Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone unveiled
Samsung has unveiled its latest flagship smartphone – the Galaxy S3. The handset has a 4.8 inch (12.2cm) screen, an increase on the 4.3 inch screen of its predecessor. The device is perceived to be critical to how people view both Samsung’s brand and the Android system it runs.
Analysts say the popularity of the previous Galaxy – the S2 – was a major factor in the firm overtaking Nokia to become the world’s best-selling mobile phone maker.
Samsung said that the new Super Amoled (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display was 22% larger than its predecessor, but the actual device was not much wider since it had shrunk the size of the bezel. The development allows Samsung to boast it has a slightly larger screen than the 4.7 inch dimensions of the HTC One X, the top of the range model from its Taiwanese rival.
It is also significantly bigger than the 3.5 inch display of Apple’s iPhone 4S and the 4.3 inch screen of Nokia’s Lumia 900. Samsung may have been influenced by the popularity of its phone/tablet hybrid, the Galaxy Note, which has an even bigger screen and has proved to be more popular than many industry watchers had forecast.
Other features on the S3 include an 8 megapixel camera on the rear, and a 1.9 megapixel front camera for video calls. The phone also uses what is described as a “natural language user interface” dubbed S Voice. The South Korean company said it was a major improvement on the voice control features it included on earlier models. The facility can be used to command the phone to play songs, adjust the volume, send texts or emails and take photographs.
The function is likely to be compared to Apple’s Siri software. The S3 will be available in two colours, pebble blue and marble white, and the firm says that other options will be available at a later date. Not everyone at the launch was convinced by the design.
The new handsets will be available from the end of May in Europe. Launches in Asia, the Middle East and Africa will follow. A 4G version will go on sale in the US and South Korea in the summer.