The next Galaxy smartphone is here, and it seems to be almost exactly what was rumored.
Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about Samsung's Galaxy S III
Samsung's Galaxy S III was officially announced today during a lavish presentation at Earl's Court in London. The presentation included a symphony orchestra and what must have been hundreds of blue lights. After his lengthy introduction, JK Shin, president of Samsung's mobile communications division, presented the phone and ran through a few of its technical specifications. Here is what's makes up the Galaxy S III:
- 1.4 Ghz Exynos 4 quad-core CPU
- 1 GB RAM
- 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen with 1280x720 resolution
- 2100 mAh battery
- 8 Megapixel rear camera
- The device is 8.6 mm thick and weighs 133 g
- The phone comes in either "pebble blue" or "marble white"
"The Galaxy S III is the best-in-class smartphone in the world," said Shin. He gave a vague timetable for the phone's release, then stepped off the stage, allowing other Samsung officials to dig into the details. Later in the presentation it was learned that the HSPA+ version of the Galaxy S III will launch in Europe on May 29, and that a 4G version of the smartphone would follow later this summer and be released to North America. Though no specific carriers were mentioned, the impression was given that all major U.S. carriers were supporting the device.
Though its technical specifications are very close to those of HTC's One X smartphone, the Galaxy S III does have some features that set it apart. The Galaxy S III has a sensor that can detect when a user is looking at the screen, and prevents the screen from dimming while the user is watching or reading something on the screen. The smartphone can have up to five different, programmable voice commands for things such as turning on the screen. It is also the only current smartphone capable of wireless charging, right out of the box.
The presenters spent much of their time focusing on the phone's software. The two themes repeated constantly were that the device was "designed for humans" but also conveyed a "natural, organic experience." The sounds the phone made were mostly water-related. The All Share feature is a banner under which many sharing and file transfer methods were shown, some using NFC, and most requiring multiple users, all with Galaxy S III's - no doubt a goal of Samsung's. Smart Alert is a feature that prioritizes texts and messages automatically. Facial recognition software on the phone recognizes faces in photos and associates them with social network profiles. The camera software comes with a burst shot mode and a Best Photo feature similar to one that RIM announced for the BlackBerry 10.
While these features might seem "neat" they don't really get to the heart of what the phone hardware will be capable of. In fact, the extensive talk about the device responding to human intentions might come off as creepy to some potential buyers. Users such as myself who will, more than likely, root their smartphone and put stock Android 4.0 on it will not care about the water sounds the phone makes.
So, the Galaxy S III didn't blow the competition away, and I'm still considering my options for an Android upgrade. If Samsung is going to hold on to the comfortable lead it has created for itself in the Android smartphone market, it needs to one-up HTC, not stay even. The mobile charging feature seems compelling, but not compelling enough to wait until later this summer, if the HTC One X is released before then. As far as I'm concerned, at this point it's simply up to whether HTC or Samsung releases their flagship phone on T-Mobile first.