Jun 04 AT 2:15 PM Dustin Earley 89 Comments

One Galaxy S III to rule them all


To say the US launch of the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy S II didn’t exactly go off without a hitch would be an understatement. Thinking back on both devices brings back memories of unexplained delays, terrible names, and more design changes than you can shake a stick at. Fortunately, this time around, things seem different. In keeping with manufacturer’s vows of less is more, and quality over quantity, US carriers seem to have left the Galaxy S III alone for once. In name and design.

I still can’t believe my eyes. Looking over the dedicated web pages for the Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III has me rereading everything twice to make sure I’m not missing something. How can all the US variants of the Galaxy S III look the same, and share the same name? It’s almost as if someone talked some sense into the big carriers around here.

There’s no Fascinate III. No Vibrant II HD. No Epic HD Touch Plus IV. Just Galaxy S III. And look at the device. The same button configuration. The same colors. Same screen size. I know this may not seem like much at first glance, but for consumer usability and recognition, this is a huge leap forward.

When a rendered T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S III first leaked, we thought this may end up happening. Actually seeing it come true with not only the T-Mobile S III, but Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T’s as well is still shocking.

Just like with the iPhone, anyone who wants a Galaxy S III, no matter what carrier they’re using, can get a Galaxy S III. And it will have the same name as other Galaxy S IIIs, and it will look the same as other Galaxy S IIIs, and will be able to use the same accessories as other Galaxy S IIIs. If the chipsets are slightly different, it’s no big deal. So long as no one can tell the difference between a Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint Galaxy S III, it’s a win for consumers.

If memory serves me right, this is the first time this has ever happened in the US. With any line of Android devices. Let’s not make it the last.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • redraider133

    I’m glad Samsung didn’t let the carriers acres up a good thing. Hopefully this will help with updates also since its one model and just different radios.

    • redraider133

      *mess not acres.

      • http://theinternet-allofit.blogspot.com Jorge Branco

        I kinda like acres

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

        I hate it when carriers throw HUGE TRACTS OF LAND at something.

    • eallan

      Hopefully all the other manufacturers (HTC mainly, I’ve lost hope for moto,) will follow suit with this. It’s what they should have been doing all along: Having a backbone and standing up for THEIR product.

  • oddball

    About time. Samsung has a huge amount of power. They are the largest phone producer on the planet. They are in a position to dictate terms kind of like that fruity company. I just hope they cap the bloat too that would be a huge step forward

    • erikiksaz

      Hell yeah. The modding community is going to be nucking futs. I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

  • YMS123

    Now if they would leave the OS alone.. and take TouchWiz off..

    • oddball

      Are you even going to see it. The first thing that will be downloaded on mine is Apex launcher. I understand skins are a pain but I don’t think it’s really going to affect much on this phone given the 2gb of ram and the processor.

      • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff

        Skins slow down OS updates, though since all versions of the S3 will use the same hardware, XDA shouldn’t have too much trouble cooking up custom ROMs.

        • Bpear96

          well actually there are 2 versions, USA (possibly Canada and others) Version with 2gb ram,LTE and S4 dual core processor, and then the international one with Quadcore exynos 4, and 1gb RAM. But still there should be plenty of roms for all models :D

          • magnusfl

            well actually there are 2 versions, USA (possibly Canada and others) Version with 2gb ram,LTE and S4 dual core processor, and then the international one with Quadcore exynos 4, and 1gb RAM. But still there should be plenty of roms for all models :D

            there are two but the quad core was released in europe while the USA geting a later release of faster duel core with 16gb or 32gb models with a micro SD slot for more memory

      • Nate B.

        You don’t want to give the new TouchWiz a chance. It actually looks clean.

        • MTown

          I’ll give samsung this: the new touchwiz isn’t AS bad. That being said it doesn’t hold a candle to stock ICS IMO.

          Touchwiz was useful until 4.0; 2.3 and below had little polish.

          Sidenote: what I don’t get is why won’t just one of the manufacturers use stock ICS? I know they claim that their skins give them identity, but since everyone else has a skin no skin at all would be another form of identity.

          • Jimmy_Jo

            There is a phone with stock ICS…. the Nexus. Sadly I doubt that will change anytime soon by any major manufacturer. Maybe ZTE or one of those budget brands.

