Samsung Galaxy S III 4G: Hands-On [Updated]

There's no question that, when it comes to Android phones, the Galaxy S III is leading the pack right now. It's fast, light, sexy and reasonably priced. Here we go hands on with the GSIII 4G, which is mighty impressive.

More: - Optus Consumer 4G Plans And Coverage Maps - Telstra To Get 4G Samsung Galaxy S III In October - Virgin Mobile’s 4G Goes Live, Samsung Galaxy S III 4G Pre-Orders Open - Australian 4G Frequencies Explained [Updated]

If you've seen a Samsung Galaxy S III before, you won't exactly be stunned about the design of this one.

The only notable differences are the letters "LTE" embossed on the back in white and the glowing 4G logo displayed adjacent to the coverage bars if you're in a relevant coverage area. That LTE logo won't be there on the final model, though. Samsung and Optus tell us that instead it'll be replaced with a shiny 4G logo.

Despite the fact that we couldn't do speed tests on the actual device (it's still a pre-production unit loaded with Optus security and testing software), we already know the rough speeds of Optus' 4G network (in the Sydney CBD) thanks to the Huawei-made 4G Wi-Fi hotspot we're testing.

Here's a quick comparison of Telstra and Optus speeds:

We're still testing with the device, but initial reports show that the network is strong.

The S III we tested was also preloaded with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, which makes scrolling around and using the device a dream. Optus has confirmed that the device will ship with 4.1.1 Jelly Bean.

Pre-orders for the Galaxy S III 4G are now being taken on Optus' website and at Samsung's Experience Store in Sydney. See the charts below for Optus' pricing plans.

Right now, it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to buy (or pre-order at this point) one of these unless you're in a 4G-supported city. Right now, that's Sydney, Newcastle and Perth. Melbourne is coming on September 15 and Brisbane and the Gold Coast will be rolled-out around December-January time, with cities like Adelaide to come mid-next year.

It's great that Optus have gone with a strong handset out of the gate and we're likely to see more strong releases soon. We'll have more for you on it when it's a final unit.

Update: We've now got the hardware specs from Optus.

Network LTE (4G) 1800/2600 MHz WCDMA (3G) 850/900/2100 MHz GSM (2G) 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Display 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED (1280x720) display
OS Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
Rear Camera Main (Rear) Camera: 8 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag, 1080pHD video
Front Camera 1.9 megapixel
Video MPEG4, H.264, H.263, DivX
Audio MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AC3, apt-X
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n; GPS/GLONASS; NFC and S Beam9; Bluetooth® 4.0; USB 2.0 Highspeed; Samsung Kies and Samsung Kies via WiFi
Sensor Accelerometer, RGB light, Digital compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer
Memory 16/32GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB, sold separately)
Dimension 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm, 133g
Battery 2,100 mAh


    pretty good Optus. I'd get this in a heartbeat

    So does this have a dual core chip like the HTC One XL or did they keep the quad core?

      Dual core snapdragon S4, which is nearly as fast as the exynos quad core in the normal GS3. It also has 2gb ram. Check out the US variants of the GS3 because this is the same as them.

        Not sure about Optus but Telstra says Quad Core:

          this is what i heard too!
          Quad core... where did you get your info harry?

          Optus says quad core on the website also

            I just checked one of the friends phone received from optus. It says quad core clearly on packaging and on top of the phone there is a small sticker saying Qualcomm..i am guessing this is only possible for Qualcomm S4 Pro..If its that would be one hell of a phone.. :)

              Qualcomm makes the LTE chipset, but the phone is quad core.

    I'm assuming this is the Dual core model for the battery time?

      Dual core, yep, but not because of battery, there are no quad core SOC's that support LTE at the moment.

        I think you need your head read Harry, because this handset has the Exynos 5214 Quad LTE chipset.

          Its definitely not exynos because on top of phone received from Optus it says Qualcomm and Quad core..only possible if its S4 Pro..

    Melbourne is coming this month, not the end of the year.

    Quad core and double RAM also.

      The Galaxy S3 4G will be a 1.5GHz dual core processor but will have 2GB RAM (Unlike the standard S3 which has 1.4 quad core and 1GB RAM). this is because that LTE (4G) can't run on a quad-core chip

        As per my above post re: Quad Core LTE. Sth Korea has been running LTE Quad core for some time now.

          It can run on quad and it will run on quad and will have 2gb ram just like the gt-i9305 that will be released international and the Korean version has been on lte and quad for a couple month now

          Incorrect, it's quad core with separate LTE radio.

          Has been reported on many times already.

        4G LTE totally can run on a quad core. They have probably just made a compromise in the hardware specs to build in the 4G antennae without increasing the price.

