Will Korean SIII, 3G or LTE version work in the USA???

Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy S3' started by manko, Jul 29, 2012.

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  1. manko
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    manko New Member

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    Hi I am new and I am getting the SIII tomorrow! I am very excited, oh and I am in Korea, so I will be buying it here from KT or SK Telecom (the major carriers here)

    I am going back to the USA in a year and I need this phone to work on USA networks.

    If I get the LTE version I don't think it supports US frequencies, but will the phone be able to call and use 3G at least??

    The LTE one has 2GB of RAM and the Quad Core processor which is nice, but it would be pointless if I can't use it in the USA.

    Or should I just get the 3G one? will that work on USA networks??
  2. tjk629
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    tjk629 Silver Member

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    It will work on GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile. 3G should work on AT&T, but I'm not sure if it will work on T-Mobile 3G. At least, it's true with the international GS3, which I assume would be similar to a SK carrier, but I'm not too familiar with them.
  3. manko
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    manko New Member

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    All the 3G versions in Korea are SHW-M440S

    The LTE version is SHV-E210S

    Buying the phone from KT or SK should probably not matter since it is the same hardware.


    Can I buy the LTE version and just get a 3G plan in Korea? The 3G plan is unlimitted data and cheaper. The LTE is just faster...

    But I want the LTE because of the 1GB+ Ram.


    Dam difficult to decide.
  4. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator

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    LTE definitely will not work with any carrier in the U.S.

    As for GSM, according to PDAdb.net, both the SHW-M440S and the SHV-E210S support AT&T and T-Mobile bands. The big question for your desired use in the U.S. is whether or not the SIM slot is unlocked. If you can get it unlocked, theoretically it should work after you've changed the carrier settings. I say theoretically because there's a chance that there could be other issues that might make easy use of it on a foreign carrier difficult. I used to live in South Korea, and as I'm sure you know, they often like to do things a little differently. This desire for doing things differently often creates incompatibilities when it comes to cell phones. There are good reasons why you typically don't find Korean smartphones for sale on various sites online. It's not that no one wants them, but rather it's because of incompatibilities with foreign networks. So, while things might work just fine if the SIM slot is unlocked for 3G GSM service in the U.S., there's a chance it may not work well or at all. Support for the phone will also be more difficult once you get to the U.S. (due to the hardware and software differences and the lack of development and user base), as will finding accessories (the Korean LTE version is slightly thicker than the ones released everywhere else in the world, but I'm not sure about the 3G-only version).

    And you won't be able to watch TV on it in the U.S. either. That's a bummer. :(
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
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