean manufacturer Samsung is planning to launch a 4G version of its popular Galaxy S III handset in Australia shortly, according to local blog Android Australia, in a move which will likely vault the company ahead of arch-rival HTC.

The Galaxy S III is currently one of the top smartphones available in Australia. Like many top-end smartphones being released at the moment, the Galaxy S III runs the next to latest version of Google’s Android platform (Ice Cream Sandwich). Its screen resolution is very sharp at 1280×720 in a 4.8″ size, and is based on Super AMOLED technology. The phone comes comes with an eight megapixel rear camera and a 1.9 megapixel camera on its front, it has an accelerometer, a gyrometer, GPS, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, a digital compass, a microSD slot and it runs a 1.4GHz quad-core CPU, as well as a specialised graphics chip.

In short, if you can name a feature, the Galaxy S III has it, as you’d expect from a brand new, top-end Android phone in mid-2012. However, although the Galaxy S III has remained in best-seller lists in Australia since its local launch in May, the smartphone launched without a version supporting either of the 4G networks available in Australia through Telstra or Optus. This has placed it down a notch in terms of its connection speed from the likes of HTC’s rival One XL model, which supports Telstra’s 4G network.

When the smartphone launched, Gizmodo reported from the launch event that Samsung said it was “in discussions” with Telstra regarding a 4G version, which it will “follow with in the future”. And late last week, local blog Android Australia reported from Samsung’s Experience Store in Melbourne that a channel representative of Samsung had stated a 4G version of the Galaxy S III “is coming” to Australia.

Delimiter’s review of the Galaxy S III this month found that if you discount its lack of support for 4G speeds, the Galaxy S III was currently the best smartphone in Australia — beating HTC’s One series in a number of areas: “This is the goods, people — a world-beater in almost every area (software, hardware and so on), that you’ll be happy with for several years to come and will probably pass on to a family member after that point. The hype is justified. And if Samsung brought out a 4G version of the Galaxy S III, we’d strongly consider switching from our HTC One XL to that model.”

One local wild card in the local smartphone availability mix is the expected imminent launch of Apple’s next iPhone model, which a number of industry commentators have pinned for September or October this year. One of the critical features which Australian commentators will be looking for from the next iPhone will be 4G support. Both Telstra and Optus are currently using the 1800MHz band for their 4G networks, meaning it will be likely that any new Samsung or Apple smartphones to support 4G speeds in Australia will use that network frequency.

Today’s tidbit of information regarding a 4G version of the Galaxy S III isn’t much to go on, but it does seem to indicate that this highly anticipated model is still in the pipeline. If a 4G version of the Galaxy S III does launch in Australia, it will very likely become the nation’s best smartphone, and the one which Delimiter would recommend for most readers. Of course, we also expect Apple to make waves with the next iPhone, which really needs 4G support to keep up with the Jones’. Interesting times ahead.

Image credit: Samsung


  1. “The Galaxy S III runs the latest version of Google’s Android platform (Ice Cream Sandwich)”. Err, isn’t the latest version Jellybean?

  2. I’m waiting to see which version of 4G the iPhone runs – the US version, or the proper version…

    • It will be the most 4G iPhone ever! (read: American LTE only)

      LTE bands are more fragmented and broken than 3G is/was.

    • Can you really imagine Apple introducing a 4G iPhone that *doesn’t* use the US version of ‘4G’?

      No, me neither. It’s their primary target market, after all.

      They *might* have a different model that supports “rest of the world 4G”, but given Apple’s past history, I consider it unlikely, until well after radios are available that support both.

      • No, I cant. Hence waiting to see if its Telstra 4G, or iPad 4G. They have past history of catering to the US market the the exclusion of the rest of the world, but given the popularity of the iPhone, it may be enough for them to run 2 versions.

        • AFAIK The LTE iPad is already two versions, since the Verizon and AT&T networks are not automatically compatible (definitely in their CDMA vs GSM but their LTE runs in different “700” bands too: B13 and B17)

          • Waaay off on a tangent from what I meant, but fair enough.

            I’ll make it simpler. I’m waiting to see if a 4G labelled iPhone will work on either Telstra or Optus’s 4G networks here in Australia.

            If the iPad had a version that worked on the Telstra 4G network (the only one available at the time) it would have been released.

            If it only runs on our NextG network, its pointless. The One XL still has an advantage.

            If the 4G S3 only runs on the 700 band, same thing for it – the lack of OUR 4G will be a negative that puts it behind other phones.

