Samsung Galaxy SIII: Designed for Humans
Samsung kicked off the live event at Earl’s Court UK with the finesse and elegance, that we are all accustomed to, knowing its a Samsung event. The event’s main attraction was none other than the most awaited smartphone of 2012 (Drum roll please), the Samsung Galaxy SIII. There were a lot of jaw dropped faces to been seen at the event, the first time the audience laid eyes on the next gen smartphone.
As we all know the smartphone market moves on once more, with the hi-tech voice-controlled Galaxy S3 likely to become a standard-bearer for Google’s Android operating system and another device that would surely give Apple a run for its money.
The phone’s most innovative feature is built-in face-tracking and voice control allowing, Samsung claims for a more ‘natural’ control system. Other innovations include what Samsung claims is a ‘more intelligent’ screen timeout system, called “Smart Stay” with the help of the front facing camera the phone sees the user “looking” at the screen it will not turn off the screen as long as the user is looking at the phone, very helpful when reading a long email or watching a movie.
The voice control system is called S Voice and allows access to weather forecasts, web searches and scheduling, similar to iPhone’s Siri system. Saying ‘I want to take a picture’ launches the camera application and will work in eight languages at launch. S Voice can also reply out loud which Samsung claims will allow the system to be used while driving.
Available in blue and white, the phone will be launched at the end of May, starting in Europe, with other regions following.
Samsung played on its expertise in screens with a large 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen far bigger than Apple’s iPhone, and close in size to the smaller end of the tablet market.
It is powered by a quad-core processor similar to the ones found in many laptops, and far more powerful than the dual core found in the iPhone. The long list of new features also entails the “Direct Call” feature, with the help of the motion sensors when you place the phone near your ear the phone automatically calls the person who you are currently texting.
The phone also includes an NFC chip (near-field-communications) allowing users to share content such as video by tapping phones together through a new innovative feature known as the S Beam; and (here’s the part which excited me the most) if you are sick of wires, a separate wireless charging kit means you can charge your phone without hooking it up to the socket.
Not only this but it also uses the All Share technology to new heights with its two new features “All Share Play” and “All Share Cast”. The latter lets you view pictures, videos even games on a big screen, making your phone as a controller. All Share Play on the other hand lets your share and access documents anywhere in the world.
Samsung pointed out that while the screen is 22 per cent larger than the previous S2, the ‘bezel’ around it has been slimmed down, so that the gadget is barely bigger than its predecessor. The gadget will launch on May 29 in Europe, and in 10 other cities worldwide including Tokyo and Dubai. The gadget also has some features clearly aimed at the business market once dominated by BlackBerry.
On-device encryption will allow secure emails working within business networks – catering for the new trend for businesses allowing employees to ‘bring their own’ smartphones rather than using company phones. The NFC chip will also be used for tap-to-pay mobile payments, in partnership with Visa, with a ‘virtual wallet’ on the device making payment simple.
The phone is also armed with a battery claimed to last longer than other devices despite a form factor which is 8.6mm thin and 133g in weight. The phone has an eight megapixel camera -on a par with both iPhone 4S and the previous Galaxy S2.
The device was presented by Samsung president JK Shin, who said: ‘There were a lot of rumours and speculation – some were right, and some were wrong. ‘The Galaxy S3 is the best-in-class smartphone in the world.’
The phone was shown off by The Gadget Show’s Suzi Perry at a high-profile event at London’s Earls Court exhibition centre – a large, clearly expensive stage show that had a distinct resemblance to Apple’s well-choreographed showings for new iPhones and iPads.
‘This is the biggest launch event of the year,’ said Perry.
Samsung is also to launch a range of pop-up shops which will show off the handset around Europe – announcing this in a way reminiscent of Steve Job’s traditional, ‘One last thing,’ at their product launches.
A new feature called ‘Pop up Play’ enables multitasking – so that you can, for instance, put a video in a window on screen, then use other apps with the rest of the screen. This sort of feature was previously the province of Windows or Mac machines, rather than phones.
The camera can also burst-shoot at speeds of up to 20 frames per second – faster than many pro-grade cameras.
The camera also automatically zooms in on faces by double-tapping the screen and a ‘best-photo’ mode that takes 8 burst photos and auto-selects the best out of the burst.
The phone’s front camera can also shoot in HD – still rare in smartphones – and take still images at the same time.
Sharing photos with friends is also speeded up by face-recognition technology – which offers to ‘share’ photos with any friends detected in a photo using hi-tech face recognition, sharing either by text message or email, with a bubble popping up over each person’s face with the option to send the photo to them, this feature is called “Buddy Photo Share”
The S3 also contains voice controls – which brings it up to speed with the iPhone’s Siri – but users may be wondering if it will be another secondary feature which is hardly ever used (is it not ?) . Despite the fun of Apple’s Siri, most users prefer traditional controls over speaking to their phone, and the feature which launched the iPhone 4s is not used my many users. Additional accessories include a desktop dock , a flip cover, All Share Dongle and S pebble.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 will be heavily promoted with a worldwide advertising campaign starting this week. Samsung is now the biggest phone manufacturer in the world, and for this launch they took a page out of Apple’s marketing guide and kept everything hush-hush. Even Samsung’s invite to journalists and enthusiasts for the launch in Earl’s Court, London, played it quiet – simply inviting people to ‘come and meet the next Galaxy’. Samsung have again out done themselves, now its up to the public who has to be the judge for choosing the Galaxy SIII as Samsung’s flagship phone of the year, though we all know Samsung is not stopping here, with the launch of the LTE version of the phone will be unveiled at one of the US tours. Nobody knows at this point what is NEXT on Samsung’s agenda, but we sure do know for a fact that whatever it is it will surely be unforgettable.
Network 2.5g (gsm/ gprs/ edge): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 mhz 3G (hspa＋ 21mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 mhz 4G (dependent on market)
Display 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED (1280×720) display
Dimensions: 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.55 mm
Processor: Exynos 4 Quad (1.4GHz)
Storage: 16/32/64GB depending on model, plus expandable MicroSD card
OS: Android 4.0.4 (Ice cream sandwich)
Battery: 2,100mAh (wireless charging optional extra)
Camera main(rear): 8 mega pixel auto focus camera with flash & zero shutter lag,
sub (front): 1.9 mega pixel camera, HD recording @30fps with zero shutter lag,
Video codec: mpeg4, h.264, h.263, divx, divx3.11, vc-1, vp8,
wmv7/8, sorenson spark recording & playback: full HD (1080p)
Audio codec: mp3, amr-nb/wb, aac/aac＋/eaac＋, wma, ogg, flac, ac-3, apt-x
Additional Features S beam, buddy photo share, share shot allshare play, allshare cast smart stay, social tag, group tag, face zoom, face slide, show direct call, smart alert, tap to top, camera quick access, pop up play, S voice, burst shot.
Colour: Pebble blue or marble white
Cloud storage: 50GB Dropbox for two years