The excitement surrounding the launch of Samsung’s latest flagship Android smartphone yesterday was almost at Apple levels, not surprising given that Samsung are outselling everyone in the phone area at the moment. But what’s new in the follow up to the Galaxy S2, unsurprisingly titled the Galaxy S3 and not the “New Galaxy”?
The tech specs that have been rumoured for the past couple of months were pretty much on the money, but here’s a full brakdown:
Body & Dimensions
At 71 x 137 x 8.6mm and weighing just 133g, the S3 may be relatively big compared to an iPhone 4S, but it will fit in your pocket no problem and is light to hold. The downside of keeping that weight so low is that Samsung have made the casing out of “brushed plastic”, which whilst fine in reality – it does mean the phone can feel a little cheap in the hand (and we were all hoping for either a ceramic or aluminium case to be honest).
The 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED display is just stunning with its 720×1280 resolution. The pixel depth is up there on a comparison with Apples’s Retina Display, but with the larger screen it just blows most the competition out of the water.
Processor / CPU / GPU
Running the show is the brand new Samsung 1.4GHz Exynos 4 Quad-core CPU which is about as powerful as smartphone processors have got so far. Admittedly only very few apps make use of all four cores at the moment, but that will be changing soon as more and more smartphones start integrating quad-core chips. With regards to straight power, GPU power, and browsing benchmarks – Anandtech‘s tests are showing that the S3 beats everything else out there by a good margin including the iPhone 4S – by up to a third in some tests. This thing is powerful.
The S3 comes with a full 1GB of RAM, putting it up there with the HTC One X at the top of the charts.
The S3 comes in a variety of flavours with storage options of either 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB – and then there is aMicroSD slot as welland a microSD card slot offering a further 32GB of storage for little additional cost. S3 users also get 50GB of free cloud storage from DropBox meaning that users should have plenty of space for storing and backing-up all their media in the cloud.
Everyone should know that once you get over about 8MP, more megapixels does not necessarily means better photos along with the bigger file size. Samsung has opted for an 8MP camera in the S3 with a flash and zero shutter lag providing high quality photos up there with the best of them. The front camera is 1.9MP which is about perfect for video calls.
Samsung have notably increased the capacity of the battery in comparison with the S2, upping it 2100mAh – which should provide plenty of juice to power those extra CPU-cores and pixels. And it’s removable.
As you’d expect from a modern smartphone, it should work on almost any phone network from 2G to 4G including: 2.5G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) 850/900/1800/1900MHz; 3G (HSPA+ 21Mbps) 850/900/1900/2100MHz; and certain 4G. It also has Wi-Fi a/b/g/n support, as well as Wi-Fi HT40, Bluetooth 4.0, near-field communications (NFC), digital living network alliance (DLNA), and of course GPS.
It’s running the latest version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.04) with Samsung’s own TouchWiz overlay.
On top of Android with its vast and ever improving selection of apps available from Google Play, the S3 comes with S Beam, Buddy Photo Share, Share Shot, AllShare Play, AllShare Cast, Smart Stay, Social Tag, Group Tag, Face Zoom, Face Slide Show, Direct Call, Smart Alert, Tap To Top, Camera Quick Access, Pop Up Play, and S Voice.