By Jason Venter | 05-4-2012 4:00PM
Samsung has announced its new Galaxy S III smartphone. The announcement took place yesterday in London and revealed a slew of technical information along with welcome specifics about when you can expect to find it in stores. The phone is set to arrive in Europe on May 29th, with a 32GB model that will remain a Vodafone exclusive for one month. 4G versions of the phone will arrive in the US starting in June.
The new phone will feature a 4.8-inch Pen Tile Super AMOLED display capable of 720P resolution, as well as two cameras (an 8-megapixel primary and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera with 990ms start-up time, 3.3FPS burst mode and best-shot selection). 16GB and 32GB versions will be available initially, with a 64GB one planned for later. The units also will include microSD expansion slots, Bluetooth 4.0 support, GPS with GLONASS, a 2100mAh battery, and 40MHz 802.11n wi-fi.
As far as processing power is concerned, the Galaxy S III looks like it may follow the path tread by its predecessor; the global device will feature the Exynos 4 Quad, but Samsung may offer regional options with alternatives for those who want them.
Unfortunately, all of that power comes at a cost. The Galaxy S III measures 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm, which means it’s a whole 1mm thicker than the sleek Galaxy S II. You’ll have to set aside more space in your purse or pocket, and the differing size means—as always—that certain accessories you purchased for a previous model may now be obsolete as you step forward and into the future.
While the hardware doesn’t necessarily sound like a huge boost compared to a device like the Galaxy Nexus, Samsung is hoping that its software improvements will inspire investment. Voice controls will be possible with S Voice, a system that will allow you to issue voice commands to perform actions such as putting your alarm on snooze. S Beam will enable large files to be transferred quickly between phones. Pop up play will let you watch videos on your screen while you continue to use other apps like email, which is exactly the sort of functionality that has turned smartphones into such excellent productivity devices. Along similar lines, a “Group Cast” feature allows people on the same network to view the same screen and leave annotations, an invaluable tool for collaborative efforts on the go.
With marginally-improved hardware but a number of software advancements that could easily become a vital component of your daily smartphone use, the Galaxy S III smartphone is shaping up to be another welcome evolution in the smartphone sector. This June may be a good time to start shopping for that replacement you’ve had in mind for awhile now.