Print 37 comment(s) - last by xplice.. on May 7 at 12:03 AM

Third gen Samsung flagship phone packs a bigger battery, quad-core CPU, Ice Cream Sandwich, and other refinements

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) packed approximately 1,000 journalists into an auditorium in London, UK on Thursday afternoon for the unveiling of its latest and greatest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S3.

I. Higher Res. Screen, Faster Processor, Better OS

The last couple weeks leading up the launch have been relatively chaotic.  Conflicting rumors have flown about the Galaxy S3, even as second-place Android phonemaker HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) has pushed its South Korean rival to step up its game.  HTC releasesd the slick LTE-equipped One X (One XL, internationally), which AnandTech's in-depth testing showed putting other Androids to shame in battery life and processing power.  In fact, the One X was the only Android smartphone to come close to matching Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) acclaimed iPhone 4S in battery life.

First off, the Galaxy S III comes packing a quad-core Exynos SOC running at a speedy 1.4GHz (as we previously reported) which is paired with 1GB of RAM.  Later versions, including international versions may come with a different processor, perhaps a Texas Instruments, Inc. (TXN) OMAP 4 series chip.

Although rumors had pegged the Galaxy S III's screen resolution at 1080p, it actually comes sporting a 1280x720 4.8" HD Super AMOLED (PenTile RBGB, for better or worse).

Physically, the smartphone is a bit larger than the Galaxy S II and measures 5.33" x 2.67" x 0.35" and weighs in at 4.7 ounces.
Samsung isn't about to start a megapixel war with the Galaxy S III as it comes with a rather mainstream 8MP rear camera and a 1.9MP front-facing camera. While both of these camera may seem like old hat, the front-facing camera has a few tricks up its sleeve. Using what Samsung calls "Smart Stay", the front camera can monitor your eyes to determine if you're browsing the internet or reading an eBook. The camera uses this information to adjust the brightness of the screen automatically. Time will tell if this feature turns out to be a gimmick, but it's an interesting addition nonetheless.

Initial versions will come with either 16 GB or 32 GB of NAND flash memory.  A later variant will air with a beefier 64 GB of NAND, duplicating the trio of iPhone 4S capacities.

The phone packs a beefier 2,100 milliamp-hour battery (7.7 watt-hour @ 3.7 volts).  That makes it one of the beefiest Android batteries out there.  But as the HTC X showed in upstage the much higher capacity Motorola Mobility, Inc. (MMI) Droid RAZR MAXX, capacity is second to firmware refinement.

Hopefully Samsung's new graphical gloss -- TouchWiz can keep pace with the dramatically slimmed-down version of the Sense UI just released by HTC.  Samsung's proprietary user interface will be paired with Android 4.0.4, the latest version of "Ice Cream Sandwich".

II. Just Like the iPhone 4S -- Voice Assistant, but no LTE (Yet)

Connectivity wise the phone supports Bluetooth 4.0, HSPA+, and 40 MHz 802.11n WiFi.  Near-field-communication for wireless billing is also onboard, as is a refined GPS unit, which features GLOSNASS reception (GLOSNASS is Russia's rival to the U.S.'s global positioning system (GPS)).

The third generation Galaxy S also features proprietary voice assistance software, which is strikingly similar to Apple's Siri.  One might thing this would lead to more legal trouble for Samsung, but it's important to recognize that Siri is largely a rebranded piece of software from Nuance Communications, Inc. (NUAN), the world's top voice recognition firm.  Samsung's "S Voice" helper is likely a similar licensed Nuance design, giving Samsung a modicum of legal safety. 

The Galaxy S III will launch in Europe on May 29, while the U.S. launch is a bit murkier -- Samsung is only stating that U.S. carriers will receive HSPA+/LTE variants of the Galaxy S III this summer.

Sources: Samsung [via Yahoo Press Releases], Engadget

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By Arsynic on 5/3/2012 4:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Am I supposed to be excited?

By Brandon Hill on 5/3/2012 4:19:00 PM , Rating: 5
"Are you not entertained?"

By One43637 on 5/3/2012 4:43:42 PM , Rating: 2
"Spaniard Spaniard!!..."

By ChronoReverse on 5/3/2012 4:25:46 PM , Rating: 1
Well it's definitely better but honestly it's something of a letdown.

Most notably, I was hoping it'd be a "Plus" AMOLED (i.e., non-Pentile).

The design also isn't as nice (in my eyes of course) as the One X.

By TheRequiem on 5/3/2012 4:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
I honestly cannot see a difference with this type of resolution, however, the aesthetics of this phone (the brushed metal look around the phone) is amazing, it's amazingly sleek and thin. You can see better pics on

By adiposity on 5/3/2012 6:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
I have pentile on the Droid 3. It is very noticeable, especially since the Droid I came from did not have pentile.

However, I can honestly say it doesn't bother me anymore. I am used to it. But text is definitely not as sharp as the Droid, I just deal with it since I have a bigger screen, now.

By WalksTheWalk on 5/3/2012 5:03:23 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that I was expecting a high resolution SAMOLED+ screen instead of the Pentile display. That would have been a treat!

The design itself isn't bad, it's just not much of a change from the Galaxy S II. The design still works and I'm sure the thing is fast.

All in all, I'm sticking with my SGS2 for the foreseeable future until something comes along that provides a compelling reason to buy. The SGS2 still performs great in real world usage and I don't see anything on the horizon that requires a quad core CPU, more GPU, etc.

By bug77 on 5/3/2012 5:19:08 PM , Rating: 3
I agree that I was expecting a high resolution SAMOLED+ screen instead of the Pentile display. That would have been a treat!

What kind of a treat? At this density, you can't tell the difference anyway, as several reviewers (of other phones using pentile matrix for resolutions this high) agree.

If there's one thing I can criticize SAMOLED, is their greenish tint. Don't know if SAMOLED+ is any better, haven't seen any yet.

By Solandri on 5/3/2012 8:12:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty hard to notice pentile with graphics (your color vision resolution is lower than black and white). But when displaying mono-color text, it's pretty easy to see that it's lower resolution.

Tints are easy to get rid of with a color profile. I'm surprised the manufacturers aren't loading a rudimentary color profile. It's a software fix for a hardware bias, but it's such a simple thing to do. You can even make several profiles at different color temperatures to satisfy all people. Once again, it's Apple who is pushing the envelope on the graphics front. The greatly improved color accuracy test results on the newest iPad make it pretty obvious that they added a pre-calibrated color profile.

By retrospooty on 5/3/2012 4:28:03 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno... Its a great phone, but similar in spec to the HTC one X. I would be excited to have either, but the One X was first.

By Adam M on 5/3/2012 6:20:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, I'm pretty underwhelmed here. I suppose I should reserve judgment until Sprint announces their version, probably under the EPIC LTE moniker. I doubt that version will offer any significant changes. I previously asked if I should get the EVO LTE or wait for a Galaxy 3, this marginal upgrade on the Galaxy 2 provided my answer.

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