Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III hands-on: First look

GSMArena team, 3 May 2012.
Pages: 1234

Samsung Galaxy S III hands-on

The Samsung Galaxy S III has a curvy design, unlike its predecessor. The screen has grown to an impressive 4.8", but the thinner bezel partially makes up for that and the phone hasn't grown that much bigger. At 133g, it's pretty easy to carry, too.

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The Samsung Galaxy S III next to the Galaxy S II

The phone is a 0.1mm thicker than its predecessor, but there's no hump at the back, so the thickness is a lot more uniform. The Galaxy S III will launch in Pebble Blue (which is nearly black) and Marble White. It's made of glossy plastic created using a brand new manufacturing process that Samsung calls Hyperglaze.

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The Samsung Galaxy S III in Pebble Blue and Marble White

The screen is a whopping 4.8" big - topping even the HTC Titan II. Anyway, the resolution is 720p (as expected), but Super AMOLED screen uses a PenTile Matrix, as opposed to a conventional RGB one. Still, our first impressions of the Gorilla Glass 2-coverd display are extremely positive - it's even less reflective than that of the Samsung Galaxy S II and offers outstanding image quality.

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The 4.8" 720p Super AMOLED screen is gorgeous

When we popped open the back, we found a huge 2,100mAh battery accompanied by a microSD and a microSIM card slots (yep, no more regular SIM). The internal storage will come in three capacities - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.

The phone is powered by an Exynos chipset, featuring a 32nm 1.4GHz quad-core Cortex-A9 processor and 1GB of RAM. The software is Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich - no surprise here. It uses the latest TouchWiz software with a four column UI (not five) and no - there aren't on-screen buttons, Samsung decided to rely on hardware buttons once again.

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Samsung Galaxy S III runs the latest TouchWiz on top of Ice Cream Sandwich

There are several cool new usability features - most notably eye tracking and new voice commands. The eye tracking switches the display on and off, depending on whether the phone sees you looking at it (Samsung calls this Smart Stay). Samsung has also extended the voice command capabilities of the smartphone - the latest offering is called S Voice.

S Voice is obviously Samsung's answer to Siri. You activate it by saying "Hi Galaxy!". You can ask it about the weather, but you can also ask the phone to take a picture. Language support is its strongest weapon - besides English dialects, S Voice also understands Italian, German, French, Spanish and Korean.

The Galaxy S III also comes with a feature called Smart alert - when the phone detects that you have picked it up, it will vibrate if you have missed events.

The innovation doesn't stop here - Pop-up Play allows you to move the video player into a small floating window and continue watching while using another app.

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The Pop-up play lets you continue watching a video while doing something else

The Samsung Galaxy S III features an 8MP camera with burst shot mode, which lets you take 3.3 shots per second. The phone also tracks people's faces and can automatically pick the best one of the several photos taken in quick succession.

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The camera features burst mode and can automatically pick the best photo

Face zoom allows you to zoom in on peoples faces with a double tap. Face detection features continues - the software will automatically group photos, based on the people in the shot.

Much like the HTC One series, the Samsung Galaxy S III can take photos while recording 1080p video. The video camera has video stabilization, too.

The Samsung Galaxy S III has a notification LED to the left of the ear piece.

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The notification LED

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