Better Late Than Never
Rajesh is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
The Samsung Galaxy S III has been globally available for over a month now, but was finally launched by AT&T (NYSE: T) on July 6. The smartphone was originally to be released on June 21 and then further got pushed to June 28. All this was the result of an incredible demand for the device in the international market. Even Samsung failed to measure the popularity of the smartphone and couldn’t think it would be so widely accepted that its production units would fall short of the tremendous worldwide demand. As soon as the phone was launched on Friday, AT&T made it available to its customers through its website and stores.
All the national carriers in the US including Sprint (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile have launched the device. However Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is the only carrier that is yet to come with the Galaxy S III. The device will be soon available on Verizon stores and on its website from July 10.
In all this, what will be extremely interesting to see is the battle between the two smartphone giants: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and its dear adversary Samsung. The overwhelming popularity of the Galaxy S III must surely be bothering Apple. The spectacular specification of this device is going to give Apple’s next version of its smartphone iPhone 5, which is due this fall, a tough run for its money.
However, is Galaxy S III really a reason for Apple to worry? Let’s check out what Galaxy S III is offering…
Galaxy S III has a 4.8 inch screen with a high-definition Super AMOLED display. The smartphone version offered in the US is slightly different. It comes with a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset so that it is compatible with the 4G LTE requirements. This comes with 2GB RAM. The other international version has the quad core Exynos processor.
The device currently runs on Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. However, chances are high that later this year the device would be upgraded to the newest 4.1 Jelly Bean. It sports a rear camera of 8.0 megapixels and a front camera of 1.9 megapixels along with a voice control and face recognition feature. Samsung has improved its voice control feature which is similar to Apple’s Siri. The user can make verbal commands to do various activities such as texting, emailing or taking photographs. While, the face recognition feature uses the front camera to check the eye movement of the user, so that the screen never goes dark while the user looks at it.
Also, the Galaxy S III gives lot of internal storage options with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. The storage capacity can be expand to 64GB using a microSD card. As of now, AT&T is offering the 16GB version of the smartphone in pebble blue and white colors. The phone is also available in a red color edition which is exclusive to the carrier. The S III also possesses an NFC chip that helps in making mobile payment as well as in sharing content such as videos.
While all this looks pretty catchy, let’s get realistic and see how much is AT&T charging for the device?
AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S III comes for $199 for the 16GB version on a two year contract. You can buy the 16GB MicroSD flash memory card and increase the storage to 32GB by paying another $39 at the AT&T stores. It is also available without the contract obligation; however you need to part with a much heavier amount of $549.
With almost all the national carriers offering the Galaxy S III and Verizon starting on July 10, the smartphone looks like one of the best offerings for high-end smartphone users. With one of the fastest processors which is compatible with the 4G LTE technology, the S III looks poised to give Apple head to head competition this summer, when the Cupertino-based hardware and software manufacturer is expected to release its latest smartphone edition.
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