Samsung Galaxy S III: Everything you need to know

Samsung plans to rule the Galaxy with its S III smartphone. With a spec sheet that reads like an Android fan’s wet dream, a newly designed chassis and slightly rethought approach to the operating system, it’s now the phone to beat.

But what has everyone so excited? Why should you rush to the shops and grab an SGS III at the first opportunity? Pocket-lint has put together a quick highlights list so you can see just what makes Samsung’s new phone so great.

Screen

4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen

Samsung is known for its display technology. Just take one glance at the Galaxy Note or Galaxy Nexus and you will see what the company is capable of. It has thrown everything its got at the Samsung Galaxy S III and the result is a screen that definitely impresses. First up, it's massive at 4.8-inches, but not so big that it dominates the phone’s design. A 1280 x 720 screen with 306 ppi is also no bad thing.

Processor

1.4 GHz Exynos 4 Quad processor with quad-core GPU

Inside the Galaxy S III is an 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 4 Quad processor with 1GB of RAM. From our playtime with the phone, it is absolutely lightning quick and the new (also) quad-core GPU should give you a 65 per cent performance boost over the previous Galaxy S II. 

Cameras

Rear mounted back illuminated 8-megapixel, front mounted 1.9-megapixel

The SGS II had a pretty impressive camera slapped on its back, but this time around Samsung has seriously pulled out the big guns. 1080p video capability at 30fps on the rear and 720p video on the front, as well as zero shutter lag and less than 1 second between single shots, makes the camera very good indeed. Couple this with the ability to shoot bursts of 20 shots at 3.3 frames per second, with SGSIII intelligently auto selecting the best one, and you have a sure-fire winner. 

Capture stills while recording video

The title says it all really, but yes you read it right, you can grab stills at the same time as recording video. Helped mostly by the speed of the Exynos chip, you should, in theory, never miss a moment.

Face recognition

Automatic screen dimming

Everyone enjoys a good bit of face recognition, provided you aren’t Quasimodo.The Galaxy S III has an incredibly clever feature whereby it can recognise eyes, track them and then put the screen into sleep mode only when you look away from it. 

Face Zoom

While using the Samsung Galaxy S III's camera it is possible to use the phone's facial recognition to zoom and track a person's face. By simply double tapping on a person in frame, the phone will do all the complex zooming work for you. 

Intelligent autocorrect 

The clever camera inside the Galaxy S III can also do things like blueness, brightness, contrast and even the people inside a photo. From that the phone will automatically clean up images.

Face slideshow

Another clever face-recognition tweak is the Galaxy S III's ability to recognise faces and automatically build a slideshow out of them using a zoom-style Ken Burns effect.

Group tag

A big problem many people have with Android is its inability to manage photos. Facial-recognition tech fixes a lot of this by intelligently selecting people by face and then tagging them and sorting them into groups as per the way you've organised each one in your contacts.

Voice recognition (S Voice)

Music control

While listening to tracks it is possible to pause and play music by issuing a command to the SGS III. Saying SGS III volume up for example, while music is playing in the background, will increase the track volume. 

Voice unlock

Up to four customisable commands for the phone can be created in order to wake it from sleep. Saying, for example, "Hi, Galaxy", will unlock the phone. From there on, you can get a weather report, listen to music or a whole host of options.

Camera voice control

Voice recognition runs deep throughout the Galaxy S III. It is designed to let you operate most of the common phone apps without needing to touch the screen. Say "Galaxy, I want to take a picture" and the camera app will open. Even saying things like "capture" will snap a shot for you. 

Compatibility

S Voice recognises 8 languages - British and American english, Italian, German, French, Spanish Spanish and South American Spanish, Korean - it also recognises nautral language use.

Software and apps

S Beam

Like Android Beam but better, Samsung’s S-Beam combines Wi-Fi Direct and NFC into one glorious sharing capability. Bumping phones together will let you transfer data between handsets by tapping one button.

Pop up play

Think of this feature as a bit like picture-in-picture on a television screen. Say you are watching a movie, you can continue doing so while running other apps because the video screen will remain open. You can even drag the video across the screen using your finger.

AllShare Cast

Screen mirroring taken a step further. You can let your SGS III appear on a bigger screen and then use it as an external controller to do things like play games. 

AllShare Play

This application allows you to connect remotely to a computer when you are away from home. Once logged in it's possible to look at files and photos as well as to stream videos if you want to. 

