Samsung jumps on Android bandwagon with Galaxy S smartphone

Samsung launches Galaxy S smartphone in Australia, initially exclusive to Optus.

Samsung today announced the launch of the Galaxy S Android smartphone in Australia.

Samsung today announced the launch of the Galaxy S Android smartphone in Australia.

The second Samsung Android smartphone to reach Australia, the Galaxy S, will launch through Optus on 1 July.

The successor to the original Galaxy Icon, the Samsung Galaxy S offers a number of improvements, including a 4in Super AMOLED display. The screen is one of the largest touchscreens on an Android phone in Australia, sitting alongside the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10.

The Samsung Galaxy S is also equipped with TouchWIZ 3 software, Samsung's alternative to HTC Sense — the user interface seen on smartphones like the HTC Desire. TouchWIZ 3 promises a similar user-customisable interface using live widgets and multiple page home-screens.

In addition to its display, the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone also boasts a 1GHz application processor that enables playback of high-definition video, including DivX and Xvid files, Bluetooth 3.0 support, and 16GB of internal memory along with a microSD card slot for extra storage. Being a Google Android smartphone, the Galaxy S naturally has access to the Android Market, Google's third-party app store that currently has more than 70,000 applications.

Samsung has also partnered with bookstore Borders, with the Kobo e-Book application pre-loaded on the Galaxy S. Borders revealed that customers who purchase a Galaxy S smartphone through Optus by August 31 will receive a free e-Book download — either The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas or Underbelly: The Golden Mile by John Silvester and Andrew Rule.

"The demand for smartphones is on the rise for consumers, and sales of Android powered handsets have grown faster than the smartphone market itself," said Tyler McGee, vice-president of communications, Samsung Australia. "We're excited to be bringing the Galaxy S, our most innovative and advanced smartphone to date, first-to-market with Optus."

Optus will sell the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone exclusively for four weeks from 1 July. The Galaxy S will be available for $0 on Optus' $59 'social' plan over 24 months, and includes 1GB of data and unlimited Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace access. Optus will also offer the smartphone on a range of business plans.

Samsung confirmed the Galaxy S would be available "though all major mobile phone carriers from August," so we expect to see the smartphone on Telstra, Vodafone and 3 immediately following Optus' month long exclusivity period. Telstra spokesperson Peter Symonds confirmed the Galaxy S "will join our growing range of Next G Android smartphones," with pricing and availability announced closer to the launch date in August.

The Samsung Galaxy S sold through Optus is not carrier-locked, so it can be used on other networks.

To see how the Samsung Galaxy S stacks up against the Apple iPhone make sure you check out our smartphone showdown.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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