          • Bpear96

            Motorolas new motoblur actually looks pretty much stock, besides lockscreen and a couple ICONS. But the lockscreen can be fixed with either a app like widgetlocker, or maybe if rooted, replace android.policy.jar with one that uses stock ICS lockscreen, Then the icons can be fixed by using a launcher like apex, with stock ICS theme (for icons etc), No if MOTO would just unlock there bootloaders..

        • p$

          touchwiz makes the phone look like a child’s toy

  • spazby

    good job samsung

  • aranea

    Good job Samsung!

  • http://www.ndroidgamers.com B2L

    It’s an awesome step, but we still have carrier branding, and likely added bloatware. Carriers aren’t able to get away with that on the iPhone, so hopefully other large manufacturers can enforce the same restrictions too.

    • redraider133

      With ICS you can disable apps so you can disable the bloatware the carriers stick on.

    • Jimmy_Jo

      There may be little bloat. The EVO 4G LTE only has Sprint Zone, which is an app that allows you to download all the Sprint apps you want. That’s how it should be. A single company app that serves as a portal for their branded apps and allow you to choose to add them if you want.

  • Paul Atreides

    When you have big balls, use them! Samsung grew a big pair this year with the success of the Galaxy SII and Note. In the near future, I hope Google takes this same attitude with skinning the Android OS and tainting the Nexus line.

    • Paul Atreides

      Hehe good catch.

  • Galen20K

    Bravo Samsung for having the balls to stand up to all 4 Major USA carriers and actually be SUCCESSFUL at that! that is definitely rare and something that most of us probably never expected, I for one was truly surprised to see all GS3s will look just like each other with no carrier branding what-so-ever on the front of the device.

  • leo

    Looks lole ssung is playing there cards right with the Galaxy S III

  • leo

    Looks like samsung is playing there cards right with the Galaxy S III

  • kwills88

    One phone= more dev support.
    More dev support= more roms
    more roms= faster future proof updates for all

    Besides leaving the hardware button instead of the traditional ICS buttons I see this as a positive all around, though I see it as this, if you’re gonna add a hardware button, let it double as a track pad as well, that’s a really large button that has only 2 main Functions.

    I can see the update for Jelly bean going much smoother than that of ICS.

    • Trel

      Hacker’s Keyboard has all possible buttons, including some you may not know about.
      (definitely has a backspace AND a delete)

  • Matt M.

    We haven’t seen AT&T’s version yet. While some may like the physical button, I personally don’t.

    With any luck, AT&T pulled a stunt and we will get soft keys or capacitive keys. If not I suppose I cou root and put a stock ICS Rom with the soft keys on it though. It’s almost funny how we’re usually tired of AT&T’s bullshit but now I’m hoping they mess with the phone. If not, I might just keep my SII, it’s still in practically mint condition.

    • Galen20K

      Att’s is exactly the same also ——-> http://www.att.com/galaxysiii/?#fbid=g8ndII_vi3j

      • Matt M.

        I personally don’t trust press announcements without live pictures, not stock photos. Any idiot can throw a logo on the back with branding and put a 4G logo on the screen in photoshop. Until I see a picture of it in the wild, I’m a skeptic.

        • Galen20K

          They have a sign up page and its also exactly the same so sorry, but Att’s version is definitely exactly like everybody else’s on the outside.

    • John

      I don’t like the physical/capacitive buttons at all, but Samsung is headed in the right direction.

    • Jimmy_Jo

      I like the physical button. Especially since it can double as a recent apps button (multi-tasking button) Also since this doesn’t have a shutter button, if the physical button could be used for the camera app that would be great!

  • sknoslo

    Very impressed with Samsung in doing this. Interested to see what they do with the software. I’d be even more impressed if they didn’t allow the carriers to add any bloatware.

  • ObsceneJesster

    The carriers don’t have any more sense than they did last year. It is Samsung who held the power here. The ball was in Samsung’s court. The Galaxy S series is the most popular Android phone which gives Samsung the power to tell the carriers what to do and if they don’t abide, they will not be graced with a Galaxy S III. Good for Samsung. I’m glad the carriers can no longer push them around.

