The Samsung GALAXY S III is the most anticipated spec-beast smartphone. Samsung's GALAXY S II was the king of Android in 2011, and was virtually available on every carrier. It had a fast, dual-core processor, a big beautiful screen and was spec-tastic.
The Samsung GALAXY S III is looking to improve all of that in every way with a new quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM, HD screen, NFC and more features and functions than any phone we've seen so far. The Samsung GALAXY S III also has a host of new ‘human-centric’ features that are currently only available on this device.
For starters, the camera is absolutely terrific. Photos were incredibly sharp and detailed, and colors looked good.
There are a number of things the Samsung GALAXY S III does that no other phone can do — yet. First, there's the front facing camera that will track your eyes and keep the screen from timing out if you're still looking at it. You can also wake the phone up using just your voice.
Then, there's the Group Cast feature for sharing pics and presentations with other phones, provided those other phones are also Samsung GALAXY S IIIs.
Those are just a few of the features exclusive to this phone, and it’s mainly because of the hardware, which packs many cutting-edge features into a surprisingly lightweight design.
The Samsung GALAXY S III has a subtle curve to everything, making it smooth and nice. Handling is surprisingly friendly. Despite the phone having a big screen, its size is a perfect fit for the palm. The Samsung GALAXY S III’s HD Super AMOLED screen houses 1,280 x 720 pixels within a 4.8-inch screen.
One thing to really note here is how Samsung really broke the convention here with its buttons. Most new smartphones come without navigation buttons, or with the standard Android four buttons. Instead, Samsung went ahead with a capacitive back button, a capacitive menu button and a physical home button. The home button will take you to your home screen, and holding it opens the task switcher and double-clicking it opens S-Voice, Samsung GALAXY S III’s voice command personal assistant app.
Navigation around desktops and websites are fast and fluid, and apps load quickly too. Radio connectivity was good – it locked-on to a signal nice and quickly. Not surprising, since it's powered by Samsung's new quad core processor.
Software and features
Samsung went overboard on the software side, slapping on many tricks and tweaks on top of its Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) operating system to enhance usability. You could enable the “best shot” mode, which automatically picks the best of an eight-picture burst shot on its 8MP camera. And then, there's the auto-tagging of photos. After you snap a pic of someone, a yellow box will appear around any face, prompting you to tag away. Then the next time you shoot any of those people, the face-recognition software goes to work, suggesting tags for faces it recognizes.
Sharing content is also made easier. With NFC and WiFi Direct, you can touch two Samsung GALAXY S IIIs together to instantly share content (photo, video, contacts, maps, etc) via S-Beam, which is quite handy.
Saving photos to the cloud is pretty simple these days and the Samsung GALAXY S III points you toward three very capable options: Dropbox, Google+, and Samsung’s own AllShare Play service, which uses the SugarSync app for storage.
If you have a text message open and you lift the phone up to your ear, the device will sense that and automatically call that contact. If you get a call you don't want to take, just turn the phone face down to mute the ringer and reject the call.
There’s also S-Voice, a voice activated personal assistant app where you can ask basic questions like the weather or nearby restaurants or even activate certain built-in features of the Samsung GALAXY S III. With the Samsung GALAXY S III, users will be able to start interacting with their phones without ever touching it.
One cool feature of the S-Voice is its voice wake up function, which lets you bring the phone out of the lock screen just by speaking to it. You can control its settings by saying "Hi GALAXY", or set a custom phrase – but we prefer “Hi GALAXY”.