T-Mobile Releases Galaxy S Relay 4G, QWERTY Keyboard And All

With our attention focused on HTC Windows Phone 8 news today, we almost passed over the release of the Galaxy S Relay 4G. T-Mobile’s latest QWERTY keyboard brings the goods with HSPA+ 42Mbps, Snapdragon S4 processor, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, Wi-Fi calling, and that beautiful five-row QWERTY keyboard. The Galaxy S Relay 4G is available for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a two-year contract.

I’ve had the opportunity to play with the Relay 4G for a few days now, so stay tuned for my first impressions coming up later!


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  • I stopped by the T-Mo franchise at the mall today and they had the dummy for display, and stock, but no demo model. Frustrating.

  • Deadeye37

    I went to the T-mobile store while I was having my windshield replaced (an idiot threw a golf ball out his window on the freeway). I played with the Relay 4G and it definitely is a snappy phone. It has a good heft to it (definately not light). The keyboard feels snappy.

    The screen didn’t look that great, though. The picture quality also was lacking. I’m thinking that I might give up the hardware keyboard on my G2 and get a SGSIII. We’ll see what happens when my upgrade rolls around in November.

    • deeoh1084

      how about Galaxy Note 2? it might work out better for you than the S3 since it has 5.5″ screen and the S Pen (i currently have the S3 and i love it!!! but i would rather have Note 2 than S3 even though i love my S3)

    • Geek Man

      LOL, I am a long time G1 and G2 user…I just lost my G3 hope. The relay has 480p resolution and just imagine that resolution 2 years from now. When I heard that the Relay is the weak version of the SGS3, I decided to go keyboardless instead.

      BTW, I just bought the sgs3 2 days ago, and I wish I bought it sooner. Also, the SGS3 though it is longer and wider, it is actually more unnoticeable in my pocket than the G2 because it is lighter and thinner which what it matters.

      And yup, the SGS3 is 4 times better than the G2.. 800mhz vs 2 x 1500mhz .. 512RAM vs 2Gb RAM.

  • oZ

    Wasn’t there a screenshot the other day pegging the retail value of this device at $349?

    • oZ

      It was 349, according to screen shots. Now it’s $399. (http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-phone/Samsung-Galaxy-S-Relay-4G-No-Annual-Contract) That means that you save only $250 on a two year classic contract, and that’s only if the MIR goes through.

      • PiCASSiMO

        Dead link

    • Tori

      Not only was there a screenshot the other day pegging the value at $349, but on T-Mobile’s prepaid site you can buy the phone with no contract at $399.99 claiming that the suggested retail is $399.99. They can’t get their own story straight.

  • Sean

    I went by the t-mobile store today and the box said “S3” processor. Do we know if that was a misprint? I asked the manager and he said he didnt know which was correct: the website or the box.

    • randomnerd_number38

      It’s been confirmed that it DEFINITELY has the S4. T-Mobile has confirmed it, Samsung has confirmed it, and someone on XDA even confirmed it from the build.prop: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=31767234&postcount=124 (note the ro.product.board=MSM8260A, which is S4)
      Someone at T-Mobile who was in charge of this stuff was just confused. The press release AND the box both say S3, but it’s FOR SURE S4.

  • Bababooee

    Is it just me or does T-mobiles site totally suck. Tried adding this to my cart which it did, then I log in as an existing customer. It disappears from my cart and this phone does not show up under devices available to me. If I go back to the Relay’s page and add to cart it just boots me back to the log in screen where the same thing happens. These are the kind of annoyances that make me think about leaving T-mobile.

    • Newmexican

      I noticed the same thing. So I decided to go to my local TMO store and check it out.

      I must admit that I was sure to dislike it (I was waiting for the HTC G3, which will probably never happen). To my surprise, I really loved this phone. ICS w/ Samsungs mods is nice and the phone is faaaast and smooth. The ffel of the phone is great and sturdy too, not as “plasticy” as I expected. The keyboard is not up to par with the HTC G1 and G2 keyboards, but I could get used to it.
      Will hold off until available at Costco (sorry TMO but your mail-in rebates are attempted fraud, will not buy from you if you force us into dealing with this anymore).

      And sorry to HTC, you are my preferred manufacturer, loved the G1 and G2, but you deserted us QWERTY lovers. With this attitude I cannot support your comeback.

    • That Guy

      It’s not available for online upgrades until October 17, you’ll need to visit a store to pick it up with an upgrade.

