The Samsung Galaxy S III is probably the most awaited Android smartphone to hit the market this year (along with the HTC One X). It has reached an almost cult like following akin to the iPhone series. Branded as the top cellphone maker in the world and considering what a resounding success its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S II was, Samsung and the Galaxy Version 3 has a lot to live up to. The S III was unveiled at an invitation only event in London on May 3rd and it was worth the wait.
Samsung say their design credo for the S III was inspired by nature and it shows. You almost get the feeling you are holding a smooth pebble in your palm when clutching the S III. Samsung has gone all out with the S III and has packed it to the hilt with goodies. Here are the tech specs:
- 4.8″ display at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels
- 1GB RAM
- A choice of 16, 32 or 64GB internal storage PLUS external microSD support upto 64GB (this is the best in the market)
- 8MP rear camera with zero shutter lag and 1.3MP front facing camera
- Samsung’s own 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor
- 2,100mAh battery
- Android Version 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- Weight: 133g
There’s something else the display can do that’s unique. Using eye-tracking, the phone’s “Smart Stay” feature uses the 1.3MP front-facing camera to adjust the screen brightness or keep the screen lit. Samsung says, “The screen recognizes your eye movement. It knows exactly what you are doing, the screen won’t go dark if you don’t touch the screen, as it sees your eyes and recognizes that you are still looking at the screen and camera.” And the phone doesn’t only see you, it hears you too. Called “S Voice,” the Galaxy S III has a feature similar to Apple’s Siri, which will let you use your voice to control the phone. You can tell your alarm to “snooze” and it will silence your alarm in the mornings.
Other highlights of the device include Smart Alerts, which tell you if you’ve missed calls and messages; and S Beam, which lets you share photos and videos by tapping two Galaxy S III phones together (have you tried the Bump app yet?). Samsung will also sell an optional wireless charging pad, which will let you charge the phone by just placing it on the device. You can also take a picture while recording a video and other imaging enhancements include contact tagging and automatic photo grouping based on who is in the picture.
The Galaxy S III will be launched in 145 countries and with 296 mobile operators in the coming months, marking Samsung’s largest mobile launch ever. Europe goes first at the end of May, while 4G versions will launch in the U.S. in the summer. Pricing details have not been released yet.
Update: The Galaxy S III is slated for release in India in June 2012 at a starting price between Rs. 34,000 (~$680) and Rs. 38,000 (~$760).