Optus has taken a stab at Telstra's early dominance in the market for high-end Android smartphones, with a one-month exclusive on Samsung's Galaxy S device launched in Sydney today.
The device is available exclusively from Optus for four weeks from 1 July with plans like the $59 a month "yes" social plan for 24 months with a minimum spend of $1416. It's not clear which other telcos might launch the phone after that date.
The Galaxy S' user interface is Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0, running on top of the Android 2.1 (Eclair) operating system, with the Android 2.2 (Froyo) upgrade available possibly later this year.
Under the hood, the Galaxy S has a 1Ghz processor, 512MB RAM and 16GB of internal storage with up to 32GB of expandable memory. The handset has a 4 inch WVGA AMOLED 800x480 touch screen display and is thin at 9.9mm, yet wide enough to accommodate the large display.
HD 720p video recording and playback is supported, with codecs including MPEG4, H.264, H.263, DivX, XviD and supported formats 3gp (mp4), WMV, AVI, MKV and FLV.
Other features include a 5 megapixel camera and a front-facing camera for video calling. Connectivity and networking specifications include 2.5G, 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v3.0.
The handset comes with an accelerometer, proximity sensor, GPS, digital compass and the SWYPE keyboard application. The Android applications market is available as well as Samsung's own application store, Samsung Apps.
The phone has a myriad of pre-installed applications such as the "Augmented Reality with Layar Reality Browser" and Australia's Top Model.
Borders has partnered with Samsung for the launch of the Galaxy S to promote the Borders e-Reader application on the handset. Consumers who get a hold of the handset before 31 August will receive a free download of either The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas or Underbelly: The Golden Mile by John Silvester and Andrew Rule. The purchase must be made through Optus to be eligible.