    Anyone want to bet that we won’t see no where near as much carrier crapware littering the GSIII?

    • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

      I hope you’re right, or at the very least we can hide (by default) or uninstall them (and not have to use a launcher app to hide them).

  • Karam

    One to rule them all on the surface at least… the major selling point being the Quad-core (to some of us) is now Dual-core. I know realistically the performance will be almost identical but sometimes it’s all about the bragging rights… sigh…

  • http://facebook.com/jestertx2001 Jesse Moreno

    Although I’m not interested in the Galaxy SIII, I did not realize how important this issue was until you wrote the article. This is a big win for Android and consumers! Thanks Dustin!

    • Galen20K

      that’s true. Even if you’re not a fan of the GS3 design(tho I like it a lot), it was an extremely important turning point for Samsung and Android w/ the Carriers death lock on consumers products.

  • McLovin

    Yup, say so-long HTC and say hello Samsung my new #1 favorite Android hardware manufacturer.

  • jamal adam

    I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a while. It’s good to see that Samsung wants consistency.

  • E

    they should of done this with the GSII global version Aesthetics wise it was the best looking and still gives this new one a run for its money but the white GS3 is not so bad atleast slowly sammy is moving away from that iphone wanna be look

  • iamXiV92a

    So many possible ROMS…

  • Nathan D.

    Thank you to anyone who did this for the U.S. now what missing is Samsung getting compatible radios for the exynos so we don’t have to get other processors in our versions of the GSIII, it getting annoying.

  • AndroidJunkie

    Hopefully samsung improved the radio on verizon (compared to gnex).
    Definitely their weakest point, poor signal quality.

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    Agreed. I don’t know what it was, but I’m glad the S3 is the S3 is the S3. No longer would I need to explain the difference, other than, “oh mine’s on ____.” About damn time, this should make it easier for Samsung to manufacture basically the same device for all carriers (I would assume the radios might be the only thing different depending on which one you get).

    Yay Samsung, just make sure the S3 gets updates in a timely fashion and I think the complaints will be few and far between.

  • Ardrid

    I have to give credit where credit is due. My hat’s off to Samsung for completely unifying the Galaxy S3 device amongst the major US carriers. No difference in specs, form factor, or brand is something that’s been a long time coming and is much appreciated.

  • Skis03

    Looks like Verizon will be selling it Pre-Order Wednesday for $199.99. Same with AT&T.

  • spintrex

    I’m switching over to At&t by end of June and this may seem the best option…but I kind of wish the design was a little different. I had a Palm Pre when it first came out… I think I’m over the whole pebble look.

  • walt_

    i’m sure this is going to irk Apple to no end, cause it really is a philosophy copied from them (at least in the US)

  • Rasy

    GOD! stfu w/ stock android already, we get it! u would rather have stock on it! we heard it sooooo many times over!!! this is a galaxy s line not a F* google nex line. so give samsung their time in the spotlight with their flagship phone w/ touchwiz it’s their creation let them enjoy it, so stop bitching about touchwiz! there’s no point b/c we all know there’s going to be a rom where u can flash stock ICS on it to once the phone is out n also if you don’t like it F* just wait for like another 6 months or so for the next google nex to come out with the latest stock android. in conclusion, stop bitching enjoy the great phone if not wait a little longer for the next google phone!

  • Y314K

    I am just gonna give all the credit to the original Cyanogen…. After Samsung hired him…. Samsung got with the program… Before then Samsung didn’t have a clue…lol

    • Jimmy_Jo

      So true…. I completely forgot about that!!! How sick would it be to get a “legit” CyanogenMod UI on a Samsung phone. Almost like a Nexus phone but on initial boot you get the option to have root or not. BOOM!!!!