        In all honesty you probably won't notice much of a difference between a dual core and a quad core on a phone.

          Samsungs Exynos A9 Quad does not support LTE, which is why they've opted for the S4 from Qualcomm which has it natively.

        you need to keep up to date before giving false information to everyone...

          Yes and no. The Korean version is indeed 4G and Quad Core however it doesn't use a SOC. It uses a seperate chip for LTE which is much more power hungry.

          As of yet there is no SOC for LTE + Quad Core so this will be a Dual Core.

            nope its quad core, just checked the site. sucks though, since i got a regular one less than a month ago and get terrible data reception, and now they release this. i knew this was coming i would of waited.

    Melbourne is going live September 15th.

    It saddens me that this is faster than my ADSL2+ naked plan. :(

    Lol I get 35Mbit/sec down on my Telstra phone... Whatever.. Optus is terrible, a great budget option. And you get what you pay for.

      +1.. Optus has terrible service. Terrible congestion and frequent down time where I am. I'd rather use Telsra's HSDPA+ than on Optus 4G.

      Why is Optus terrible? I'll grant you they are nowhere near as good as they were under Cable & Wireless but they still kick Telstra's arse. My brother travels around NSW with his job and he was surprised to discover that his personal Optus phone generally has much better coverage in the country than his work Telstra phone. OK, it might just be different handsets but if that is enough to tip the balance then the difference between networks is negligible, at worst.

        I am currently on contract with both providers (both are on the nearly identical spec unlimited $99 plans) and the coverage, congestion, uptime and customer service is far superior with Telstra. Since I moved away from the city to Mackay, Optus has below average coverage. But congestion is terrible (tell your brother to try surfing the web after 6pm) and frequent call drops during peak time.. And this year I have had at least 5 days where my tower was not operational. IMO since I have pretty much identical plans with both providers, so Telstra has the be the best value for money for me.

          I rely on Optus' 3G for all my internet access and it works just as well day or night. I used to have congestion issues with Vodaphone but never with Optus. I think it might be specific to where you live.

          Here in Townsville (I had 2 x iPhone 4's) on Optus. Bad coverage / 3G speeds. Not in one area, but all over Townsville. Drive North or South on Highway, lose signal. Swapped to Telstra, better speed and coverage everywhere I go. :-) The 4G here on Telstra is 25Mbps easy.

            I normally get 40 to 50 Mbps down and 10 to 20 Mbps up on Telstra 4G in Townsville. I changed from Optus about 18months ago because they were so bad. Optus was so bad that I couldn't make a phone call in any of the shopping centers to ask my partner simple questions like do we need milk or bread. .. Floptus

        I find Optus voice coverage for both to be fine, but the 3G coverage for Optus is pretty spotty. I can't get it at central. I can't get it at Macquarie Uni. I couldn't get it in most of the buildings at UNSW when I worked there.

        It depends on the state MM, in Tassie Optus won't work even a few kilometers outside of the major centres. We did a targa run in 2010 and out of 4 mobile phones, mine was the only Telstra serviced phone and the only phone to get coverage (unless we were in DT Hobart etc) in the state period.
        Optus is great on ML Australia, but for Tassie forget it stick with Telstra

          I didn't even know they had telephones in Tasmania.

            ^^^ hahahh LOL

            you slack bastard :P

            My work phone is on OPTUS now, reception is terrible compare to TELSTRA (our previous provider)

          This is completely false! Check out They have considerable state-wide coverage throughout Tas now, including the East coast. On many occasions, I'll experience better data speeds on Optus than Telstra, which I attribute to Telstra suffering from congestion. Given the pricing differences, Optus or one of their resellers is definitely (imo!) the better choice in Tas.

        Optus kicks Telstra's ass?? really? HHeeellllll NO! You obviously have never used both carriers! Telstra anyday and everyday!

          Who said Optus kicked anything? I don't think there is anything between them and I couldn't tell you the last time I couldn't get a signal on my Optus/Virgin phone. It would be several years ago, at least.

            You get signal (in metro areas/metro suburbs), but that's it. Data transfer is sketchy at best, even in Sydney and suburbs. And if you want to use your data link at all during peak hour, Telstra is the only option.

              Not really. I have a 4g data connection since this morning and get perfect data transfer wherever i take it, that on wifi with a HTC one x..... And im in Newcastle. Its going to be a great product

      +1. Optus took all the Vodafone fail customers and caught the disease. Optus fail on tin cans with string. What a waste of a good phone on a network that cannot support it.

    Good on you Optus, Telstra is the biggest rip off. Can't believe how much they want to gouge people. At least now we can have 4g speeds without the exorbitant Telstra prices

      Please explain?

      Telstra's pricing has actually become very competitive over the past few years.

