After months of waiting and speculation, Samsung took to the stage last night in London and finally announced its latest Galaxy phone.

As we had seen in the invitations to the event the Phone comes in two colours at launch, White and Pebble Blue, with more promised in the future.

The phone itself continues with the same design cues as the previous Galaxy models and at first glance looks like a cross between a Galaxy Nexus and an SGSII. In many’s eyes a good combination.

As we have got spoilt of late with new phones releasing with ever increasing spec sheets, the SGSIII’s specs are pretty much as we expected. It really is a mark of how far we have come when Quad Core processors and HD screens on a phone doesn’t have us jumping up and down with excitement!

What you are getting is a very slim and sleek looking phone. Even though we have seen these specs phones on other phones already, make no mistake this is one powerful phone.

The processor is an Exonys  1.4Ghz Quad Core which Samsung is promising to be 50% more powerful than a dual core equivalent while using 20% less energy. The GPU is said to be 65% more powerful that the Mali 400 that came in the SGSII.

The next stand out feature is of course the screen. Samsung have gone for a 4.8″ screen at a stunning 720p resolution. Unfortunately we are missing that all important “Plus” in its moniker like we had in the SGSII so this is basically a slightly larger version of the Pentile unit that comes in the Galaxy Nexus. Samsung has gone with physical buttons again. There is a home button in the middle flanked by capacitive Menu and Back buttons. With the Galaxy Nexus the last 10mm or so of the screen is taken up by on screen buttons rather than traditional buttons which makes the effective screen size very similar to a 4.3″ screen. With the SGSIII all of the 4.8 inches will be screen so this is going to seem like a big jump in size for someone coming from a smaller phone.

Software wise you are going to be getting the latest version of Android, 4.0.4, with Samsung’s Touchwiz running on top of it. There is no great differences here to previous versions but one nice feature they have added is the ability to play videos in a pop up window allowing you to watch a video while still using the phone in the background.

Also included is a feature that tracks your eyes using the front facing camera so when you are looking directly at the screen it will not dim or lock. There are several new features like this and while some are nice, they do feel like a bit of a gimmick and certainly aren’t game changing.

The cameras remain an 8MP rear, 1.9MP front combo with the rear having an LED flash.  To keep up with HTC’s One series, Samsung have added many of the camera features seen on the One X & S, to their own camera. Fast wake times and the ability to shoot just over 3 shots per second with “zero” shutter lag are present, while a burst mode that takes 8 pictures and automatically chooses the best picture is one of the additional features on offer. Full HD capture and play back is of course available.

Going against the trend of non user replaceable batteries, Samsung has added a 2100mAh unit that is easily accessible once the back cover is removed. Also under that cover is a micro SD card slot which will accept card up to 64GBs. The phone itself will come in 16/ 32/ 64 GB variants which will mean you could have up to a staggering 128GBs of storage on your phone!

Even after belittling Apple’s Siri, Samsung have gone ahead and added a feature which is pretty much identical. Being able to talk to your phone in “natural language” is Samsung’s aim with all of the key features being able to be controlled by voice such as changing the music playing or turning the volume up and down. As we have seen with Siri though, continued use of these features seems rare after the initial honeymoon period is over. People still don’t seem to be ready to have conversations with their phones!

 

 

Here’s a brief run down on the rest of the specs:

    • General: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 850/900/1900/2100 MHz, HSDPA 21 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps; 4G (regional))
    • Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone
    • Dimensions: 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm, 133 g
    • Display: 4.8″ 16M-color HD (720 x 1280 pixels) Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, Gorilla Glass
    • CPU: Quad-core 32nm ARM Cortex A9 1.4 GHz processor, Exynos 4212 Quad chipset
    • GPU: Mali-400MP
    • RAM: 1GB
    • OS: Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
    • Memory: 16/32/64GB storage, microSD card slot
    • Camera: 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with face detection, touch focus and image stabilization; Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps, LED flash, 1.9MP front facing camera, video-calls
    • Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, standard microUSB port, GLONASS/GPS SatNav receiver, 3.5mm audio jack, FM radio, TV-out, USB-on-the-go, NFC
    • Battery: 2100 mAh
    • Misc: TouchWiz 4.0 UI, DivX/XviD codec support, built-in accelerometer, multi-touch input, proximity sensor, gyroscope sensor, barometer, Swype text input, RGB light senso
There is no doubting that this is one hell of a phone. Pretty much every feature that people look for these days in a phone is present and very few areas will disappoint. Samsung have been quiet clever in including most of the features that were seen as lacking in the HTC One X.
Will it be able to continue on from the hugely successful Galaxy S II? It’s hard to see how it won’t. All eyes will begin to turn to Cupertino now to see what the next iPhone will deliver.

 

 

 

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