  • KRS_Won

    Motorola needs to learn from Samsung. If Moto wants to release their next phone with the fewest complaints and the highest possible sells they will release the RAZR HD alongside a “D5″ slider version at the same time. And learn from Samsung and release on all networks at the same time. Maybe come up with a generic name like “One X” or “S III” that way the can have different form factors to keep each carrier happy. (RAZR II? lol)
    The chip needs to spec at least 1.5GHz, wait for OMAP5 or has anyone heard any more on their collabo with Intel? (Wasn’t a phone due out late summer, maybe it will be their mid-range model) Do NOT go below their 3300 battery from the MAXX (it’s thin enough, with a bigger screen, maybe bump up it to 3500 if they want to really have some praise.)
    Moto should include 2GB of RAM. The 13mp camera needs a bigger and better sensor to cancel out any noise, and the front shooter needs to be 2mp. Carry over BT 4.0 and include NFC.
    Oh, and release a black, white, blue, and pink model from the start.
    90% of consumers don’t care about the unlocked bootloader. You don’t even have to root to tether anymore or take screenshots with ICS (which is the only reason a large portion of Android owners did in the first place.) And most video services are broken if you root anyways. Most people just want a phone they have heard about that has a good signal. The people on AndroidandMe that say they care about the bootloader have already said they won’t own another Moto device because of it, so what’s in it for them? And with today’s processors, even though you aren’t running a ‘true” ROM, most phones still won’t lag. Yes, I do wish that the policy changes, but this is about selling to the masses. Look at Samsung, they had the worst/ slowest updates, and still have the highest Android sells.

  • MoSDeeb

    I’m thrilled the design won’t be tampered with, but still wish it had the same internals. Although its not possible yet. Still a great start.

  • Paul Atreides

    I’m really having second thoughts about considering the EVO over this. I feel like Samsung really earned my money this time and listened to consumers overall. The multitasking issue might take the EVO completely out of the running at this point. This is what it’s come down to, and the customs delay really was a hit to HTC’s momentum. Samsung is in going in for the attack, beast mode on Apple and ninja mode on other Android OEM’s. They are trying to take the momentum gearing up towards the holidays season, then release the Note 2 with a more nature infused frame or whatever I guarantee.

    • cwjones4

      I’m having the same dilemma between the EVO and the GS3. What’s the mulstitasking issue the EVO is having? the one thing i’m worried about with the GS3 is the radio, but I think i read somewhere samsung fixed their GPS radios?

      • Paul Atreides

        Yes, it’s an issue where apps you have opened will reload when you switch between them. I have this issue on my EVO 4G so I’ve had more than enough of dealing with that. I’ve also seen complaints of the homescreen reloading when exiting apps. I haven’t heard complaints about the GS3 radio but I plan to continue to research in the next couple of weeks watching the forums. I’ve heard the battery is great in numerous reviews so I’m not too concerned with using LTE on it, plus it has a removable battery unlike the EVO LTE.

        • Chris

          She’s not had it long, but the battery life on my wife’s S3 is astonishing. I mean, not 2001 Nokia astonishing, but incredible compared to S1 or my Note.

          As far as I’m aware the only GPS problems were with the original Galaxy S: I didn’t hear about any problems with the GS2, my Note has damn near perfect GPS and the S3 seems to be pretty much the same.

          Also, the S3 feels fantastic in the hand. Best ergonomics for any phone ever, hands down. The only reason I’m not getting one is I have the Note, and I’ve got used to using the S-Pen and having that little bit extra screen space.

      • redraider133

        I had a nexus and GPS locked super fast, and with this having integrated radios using the s4 chip hopefully it helps with the radios maybe using qualcomm instead of their own.

  • HackNet

    Obviously, majority of Android users prefer to stock vs motoblur/touchwiz, so why is it that the carriers and manufacturers don’t listen to their customers?

    Why waste more time and money on building these half-baked skins for these phones?

    Isn’t it cheaper just to leave it “Google”?

    That’s just my opinion

    • Jimmy_Jo

      Because the only people who really want a pure Google experience are the techy people like you and I. My parents just want a phone that looks fast, looks cool and does cool stuff. If it can play games and movies and music with no problem they don’t care if the OS is being bogged down by a UI that is actually inhibiting the systems.

      For us it’s UX over UI (User eXperience over User Interface)

      Why else would an outdated phone with a 3.5″ screen have such a large market and mind share. It looks cool. The commercials say it cool and it uniform. Hopefully with the SIII being the same across different markets we’re getting closer to that.