          • @GongGav

            The S3 won’t be 700Mhz. Samsung have been talking with Telstra. Why would they launch a 700Mhz LTE phone knowing it won’t work on Telstra??

          • Hope your right, but Ben Zamm’s info below suggests its the same as the iPad and not Telstra compatible.

            The research I’ve done suggests it will be Telstra compatible, but until its shown to work, I’m not holding my breath. I want the S3 by preference, but its lack of Aussie 4G compatibility at the moment is making me wait. If it disappoints, I dont know whether I’ll sign my life away for a One XL, or get an iPhone (presuming its 4G).

            I can get my hands on a 3G S3 now for around $500 outright. But can wait to see.

          • I expect a different model SGS3 LTE for us, possibly a European model that requires 800/1800/2600. Korean carriers use LTE 1800 – same as Telstra/Optus! It would just be the matter of sourcing the correct chipsets and making sure antennas are tuned properly. They focused on the largest market first, now they are getting around to making the different models.

            LTE 1800 is fairly common around the world, so there’s there’s a good chance many devices will support it. Let’s worry about other bands when they are deployed here!

          • @GongGav

            Why would Samsung release a 4G phone here, when it doesn’t have 4G that works here?? They saw what happened with Apple. Or why would Telstra for that matter?

            There is already a 4G S3 in the States. We’re simply waiting for a global one. That’s what Ben is saying and hopefully it’ll be out soon.

          • You’re taking my comments a little too far. I expect the 4G S3 will actually be an Aussie compatible 4G phone. What I’ve found out certainly suggests that. But on the back of Apple tossing about 4G for devices that are actually Next G devices (not 3G like some claimed), then I’m going to remain dubious until I see it.

            The name of 4G has too much vagueness about it for my comfort (like “broadband” simply being anything faster than 56k dialup…), and the excuse of “global standards” had been tossed about just one too many times for my liking.

            I fully expect it to be Telstra compatible 4G like you say, I’m just waiting to see before I get excited. If it IS, as expected, then I’ll get one. Its why i havent gotten a 3G S3 already. A few friends have been burnt lately by dodgy practices (like being sold a iPhone 4S knowing the new one is about 6 weeks away – just outside the 1 month return policy) so at the moment, I’m simply waiting.

          • “But on the back of Apple tossing about 4G for devices that are actually Next G devices (not 3G like some claimed), then I’m going to remain dubious until I see it.”

            NextG is a marketing name. NextG phones are simply 3G phones that can operate on Telstra’s 850MHz band, which was chosen by the way, because it was compatable with an existing US 3G provider allowing Telstra to launch the network with already existing handsets.

  3. This was the only thing stopping me from switching to a SGSIII when my contract is up for renewal later this year, so I hope the rumour is true and we get 4G goodness by then. With the addition of 4G this phone truly will tick all the boxes, and I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking this way. Samsung is likely to sell these things by the truckload, iPhone 5 or no.

    Having said all of that, I’m very interested to see what’s on offer once WP8 launches. It’s a great time to be shopping for a new smartphone!

  4. My HTC Desire is still going strong with an ICS ROM on it. But I’ve been tempted by the SGSIII… maybe a 4G version will provide the impetus I need to upgrade. :-)

  5. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the US version of the SGS3 already 4G (LTE) capable? And that is because it runs essentially the same SoC that the HTC One XL uses (the Qualcomm MSM8960)..

    Model code is Galaxy S3 T999

    So it would make sense to me that this upcoming 4G SGS3 is just the US version?

      • According to the first link I found via Google, “Samsung SGH-i747 Galaxy S III LTE” supports the same LTE as the new iPad: 700 (AT&T) and AWS.

        We’d need 1800 at the moment, with other bands not yet confirmed to be used in a few years time (“700AP”, 2300 TDD, 2600, with possibly 900 and 1500 from what I’ve read but some of that might be wishful thinking) – by that time you’ll be wanting a new phone anyway so 1800 is the only LTE to worry about at the moment in Australia.

        • Hmm yes I see what you mean. Looking at the HTC One XL and the One X for AT&T, which are essentially the same phone, the only difference seems to be the LTE frequencies supported. I wonder how much (if any) hardware needs to be changed to support the 1800 Mhz LTE…

          • @Dudeface

            Just the baseband chip and antenna’s. But it requires a new production line system be put in place in the factory- not cheap.

  6. I like my HTC One XL, but if Samsung can do better battery life I’m converting (even after the debacle of the terrible Samsung Nexus S google phone).

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