Note: This is old news, bro! Our full Samsung Galaxy SIII review is now live!
"It sees what you see", "It shares what you love", "It knows what you want", "It's ‘designed for humans'". Just some of the taglines for the new Samsung Galaxy S3, which was finally launched tonight in Earl's Court, London.
Roughly 2,000 people gathered in the massive auditorium to get the first glance of this elusive mobile, which has already been talked about tons, and if you missed our live blog, here's the full skinny. Don't forget to check out our gallery of hands-on pics, including photos of the launch, and our full hands-on review of the phone!
The Samsung Galaxy S3 will be available in Europe from May 29th.
Samsung Galaxy S3 main specs overview
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 and marketing speak, 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. 1280 x 720 pixel resolution should make for ultra-sharp images.
An 8MP camera is also on board, with lots of cool features such as burst mode and ‘best shot'. You also get a front-facing 1.9MP camera.
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.
And yes, the Galaxy S3 packs a quad-core processor, for the ultimate performance.
16GB/32GB/64GB storage space, plus microSD slot.
Full phone details and features
Next up was Jean Daniel Ayme (Vice President of European telecommunications at Samsung) who gave us a proper look at the new Galaxy S3, and some of the cool social features. He started by explaining that the phone knows precisely what we are doing, and follows our intentions - all sounds a little Skynet, doesn't it?
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.
Now for the 8MP camera. Zero shutter lag allows you to instantly capture an image, and the camera is ready to take another snap in less than a second. You can also take up to 20 shots in a ‘burst shot' - 3.3 shots per second, perfect for those action shots. It can also select a ‘best shot' from a burst to keep, while discarding the others - just like the HTC One X, except the Galaxy S3 actually chooses the best photo for you (with the One X, you had to select your favourite yourself). You can also takes shots at the same time as shooting HD video, again like 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.
Oh yes, we can't forget that 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen. A 0.01ms response rate means you can watch HD video with no kind of motion blur, as well as being energy efficient and super bright. While increasing the screen size, Samsung has also narrowed the bezel to keep the Galaxy S3 only a tad bigger than the Galaxy S2. It certainly is an impressively sharp screen - check out our full hands-on for our initial thoughts.
Next we were introduced to S Voice - Samsung's version of Siri, the iPhone voice recognition service. The Galaxy S3 is a ‘good friend' who listens intently and responds as wanted, Ayme explained. Let's say you're driving in your car and you want to check some info, such as traffic reports. You don't even have to look at your phone. Just 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, or you can ask it to load any other app or browse the web for information. Apparently S-Voice recognises 8 different languages, including British and American (ha!), Korean, French, German, etc.
Super smart smartphone
The Galaxy S3 is smart in other ways too. For instance, raise the phone to your head in the middle of texting someone, and it will automatically call that person. The S3 is super-flexible too, allowing you to watch videos as the same time as browsing the web - and allowing you to move the video box around as you like, so you can push it to a corner while you check your mails. Nice.
Social life and media
The Samsung Galaxy S3 will also help with your social life apparently, using SocialTag - a smart way to share media with friends. 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 shot, you can go straight to her Facebook account and other social media accounts.
‘Buddy photo share' is another feature that allows you to share your photos with friends and family instantly over MMS (remember that?) - or you can also use email. You can also share media dead easy if your friends are right there beside you. Just put your phone next to your friend's and you can push it over to their device using NFC. An extra device called the ‘AllShare Cast Dongle' allows you to control presentations and share content with any HDMI enabled device, direct from your Galaxy S3.
‘All share play' allows you to get remote access to your media, wherever you are in the world. Also, ‘Group Cast' allows you to share your media with multiple people over a Wi-Fi network, and for each party to edit that media at the same time. Third parties will get SDK access to the All Share features, so expect lots of apps that take advantage of these features.
Accessories and yet more services
Another accessory is the ‘Wireless charging kit', which is basically one of those Duracell pebbles that you rest your phone on to charge it wirelessly. You can also get an MP3 player called ‘S Pebble'.
Samsung's Game Hub, Movie Hub and Music Hub are basically online portals for all your media needs. These services are coming quicker than we can type. You even get ‘S Health' which tells you if you're about to keel over and die, which we're close to doing in this sweaty hall.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 will be available in Europe from May 29th, so get those credit cards charged! Our massive Samsung Galaxy S3 review will be online soon, but here's our initial hands-on review to whet your appetite.