Yesterday Samsung presented the new Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone in London. Samsung had been very secretive about the new phone, and speculations on the internet were wild. Some of the rumors were true, while some were not. So will this be an iPhone contestor? I think so, for anyone who look at functionality, technology, etc. For anyone content with the iOS experience and being locked into the Apple eco-system, I am sure the next iPhone will be the given choice.
The predecessor, Galaxy S2, have been a big success for the company who recently took the title of biggest phone manufacturer in the world. Early reviews of the S3 have been mainly positive. The main complain is the plastic case, which makes the phone seem cheaper. There were rumors about aluminum or ceramic cases, but that did not end up being the case (pun intended).
The phone got impressive specifications, with a huge 4.8" screen (720×1280 pixel), quad-code Exynos 4 processor (at least for the European/international 3G model, the US 4G LTE model is rumored to get a dual code Snapdragon S4 instead), 1GB RAM, up to 64GB internal storage and expandable up to 64GB more though SD card. The camera is alos a little bit of a disappointment, instead of the rumored 12MP it ended up being 8MP, but with some nice functionality like burst mode and automatic selection of the best picture. The battery has a 2100mAh capacity, better than the S2 but with the faster and more power hungry processor, it will be interesting to see real numbers on how long the phone actually lasts.
NFC (near field communication) and proximity sensors are other interesting features. The proximity sensor allows the phone to detect that it is lifted to the user's ear, and if a text message is curently being viewed, the phone understand that the user want to dial the person and dial automatically. There is also voice control, similar to Apple's Siri, and the front camera use eye tracking to detect when a user is looking at the screen. That means that if you are reading a long text, you don't have to touch teh screen every 20 seconds to keep it from dimming/turning off, the phone know you are looking at it and keep it on until you look away.
The phone supports a number of formats for audio and video, including MP3, AAC, Flac, OGG, Divx, WMV, etc. It also supports full 1080p recording and playback thorugh an external HDMI-adapter. Another interesting option is a wireless charging station.
Availability: In Europe on May 27 and in the US "this summer", with a end-of-June date hinted at. Price has not been released, but it is expected to be $299 on a 2-year contract with US carriers, and $700 without contract.
It will be interesting to see how it compare to an upcoming iPhone 5, rumored to be released after the summer. Currently the Galaxy S3 looks like the phone to get, especially if you want an Android based phone.