      Wait till you see the Galaxy S4 with the Exynos Quad core CPU, Quad Core GPU 4.8″ HD Super LCD/AMOLED Hybrid + 2 display with a 1mm bezel, 2500 mAh battery, running Android 5.0 Klondike Bar

  • Richard Yarrell

    Gotta clap real hard for Samsung they are making there mark on android. I applaud what they done these last 2plus yrs.

    • Richard Yarrell

      Prepare for a childish comment in 5….4…..3….2….1…Enter squiddy20 our resident college kid who loves to leave trolling comments to all my posts but never spends any cash on anything…

      • Matt M.

        Since Squiddy20 has yet to comment, I will.
        Richard, you bumbling baboon, you bashed the hell out of Samsung with the original Galaxy S. If I recall correctly, you called them Samsuck for years! Your only reason to be a sick then was because it, “can’t hold a candle to my EVO 4G/3D, THE GRANDDADDY OF ANDROID PHONES”.

        Yes, that is how it looked every time you posted. When you were finally banned from phandroid.com you made like 3 different accounts to spew your bullshit everywhere.

        You’ve been a trolling idiot since day one and I still have yet to figure out why the good staff at Androidandme.com allowed you to write a review.

        You only post to get people to feed the troll (aka, you!) and get negative repped.

        Get a fucking life Richard!

        • Richard Yarrell

          Hey this is squiddy20 brother great to see you here. Wow you sure know a lot dang your pretty smart for being just as much of a loser as squiddy himself.

          • squiddy20

            Oh please, a CHILD knows more than you! At least they know the difference between you’re and your, something you demonstrate a lack of knowledge on on a daily basis, as shown above. See if you can find your own error ;D
            And as for your assumption (since that’s really all it is since you know relatively nothing about me) that I “never spend any cash on anything” (haven’t you heard of credit/debit cards?), it’s dead wrong as usual. If you read any of my previous posts (at least 4) in direct response you, you would learn that I’ve actually bought (not “brought” as you constantly spell it) a Galaxy Nexus and had it rooted 5 or so hours after getting it home. Not to mention I also bought an Otterbox Defender case for it, and not even an hour ago, a Martin Fields screen protector. Oh yeah, also bought a dual USB car charger to be used to charge my new phone while on the go. Have fun with those baseless, unfounded, and completely “useless” insults. Wanna try again Dicky?

          • Matt M.

            Your stupid self won’t remember this but the first time I posted on phandroid.com, I asked these guys to cut you some slack. You promptly insulted me shortly thereafter and continued.

            You popped up in my Facebook feed for posting your bs on the AT&T corporate page. I called you out there too.

            I don’t even know Squiddy20 you dumbass! Plus, I don’t have a brother.

            As for being smart, I knew that already. It doesn’t take much to be smarter than you! Isn’t it just such a shame that an 18 (soon to be 19) year old knows more about how phone’s, including yours, works better than you do?

            To address a separate issue, you still bring up, not in this post, how rooting is for “2 year old phones”. At the time, it was about Squiddy20′s and that other guy from Verizon’s phone’s. Rooting is a thirty second process for tons of people, including myself.

            Richard, to be flat out honest with you, if you stop being a jerk/prick/douchebag/troll, people might actually be open to thequestions/comments/thoughts/ideas that you have. Get off your high horse and stop being an ass!

            Also, spell checker. Takes just a second to use it dude.

      • snowbdr89

        Never spends cash on anything? Didn’t he buy you a dress?

      • redraider133

        Do you live with him that you know he never spends any cash? Doubt it, you think people have to buy something to be a part/ follow something? Not how it works dick and funny you bashed Samsung saying htc destroyed them yet you now are on the Samsung teet. Just quit while you’re behind dick.

    • jonathan3579

      Gotta clap real hard? Haha. You clearly don’t think about anything you post online. Sometimes, I think we need internet censorship for idiots like you.

      • Richard Yarrell

        Yeah censorship on you and squiddy20 would be so lovely. You guys are ”A” holes to say the least..

        • squiddy20

          @jonathan3579, think a reCAPTCHA would solve our little “problem”? :D

          @Richard, Takes one to know one. Although, I know I’ve never called anyone “useless” simply because their opinions were different than mine or told anyone that they can’t comment on “these forums” (as you’ve repeatedly done) because I realize people have rights, such as the 1st Amendment. So I guess we’re incredibly different. Huh. How about that.

