Now that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is officially on the way Samsung have confirmed how powerful their new phone is. With its quad-core processor and 4.8 inch screen it’s definitely ready to make an impact on the busy smartphone market.
As one of the new high end Android phones it will be competing with the likes of Sony with their Xperia S and HTC with the HTC One X to be the official Android top of the league smartphone but does it have what it takes? Also does it offer enough to get the Apple fans to convert to the Google OS phone and leave their iPhone 4S behind?
The main thing to notice about the build is the 4.8 inch screen. This makes it a fairly big phone. Feeling slightly longer than its predecessor the S2 and slightly wider this is something that may turn off the people who want a thin sleek phone for their pockets. The measurements are 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm for the S3 compared to 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49mm for the S2, so there will be an obvious but slight difference in the feel.
With its new rounded sides this is a move away from the feel of the S2, being described as being closer to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus now. The buttons are all in their usual places but the front-facing camera is moved from the left to the right of the screen.
One of the most notable new features is the Smart Stay function. The phone now uses eye detection to make sure the screen does not dim when in use, something that can be annoying on other phones. The whole point of the dimming is to save battery life, so this of course means that this function could be a drain on the batter if it works incorrectly.
Another interesting feature is the Smart Call functionality. This detects which number you are looking at when you lift the phone and will call it when you move the phone to your ear. Sounds nice of course but again if it doesn’t work optimally calls could be wrongly directed to the wrong number.
There are some other features such as S Voice (voice activation functionality), Smart Alert which notifies you if you have awaiting messages when you pick the phone up and Social Tag. Social Tag instantly recognises people in pictures and offers to send the image in a text. These features all sound good but do seem slightly gimmicky.
At 4.8 inches this screen is quite a bit bigger than the S2’s 3.4 inch screen. Pixel density has been raised to 306ppi from 218 and resolution is now 72x1280 pixels. With the use of the Super AMOLED technology the quality of the screen is excellent.
Rumours had said that the S3 would come with a 12MP camera but this was found to be untrue as its only 8MP. This is a decent enough camera though and it can record 1080p video. This is comparable to what was possible with the S2. New features include a burst mode of 6fps with smile and blink detection with no shutter lag.
One surprising issue is that the front facing camera is now 1.9MP compared to the S2’s 2MP. No real difference but still questionable as to why this was done. It is capable of recording video at 720p which of course is a nice to have feature.
The operating system on the S3 is an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich (the S2 was Gingerbread). Samsung have added their own interface on top of Android called TouchWiz which has been seen before on both the S2 and Galaxy Note. This is designed to make the phone more easy to use.
Also added is an app called Pop up Play which is a feature to give a small window in which to watch videos while running other apps. There is also S Beam to let you send large files over Wi-Fi connections. The only real drawback to Samsung adding their own apps and adapting the Android Operating System this way is that you have to wait for their upgrades to the Operating System where people who have a barebones Ice Cream Sandwich install can get their upgrades straight away. This will be something Samsung have to act quickly with upgrades so as not to disappoint users.
As expected with Ice Cream Sandwich and a quad core processor there is hardly any noticeable lag, with an upgraded batter (from 1650 mah to 2100mah) the batter life should be good too, though it should be noted that there will be a lot of power used up by that.
The S3 has 1GB RAM with flash memory versions available at 16, 32 and 64 GB where the S2 was only available up to 16GB. There is also 50GB online storage using Dropbox which is similar to what HTC are offering although HTC only offer around 25GB of space on the HTC One X around half the size of the S3's online storage.
If you are looking for a fast, stylish looking new Android phone this could be the one for you. It definitely seems like competition for the Android smartphone crown but of course time will tell on that one. With nice little added toys and improvements all around this is an obvious improvement on the S3 and definitely has enough selling points to catch people’s eye.