By Jonathan Charles | May 03, 2012 04:31 PM EDT
The much-rumored Samsung Galaxy S3 device has finally been unveiled at the Samsung UNPACKED conference at Earls Court, London. The device will arrive during the summer.
The Galaxy S3 was described as a best-in-class smartphone by JK Shin, Sasmung President and head of IT and Mobile. The phone will bring faster Web browsing, "seamless multi-tasking," "supreme graphics quality" and an "intuitive" UI on a larger screen.
Specifically, the display is 4.8 inches, as was rumoured, and is Super AMOLED Plus - 22 percent larger though bezel has been reduced. The phone is 8.6mm thick and weighs 133 grams. The phone was described as mimicking the "warmth and beauty of nature" by Samsung. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
For memory, it comes in 16GB, 32G and 64GB variants with support for microSD.
The phone comes in Blue and Marble White, and the phone is covered by Hyperglaze which brings a textured surface. TouchWiz also features sounds inspired by nature, such as a rippling pond. Samsung tried to recreate the gentle curves of nature, ensuring great ergonomics.
Pop Up Play allows content such as videos to be viewed while browsing the Web, almost on top of the browser.
The camera has zero shutter lag and takes one second to get back into camera shutter mode. 20 shots can be taken in one go, with a rate of 3.3 shots per second. The device chooses the best photo out those taken. The camera is 8-megapixels, and supports 1080p recording playback.
Group Tag sorts photos in groups depending on who appears in what photo. While taking a video, still shots can be taken concurrently. A backlight sensor increase low-light imaging quality.
S-Voice, Galaxy S3's voice recognition feature, is a big draw. Saying commands such as "Hi Galaxy" and then following up by saying "How is the weather in London?" fetches results. Photos can also be taken by saying "I want to take a picture," and the Camera app is launched. The phone was described as listening to natural languages. Among languages supported are English and French. Samsung's got a potential Siri-killer here.
Direct Call uses a motion sensor to make calls to a person previously being texted, if users leave mid-message. Smart Alert is a feature that shows missed calls, messages and e-mails received if missed.
Another feature, Social Tag, recognises faces in photos and links with social media information directly from the gallery. Users press the Facebook button and it goes directly to the friend's Wall. Samsung said it's the only phone that understands how users want to interact with friends.
The S-Beam allows content to be shared easily, and works with NFC and Wi-Fi Direct. For example, videos can be shared by putting the phone next to another device and tapping content. It's then instantly streamed. Buddy photo share lets content be shared with all friends, through MMS or e-mail, that are in images: taken pictures instantly recognise friends' faces and offers to send them the photo right away.
Group cast also allows all content to be shared with multiple people, allowing it to be updated, if they're on the same Wi-Fi network. SDKs and APIs are available so apps can be built around them.
Meanwhile, Samsung also announced it will be donating to WWF, pledging $100 for every person attending the London event and the U.S. event.
As rumored, Samsung showed a commercial showing off human features such as features and S-Voice. It seems those rumors of Samsung taking notes from Apple's ads proved true.
Samsung also unveiled accessories, including a battery charging stand and a HDMI adapter. Samsung will also be providing NFC devices during the Olympic Games.
The device will be launched across 145 countries partnering with 256 mobile operators around the world. The 3G version will be launched May 29, starting with Europe. The 4G version will be available in North America, Japan and Korea this summer. LTE details for the U.S. will be announced during the conference in that region, but it's releasing in June for U.S. customers.
(reported by Jonathan Charles, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)
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