Friday, May 04, 2012

Samsung unveils Galaxy S III, arrives in Europe on May 29

As expected, Samsung held its "Samsung Unpacked" event on May 3 in London, and the world's biggest seller of smartphones - and cell phones overall - unveiled its next Galaxy S device, the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Prior to the announcement, it wasn't even clear - though it was widely assumed - that the follow-up to the hit Galaxy S and Galaxy S II would be a III. There were rumors about it being a Plus, or something similar, but now we know that Samsung isn't averse to Roman numerals.

We also know something more about the device's specifications.

It has a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display (720p), an 8MP rear-facing and a 1.9MP front-facing camera. The cameras will have a 990ms start-up time, 3.3fps burst mode, and best-shot selection, which is similar to the HTC One series.

A 64GB version is planned, but initially the device will ship with 16 or 32GB of storage. Desp[ite the large amount of internal storage, the GS3 also comes with microSD expansion, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with GLONASS reception, high-throughput 40MHz 802.11n wi-fi, and NFC. For once (with the exception of the Droid RAZR MAXX), a device will ship with a relatively large battery: 2,100mAh.

The GS3 will also ship with Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS, Android 4.0).

Processor specs were not given. It's been assumed that the global version of the device will ship with Samsung's recently-announced Exynos 4 quad-core system-on-chip, while at the same time most figure there will be regional variants using alternatives, in the manner of the GS2.

Cash Back Coupon!
The global version will support 21Mbps HSPA+. However, Samsung added that U.S. versions will be optimized for both LTE and HSPA+.

Dimension-wise, the GS3 comes in at 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm, which means that end users will have to put up with 0.1mm of additional thickness over the GS2.

Banner 6
Samsung is adding enhancements to Android for what it calls a "natural interaction" experience. Samsung's Smart Stay uses the front-facing camera to watch your eyes and maintain a "bright display for continued viewing pleasure."

"S Voice," on the other hand, is Samsung's "advanced natural language user interface." "S Voice" can be used to send text messages and emails, play your favorite songs, raise and lower the volume, organize your calendar, take pictures, make a call, or even "snooze" your alarm after it goes off. If you think it sounds like Siri, you'd be right.

There's also "S Beam," meanwhile, is an enhanced version of the Android Beam system that launched in Ice Cream Sandwich. It allows large files to be speedily transferred between - a 1GB file can transfer in 3 minutes, Samsung said.

The big question has always been "when" (although "how much" is another important question). The device will ship on May 29th in Europe, with the 32GB model as a Vodafone exclusive. Other markets will launch soon thereafter.

The U.S. will be later, but not as much later as with the GS2. Samsung says that says that 4G versions will be coming to North America and Japan in the summer - and that the U.S. will see the Galaxy S III in June.

That actually might prove annoying to some America Galaxy S II buyers. After all, the Galaxy S II didn't premiere in the U.S. until September, on Sprint, and not until November did it reach the nation's No. 2 carrier, AT&T. Taking the November launch as an example, that means that it's only been available for six months and its now obsolete.

It's for this sort of reason that we don't expect a June release for the iPhone 5 - it would really anger those who purchased the iPhone 4S in October expecting it to be state-of-the-art for a year.

No comments: