After much anticipation Samsung has just announced its newest flagship phone, the Galaxy S III, in London. The phone has a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display at 720p resolution, a 8-megapixel primary and 1.9-megapixel front-facing cameras that start up in 990ms, 16 or 32GB of storage, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 2,100mAh battery. As rumored the device is also powered by the new Exynos 4 Quad core chip. Its classic Samsung curved body measures in at a thin 8.6mm thick. For its mobile connection it supports 21Mbps HSPA+ or LTE depending on your carrier.
The hardware design is nothing rather revolutionary. In fact it looks like a mash up of some of the more recent Galaxy S phones. Instead Samsung has put in a bunch of interesting software customizations that emphasize ”natural interaction” with the device. So what does that mean ….. well it basically boils down to four new features called Smart Stay, S Voice, S Beam, and ”Pop up play”.
The Smart Stay feature uses the front facing camera to watch your eyes and keeps the brightness from dimming even if you don’t touch the screen for an extended amount of time. Samsung says the feature is most useful when reading an ebook or a long email.
S Voice is basically Samsung’s take on Apple’s Siri feature. But, unlike Siri, S Voice allows a user to just start talking to their device. After saying a predetermined greeting to the phone it will wake up and listen to your instructions. Samsung gave the example of saying “snooze” to turn off your alarm or send a text to a friend.
S Beam is a beefed up version of the tap to share feature that already exists in Android 4.0. S Beam allows for a 1GB movie to shared within 3 minutes or a 10MB music file to share in two seconds between two Galaxy S III devices. Also the feature even works when not connected to Wi-Fi or cell service.
The feature called “Pop up Play” allows for users to watch videos on the screen while continuing to use other apps. Basically its picture in picture on your phone.
The DLNA-based AllShare media system has also been boosted for the S III as well. Devices can now stream video directly to DLNA compatible displays (much like Apple’s Airplay). Users can also share their screen with other S III devices on the same Wifi network with ”Group Cast”. We can guess that this feature will be very useful to business men/women hosting an ad-hoc presentation.
The Galaxy S III will launch in Europe on May 29th with the 32GB model as a Vodafone exclusive. LTE models will come to North America and Japan in the summer. With the US getting the device in June.