    • Joe_PDA

      Agreed Bababooee, the T-Mo site has problems. Every time I log in the site tells me my password is no good, requiring me to get a temp password. EVERY time. often the Samsung R4S4G phone doesn’t show up in the list of phones, or in the list of phones available for upgrade. Also, it sometimes shows up at $149.99 and sometimes shows up at $349.99 as a no-contract price, but good luck trying to get that price. Overall, their website makes them look like a technology company that based on fax machine era sophistication.

  • Adam Cab

    are you serious?! i’m so mad.. i called a t-mobile store and they said they weren’t going to have it till the 28th and i even went online and spoke to a representative online and they said it wasn’t going to be available yet and THEN i called and she said it wouldn’t be available till october… -______- well, they’re clearly going to have to wait to get my money again!!

  • Aaron

    Off topic but I wonder in the new jellybean update next month for the gs3 will Samsung update and improve s-voice that would be perfect since it’s their flagship device ???

  • Joe_PDA

    My local T-Mo store has the actual phone on display. I agree that it is fast, feels good and has a nice looking screen. I don’t like the keyboard. The keys are flat, although they are well spaced. Definitely get to a store to try it before you buy it because the many pros of this phone may be tempered by the keyboard. Overall I think I will like this phone due to its many features.

  • mingkee

    It’s $500 MSRP.
    Just $50 more and you’ll get much better phone, s3.

    • ransack

      The s3 doesn’t have a slide out keyboard how is that better?

      • Andrew Baxendale

        A phone doesn’t need a slide out QWERTY keyboard to be the best; most manufacturers are ditching QWERTY keyboards because of how much time they take to make, as compared to a phone without one.

        • Hesster

          That’s your opinion. In my opinion, a phone needs a QWERTY to be the best. I hate how on-screen keyboards take up so much real estate, and QWERTYs are just plain better for playing emulated games, using remote desktop and terminal apps, and editing spreadsheets.

          Last time I checked, HTC was the only manufacturer that publically announced they would be dropping the QWERTY format. All of the others are still making them on some models or never made them in the first place.

        • mingkee

          I think the reason why many models don’t have physical keyboard is thickness. Phones with larger screen overcome the accuracy problem.

        • Hesster

          Maybe, but what’s the first thing many people do after buying those thin phones? Slap a bulky case on it.

          Thinness isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when it sacrifices battery life. I had an Epic 4G with an extended battery, so I’m used to a fatty phone.

      • mingkee

        Other than slide-out keyboard, S3 has larger 720p screen and 2GB RAM.

        • ransack

          Bigger screen and the extra GB of ram would be great. but they allways dumb down specs for qwerty phones. This will still be a huge upgrade for me. Is it the best phone to spec whores? Nope. But it will be the best phone to me

  • Adam Cab

    is it just me, or are the california stores empty still? 2 stores and they say they arent going to release it till next week -____-

    • unknown

      Go to a corporate store.

  • demitria

    I picked up mine yesterday, love it! Yes it is a little heavier than the S3, but lighter than my G2. I don’t like phones without the physical keyboard, so the S3 just isn’t an option for me. Although I would consider an after-market keyboard case, like the ones they make for the iPhone.
    They are carrying this at many of the stores here in Seattle, I spoke with a few of them last week, to see if they were going to be available. The service reps in store were a little confused yesterday when I went in, and initially told me it hadn’t been released yet. I told them to check, I knew it was available on the 19th. They checked and went and got the phone for me. Limited accessories available right now, but they had 4 different cases (red, purple, blue, black). Mine’s red :)

  • marie.

    stupid question;
    does this phone screen shot or have front facing camera?

    • You can take screen shots (I’m assuming you mean like print screen in windows) and it does have a front facing camera.

  • marie.

    stupid question;
    does this phone have screen shot or a front facing camera?

    • unknown

      you should not be allowed in here for asking those stupid questions.

  • Joe_PDA

    Well I’ve had the phone for a day now and must say I really like it. It is fast and there are so many great features. I still think the keyboard is poorly designed, but not so bad that it is a deal killer. The keys are well spaced so typing is not bad. The screen is sharp and bright. Its a fast phone, So far I like the T-Mobile network. I’m picking up 4G at home and in my car. One thing that really made this process so enjoyable is the really good service I got from the rep in my local store. (surprised me too!!) He spent almost 2 hours getting me setup with all the deals and offers made by their Loyalty Dept. He even put them all in writing and signed them. Only time will tell how many billing errors I get, but having it all in writing, all the details, gives me confidence I’ll be ok. If you’re in NY, I’d definitely recommend this guy and their store. There is another store closer to my house that turned out to be the typical bait and switch sales people.

