First look : Samsung Galaxy S III

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The Samsung GALAXY S III features a large 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display, an 8MP camera and a 1.9MP front camera, and runs Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.

Video review

Specs

The 4.8-inch display is a Super AMOLED panel with 720 x 1280 (306ppi) resolution, and inserted just above that display? Why, it’s a 1.9MP forward-facing camera which shoots 720p video. Over on the Galaxy S III’s backside, it’s got a simple 8MP camera that can shoot 1080p video. But don’t let that lowly sensor number put you off – Samsung’s got a few camera tricks in store this time, which I’ll touch on in a minute.

Running on one of Samsung’s beastly new 1.4GHz Exynos 4 Cortex-A9 quad-core chips, it comes with 1GB of RAM, and a choice of either 16, 32 or 64GB internal storage configurations (all of which also let you chuck a microSD card up to 64GB in, as well.)

In certain territories (the US, Japan and Korea), the S III will be available in LTE, but we’ll have to make do with HSPA+ here in the UK.

Seven sensors, including an accelerometer; RGB light; digital compass; proximity; gryoscope; NFC, and barometer have been shoved in too.

All of this in a body that weighs 133grams, measures 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm, and houses a 2100mAh battery; Samsung’s first smartphone with a battery that size.

New features :

- Smart Stay, which uses the forward-facing camera to determine if you’re looking at the phone. You can set time intervals from as little as 15 seconds, which result in a small flashing eye logo in the Android notification bar. If it recognises that your eyes aren’t focused on the phone anymore, the screen dims.

- Direct Call, which will auto-dial a contact if you have their contact details or a message open. By moving the phone to your ear, the proximity sensor; accelerometer and gyroscope all kick into use, and automatically dial the contact’s number.

- Smart Alert, which will make the phone vibrate in your hand and flash an LED if you pick the phone up after a missed call.

- S Voice, which is a Siri-like voice recognition feature, that you can use to enquire about the weather; take a photo (“Hi Galaxy, please take a photo” to open the camera app, or “cheese” to snap it), and other tasks such as locking the phone, or controlling music. Each demand can be configured by the user.

- Social Tag, which links photos of friends in your photo gallery to their Facebook or Google+ accounts, using facial recognition.

- S Beam, which pairs other Galaxy S III phones (and only them, for now) via NFC, shares photos, videos, files or even albums of media over Wi-Fi. If your friend’s S III doesn’t have Wi-Fi enabled, S Beam will automatically turn that user’s Wi-Fi on, and then off.

- AllShare Cast, which pairs to TVs, laptops or tablets over Wi-Fi, mirroring whatever’s on the S III. You can also use the S III as a game controller.

- PopUp Play, which will literally pop a video out of its player, rendering it in a small thumbnail so you can continue watching while surfing the web or doing other functions on the phone. The thumbnail is movable around the display, even if it’s pretty small.

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