Tonight was the big night, technophiles. Samsung's big Galaxy launch event kicked off at 7pm GMT in London, and this is what the Korean giants revealed. We've also compiled the new Galaxy S3 full specs and features into one handy news bite for you (aren't we nice?), and check out our full hands-on Galaxy S3 review for our first impressions!
We had a pretty good idea what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S3 specs (check out our full S3 rumour round-up to see our predictions, and how well we did) thanks to various rumours and leaks beforehand, but that didn't dull the excitement. We covered the launch live on this very page, and also tweeted from the event - follow us on Twitter for the full coverage and our initial thoughts!
It's all over! We've been kicked out, but not before we got hands-on with the Galaxy S3. Check out our first impressions, and also the full specs and features of this brilliant new smartphone.
Finally, that 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen. A 0.01ms response rate allows you to watch HD video with no kind of motion blur, as well as being energy efficient and super bright. Whiel increasing the screen size, Samsung has also narrowed the bezel to keep the Galaxy S3 only a tad bigger than the Galaxy S2.
Now for the 8MP camera. Zero shutter lag allows you to instantly capture an image, and you can take another snap just 1s after. You can take up to 20 shots in a ‘burst shot' - 3.3 shots per second. It can also select a ‘best shot' from a burst - just like the HTC One X, except the Galaxy S3 actually chooses the best photo for you. You can also takes shots at the same time as shooting HD video, again liek the One X.
Face Zoom automatically zooms in on people's faces, while Group Tag will group your shots depending on the people in the shots. You can also take HD video of yourself with the front-facing camera, if you're particularly narcissistic.
Marble white and pebble blue are the two colours the Galaxy S3 will come in. Samsung has aimed for minimal, ergonomic design based on nature. For instance, the alarm uses nature sounds to rouse you gently from sleep (which sounds like a sure-fire reason for us not getting out of bed, ever). ‘A bit bizarre but very natural' is the way Samsung describes the ringtone, which sounds like some crazy electro wave.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 will also help with your social life apparently, using SocialTag. The phone will recognise your friends in your snaps, and links directly to your mates' social media streams. Take a photo of your wife, for instance, and when you tap her image in the gallery, you can go straight to her Facebook account and other social media accounts.
The phone knows precisely what we are doing, and it follows our intentions - scary? One step from Skynet?
Next we were introduced to S Voice - Samsung's version of Siri. The Galaxy S3 is a ‘good friend' who listens intently and responds as wanted. Let's say you're driving in your car and you want to check some info. You don't even have to look at your phone. Say ‘hi Galaxy' and it'll wake up, and wait for your next move.
Follow up with ‘how's the weather in London?' and you get the full bad news. So far, pretty similar to Siri. You tell it you want to take a photo, and it launches the camera. Apparently it recognises 8 different languages, including British and American (ha!), Korean, French, German, etc.
JK Shin President and Head of IT at Samsung, took to the stage, after a brief intro by Suzi Perry, to properly introduce the next Galaxy. After teasing us with the usual buzzwords, we finally had confirmation of the main specs:
A 4.8 inch HD Super Amoled screen is slightly larger than the 4.7-inch effort we expected.
At 8.6mm thick and 133g light, the Galaxy S3 is a similar size and weight to the likes of the HTC One X and the Sony Xperia S. The design is apparently inspired by ‘pebbles and leaves' - or nature, as they later explained.
Next up is Jean Daniel Ayme, Vice President of European telecommunications at Samsung, who gave us a proper look at the new Galaxy S3, explaining the tech behind it.
We're here! The place is rammed, probably around 2-3,000 people, and we're sat in front of a giant screen - this thing makes Imax look like you'r gran's old telly. Almost time for kick off!
5pm (2 hours to go)
Samsung has confirmed that there will be super-fast Wi-Fi, so we don't have to rely on ropey 3G to bring you all photos and news from the launch - phew!
We're off to Earls Court in under an hour, more news when we get there!
3pm (4 hours to go)
So, any interesting conspiracy theories about the mysterious design of the invite? We're wondering if the blue & white colour splashes mean a different design from Samsung, away from standard black. As long as it isn't as plasticky as the (otherwise awesome) Galaxy S2, we'll be happy bunnies.
As well as tweeting as it all kicks off, we'll be taking plenty of photos - check here for some of the highlights, and our Galaxy S3 Facebook album for the whole lot.
2pm (5 hours to go)
The presentation kicks off in just five hours, and already we're itching to get there and see what Samsung has conjured up. We'll be taking loads of video and hopefully getting hands-on with the new Galaxy S III - or could Samsung pull a different name out of the bag? The leaked Amazon post suggests S3 / S III all the way, but we expected that of the iPad 3 and you all saw what happened there...