May 3rd has arrived, and the Galaxy S3 was finally unveiled at Samsung's Unpacked 2012 event. To my surprise it seemed a few of the major tech news sites had access to all the information about the Galaxy S3 before the event even began, which means that for some there was little point in actually watching the event, as they could just get the information they wanted from the articles much faster.
So what is the Galaxy S3 all about? This "next Galaxy" as Samsung called it is about some hardware improvements, as you'll see listed below, but mostly about extra software features and other services on top of Touchwiz.
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- 4.8-inch Super HD AMOLED (1280—720) display
- Exynos quad-core processor (more details coming soon)
- 8 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag, BIS
- 1.9 Mega pixel camera, HD recording @30fps with Zero Shutter Lag, BIS
- 16/ 32GB User memory (64GB available soon) ï¼‹ microSD slot (up to 64GB)
- Networks: 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz,3G (HSPAï¼‹ 21Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz, 4G (Dependent on market)
- Bluetooth 4.0, 40MHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, NFC
- Additional features: S Beam, Buddy photo share, Share shot, AllShare Play, AllShare Cast, Smart stay, Social tag, Group tag, Face zoom, Face slide show
- 2,100mAh battery
- Dimensions: 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm, 133g
Smart Stay coupled with eye tracking technology will allow your phone to have the display on for as long as you keep looking at it. This could be useful when reading, watching videos and so on. As Samsung says it will sleep when you sleep.
This is basically voice commands that allows the phone to respond through actions for whatever commands you're giving it. Samsung tried to make the Galaxy S3 a lot "smarter". They tried to make it so it recognizes as much as possible from its surroundings and it helps you navigate it in different and easier ways.
Speaking of recognizing your moves, whenever you get a SMS, you can put it up to your ear, and it starts calling the person sending you the message.
S Beam is basically Android Beam (meaning NFC connection) coupled with Wi-Fi Direct, which makes the file transfers a lot faster - a 10 MB song transferred in 2 seconds, or a 1 GB movie filed transferred in 3 minutes, all without having to do anything special. It works just by putting 2 S Beam-enabled devices next to each other.
Allshare Cast & Play
The first feature allows you to play your video files on your TV, while the second lets you transfer all sort of files to your TV, PC or tablet through DLNA.
Pop Up Play
This is an interesting feature, and one that hopefully leads to more kinds of multi-tasking on Android in the future. It's basically Picture in Picture for your phone. It allows you to play a video while doing something else, like reading a book or browsing the web.
Unfortunately, Samsung didn't upgrade the camera to 12 MP, but we hope the quality improved significantly since the Galaxy S2. At least it comes with zero shutter lag, like the Galaxy Nexus, but hopefully they fixed it so it doesn't take blurry pictures anymore, and it actually auto-focuses before it takes the picture. Speaking of auto-focus, it actually follows the person's face, which is quite a good idea since you always want people's faces to be in focus.
The front camera is 1.9 MP for pixels, and we're finally seeing a front-facing camera with HD recording. I think absolutely all devices with higher than HD displays, should have an HD webcam today, and that includes phones, tablets and laptops. It's 2012, and it's inexcusable that we still see phones, tablets and laptops with VGA recording and poor quality. But as I said, the Galaxy S3 fortunately does have HD recording.
Game Hub, Music Hub, Video Hub
Samsung is entering strong the services market with a Game Hub for games optimized for Galaxy devices, a Music Hub with 17 million songs ( iTunes has 18 million, so almost as much, which is impressive - Google Music has 13 million), and finally, Video Hub with movies and tv shows.
While the Galaxy S and Galaxy S2 were bay far the best devices on the market, as they heavily focused on hardware, the Galaxy S3 still seems to have a very fast processor (possibly the fastest), but their real focus this time was on software features and services, and making the device smarter in general through software, and more useful to you. As Samsung says: a phone designed for humans.