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We go hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S III 4G at the Optus 4G launch.
[[artnid:435341|Optus has today launched its 4G network]] in Sydney, Perth and Newcastle, with Melbourne set to follow on Saturday 15 September. To coincide with the launch of 4G, Optus will become the first telco in the country to sell the new [[artnid:435346|Samsung Galaxy S III 4G smartphone]]. Let's take a look at the phone and the launch at Optus' store in George Street, Sydney!
The ‘Yes’ Optus store at 280 George Street, Sydney, was where the company promoted the launch of 4G and the new [[artnid:435343|Galaxy S III 4G smartphone]].
The Samsung Galaxy S III 4G is virtually identical to the regular, 3G version with the exception of an LTE 1800MHz modem. This allows it to work on both the Optus and Telstra 4G networks in Australia.
Feel the need for 4G speed?
The only real aesthetic difference between the 3G and 4G models is the colours. Instead of the "pearl white" and "titanium blue" 3G models, the Galaxy S III 4G will be sold in "onyx black" and "titanium gray" (pictured above) variants. Optus will sell the titanium grey model only, while Telstra will stock both colours.
The LTE branding on the Galaxy S III 4G we saw today is not final. Samsung and Optus assured us that the final consumer variant sold in Australia will include "4G" rather than LTE branding.
A close up of the titanium grey finish on the Galaxy S III 4G. The phone has the same 8-megapixel camera as the 3G model.
The Galaxy S III 4G is identical in size and weight to the 3G version. The handset is just 8.6mm thick and only weighs 133g. It has the same Samsung Exynos quad-core processor as the 3G model, but has 2GB of RAM compared to the 1GB RAM in the regular, 3G model.
The Galaxy S III 4G at the Optus store in Sydney was an in-store demo model, but we still managed to download the Speedtest.net app from the Google Play Store.
The Speedtest.net app in action on the Galaxy S III 4G.
The new Optus 4G network promises download speeds of up to 50Mbps, which is around seven times faster than what you can achieve on a 3G network.
A faster speed test in action. Pretty impressive!
The kind folks at Optus eventually removed the demo phone from the security table in store. This is it, in hand.
The fastest download speed we managed to achieve in our brief hands-on with the Galaxy S III 4G on the Optus network was around 35 megabits per second (Mbps). In general, 4G data download speeds ranged from just under 20Mbps to just over 26Mbps, while upload speeds ranged from just under 6Mbps up to almost 9Mbps.
As part of the 4G network and Samsung Galaxy S III 4G launch, Optus brought four of the fastest people in the world to Australia to promote the "things you can do faster with 4G".
This is Howard Berg, the world's fastest reader. He holds a Guinness World Record for reading at 25,000 words per minute.
Ricky Brown is one of the fastest rappers in the world. He holds a Guinness World Record for rapping 724 syllables in 51.27 seconds.
Sean Shannon is the world's fastest talker, speaking 10.9 words per second.
Melissa Thompson is the fastest texter on a smartphone in the world. She can message 160 characters in 25.94 seconds.
The Optus "fast four" at the 'Yes' Optus store in George Street, Sydney.