The heir presumptuous to the ‘King of Android phones’ title (and some fans argue, thus the 'King of Smartphones' title) has been formally announced by Samsung. There’s a lot riding on this, including much of the Samsung vs Apple patent war, with the S3 unmistakably taking a different design direction to Apple. The general consensus is that it will represent a new standard for Apple, HTC and other smartphone manufacturers to match when it goes on sale April 29th (Australian date not yet confirmed ).
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Packed into the Galaxy III’s ‘Exynos 4‘ System On a Chip (SoC) are four 1.4GHz 'ARM Cortex' A9 processors (a faster version of the CPU in most Android phones) and an ARM Mali-400/MP4 graphics chip – these make the S3 simply an epic performer. Samsung's new SoC is manufactured on its own 32nm ‘high K metal gate’ process ,which debuted on the new iPad. Inspite of being a speedy quad, the overall chip size and power draw is claimed to be in the region of the Galaxy SII due to the move to 32nm. Paired with an enhanced battery (2,100 mAh battery vs 1650 mAh for the S2) the new phone should last longer on a single charge.
Camera duties are taken up by 8MP primary and 1.9MP front-facing models with flash, overall a similar setup to its predecessor. 1GB of LPDDR2 memory, a near-field communications (NFC) chip, 16-64GB of internal memory (with MicroSD slot) and a gorgeous 4.8” Super-AMOLED 1280x720 display (with a 'retina' pixel density) round out the basic specs. These are all packed into a footprint and weight slightly greater than the Galaxy S2, but without its characteristic 'bulge' for the camera; leaving the S3 a flat 137mm x 71mm x 8.6mm and weighing 133g. On the software side the S3 runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and features…
“The GALAXY S III features 'S Voice,' the advanced natural language user interface, to listen and respond to your words. In addition to allowing information search and basic device-user communication, S Voice presents powerful functions in regards to device control and commands. When your phone alarm goes off but you need a little extra rest, just tell the GALAXY S III "snooze." You can also use S Voice to play your favorite songs, turn the volume up or down, send text messages and emails, organize your schedules, or automatically launch the camera and capture a photo.” – Samsung Press Release
So the new Samsung Glaaxy basically features a very close relative of Siri. Praise is pretty universal for 'S voice', however the initial reaction to the phone as a whole has been somewhat muted, with too little 'wow factor' being a common note. Nonetheless the hardware and design both bode well and this is more a case of ‘we knew this was coming’ than anything: build quality in particular seems to have benefitted from the Galaxy’s third generation. From benchmarks run thus far it certainly lives up to the promise of its hardware and these results are starting to cause what seems well-deserved excitement towards the Galaxy S3. The final interesting wrinkle is colouring - with 'pearl white' and 'pebble blue' models available at launch.
As always, further updates as they come.