Today in London, Samsung announced the latest addition the their ever-popular Galaxy line of devices. We were there live covering the whole event, as you may have seen from our liveblog, and Samsung really brought a lot of changes with the newly announced Galaxy S III–but don’t worry because in this case that’s a good thing. Samsung really hit the nail on the head last year with the Galaxy S II, and the device became their best selling phone line ever. This makes the follow-up to that, the GSIII, one of the most anticipated devices of the year, and as Samsung calls it, the most anticipated device in the last 20 years of Samsung’s products.
Samsung was clearly inspired by the success of the Galaxy Note, and you can see it in the sheer size of the GSIII. The device packs a HUGE 4.8-inch HD Super-AMOLED 720x1080p screen. And my friends, this is a beautiful screen. Last year the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung and Google was criticized by some for being too big with its 4.6-inch screen, but clearly this didn’t effect Samsung because they went even bigger on their next flagship device. They also brought the goods with a 1.4 GHz Samsung Exynos quad-core processor, the same one that was rumored to be with the device a few months ago. An 8MP camera on back with 720p shooting capabilities compliments a 1.6MP camera on the front for high quality video chatting. The battery capacity is 2100 mAh, larger than devices such as the HTC One X, and will likely be needed thanks to LTE being on board for these devices. Samsung stated that LTE and HSPA+ will be coming to the states via the GSIII, and we were all relieved to hear so as LTE is at this point the standard in the mobile world. Thankfully Samsung has kept the notification light, and two hardware buttons will be on the face of the device as well. The GSIII has rounded edges and overall a very rounded body similar to the Epic Touch 4G GSII variant for Sprint, and it makes the largeness of the screen a little less obvious when viewing the hardware of the device.
The Galaxy S III comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with an improved version of TouchWiz that Samsung dubbs “inspired by nature.” The lockscreen ripples when touched, and elements of wind and light effect the device when sliding through the homescreens or switching applications. Ice Cream Sandwich is still the obvious OS version, but Samsung has not attempted to “lighten” the presence of TouchWiz much at all, and much of it looks very similar. From the hands-on and videos shown however, the device runs very smoothly and TouchWiz doesn’t seem to be an issue at all. S Voice is basically Siri for the GSIII, and different functions will be able to be performed from that service as well as Google’s own preloaded voice commands. One other thing that we noticed on the software side of things however, is that Google Wallet is missing from the list of supported Google Mobile Services, and we have not yet heard from Samsung as to whether the GSIII will have Google Wallet at launch.
The Galaxy S III will be available in Europe by the end of May, and will roll out to the rest of the globe this summer. No pricing or carriers have been announced as of yet, but we will be sure to keep you updated.