Samsung announces Galaxy S III
Today is May 3rd, and if you're an avid reader of Pocketables, then you'll know that this magnificent Thursday is the day that Samsung promised an introduction to its "next Galaxy" phone, the Galaxy S III.
That introduction was indeed made today at Samsung's Mobile Unpacked event in London. The new phone is packed with new hardware and software features. Let's jump into the hardware first.
The Galaxy S III will include a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display at a resolution of 720p. Samsung already said that powering the display will be a chip from its recently-announced Exynos 4 line of processors. The company also said that the phone will include 1GB of RAM and 16GB to 32GB of storage at the start, with a 64GB version coming later. All models will house a microSD card slot for further expansion.
The S III also comes with an 8MP camera on the back and 1.9MP on the front, both of which are capable of a 990ms start-up time, 3.3fps burst mode, and best-shot selection. The performance is a little worse than HTC's One X, but those are still some fantastic numbers.
In terms of connectivity, the newest Galaxy is fairly loaded. It's got 40MHz 802.11n WiFi, an NFC chip, and 21Mbps HSPA+. Some models, depending on location, will also include antennas that can connect to that area's "4G," too.
On top of all that, Samsung still managed to pack in a decent 2,100mAh battery. And surprisingly, the company was able to keep it relatively svelte at 8.6mm thick. Granted, this is .1mm thicker than the previous Galaxy phone, but considering all of the additions that Samsung made, I think that extra thickness is warranted.
Turning to software, the Galaxy S III will be running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with various Samsung enhancements. You all know what TouchWiz looks like by now, so I'm going to focus on what the newest version of the skin adds to the user experience. For starters, Samsung has created a competitor to Apple's Siri, called S Voice. It's basically Siri: it can listen to natural language commands and use what you've said to complete tasks. It even recognizes the word "snooze" when your alarm goes off!
But the software additions don't stop there. Samsung has also added motion and eye detection. The latter feature uses the front camera to see where your eyes are looking on the display to keep the brightness at an optimal level. The phone's motion control works in a variety of ways, too. If you are texting a person and then hold the phone up to your face, it'll call that person. And if you've left your device on a table for a while and missed calls or other notifications, the phone will vibrate to let you know you've missed something.
It's too early to know any information about pricing, but Samsung says the phone will be available on May 29th in Europe, while the US will see a launch at some point in June. I can't wait to get my hands on one of these phones, though, because it looks like it could be my next one.[The Verge 1, 2, 3]