After much delay, AT&T has finally announced that it will be selling the Samsung Galaxy S3 in stores from Friday.
The announcement comes after AT&T faced an epic backlog on pre-orders of the phone, which had been to ship on June 21. While some customers, who pre-ordered the 16GB version of the phone, received it on time, many continue to flock to AT&T forums to vent their frustrations.
Last week, three AT&T stores in Manhattan independently told us that the Galaxy S3 would hit stores on June 28, but supply problems have led to further delays and the company was unable to give an exact date for its release, until now.
The phone will officially go on sale in stores on Friday, priced at $199.99 for the 16GB version on a two-year contract.
AT&T is also expected to debut an exclusive red version of the phone. The addition of the Samsung Galaxy S3 to our portfolio of 4G-LTE devices gives our customers another truly cutting-edge smartphone to choose from, said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility. With an exclusive red color this summer and the power of the nation's largest 4G network, AT&T delivers the best wireless experience for Galaxy S III fans.
Yet the company has not announced the release date of the red model.
The phone went on sale in Sprint stores on Sunday and will be out on Verizon starting July 11. T-Mobile has not specified an in-store release date, but says it is also experiencing an order backlog. It has pushed back the release date of the phone to July 29 for markets outside major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco. Otherwise the phone can be ordered through their Website.
The S3 heralds a 4.8-inch screen, Qualcomm S4 processor, voice control and face recognition. The new Super AMOLED display is 22 percent larger than its predecessor, bringing the phone into the Galaxy Note's phone/tablet hybrid category.
Samsung also launched a face recognition feature on its latest phone in an effort to the make the smartphone experience more natural. The phone uses its front camera to identify the user's eye movement and ensures it never goes dark or switches off while the user is looking at the phone.
Samsung has also improved its voice control feature with a sophisticated, Siri-like, voice recognition system dubbed S voice. The service allows users to make verbal demands to control their phone. Texts and emails can be dictated and photographs can be taken through voice commands using the feature.
The S3 also includes an NFC chip, which enables content sharing -- including video -- through tapping two phones together. The chip can also be used to make mobile payments.
The new Pop up Play feature on the phone enables multitasking, allowing users to open a video in a window on screen, and then use other apps with the rest of the screen.
SpecsScreen size: 4.8 inchProcessor: Qualcomm S4 processor Memory size: Up to 32 GB (+64 GB with card)Operating system: Android Ice Cream SandwichCamera: Eight megapixel Weight: 133 gramsDimensions: Height - 136mm Width - 70mm Depth - 8.5mmBattery: 2100mAh