      They are also still without question the largest and fastest network in the country so you should expect to pay a slight premium for that. If you don't like the prices (which like I said, are actually very reasonable now) then go with the cheaper Optus or Vodafone options - just don't complain when your coverage sucks.

        Optus 4G Mobile Broadband $34.95 give you 10GB and Telstra 4G Mobile Broadband $39.95 only give you 1GB. So I guss you can do the math....

          Bite me troll !

          You can choose between
          a $50,000 Ferrari that goes 200km/h on a couple of roads 50km/h on most others but not at all on a few more
          a $500,000 Ferrari that goes 400km/h on a number of roads, 200km/h on the rest, and there is a small number it cant.

          Not sure where you get your pricing Tony? - Telstra are $24.95/1GB on a 24-month TMB plan. $44.95 gives you 8GB SIM only or 4GB SHARED with a free USB modem. Well worth the slight premium for the coverage, speed and CAPACITY. The above screen shot of speeds is propaganda. Ive seen Telstra 4G devices do 50Mbps regularly. I'd say they were on NextG and not 4G

    New iPhone thanks !

      Are you just joking, or did someone forget their anti-psychosis medication?

    telstra is good but absolute crap customer service and incredible credit check requirements. i wasn't allowed a new HTC One XL because i only just turned 18 a few months ago and i as "too young" so i couldn't get a new phone. walked right to optus and left with a HTC One X. i was a loyal telstra prepaid customer until i was treated like dirt. I miss the fast data speeds but i can put up with that .

      Really? I got my iPhone 5 through Telstra as a new customer and I am 18 and had no parent or anyone with me at the time. Mind you, I got it at an Apple Store, but they run the same credit check as Telstra. It's weird that Telstra didn't let you get a phone.

    Best phone in the market. No wonder Apple want it banned :)

      Best copy you mean

        Shut up Normandy. Go back to the Battle of Hastings.

          the what? I think you mean go back the commander sheppard. and I agree the samsung is a rip off product and should be banned.. ! oh wait.. it is!

            It ain't banned yet and it ain't an Ipoo copy..that's why I'm a gonna buy the SIII 4G from Telstra

    Lol I get 40/25 in the Sydney CBD using Telstra.

    Shouldn't the Optus speed be higher seeing they don't have many customers on 4G atm?

    The result is good but I'd expect it to be way higher with little to no people on the network.

        ^My Telstra speedtest on a HOXL.

    mmm. Both Optus and Telstra seem to be saying Quad core

    At 30Mbps isn't this 10 minutes to reach the 2GB limit? Isn't it time to gove some realistic data limits with these bandwidths?

      It's still nice for the boost to speed and stability with video streaming. But yeah, you'd want to be careful to not go over.

    Bit funny that the Telstra media release contains an invalid link.

    Go here to sign up to hear more detail
    loljk request error.

    Cheers Telstra.

    Anyone hear when the SG3 with 4g is coming to Telstra ?

      Not till October....

    its Quad core guys!

    Gotta be better than their woefull 3g speed :S

      Problem is you'll be dealing with the crappy Optus 3G network whenever you're out of the city.

    It's time for carriers to up the download limits.

    2gb can be chewed up in 10 minutes downloading at 30.49 Mbps

    You can buy as much data as you like, I don't see a problem.

      Optus doesnt see a problem as well . . coz .. . . how much data can you consume if it just trickles... I was one of the first people to buy iPhone in optus way back in 2008 . . never looked back since changed over to Telstra. Tested Optus speeds a few times with prepaid accounts . . no match.. Even though Telstra's network has got very congested lately, Optarse is no match to Telstra... But I do get your point.. Coming off Vodafail, I am sure you would think Optus is heaven . . but reality bites!!!

    The S3 is leading all phones, not just Androids.

      Till the Lumia 920 turns up maybe. I love my S3, but will trade for WP8.

        Wp8 willing to try, but 920?, all I saw in their presentation was how awesome their camera is.....I'll probably wait to see other brands

      iPhone is the best.... TROLLLED hahaha

      But for sure gonna check out 920, looks promising, always been on Nokia until recently bought iPhone 4S

    Melbourne coverage is quite small, a lot of the South-East suburbs have not been included in the initial rollout and they are fully built up.

    Good news for Optus users is the 4G footprint is 2-3 times that of Telstra in Sydney and Melbourne. And 3G has just had a $500 million upgrade over the past 6 months. It was a fledgling network, but no longer...

      Optus 4G in Melbourne is still in development, it may be 2-3 times the "current" 4g coverage of Telstra, but Telstra in the next 10 months has planned to rollout coverage to as far Ringwood and Werribee

        Werribee already has 4G coverage.

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