Samsung is positioning its third-generation Galaxy S Android smartphone as a “personal assistant” that “recognizes your voice and understands your intentions.”
The Galaxy S III, launched to the accompaniment of the London Metropolitan Orchestra here, will arrive in the U.S. this summer for activation on “the fastest LTE and HSPA+ networks,” a spokesperson said. It will be displayed at CTIA Wireless 2012 in New Orleans, and it rolls out in Europe this month.
The phone, with a large 4.8-inch 16:9 Super AMOLED HD touchscreen, provides “a more convenient and natural” user experience by detecting a user’s face, voice and motions, the company said. The Smart Stay feature, for example, maintains screen brightness when someone is browsing the web or reading an e-book by using the front-facing camera to track the user’s eyes.
Samsung said the Direct Call feature lets a person view a text message, then automatically dial the sender’s phone number when the phone is moved to the user’s ear. The Smart Alert feature remembers missed messages or calls, then vibrates the phone when it is picked up to notify the user of the missed communications.
The phone also boasts what Samsung calls S Voice, or a “natural language user interface,” enabling the phone to respond to voice commands to initiate such functions as information search, song playback, volume changes, sending text messages and emails, organizing schedules and launching the camera to capture a photo. Users can also say “snooze” to snooze the phone’s alarm when they wake up.
The phone also improves on Android’s Near Field Communications (NFC)- based Beam function, which lets users share web pages, apps and You- Tube videos by tapping phones together. To this, the S III adds NFC sharing of movie and music files and photos.
Another new user-interface feature is Pop Up Play, which eliminates the need to close and restart videos when checking emails, surfing the web or launching other applications. Videos will continue to play in a small window when, for example, the users reads a message and taps out a reply.
Other features said to address common frustrations with smartphones include an 8-megapixel rear camera with zero-lag shutter speed.
Compared to its S II predecessor, the S III will feature 4G LTE and will launch with Android 4.0, whereas its predecessor launched with Android 2.3, though a 4.0 upgrade for the S II has been announced.
Other advances over the S II include quad-core processor, faster app launching and web browsing, Wi-Fi Channel Bonding to double Wi-Fi bandwidth, and larger 1,280 by 720 4.8-inch 16:9 screen, compared with the 4.3 and 4.52-inch screens on the U.S. versions of the S II.
The features of the device also include WiFi Direct, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, HD video capture on the front 1.9-megapixel camera, burst shot function to capture 20 pictures in rapid succession, and best photo feature to select the best eight of the 20 pictures.
And functions include the following:
• AllShare Cast, which lets users wirelessly connect the phone to a TV to display smartphone content;
• AllShare Play,which lets users instantly share any type of files between GALAXY S III and a tablet, PC, and TV televisions; and
• AllShare Play Group Cast, which lets users share content among multiple devices at a time on the same Wi-Fi network.