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Samsung Galaxy S III specs review

Posted: , posted by Daniel P.

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Sensors and extras

Sensors are definitely put to good use throughout the "Natural Interaction" interface in the Galaxy S III. The new TouchWiz Nature UX is told by the proximity sensor that you’ve put the phone to your ear when reading or writing a message to somebody, and immediately calls them, without having to go through the hassle of searching or scrolling through the address book for that. That’s the Direct Call feature, and it works in the Contacts app too.

The front-facing camera now recognizes your eyes are looking at the phone’s screen, and prevents it from dimming or locking. Samsung introduced such eye-tracking feature in the ICS update for the Galaxy S II, requiring you to blink to use the Android 4.0 Face Unlock feature, thus preventing the picture-cheating phenomenon. In the Galaxy S III eye-tracking is taken to a whole new level, and called Smart Stay, but we are yet to test thoroughly how it works in the dark, for example.

This tracking also allows you to take a screenshot by just sweeping with the edge of your palm, as if scanning the page, another pretty cool feature. The palm can also pause music playback, again leveraging the motion sensing capabilities of the Galaxy S III.

S Voice uses the noise-canceling mics and natural language interpreter to allow easy interaction with the phone by voice, Siri-style, and gets us the ability to shout “Snooze” to the alarm and turn to the other side “just for 5 minutes”, for instance, and can also be used for dictation and web search.

Galaxy S III S Beam
The radios are taken good advantage of as well – we get S Beam, which leverages Wi-Fi Direct for faster exchange of files and media, beaming 1GB movie for three minutes, Samsung claims, without needing Internet signal. 

We also have DLNA leveraged - Samsung is using Wi-Fi Direct connectivity in AllShare now for a complete set of categories like AllShare Cast for video streaming, AllShare Play for file sharing, and Group Cast for sharing screens with multiple other devices on the same Wi-Fi network, pretty cool. 

The NFC chip will get a special treatment during the Olympics where the VISA-Samsung partnership will leverage mobile payments for the first time on a grand scale, while the whole world is watching.

Then we get to the accelerometer and gyro, which allow you to check for new messages/email or update news and weather by shaking the phone, and look for Bluetooth devices that way. Flipping the phone over will now turn off the ringer/alarm, but also cuts any media playback too. Tapping twice at the top gets you to the beginning of a list or website.

Finally, the touch sensor works in tandem with the accelerometer to get you straight into the camera interface when you hold a finger on the screen while turning the Galaxy S III in landscape mode. Take a look at some of the extras demoed in our slideshow below:

Call some of the above extras that come with the Galaxy S III gimmicks or not, but most of them are unique to the phone, and it’s their aggregate usefulness that makes the handset stand out.


Granted, the Galaxy S III design is bland compared to what we expected, but it delivers on every other spec front, save for maybe the screen matrix tech and the ARM Cortex generation, again compared to our collective wishful thinking. PenTile vs RGB and dual- vs quad-core or Cortex A9 vs A15 are such abstract notions for the average user, though, and affect so little of their everyday experience with the phone, that we should probably put the geeky concerns to sleep already. 

Samsung now has Apple-level mojo in the Android world for customers, so no wonder its flagship is not a year ahead of its times in specs, as we tech bloggers wished and clamored for, it doesn’t need to do that. After all it is still going to be a “wow” for newcomers, and a huge jump for those upgrading from a Galaxy S, whose contract is about to expire.

As for the looks and shape, Samsung could have indeed done something more, yet we all know that just like with a new girlfriend, in a few weeks/months you’ll stop noticing or parading the design of a new phone as much, but will have to live with the character and whether you fit for quite longer. In that line of thought, the Samsung Galaxy S III top-shelf specs are coupled with unique abilities and expandable storage plus removable battery, not to mention that the ROM modding gang will soon be all over it like flies on maple syrup, so it sounds like a keeper. We’ll let you know for sure in our upcoming (p)review.


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