Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S III Selling on Amazon for $800

Just can’t wait for the Galaxy S III smartphone, Samsung’s successor to its popular Galaxy S II?

Thanks to Amazon.com, you can now preorder it on the e-commerce site for $799.99.

For those unfamiliar with the hotly anticipated phone, here are some of the details: It’s got a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen, runs Android’s 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, has an eight-megapixel rear-facing camera as well as a front camera, and a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor. It also has “S Voice,” clearly inspired by iPhone’s Siri app, allowing a user to control certain functions on the phone using his or her voice. The phone is available in white and “pebble blue.”

But even if it’s a great phone — and even if Amazon’s Prime shipping applies — we have to say, that’s a pretty steep price to get a phone in advance of its release through carriers.

And, as the Amazon listing notes, the unlocked phone — which means its not tied to a wireless network — is “compatible with 2G GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and/or 3G UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA 850/900/1900/2100 wireless networks.”

What does all that gibberish mean? Basically that compatibility with certain wireless networks will be an issue. The Samsung Galaxy S III being sold through Amazon is a GSM phone, which means it won’t work on Verizon or Sprint’s networks. It’s not fully supported by T-Mobile, and while it will work with AT&T’s HSPA+ network, this device won’t work with LTE or 4G networks. (Even the Amazon listing encourages buyers to check with their network providers before purchasing.)

If you don’t mind being tethered to a carrier and would rather have a 4G/LTE-ready version of the phone at a much cheaper price, you’ll probably want to wait out the month, as the phone is expected to come to the U.S. sometime this summer. And at least you’ll know that it will work with your wireless network.


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