    So in conclusion, if you get the right deal on your plan and phone and get it in writing, you are going to really enjoy the Samsung Relay S 4G.

  • JD

    I have been using a MyTouch 3G slide for about a year now and it’s been pretty buggy and slow. Camera is broke (fuzzy). So I had high hopes for the Relay and went to the T-Mobile store today to check it out. I am not any sort of phone snob (you can tell since I am using 3 year old technology) – but I was not impressed with the Relay. I didn’t like the way it felt in my hand – nor the keyboard feel (too flat). It was very responsive to the touch and fast to load web pages. I noticed on the floor sample that the roller/bearing mechanism that allows it to slide was already starting to come out from under the back (I know demos getting abused – but the phone has only been out 3 days or so!).
    So I think this helped me confirm that I just don’t like Samsung phones as much as HTC. I can’t put my finger on it except that maybe the HTCs seem to be more substantial – less plasticky … I tried out the One S and despite it not having a QWERTY keyboard – I really liked it. Typing on it was very easy. Now I am debating on getting it or waiting another month or more for the X++. I am just hoping I won’t regret the decision to move from a QWERTY to a virtual keyboard.

  • ozrecon920

    got the phone yesterday..upgraded from g2 and realize I can’t tether anymore for free…got to pay for it now!!!!…but still a nice smooth phone…screen is decent

  • So, would you classify this as a high end or mid range phone? Some of the specs make me think high end. Then, the camera & price lead me to believe mid range. Like some of the other users, I prefer a physical QWERTY keyboard and have been waiting. This is looking like the best we are going to get. I was hoping for a G3 or Nexus with a keyboard. Neither of which seems like it is gonna happen. I don’t really want to go just touchscreen, but all the high end phones are touch screen only, and if I have to id rather go with a Nexus, pure Androind, none of the custom UIs. I’m still on my G2, rooted of course, running ICS fine, but its time for a hardware upgrade.I’ve been sitting on a full upgrade for some months now, contract up in Jan. If I don’t get something before then, may explore my carrier options.

    • tensuke

      ICS, 1.5GHz dual-core S4 with Adreno 225, 1GB of RAM, NFC, HSPA+ 42Mbps, MHL, it’s definitely high-end. Plus it has a nice five-row QWERTY and a 4″ Super AMOLED screen. The only things mid-range about it are its resolution (800×480), which is still good anyway, and the 5MP camera with single LED flash (megapixels aren’t everything, sure, but more likely than not the camera isn’t quite up to the 4G Slide or GS3’s standards). I have a 4G Slide which is awesome, and the camera is fantastic but honestly I’d make the switch for native ICS, a faster CPU/GPU, and a better keyboard.

      • I actually went into a T Mobile store & messed around with live demos of the Relay & S3, and I have to say as much as I prefer a physical QWERTY, I did not like the feel of the Relay-keyboard & the sliding mechanism. It felt a bit heavier than my G2. The S3 felt better on the hand, lighter, and was less noticeable in my pocket. I decided on the S3, but gonna wait and check out the Note 2 & the expected upcoming Nexus. If I got keyboard less, I’d rather get a Nexus

        • tensuke

          When I first got my 4G Slide, the sliding mechanism in the keyboard felt really cheap and flimsy. I was sure my unit was broken or something, but eventually over time I got used to it and it felt absolutely fine, so maybe it’s just a case of getting used to it. Either way, a Note 2, Nexus, or S3 are all great choices anyway, so it doesn’t really matter which one you pick, because they’re all good!


    This phone was originally $349.99 with a $50.00 minimum prepaid. About a few hours after it was released T-Mobile decided to jack up the price $50.00 to $349.99.
    they also try to con you intoa $89.99 Unlimited Plan + $15.00 for Mobile Hotspot. Some people already had this on their Sidekick 4G for $59.99. Don’t get taken. BEWARE.

  • hehehe

    I guess David is having so much fun with the Relay that he can’t put it down to write a review about it on his computer….

  • Anyone know if there’s any kind of plans for Relay 2?

    I really don’t understand why vendors don’t cater to sophisticated users, I would pay up to $2000 for a super phone with the Relay’s or closely comparable keyboard. The Relay is the best keyboard I’ve ever had on a phone and I’ve owned multiple Sidekicks, the original G1, Sidekick 4g and currently the Relay.