As expected, Samsung has officially announced the next flagship version of its flagship Galaxy S series Android smartphone in the Galaxy S III. The Galaxy S III takes the negatives found in the previous model and attempts to rectify them while adding new upgrades to existing software. The phone as configured for multiple markets outside of the US features 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display at 1280×720, 8.0 megapixel camera with Zero Shutter Lag, Burst Shot and Best Photo, 2.0 megapixel front camera, and built-in NFC support.
It runs Android 4.0 with a new version of Samsung TouchWiz that reduces the customization level found in previous versions, while adding new “smart” features, such as using the front camera to keep the screen lit as long as the user is actually looking at the phone or actively using the microphone to recognize select commands without user interaction and includes automatic facial recognition for various functions, such as photo grouping, contacts and sharing.
Samsung’s biggest non-hardware feature for the Galaxy S III is its natural language recognition engine that it calls “S Voice” which allows for more natural command input for voice command and control. On top of the new functionality, more features have been added such as an active EQ and volume boost for voice calls.
The phone features a glass front with gently rounded edges and a coated polycarbonate back plate which Samsung CEO JK Shin likened to a pebble being molded by water. The international version features a new quad-core version of Samsung’s Exynos processor and will be available in two colors (Whte and three sizes of internal memory: 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB with support for SDXC memory cards up to 64 GB in size for up to 128 GB in total storage. The phone also features the first implementation of Wi-Fi channel bonding to increase throughput for large file transfers and multimedia streaming.
The release pattern for the phone will consist of a European, Asian and Middle Eastern launch of the announced device beginning at the end of this month, while the 4G LTE versions for Japan, Korea and North America will be released sometime later this Summer with no specific dates confirmed. All of the major US carriers have yet to make their own announcements regarding the Galaxy S III and are expected later today.