Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

There's no question the device set a new standard for the high-end Androidsmartphone. It has also been one of Samsung's hottest selling smartphones. And now it looks like Samsung is about to do it again with the Galaxy S4, set 

ادامه مطلب . . .

t was only about nine months ago that Samsung introduced its flagship Galaxy S3 to the world.

There's no question the device set a new standard for the high-end Androidsmartphone. It has also been one of Samsung's hottest selling smartphones. And now it looks like Samsung is about to do it again with the Galaxy S4, set for introduction March 14.

So what is a smartphone shopper to do? In this edition of Ask Maggie, I explain why, even if you still want to get the Samsung S3, it's still better to wait for the launch of the Galaxy S4. I also help another reader make sure her older Android device is really connecting to Wi-Fi instead of eating up her expensive data plan.

Buy the Samsung Galaxy S3 or wait for the Galaxy S4?

Dear Maggie,

I just realized I am eligible for a new two-year contract on AT&T. I have been considering getting a new Samsung Galaxy S3. But now I am wondering if I should just wait for the Samsung Galaxy S4. Are there any discounts on the Galaxy S3 now? Will there be discounts on that phone if I wait? Or will the new Galaxy S4 be so much better, I'll just want that one?



Dear Andrew,
The short answer to your question is to simply wait. If you aren't in dire need of a new smartphone right now, you should wait just a little while longer. This week Samsung sent out invitations to an event in New York City on March 14 where it will debut the new Galaxy S4. The device won't likely go on sale until April, but considering, it's already the end of February, that isn't too long to wait.

It's hard to say how the new Galaxy S4 will stack up against the Galaxy S3 since specifications haven't been released. But there have been plenty of rumors swirling around that give us an idea of what is likely coming. And there is no question that the Galaxy S4 will be an improvement over the S3.

For example, the Galaxy S4 is rumored to have an eight-core Exynos processor, a separate eight-core graphics processing unit, a 4.99-inch SuperAmoled display, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capability, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and the latest version of Android, known as 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

My colleague Roger Cheng, who was in Barcelona, Spain, this week for Mobile World Congress, talked to Samsung execs there who said that the new Galaxy S4 may also sport Samsung's new security software, Knox.

These specs are an improvement over the Galaxy S3, which has a 4.8-inch screen and a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.

This doesn't mean that you should not consider the Galaxy S3. In fact, regardless of what new specs for the new Galaxy S4 are, the Galaxy S3 is still a very good smartphone. And if you are on a budget, the Galaxy S3 could be a great fit for you.

That said, I still think you need to wait until the Galaxy S4 is closer to its launch or until after it launches. Why wait? That's when you are likely to see the best deals on the older Galaxy S3.

Right now, you can get discounts on the Galaxy S3 if you are willing to switch wireless providers. On Amazon Wireless, you can get the the S3 for $79.99 from AT&T if you're a new subscriber. Existing AT&T subscribers, such as yourself, can still get a discount, but it's not as big. Existing AT&T customers can get the Galaxy S3 for $129.99 with a two-year contract if the device is bought through Amazon.

Samsung's Galaxy S3 helped Android win more sales in the U.S.

Samsung's Galaxy S3 helped Android win more sales in the U.S.

(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

Also on Amazon, Verizon is offering the brown version of the Galaxy S3 for $49.99. It's $149.99 for existing Verizon customers through the Amazon site.

But the best deal by far is from Sprint, which is offering the Galaxy S3 for 1 cent to new subscribers via Amazon. (Keep in mind these deals do not apply if you buy the device directly from the wireless carrier's store or Web site.)

My guess is that prices will continue to drop as the release of the Galaxy S4 approaches. And even after the new phone is on the market, you can bet that carriers are going to look for ways to get rid of their existing Galaxy S3 inventory. Who knows, the carriers may even offer the Galaxy S3 free even to existing customers renewing contracts. Carriers also like offer two-for-one deals too. So there is a chance that the Galaxy S3 could be used in one of those promotions.

The bottom line is that even if you are not sure whether you will buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Galaxy S3, you should still wait. That way you will either get the newest flagship Samsung Android smartphone on the market or you'll get the best deal possible on the slightly older version of the product. Either way, it's a win-win for you.

I hope this answered your question. And good luck!

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