          • jonathan3579

            Hahaha. You’re too much, squiddy20. I can think of a number of solutions to our problem. I have never found anyone online quite so intolerable as I do Mr. Yarrell. There is nobody to blame but himself because despite my original silent lurker status, he blew the top off of one of my first comments with his egotistical posts about his Galaxy Nexus. I owned one too at the time. *gasp* Now I enjoy making sure that this fool is reminded that people like him are nothing more than piss ants in the e-world and real world. :endrant:

          • squiddy20

            Hey, I hear ya. I currently own a Galaxy Nexus too (on Sprint), but I don’t think for a second it “pimp slaps” all other phones or is “BOSS”. It does have advantages over other phones, but it also has it’s disadvantages, just like any other smartphone. I got it mostly because I liked the look of it over the Evo LTE and the fact that it’s a developer phone and therefore easy to unlock/root/ROM/mod. What’s funny is, I’ve seen Richard practically preach about how “choice is king” on Android, but then he turns around and says how X phone pimp slaps or rules X-Other phone, and degrades anyone for not owning the same “pimp slapping” phone he does. Hilariously sad.

      • NYC37

        You and Squiddy do realize that you’re attacking a “functionally retarded” man? Richard’s IQ is between 65-70, with the mentality of a 7-9 year old child. Really. If neither of you have seen the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago explaining this, it’s true. I volunteer at the Bowery Mission where he works, and I know this for a fact. If it isn’t apparent from the way he writes and acts, I thought I’d bring it up.
        I’m not defending him, but chasing a mentally handicapped man around the internet to “correct” him is a complete waste of time. He thinks it’s funny and it’s a game. Has no one noticed that if no one responds to his posts, he will call people out to get responses?
        Remember: arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics; win or lose, you’re still retarded. In Richard’s case, he is the genuine article (I don’t have to be PC, I’m not a psychiatrist or counselor, so I can call the metally handicapped “retards”).

        • jonathan3579

          I don’t chase him around. Unfortunately, he frequents a lot of the blogs that I do with the same idiotic responses as seen here. I’ve noticed everything you said about little Dick which is why I’ve kept my responses to him minimal as of recently. At any rate, I do appreciate your response and shallow (that’s all there is) look into the mind of Richard.

        • squiddy20

          Yep, saw your previous post. Call me mean, cruel, or a bully all you like, but honestly, it’s just too much fun shooting down his ridiculous insults and “facts”. And that’s really all I’ve ever done. I know I’ve never told him is opinions are “useless” or “stupid”. I’ve never called him a racial slur (he once called me a “peckerwood”). I don’t pull half the intolerable crap he does. All I do is point out where/how he’s wrong, he get’s more flustered and either makes more erroneous statements or comes up with really ridiculous “insults”.
          Not even 2 days ago he was saying how I have a “rooted Samsung Moment working on simple mobile”. I didn’t even know there was a prepaid carrier named Simple Mobile, but apparently it uses HSPA+. The Moment was a CDMA phone. Therefore, there’s no way in hell I could possibly have a Moment on Simple Mobile. He’s also stated I have a Moment on (insert prepaid carrier here), when the Moment was only ever offered on Sprint. Not even the companies that use Sprint’s network as their own (Virgin Mobile, or Boost Mobile (I believe that’s the other company)) got the phone. Seriously, how could I not point out those blindingly stupid errors?

          • NYC37

            I didn’t call you anything. I was simply pointing out that you’re chasing a mentally retarded person around the internet to correct him.
            Win or lose…

        • redraider133

          Way to put his personal things on blast. And although that may be true when he comments people provide rebuttal to what he says. Nobody is chasing him around, he openly posts on articles as do the other members.

  • Max

    Already pre-ordered mine from Sprint a couple days ago.

  • Matt

    I like the evo 4g lte better. I want my phone to look different from other carriers. Diversity.

  • mipd1980

    I want one so bad but dont have an upgrade and dont seem my self shelling out 400-800 bucks for one off contract…. So I’ll have to wait. Congrants to all the ones that are getting one on your carrier or unlocked.