Five awesome new features in the Samsung Galaxy S III
The Samsung Galaxy S III is here and it's not just about the hardware – this time Samsung got serious about adding new software features and a couple of nice tweaks to the overall experience. Five of them caught our attention for either bridging the gap with competition or coming up with totally new ideas. And when you think about it, it's the overall smoothness and functionality of a platform, not just the hardware guts that define it.
Of course, we've only scratched the surface with what we think is really some neat new features, but there's plenty of apps and functionality that we left out. PopUp Play for example allows you to play a video on top of what you're doing at all times, but we just don't see much real value in that, so we've skipped it. Others like S Health are welcome additions, but couldn't fit into the tight top five format, so make sure to let us know what's important for you in the comments below. Now, with no further ado, here's five areas where Samsung brought additional value and why that matters.
S Voice is clearly Samsung's answer to Siri, as the Korean company didn't wait for Google to come up with its own solution. With S Voice, Samsung checks one box where Apple could claim dominance and that's important for both users and the company. S Voice is a natural-language processing assistant that will set an alarm for you, search the web and do some other things to help you out. You may or may not use it, but we're glad it's there.
Samsung decided to go with an 8-megapixel camera in the SGS III, and not bump the megapixels, which we think is more of a good thing. After all, more pixels mean they'll be cramped and noise will get easier into the picture. What truly matters is performance and here's when Samsung takes a big step forward with zero shutter lag and the inclusion of burst mode shots where the camera snaps images at 3.3 frames per second.
With a recent trend of flagship devices going for non-removable batteries and non-expandable memory, the Galaxy S III is a breath of fresh air. Swapping batteries, and just replacing the battery when it dies is a breeze with the SGS III. Expandable memory with microSD cards makes you independent of the network and allows quick and easy drag and drop file transfers. Awesome!
The SGS III packs some wow factor by supporting wireless charging. You'd need to get a separate Wireless Charging Kit, but there's something irresistably futuristic about charging your device with no cords.
We still find it hard to judge whether Samsung's “natural interaction” UI additions are more of a gimmick or a real boost to functionality. We know, though, that having your smartphone track with its front camera whether you look at it or not, and shut the screen off if not, is plain cool. Direct Call is another such cool feature – just raise the phone to your ear while looking at a text and the phone will understand that you want to call the texter. Neat!