The Samsung Galaxy S3 was debuted last week in London, and after what I’ve read and seen it looks to be a beast of a device. Is it possible that Samsung has produced a phone that could give Apple a run for its money?
Soon to be released overseas in May and then later in the U.S. in the Fall. Read on as I go through its features and highlight what I think could possibly trample the iPhone into second place.
The phones specs are definitely impressive. Read the specs below to see what I’m talking about:
- Quad core Exynos 4412 CPU clocked at 1.4GHz
- 1GB RAM
- 8mm thick weighing in a 128g
- A 4.7-inch 1,280 x 720 pixels Super AMOLED capacitive display
- 16GB onboard storage
- MicroSD card slot
- DLNA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0,
- 12-megapixel camera with flash
- Full HD video recording
- Front facing camera
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 2050mAh battery
What all this means is that Samsung has produced a device with a ton of power, a gorgeous gigantic 4.7″ screen, an onboard camera that competes with most low to mid range digital cameras, and of course Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich Operating System.
Early benchmarks show that this phone means business too. It consistently blew out of the water both scores for the iPhone 4s and the HTC One X! Read the article over at anandtech to see for yourself!
The other things to note are:
- It is a far departure from Samsung’s prior designs which emulated the iPhone design of being “block-ish” The new design looks to be organic with rounded edges and is supposed to fit into your hand better. The phone is set to be released in Europe this May 29th 2012.
- It will be interesting to see the design changes when the phone is available in the U.S. later this Fall 2012. Hopefully carriers will work with Samsung to try and keep the same overall design and just add their branding to it.
- The device will still have the Power and Volume buttons are still in their standard locations which will make it easier to reach when the device is in your hand.
- The new phone will be released in two colors “Pebble Blue” and “Marble White” (uh, a dark blue and off white) which seems to be a new trend for smart phones in general getting away from basic black.
But what will set it apart are the new software features Samsung is implementing into the device that makes it stand out from other smart phones being released in 2012.
Software and Features
Samsung is getting all Fung Shui on us with this phone. Over and over in every video or article I read they are pushing that the device with its soothing sounds and “feel” of nature should become a natural extension of your existence. It’s motto for the phone is even “Built for Humans, Inspired by Nature”.
I don’t know all about that. But it does seem to have some innovative new features that will set the bar above all other phones being released in 2012 (and possibly the iPhone as well?)
Smart Stay – With its ability to track your eye movement you no longer have to worry about your phone going to sleep before you want it to. This is a cool feature as I read a LOT on my own phone. And it is annoying to have to keep touching the screen to keep it awake.
Direct Call – It can now detect when you wish to call someone you are texting. Simply raise the phone to your ear and it will automatically dial the number associated with the person your are currently texting. Kind of a gimmicky feature in my opinion.
Smart Alert – Instead of putting I don’t know – A NOTIFICATION LIGHT on the phone it will gently “nudge” (vibrate) to let you know you missed a call, email, text, etc.. Well, nobody is perfect.
Social Tag – Taking today’s face recognition technology it will recognize those you have setup in your contact list. And if you happen to take photos of these people it will auto tag them and you can see their current status and easily text or call them. Hopefully this is a feature you can turn off as I personally just want to view Pictures and not my contacts.
S Voice – This is Samsung’s voice recognition software. Will it work better than Vlingo or Siri? We won’t know until the reviews are out. But it does not appear at first glance it is meant to be a “Virtual Personal Assistant” that Siri is setup to do with the iPhone.
S Beam – This is similar to apps like Bump It – which allows you to share contact with other people running the app. S Beam allows you to share up to 300mb of pictures, videos, music, etc.. with other Galaxy S3 users by simply placing them back to back to each other.
Allshare Cast – This feature allows you to “beam” from the Galaxy S3 to your TV. You will of course need the Allshare Cast dongle for this to work with your TV.
Buddy Photo Share – Using that face recognition feature I mentioned earlier (the one I wanted to turn off?) it will recognize your friends around you and if you happen to have photos with their faces it will offer to share the photos with your friends automatically.
Allshare Play – This allows you to easily share documents, movies, music, etc.. with your home computer or other computers. I’m pretty sure this will require some type of software in order for this to run. With Samsung’s history with the software I’ve used in the past? I don’t imagine this will work that great out of the box.
Popup Play – This feature is like “Picture in a Picture” featured on a lot of newer televisions now days. But you can do this with a smart phone now is a pretty nifty feature. You can now “window” your video you are watching and keep the action going while you answer a text or browse on the web. It would have been nice to see this feature used for video calling instead.
Best Photo – Although htc has this feature on their One X already… Samsung is listing this as well. You can take an 8-burst photo set (very quickly) and then select which one you wish to keep.
My Thoughts about the Galaxy S3
Again – although I don’t have a device to play with personally I can give you my opinion about the device and its features. Overall I think the device is going to be a big hit with both the “geek” crowd, and those who already love Samsung. From a hardware standpoint the device is going to be sweet!
But with the good I can see some of the bad as well:
The 4.7″ screen size isn’t going to be for everyone. Those with small hands will find the phone to be pretty uncomfortable. That and you will end up needing both hands to use the device. Like I mentioned before I have a phone with the same size screen and width and even with my gorilla sized monster hands I sometimes feel the size is uncomfortable.
Ok, you’ve read through the list of software features Samsung is tossing into the device. And I think they are pretty innovative. But how many of them do you think you will REALLY use on a day to day basis? For me the only two features I liked were the Smart Stay and the Direct Call features.
The rest I could take it or leave them. And although they were touted as “ground breaking” – they just seem to me as being “meh”.
Now don’t get me wrong I am a HUGE Samsung fan. I had a Samsung Captivate that I held onto forever (in terms of phone life cycles anyways). And I wanted to get another Samsung. But the Galaxy Note was too big, and the Galaxy SII was getting too old lol.
So of course the question is going to be:
Is this Going to be an Apple iPhone Killer? Uh…
Seriously? No, it won’t be an “Apple Killer”. Why? Well, because even with all of the bells and whistles, gee gaws, giant screen size, and everything else Samsung has jammed into their new flagship device. Its still missing one thing:
It’s not an Apple.
Apple’s brand has the unique ability to keep its consumer base happy time and time again. But it will be interesting as I don’t see any iPhone 5 specs yet.
Check out the highlights video on the Samsung Galaxy S3 Debut in London on YouTube outlining the features of the new device.
Then check out the recent video put out by xda-developers to see a better “hands-on” look at the device. This phone is looking sweeter and sweeter! Note: It is very similar to the Galaxy Nexus in design.
Reviews from Around the Web
Its been a week or two since I wrote this article. Now the reviews are coming out in force for this device. Read the different reviews from around the web. All of them have been very positive – and pretty much reiterate what I thought about the device lol.
What do you think though? Will Samsung finally bring down the mighty Apple as #1 in the Smart Phone market? Or will Apple be able to skip the Samsung across the river and sink it with their upcoming iPhone 5?
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