Samsung Galaxy S3 Launched as Latest Samsung Flagship Android Smartphone
Samsung has announced what is considered the best Android smartphone, so far, at a London event this Thursday. The flagship smartphone — the Galaxy S III — is said to be essential to how Samsung’s success in the consumer market is viewed, and also Android’s future success.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is powered by Samsung’s latest Exynos quad-core processor, promising twice the performance of Samsung’s previous flagship, the S2, but with 20% less power consumption. The smartphone also sports a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen, which is 22% bigger than its predecessor, and nearing the size of Samsung’s tablet-smartphone hybrid, the Galaxy Note.
But with a smaller bezel, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is not much wider than the S2. The screen real estate takes up more space, rather than an ugly black bezel at the sides, which is a design quirk oft criticized by gadget lovers. Multimedia-wise, the smartphone features an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.9-megapixel front camera for making video calls.
User Experience, Not Specs
As with its other releases, Samsung is focusing on user experience rather than simply raw product specifications. The Galaxy S3 will feature “intelligent camera features” that will make the smartphone act and react in accordance with how the user is using the phone. For instance, the front-facing camera has improved face recognition technology aimed at making the smartphone experience more natural. The camera can identify when a user’s eyes are focused on the screen, and will not dim or lock the screen while a user is watching or reading content.
Samsung is also pushing the Galaxy S3’s S Voice feature. This voice control feature is said to be a significant upgrade over previous models’. The “natural language interface” is “more like a good friend and listens intently and responds effectively,” said a Samsung spokesperson at the launch event.
S Voice can be used to command the phone to run various functions like playing music, for dictating emails and SMS, or take photos. The feature is comparable to SIRI, which is one of the main selling points of the Apple iPhone 4S.
According to analysts, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is an important device for the Android platform, being a flagship smartphone. “The company has built its reputation on producing the ‘must-have’ Android smartphone and in the process has become the poster child for the Android platform,” says Adam Leach of tech consultancy firm Ovum. The Galaxy S3 would not just have to be a stand-out among Android smartphones. There is a bigger challenge, as “it will also go head-to-head with the next iteration of Apple’s flagship smartphone, the iPhone,” says Leach.
The Galaxy S3 is considered the upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus, which was launched in October as Google’s flagship Android smartphone. The S3 will launch in two colors, marble white and pebble blue. Samsung has said additional colors will be made available soon.
The Galaxy S3 will be initially made available by end of May in Europe. Asia and Middle East launches will follow, as well as a 4G edition, which will launch in the U.S. and South Korea by Q3 2012.
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