Samsung Galaxy S3 'Inspired by Nature' Phone May be Apple's Worst Nightmare

By Jonathan Charles | May 04, 2012 12:38 PM EDT

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Samsung has finally unveiled its latest flagship Galaxy S device, the Samsung Galaxy S3. The announcement, which was covered live, brought a new voice recognition system and a near-instant camera.

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Samsung pushed the Galaxy S3 as a phone "inspired by nature," with the sound effects of the phone imitating nature - a pond ripple, for example, is on the lock screen - and pushed the phone as a device "designed for humans."

The rumored 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD screen appeared, along with an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.9 megapixel front camera. The phone runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz.

"Designed to be both smart and intuitively simple, the Galaxy S3 has been created with our human needs and capabilities in mind. What makes me most proud is that it enables one of the most seamless, natural and human-centric mobile experiences, opening up a new horizon that allows you to live an extraordinary life," JK Shin, President and Head of the IT and Mobile Communications Division at Samsung, said.

Natural interaction

S Voice is described as a natural language user interface, seemingly pitched as Samsung's rival to Siri. The phone allows users to speak commands, such as "snooze" to re-set an alarm. Another example given during the conference was asking the phone "How is the weather in London?" which fetches the results.

The Smart Stay feature recognizes a user's face and how that person is using the phone, as the camera identifies the user's eyes and maintains an appropriate brightness during tasks.

On the other hand, Smart Alert feature vibrates after the user picks up the phone to notify him of missed notifications, for example calls or e-mails, after being idle.

Design and performance

As mentioned, the phone uses a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and has 16:9 viewing angles.

The camera is 8 megapixels, not the 12-megapixel that was rumored before release. Despite that, it has almost zero shutter lag. The Burst shot feature allows people to instantly capture twenty continuous photos, and the Best Photo feature chooses the best out of eight photos. The 1.9-megapixel camera on the front supports HD video recording at 30 frames per second.

The camera also supports face tagging in photos. The S3 can recognize faces tagged, and collect social network information on that person. It can also sort photos into groups depending on the tags.

The Exynos 4 Quad 1.4GHz processor became a reality during the announcement, while the details relating to the LTE support offered in the U.S will be announced at the regional conference. The Daily Mail Online's science editor Rob Waugh said the quad-core's zippy performance was detectable in every app. The phone will support 3G in other territories.

Compared to the competition, Samsung isn't offering the fastest processor: the HTC One X uses a 1.5GHz quad-core chip.

A wireless charging kit was also announced, similar to the Touchstone for Palm devices.

(reported by Jonathan Charles, edited by Dave Clark)


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