Social tag

Again using facial recognition, it is possible to go direct to someone's Facebook page from straight within a photo. Just by tapping on a person's face you will then be given the option to go to relevant social networks you have linked to that contact.

Smart Alert

Miss a call or a message from someone important and Smart Call will make sure you know about it when you pick up your phone but don't have time to look at the screen. An alert will go off if the contact was labelled as important.

Direct Call

A combination of the proximity and motion sensors knows when you lift your phone to call someone. If you've been interacting with that contact - sending an e-mail, a message or such - then just raising the Galaxy S III will begin a call straight to them. Not one single button press required.

Group Cast

Group Cast allows users on the same Wi-Fi network to collaborate on a single document, stored on your handset, in real time. 

Music hub

Music Hub scans your song library and matches them with a library of 17 million tracks. A bit like iTunes Match, it acts as a hub for all your songs on the phone. 

Video hub

Video hub is like music hub except for well, you guessed it, videos. You can buy or rent movies and then save them onto your device. Think of it like Google Play but curated by Samsung.

Game hub

Like Tegra Zone on Tegra devices, you can get access to a curated list of games for the Galaxy S III. Difference is the apps run within the Game hub. 

S Health

Bizarrely the Galaxy S III can receive health care data from health care devices. We don't have many details on this yet but will update once we have more time with the phone.

Hardware

2100 mAh battery

2100 mAh is a lot. It is bigger than the size of the extended battery in the Galaxy Nexus which easily gets through a day on a single charge. This should in theory mean you get plenty of playtime with your brand new Galaxy S III before it’s time to hit the plug socket.

133g, 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm

The Galaxy S III is bigger than the Galaxy Nexus and has a larger battery yet it still manages to weigh less. You can pretty much guarantee the handset is going to be plenty pocketable, yet with loads of screen estate to play with. The metal bezel around the sides is also a nice touch, providing decent grip for those with butter fingers. It has also been optimised so it's only 16 per cent larger than the SGS II.

16GB, 32GB and 64GB options + microSD

Nice to see the Galaxy S III coming in three different flavours of memory. A beefy 64GB option is particularly handy given the phone includes a microSD slot, which translates to a possible 96GB of storage. On top of the extra memory size the SGS III is also shipping in two different colours - pebble blue and white.

Connectivity

LTE and HSPA+

For the markets that have the capabilities, there will be an LTE version of the SGS III (America & Korea). Another use for that large battery. The HSPA+ offering is useful to UK residents and other non-4G markets. 

Bluetooth 4.0

Just in case you hadn't got round to trying Bluetooth 3.0 yet, the Samsung Galaxy S III carries the latest version set to go easier on power consumption.

OS Software

Ice Cream Sandwich

We can’t say we didn’t see this one coming but the SGS III does of course ship with the latest version of Android. This means a rethought application management, new typeface and font and better optimisation across the operating system overall.

Accessories

Flip cover

Not the most exciting of accessories we know but still hugely useful should you want to avoid scratching up the gorgeous screen on the Galaxy S III. The flip cover also keeps the back of the handset safe from the likes of keys in pockets or accidental drops. 

Battery charging dock and wireless charging dock

Pretty strait forward this one. It is a dock and it charges your battery. Also will allow you to play back music at the same time. Again the wireless charging dock is self explanatory.

AllShare Cast dongle

Given all the sharing capabilities on the Galaxy S III it's no surprise that a dongle has been released. The idea is that you can link this cast dongle up to your tv and then push video and other media from the Galaxy S III to your big screen. It can even send a live 1080p feed from the camera to your screen

HDMI adapter

This is so you can take advantage of all the MHL capabilities of the Galaxy S III while still being able to easily connect it up to your television screen.

S Pebble

A bit like a call portable extension of your phone, this 4GB music player can take music direct from the SGS III and then store it, so you can listen later. 

Arrival and deals

Date

The Galaxy S III will be launching on 29 May 2012 in Europe. The 3G version will later come to Russia, the Middle East and Latin America. The 4G version will arrive in America and Korea in June. The phone will be launching in 145 countries with 296 mobile operators making it have the largest number of customers in the world

Deals

All the major operators in the UK will be stocking the Samsung Galaxy S3 in the UK offering a variety of deals to woo customers. For a full run down of what's on offer check out our Samsung Galaxy S3: The best deals from O2, Vodafone, Three, Orange & T-Mobile feature. 


Also make sure you check out Pocket-lint's in-depth Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy S III review, where we spent quality time with the new smartphone.

Like the sound of the Samsung Galaxy S III? Let us know in the comments below... 



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