Dislaimer : I have not had the pleasure of actually laying my hands on the Galaxy S III so everything you are about to read is based on industry reviews and a little bit of my own speculation based on facts presented. If there is a phone carrier out there willing to let me play with one I will be happy to give it a run. Anyone? I promise to give it back – maybe.
As expected, Samsung announced the Galaxy S III smart phone on May 3rd which will carry the flag for the Android camp and packs a serious punch.
Starting with the screen weighing in at 4.8 inches, this screen is BIG, bigger than the iPhone 4s at 3.5 inches. Boasting a super AMOLED display the look is big and bright with even deeper blacks as AMOLED technology does not use a backlight as the individual LED pixels generate their own light. The iPhone can still boast a better resolution than the Galaxy and it may take a while before we see the major players match Apple in this corner. Still, when it comes to screens you cant argue with bigger is better. The processor is a thumping quad core powerhouse running at 1Ghz which should be serving up pretty slick performance even with the tarted-up Android 4.0 dressed in Samsung’s touchwiz interface.
A MicroSD card slot allows expansion that the iPhone does not offer which is a big tick in the favour of Samsung. (Come on Apple, loosen up!)
The main camera captures 8 Megapixels which will rival most point and shoot cameras and the front facing camera clocks a respectable 1.9 megapixels for video calls. A really cool trick with the front camera is that it is now used to perform gaze tracking and facial recognition. While you are looking at the phone, it will know and when you look away it powers down. The facial recognition brings an interesting angle to security but makes me worry about Nicholas Cage wanting to steal my face to make calls on my dollar. Team this up with S-voice, Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Siri and you can hope for some really intuitive responses from a phone that claims to know what you want to do next instead of waiting for you to tell it (when I see it, I will believe it).
There is also NFC (Near Field Communications) bringing us one step closer to putting our wallets in our phone and the Samsung S-Beam allows you to wirelessly share photos and video with other Galaxy S III owners. The online media and gaming services Game Hub, Video Hub and Music Hub will take care of delivering entertainment making sure you keep up with the Apples.
4G connectivity in Australia is not confirmed (yet) but since this model originated from Europe I would say the chances of speedy LTE (4G for the marketing hype-peddlers) is a strong possibility.
Battery life is not confirmed as far as I can tell which casts doubt over how long you can run between charges. Here’s hoping the AMOLED screen gives back what the quad core processor and 4G transceiver takes away. This can really impact on sales for this unit as battery life is a big factor when choosing any phone. That said, the battery IS removable which is a huge plus, I repeat a HUGE plus. Apple, are you listening?
After all these big steps forward it is disappointing to see Samsung has opted for glass and plastic construction with rounded corners may make it feel cheaper than it should. If I am holding a flagship of a phone I am happy for it to have a little heft in it. A little extra weight makes the phone feel more substantial, a little extra battery not only makes the phone feel like a heavyweight it will also reap a little extra time between charges. We might see this in after market parts but this may be something Samsung should of provided from the get go.
At the end of the day, this promises to be a feature-rich phone but within a year we are expecting the next iPhone so Samsung’s time in the sun may be limited. The ecosystem is maturing and the Galaxy III S is a real contender and seems to have the upper hand for now. If you want a phone “right now” and this phone is on the market I would definitely lean towards it but this could all change when Apple returns fire.
It is a great time to be a consumer as the big boys are trying to score points with increasing lists of features and usefulness. The way we use our phones seems to be undergoing some big changes and I can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for us.