After months of hype about its specs and launch date, the wait is over and this hot new handset is now available on Australia’s shores.

Once upon a time pop culture hysteria was linked to events like the Beatles touring or Australia winning the cricket world cup. Although music, film and sports still attract massive and passionate crowds, here in 2012 queues and screaming mobs form at a whole new ranges of events, from Apple store openings to the release of new phones. If you’ve ever needed proof of to just what extent tech has become part of our lives, just check out recent Apple news coverage and new product line-up announcements (they’re longer than the bar queue at a festival).

The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III (or Galaxy S3, if you rather) was no exception – after months of hype about its specs and launch date, the wait is over and this hot new handset is now available on Australia’s shores. Running Google’s Android operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich, no less), the Galaxy S III features an 8 megapixel camera and a crystal clear 4.8 inch touch screen – half an inch larger than the Samsung Galaxy S II. It’s simple to connect to the Google Play (previously called Android Market Place), meaning that users have thousands of app choices at their fingertips. See full Samsung Galaxy S III specs on the Samsung website.

Is the Samsung Galaxy S III worth the upgrade from Samsung Galaxy S II?

I love my Samsung Galaxy S II and haven’t yet decided whether the Samsung Galaxy S III is worth upgrading to.

My biggest gripe with the Galaxy S II is its battery life – but is the S III’s any better? I’m holding out for more reviews before I make my call.

Samsung Galaxy S III reviews

I’ve done some digging through Samsung Galaxy S III reviews. Here are a few snippets of what the experts are saying:

Engadget: “The build quality is hard to criticize. The plastic is extremely well put together, it doesn’t flex or creak and the phone never feels fragile.”

CNet: “Samsung keeps its latest flagship in line with the best of the rest in the industry, but doesn’t leap ahead of the pack in any notable way.”

CRN: “In all, Samsung’s Galaxy S III is a truly remarkable handset, matching the built up hype in many respects and surpassing it in many others. A few niggles over the design and the perception of flimsiness to the build don’t stop us from recommending this smartphone as a great Android device.”

Buying the Samsung Galaxy S III outright vs on a contract

If you love your Androids and have decided to make the Samsung Galaxy S III your next phone, you’ve got two options – paying for it through a contract or picking one up outright and going on a SIM-only plan. We’ve spotted the Samsung Galaxy S III online from $747 (over $150 below the RRP) so if you’ve got the cash, buying outright could prove a cheaper option in the long run.

Gizmodo has compared the price of buying the Galaxy S III online from different retailers, there’s a good $50 difference between some stores, so make sure you do your homework before parting with your hard-earned cash. See Gizmodo’s comparison of Galaxy S III prices.

Samsung Galaxy S III vs iPhone 4S

The Samsung Galaxy S III provides those after a top notch smartphone with a viable alternative to Apple’s iPhone. As well as being compared to the iPhone 4S, many reviewers and users are comparing the Galaxy S III to other Android models, like the HTC One X. Whichever Android model you choose to go for, one thing is for certain – Android is here to stay and the smartphone market is no longer made up of only one player.

Will the Samsung Galaxy S III be your next smart phone? Which of its features are you drooling over most? Have you already got one? How does S Voice compare to Siri?

Let us know what you think.

Cheers,
Ged - amaysim's PR guy.

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