What do we know about the US Samsung Galaxy S3

first_imgFor two years now, Samsung has been hard at work trying to release a unifying device on every network in the US. The Samsung Galaxy S and the Samsung Galaxy S2 line of phones both accomplished that goal, but at the cost of every device looking and feeling different. Not only different from one another, but also different from the International variant of the device. In fact, most users were completely unaware that the Galaxy S branding stretched across the networks, connecting these devices. Another year has passed, and Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S3. At CTIA this year it was made clear that the US would be getting a separate launch party for the Samsung’s next Galaxy, but there’s been little other information officially released about the US variants of the device.Verizon Wireless – SCH-i535The downside of being “designed for humans” is that the device is prone to let a few secrets out before the official launch. The Verizon Wireless variant of the device was accidentally discovered on the Bluetooth SIG website recently, announcing that the phone will be Bluetooth 4.0 ready. The photo used on their website is a press shot offered up be Samsung at the UK launch of the Galaxy S3, so there’s no real confirmation that the phone will look exactly like that. Since it is a Verizon phone, the Galaxy S3 will be packing LTE. The use of an LTE radio more than likely means we’ll be seeing a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. This falls in line nicely with the user agent profile leak that was discovered the day before the International release of the device.I’m not entirely sure how the US audience would handle the return of the physical button on a Samsung phone, and it seems unlikely at this point that Samsung would take advantage of the software buttons that are available in ICS. The button layout on the International version of the device makes sure to include a soft menu button, so the OS isn’t marred by any legacy artifacts from apps that haven’t updated to support Android 4.0 yet. While the Verizon leak certainly leaves more questions unanswered than it answers, Verizon was smart to pick up what will most likely be the biggest Android phone released this year.AT&T SGH-I1747With many recent releases, AT&T devices have often been found to be very similar to sister devices released in Canada, since these carriers use the same or compatible bands. Based on the FCC report that was found on the AT&T variant of the Galaxy S3, the SGH i1747, it would appear as though this phone fill follow suit. The HSPA+ and LTE ready device will undoubtedly be the AT&T flagship device for some time, but since the bands are compatible with several Canadian carrier we may also be looking at the Galaxy S3 of the great white north as well.The FCC filing shows off the familiar shape of the Samsung Galaxy S3, with the top corners coming in a bit sharper than the bottom corners. While we still don’t know about the button layout, it is nice no know that we’re not looking at a completely different hardware profile for the AT&T variant, like we saw with the Galaxy S Captivate. The FCC filing doesn’t mention whether or not there’s NFC onboard with this version of the device, an issue that has marred several AT&T releases this year. We won’t hear anything official on this device until Samsung has their US unveil, but it stands a good chance we are looking at a Quad Core Snapdragon S4 for this phone as well.Sprint – SPH-L300, SPH-L710, or ?There’s no shortage of leaks and rumors about the Galaxy S3, it’s been that way since long before the International version of the device was announced. Since most manufacturers have many devices in their pipeline at any given time, sometimes it is hard to nail the right rumor or leak to the right device. This is the problem Sprint hopefuls are having right this very moment. Several model numbers, paired with several different descriptions an even a photo or two of a Samsung device have shown up. Historically, Sprint’s version of the Samsung Galaxy devices has been the most different, usually paired with the title of “Epic”. If Samsung tries to make the Galaxy S3 any more epic, especially in screen size, it might as well be called the Note 2.We know that Sprint is pushing their not-yet-live LTE network, and as such it is unlikely that we will see another device on Sprint without LTE snuck in their somewhere. There’s pretty much zero chance we’ll be seeing the return of WiMAX on the Galaxy S3. Sprint has been the most NFC friendly of the carriers to date, so it seems likely we’ll see Google Wallet pre-installed and NFC ready to go. There’s a few rumors that point to a dual core Snapdragon S4 for this version of the phone, but since we’ve already seen a dual core S4 on Sprint from HTC, it’s probably not in Samsung’s best interest to offer less than a dual core to compete with HTC. Sadly, there’s not much on the Sprint version we can confirm, but the sheer noise surrounding the device makes it more than likely we’ll see the Galaxy S3 on Sprint with all of the others.T-MobileThe little non-LTE network that could seems to also be getting the Galaxy S3. Since T-Mobile was the first to release a Galaxy S phone with the Fascinate, the Galaxy S3 will be right at home on the HSPA+ only network. The benefit here, however, is that the T-Mobile variant of the device is the closest to the International version of the device. This could mean that the T-Mobile version of the phone will hit the US packing Samsung’s Exynos processor. We’ve waited a long time now for Samsung’s fables processor to hit these shores, and this might be the device that does it.A T-Mobile internal document was passed to the guys at TMoNews recently that outed the Samsung Galaxy S3 as possibly having a June 20 release. If Samsung is keeping to that schedule, it would mean that invitations to the US reveal of the device would be showing up any day now. It’s unfortunately unlikely that the Galaxy S3 would drop on all of the carriers on the same day, meaning we’re probably looking at T-mobile just being the first to release the phone.Final ThoughtsThere’s no shortage of buzz about this phone, even after the International launch. The Samsung Galaxy S3 will more than likely be the biggest Android phone for this year. In our hands on with the phone, the Galaxy S3 certainly looked and felt like Samsung was putting their best foot forward and releasing a true Android flagship phone. With any luck, this time next month all four major US carriers and maybe even a handful of the regional carriers will be offering this phone up for mass adoption.last_img read more