T-Mob's variant of the Galaxy S III made its in-store debut on this very day, and we just had a chance to go hands-on with the flagship smartphone. The carrier brought the handset down to the Metropolitan Pavilion for Pepcom's baseball-themed shindig and we just had to get our greasy paws all over its shiny Pebble Blue shell -- and it is a serious fingerprint magnet. Aside from that, though, it's hard to take issue with such a slim and marvelously engineered device. The plasticky build quality does leave something to be desired, but it's something we've become accustomed with Samsung devices. We've also got to give it to Sammy for getting carriers, including T-Mobile, to leave well enough alone. Other than the innocuous logo on the back there are no physical differences between this version of the S III and its 4.8-inch cousins on other networks. There's no keyboard, redesigned corners or rejiggered buttons. Truth is, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between Big Magenta's variant and the international version.
The only obvious changes come once you fire the device up, and you'll have to dig around a bit to find them. T-Mo has added a few apps to the standard Samsung Suite. Most of them are relatively inoffensive, but if you're the type who was taken aback when you discovered My Verizon Mobile on your LTE Galaxy Nexus, you might not be a happy camper. On board you'll find T-Mobile TV, Name ID, Access T-Mobile, Mobile HotSpot and Visual Voicemail -- pretty standard additions. Our brief time with the device turned up no surprises. Performance was snappy -- apps opened without a hitch and webpages loaded as fast as the congested wireless in the room would allow. If you're a Carly Foulkes fan with an upgrade on tap you could do worse than to pick up the Galaxy S III (which is available today) for $279.99. Though, that price tag is, admittedly, a bit hard to swallow. Be sure to check the video after the break.
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.
Samsung Galaxy S III