As expected, the Samsung Galaxy S III is now official. And, together with the HTC One X, it clearly represents the best of what the Android world has to offer at this point in time. The Galaxy S III will, of course, be the Korean company’s flagship device for this year. Without further ado, here are the specs.
The Samsung Galaxy S III has:
4.8-inch 1280×720 Super AMOLED touchscreen
quad-core 1.4 GHz Samsung Exynos processor
8 MP autofocus camera with ‘zero shutter lag’ and 1080p Full HD video recording
front-facing 1.9 MP camera with 720p HD video capability
16/32/64 GB of storage space further expandable via microSD card
That’s it. Ceramic body? 1080p Full HD touchscreen? 12 MP camera? Yeah, right. Dream on. The Galaxy S III is undoubtedly a high-end device. Yet it’s really not that different, in terms of pure specs at least, to the HTC One X. And that’s already been available for a while. Furthermore, to me, the Galaxy S III looks… a bit odd. More like it was designed to be patent-proof than anything else. The strangest thing about it is the incredibly big empty space between the bottom of the screen and the button on the front. Which has undoubtedly made the Galaxy S III a lot taller than it could have been, despite Samsung’s claims that they’ve narrowed the screen bezels.
Samsung is to blame here, not because the Galaxy S III doesn’t have some outlandish features, but because of the expectations it managed to build up. Not announcing the phone at MWC, then letting so much time pass until the actual announcement… all of this meant that during the past few weeks we’ve seen a rumor frenzy about this device that’s more akin to iPhone-related craziness than anything else that’s ever been seen in the Android world.
So with the expectations set sky-high, the Galaxy S III is disappointing in some ways. At least in terms of hardware. The software is a different story, though. The Korean company has kind of gone the HTC way and tried to focus on the ‘experience’ more than raw specs.
And sure enough, there are some nice gimmicks in there: eye tracking (used to keep the screen on for as long as you’re looking at it), face recognition, voice commands, a rudimentary form of intent recognition (when the phone rings, if you simply pick it up and bring it close to your face it will understand that you want to accept the call and will do that automatically), as well as ‘smart alert’ which ensures that you don’t miss a missed call notification by vibrating when you first pick up the phone after you’ve missed the call.
Combining NFC and Wi-Fi Direct, the S Beam feature lets you quickly transfer big files, and the ‘Buddy photo share’ can instantly share a photo with all the friends pictured in that specific image.
The Samsung Galaxy S III’s HSPA+ version will become available in Europe first, on May 29. After that date, it will be rolled out to other continents. A 4G LTE version will be out in North America, Japan, and South Korea ‘this summer’.
The Samsung Galaxy S III will eventually be launched in 145 countries on 296 carriers across the globe. That interestingly will make the footprint of its launch almost twice as big as that of the HTC One X (arguably the Galaxy S III’s main competitor), which maxed out at 140 carriers worldwide.