The Samsung Galaxy S III is an Android phone that must live up to some serious hype. The specs certainly befit a flagship device, from a quad-core processor and massive 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen (though it's Pentile) to an 8-MP camera with superfast burst mode. But for this sequel, Samsung is focusing more on the overall user experience as opposed to just speeds and feeds. We're talking about a device that can read your eyes, understand your voice and automatically pick out your friend's face in a photo.
Will the Galaxy S III be the Android superphone to beat? Check out the top 15 features of this handset and decide for yourself.
S Voice Assistant
Look out, Siri, there's a new voice-activated personal assistant in town. Samsung says its new S Voice allows you to launch apps, check the weather, activate the phone's camera and take notes just like the iPhone 4S. S Voice can even be used to wake the Galaxy S III from sleep by simply saying, "Hi, Galaxy." Samsung says the feature will recognize a host of languages including English, French, German, Italian, Continental and Latin American Spanish and, of course, Korean.
Serious Quad-Core Power
The fact that the Galaxy S III sports a quad-core processor is no surprise. The company announced that the phone would be running on its newest 1.4-Ghz quad-core Exynos processor in late April. The chip is designed to soup up everything from 3D games to video editing. Samsung claims twice the processing capability of its predecessor along with 20 percent less power usage. Here's hoping this chip makes it in the U.S. version with LTE support.
Pop-up Play Keeps Your Videos On Screen
One of the most interesting features included with the Galaxy S III is Pop-up Play, which allows you to continue watching videos even if you navigate away from that video's webpage. It's basically a version of picture-in-picture for your smartphone, except you can drag the video box to any location on the screen.
Smart Stay Keeps Your Screen On While You Read
Samsung's new Smart Stay feature keeps the phone's display active while you are reading an eBook or website by using its front-facing camera to scan your eye movement. Smart Stay will keep the S III's screen from timing out, eliminating the need to touch the phone or re-enter a password.
Direct Call Lets You Switch from Text to Voice
The Galaxy S III's Direct Call feature is a simple but welcome feature that lets you switch between texting and talking to someone with a simple gesture. Instead of having to exit the messaging app and head for the dialer, Direct Call lets you lift the phone to your ear and immediately begin calling the person you were texting.
Smart Alert Keeps Track of Missed Messages
The Galaxy S III's Smart Alert helps you keep informed by letting you know whenever you have a missed call or message. Smart Alert works by vibrating whenever you wake the S III from sleep and have a missed call or message.
Speedy and Smart Camera
Samsung says its 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, can capture 1080p video, has zero shutting lag and takes less than 1 second to get ready to shoot another photo. A burst mode allows you to shoot 20 continuous photos, while the Best Photo feature shoots 8 consecutive shots and automatically chooses the best one. Up front, the Galaxy S III has a 1.9-megapixel shooter that's capable of capturing HD video. Like the HTC One X, you can snap photos while shooting video. The phone's Face Zoom feature allows you to zoom in on faces by double tapping the screen, while group tag will sort your photos into groups based on the people that appear in them.
Social Tag Helps You Tag Your Friends
Adding to the Galaxy S III's media functionality is its Social Tag feature. While viewing your photo gallery, the phone will automatically match a subject's face to the profile image used on social media websites to provide you with an overlay of their contact information, links to their pages and more.
S Beam Lets You Share by Tapping
An extension of Android Ice Cream Sandwich's Android Beam, S Beam combines NFC sharing with Wi-Fi Direct to make sharing data between phones faster. Samsung says that S Beam will allow you to transfer 1GB of video between phones in just three minutes and a 10MB music file in less than two seconds by simply tapping the devices together.
AllShare Cast Beams Video to Your TV
Using the Galaxy S III's AllShare Cast feature, you can wirelessly transfer content from the phone to your television or other display. Meanwhile, the phone's AllShare Play lets you instantly share files between your S III and any other web connected device. Group Cast, a sub-feature of AllShare Play, lets you share your Galaxy S III's display with multiple devices running on the same wireless network.
Buddy Photo Share Sends Pics to Friends
With the Buddy Photo Share function, you can tag friends in an image and then immediately share the photo with all of the tagged people.
It's no longer just a rumor. The Galaxy S III is getting an optional wireless charging station. You won't need to buy an annoying battery cover. Just drop the S III on top of the charging station and it'll start sucking up the juice.
Drive Link Connects to Your Car
The Galaxy S III's built-in Drive Link functionality takes advantage of the Mirror Link standard to send information from the smartphone to your vehicle's in-dash infotainment system.
Wi-Fi Channel Bonding Speeds Your Downloads
To help make surfing the web over your Wi-Fi connection, the Galaxy S III will come equipped with Wi-Fi Channel Bonding, a technology that combines two or more network antennas (within the phone) to double your connection speed.
50 GB of Dropbox
Like HTC, Samsung has announced that it will be providing Galaxy S III users with a free Dropbox subscription. According to Samsung, users who register their S III will get a massive 50GB of online storage for as long as two years, double HTC's 25 GB Dropbox allotment. Sounds like a sweet deal to us.