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