Need a "Swedish" phone but I live in the US
August 27, 2012 1:04 AM   Subscribe

I will be travelling a lot to Sweden and I would like to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S3 made for Europe/Sweden while still in the US.

I know the best idea is to buy it there, but I am hoping to save some money and be ready to start using it and get my email as soon as I reach Amsterdam, for the next leg of my flight

After much research I have found that the US and European are different as far as 4G and some frequencies. I have looked on eBay and Amazon but I am not sure how I can assure that I am buying the right model.

Is the Samsung Galaxy S III GT-I9300 the European model?
posted by digividal to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
That is the model that is sold in the Netherlands, so it's probably valid for all of Europe.
posted by neushoorn at 1:26 AM on August 27, 2012


According to the tech specs, the Samsung Galaxy S III operates on UMTS (850/900/1900/2100MHz) + GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) so it will work across the EU (and pretty much everywhere else), but is not apparently a "4G" model (i.e. no LTE).

There is a 4G network in Sweden, but on a different frequency from the US so you have to be a little careful about using a US "4G" device in Europe. Apple got into trouble with the Swedish competition authorities when it marketed its latest iPad in Sweden as "4G" capable - although it doesn't work on the Swedish 4G networks.
posted by three blind mice at 1:42 AM on August 27, 2012


Samsung GT-i9300 Galaxy S III 16GB is the model that's selling in Sweden right now. You can check this yourself on Prisjakt (a major price comparison site).

The exact model is marketed on Samsung's Swedish site.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:39 AM on August 27, 2012


If you're travelling via Amsterdam, you can get one at Schiphol, for €599,-.
posted by iviken at 4:07 AM on August 27, 2012


To answer your question about buying the "international" model before leaving the US: there are GT-I9300 models available on Amazon.com from third-party sellers. Almost all of them are around the $600 mark, which seems reasonable.

It's worth noting that you won't get a warranty on most of these, for some reason.
posted by fakelvis at 5:24 AM on August 27, 2012


Here is a chart of the Galaxy S III models. As you can see, carriers around the world use a great many different frequencies & radio technologies. The GT-I9300 is indeed the international model. You need to be sure it is unlocked. It has "4G" HSPA+, but not "4G" LTE support. It is "quad-band", and thus will only get high-speed data via HSPA+ on AT&T, as it doesn't support T-Mobile's 1700MHz band. T-Moblie is, I believe, modifying their network so it'll be on the same bands as AT&T so they can attract iPhone users, but that's off in the future.

Note also that the US Galaxy SIII uses the Qualcomm MSM-8960 dual-core chip with an onboard LTE modem, while the international device uses the Samsung Exynos 4 quad-core. The latter isn't necessarily actually superior, as the CPU design is less advanced and built on a larger (less power-efficient) process.

The Galaxy Nexus obviously isn't the Galaxy SIII, but it is an unlocked pentaband GSM (all-GSM-frequency, so it works on all GSM carriers) Android phone for sale in the USA with a warranty. It is dual-core as opposed to quad-core, but that's pretty much meaningless in a phone, and it works on just about any GSM network in the world, is dirt cheap for an unlocked smartphone, and always has the latest version of Android.
posted by akgerber at 8:42 PM on August 27, 2012


To answer your question about buying the "international" model before leaving the US: there are GT-I9300 models available on Amazon.com from third-party sellers. Almost all of them are around the $600 mark, which seems reasonable.

You'll get a nice bargain with the exchange rate if you go this route - I bought an SIII yesterday in Germany, and it was €540 ($675).
posted by cmonkey at 10:13 PM on August 27, 2012


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