blog If there was any question whether Samsung has become a superstar of the smartphone market, it was put to rest with last night’s Sydney Opera House launch of its flagship Galaxy S4 phone – in which the mobile giant pulled out all the stops to show the world the device that it hopes will consolidate its market lead over rival Apple’s iPhone 5.
The gala night included a performance from Guy Sebastian and lobby walkers with flowers on their heads (see Gizmodo’s photo gallery here), who variously amused and entertained attendees who turned out to hear the details of the new device in its Australian incarnation.
Set to be available on 27 April, the S4 will be offered for $899 outright with 16GB of memory; if you want more than that, slip in a microSD card to expand it by up to 64GB. The Australian version will support local LTE networks and be based on a 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, with the build-in Watch On app offering local EPG and a host of other goodies onboard. Delimiter is still waiting for its review unit, but in the mean time we direct you to Gizmodo’s early hands-on look at the device:
Unless you were on the design team that build the damn thing, I’d be surprised if you could even tell the difference to save our own life….It’s only when you pick up the Galaxy S4 and physically go hands-on with the device that you notice the difference. It’s lighter, cleaner, sharper and there’s more attention to detail than ever before.
The phone will be available with 24-month contracts on Telstra’s $80 Freedom Connect plan (register your interest here), Vodafone’s $60 Plan (plus $5 per month), the Optus $60 Plan (plus $7 per month), and Virgin Mobile’s $59 plan (plus $2 per month)
The S4’s predecessor, the Galaxy S III, has been a runaway success in Australia and around the world – in January, it reached total sales of 40 million total units since its release – and was the device that finally cemented the company’s viability as a major threat to Apple. Whether the S4 can strengthen that position, or sees more moderate success because many S3 owners are still quite happy with what they have, remains to be seen.
In the meantime, Samsung has set up a product-showcase pavilion, which will remain in the shadow of the Opera House, to showcase the company’s products and take orders for the new device from April 23. Samsung also operates Samsung Experience Stores in Sydney and Melbourne.
Image credit: Samsung