So after literally months on months of leaked pictures, alleged specs, the Samsung Galaxy S3 has officially been unveiled at a London-based event this evening, and we have some information about the official S3 specs.
Set to take on the HTC One X for the best Android smartphone crown and go toe-to-toe with the iPhone 4S, we reveal the features that are likely to persuade you to make the upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy S2
You can also check out our Samsung Galaxy S3 video below, with more hands-on pictures and video to come.
Build and design
With a look that is clearly inspired by the Galaxy Nexus, the S3 sports a more curvaceous body than its predecessor which was certainly a squarer, more rectangular designed handset. Samsung has abandoned the black colour scheme and opted for new Marble White and Pebble Blue models, which explains the specific colours chosen for the Samsung Galaxy S3 invite. Dimensions-wise the S3 is thicker than the S2 (8.49mm) measuring in at 8.66mm, heavier at 133g (from 116g) and is longer and wider owing to the bigger screen which is next on the list…
Android 4.0 ICS:
It’s been one of the S3’s most speculated features and we can now confirm that the Samsung Galaxy S3 will feature a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen which is substantially bigger than the S2’s 4.3-inch display. With a 720x1280 screen resolution, it’s not the full HD some were hoping for, while the 306ppi is lower than the 326ppi on the iPhone 4S's Retina display screen. We imagine it will still be a pretty good place to watch movies and browse the web on though.
Those hoping for a mighty 12-megapixel camera will be disappointed to hear that it’s the same 8-megapixel snapper as the one found on the S2 but now you will be able to shoot and play 1080p HD, and now comes with a host of new features to help make the most of your pictures.
Like the HTC One X, the S3 can capture photo and video simultaneously and take 20 continuous shots per second. This means that you can pick the best photos from the 20 shots based on smile detection, blink detection, contrast or blurring. Other notable features include Buddy Photo Share which shares pictures immediately via face recognition, zero shutter lag, faster shot-to-shot time and Face Zoom which let’s you tap into a photo of a crowd and zoom into a particular person.
For social snappers, the new Social Tag mode means faces in pictures are instantly recognised and will display Google+ info and a link to the person's Facebook when you view the pictures.
Interestingly, the front-facing camera has moved from the top left corner of the device to the top right, and has dropped from 2-Megapixels to a 1.9 megapixel image sensor.
The S3 will be Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box with a TouchWiz UI overlay. With Android 4.0, you can expect to see homescreen folders, enhanced browsing, greater syncing capabilities with Samsung’s growing family of tablets and an improvement on the limited camera options currently available on the Galaxy S2.
Processor and storage
As expected, there will be a 1.4GHz Exynos quad core processor and the same 1Gb of RAM packed inside the S2. The battery capacity has jumped from 1650mAh to 2100mAh which is perhaps expected considering the raft of demanding new features.
The good news is that Samsung will be offering 16, 32 and now a 64GB model of its flagship device with a micro SD card slot to expand storage up to 32GB.
Samsung has confirmed that its Video, Music, Readers and Game Hubs will be on board as has been the case on the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy tablets previously. It will also have social networking app Flipboard pre-installed and 50GB of free Dropbox storage for the next two years, which is an extra 25GB more than HTC offers with its One Series smartphones.
Samsung All Share which allows you to wirelessly transfer content to other connected devices like TVs will also be supported along with the new All Share Cast which allows HD mirroring.
Desperate for a Siri rival? Well, S Voice is Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 4S voice assistant which will be deeply integrated into apps like photos, texts, making calls, controlling music, checking the weather and setting alarms. Expect less of the personality that comes with Siri and more of the focus on telling your S3 what to do. You will be able choose from four customisable wake-up commands and S Voice will recognize commands while your music is playing at the same time.
Like Android Beam for the Galaxy Nexus, this NFC-sharing feature will allow users to transfer files from one Galaxy S3 to another Samsung Galaxy S3 handset. Sadly there’s no support for the Galaxy Nexus and bigger files will only work over Wi-Fi . Over NFC you can expect up to 400Mbps transfer rate and Wi-Fi up to 300Mbps.
New Smart features
Samsung has revealed a trio of intriguing new features that we are sure are going to get a mixed response as to how useful they will actually be. First up is Smart Stay which uses eye detection we imagine is very similar to the Face Unlocking tech used on the Nexus which will keep the screen lit if it detects your eyes. Direct Call will automatically dial a number as soon as you lift the phone to your ear when you’re in messages or contacts.
Smart Alert which appears focused at social networking lovers will make your phone vibrate as soon as you pick it up to let you know that you've received a notification without having to wake up the screen. Last up is Pop Up Play which should demonstrate the S3's multi-tasking prowess by letting you watch a video on a pop-up screen and use another app on the screen simultaneously.
Samsung Galaxy S3 UK release date
So, when can you get your hands on the Samsung Galaxy S3? Well, the next Galaxy smartphone will be available from May 30th and Vodafone who will be exlusively offering the 32GB version and O2 are amongst the network provides who have confirmed that they will be carrying the Galaxy S3. Carphone Warehouse is offering the Samsung Galaxy S 3 on a £36 monthly contract or SIM-free for £499.95.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Video
Are you impressed by the Samsung Galaxy S3 features? Let us know in the comments section below.