Samsung is currently the number one Android handset maker in the world, with market researcher NPD recently reporting that one in every four smartphones sold in the U.S. bear the Samsung logo. So it comes as no surprise that the Galaxy S III has become one of the most highly anticipated phones of 2012, but does it live up to the hype?

Design

At its Mobile Unpacked event last week in London, Samsung stated that the Galaxy S III was a phone "inspired by nature." Translation - The Galaxy S3 ditches the hard square angles of its predecessors in favor of a more rounded design that shares more than a passing resemblance to the Galaxy Nexus. The case itself is being offered in "Pebble Blue" or "Marble White", and aims for a more organic feel, rather than the slab of glass designs we've seen on other smartphones such as the Droid series or the iPhone 4. The slight shift in design may also have something to do with keeping Apple's lawyers off its back this time round.

Display

One area Samsung has always excelled in is display quality, and the Galaxy S III is no different. Featuring a 4.8 inch AMOLED display with a pixel density of 309 ppi, this is easily one of the nicest Android displays out there. However, Samsung has decided to use a PenTile setup in the S III, which sees smaller subpixels sharing space onscreen with surrounding pixels to save energy. PenTile can lead to colors looking a bit over saturated and distorted, but we'd be surprised if Samsung would let its flagship device launch with a subpar screen.

Under the Hood

The Galaxy S III launches with specs that set the early pace for 2012.

Full specifications:

  • Processor: Exynos Quad Core 1.4 GHz
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Storage:16 GB expandable to 64GB (MicroSD slot included)
  • Display: 4.8-inch Super AMOLED
  • Battery: 2,100mAh
  • OS: Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Camera: 8 megapixel rear, 1.9 megapixel front

Software

This years Galaxy announcement was dominated by software. For starters, there's S Voice, a service that promises full control over your S III using only your voice, much like Apple's Siri. And like Apple's offering, S Voice requires a data connection as the processing is done in the cloud. There's also a new feature called Smart Stay, in which the S III uses its front facing camera to track the user's eye location, dimming the display when you look away to conserve power, and S Beam, which lets files be transferred between devices using NFC and Wifi Direct. The redesigned Touchwiz interface for the S III sees the signature dock bar at the bottom of the screen now holding five icons rather than four.

Wrap up

The Galaxy S III is an impressive device, with a screen that rivals that of Apple's retina display and is sure to win over those you see it first hand, and a CPU/GPU combo that allows it to tackle anything on the Google Play store without breaking a sweat. Set for release in the U.K on May 28th, and the rest of the world shortly after.

Source: Samsung, Samsung Tomorrow