Friday, May 4, 2012

The New Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung has just annouced its new and highly anticipated flagship device: the Galaxy S3. A device that puts it back up on the leaderboard of the most powerful smartphones currently available, right next to HTC's One X.

There are a lot of new features that this device has to offer, but for the hardware part, it follows what was expected right to the letter: a Exynos Quad-core CPU running at 1.4Ghz; a Super AMOLED HD 4.8" screen (1280x720, sadly with a pentile pattern instead of the Amoled Plus version), 1GB of RAM, and an assortment of the latest and greatest peripherals, like Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi Direct with channel bonding, etc.

As for the cameras, we get a 8MP camera (with FullHD 1080p video), as well as a frontal 1.9MP camera (HD 720p video), and an assortment of features like zero-shutter lag, ability to snap photos even while recording video, video stabilization, face recognition and auto tagging, and lots other.

As for the software enhancements, you can expect to find things like Smart Stay, which detect user's eyes to know when the device should keep the screen on - no more annoying auto off screens while you're reading - as well as instant screen shutdown as soon as you stop looking (no more wasted energy on the screen waiting for its off timer).

The Galaxy S3 also learns a few tricks from Apple's Siri, with its own S Voice, which begins its life with 8 language support... but just like Apple's solution, it also requires a internet connection to work.

Samsung really put its software features up there, probably to make it look more appealing to customers than every other "similar-looking/acting" Android device. There are a lot of extra feature that you'll get with the new Galaxy S; like Direct Calls, which instantly make a call to someone by simply putting your Galaxy S3 next to your ear; Smart Alerts, that warn you of missed calls and messages; instant group sharing photos thanks to face recognition; enhanced content transfer via S Beam; watching video on a overlaid window you can move around while doing other stuff; Mirror link and Screen cloning via wireless; voice equalization for better quality during calls; and even a wireless charger (as an option).

As for its design, Samsung has narrowed its screen bezel, allowing it to have similar dimensions to the previous Galaxy S2 - although we now get a larger screen. And it finally keeps its slimness down to a mere 8.6mm getting rid of its unusual thicker "chin" design of its previous models.

With so many software tweaks, and although it comes with Android 4.0, one can't stop but wonder just how much this will affect (for the worse) the time it takes for Samsung to bring out future Android updates - after all, we'll be receiving a new Android in the next 3 to 4 months... And I don't think users will like to spend half a year or so waiting for it...

The new Samsung Galaxy S3 will be available in Europe on May 29th... and by then I hope I'll already have a full hands-on review.

As for its price, we have to consider that there's a quite similar-spec'ed device on our market (the HTC One X) for about 530-540€, and as such... I'd expect the new S3 to start in a similar price range  although Samsung also announced that will eventually have a 64GB model, besides the 16 and 32GB launch models (available in pebble blue and marble white).

[photos via Engadget]

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