After months of keeping us on the edges of our seats, Samsung has finally given the Galaxy S III an official unveiling. The company took the wraps off of the next Galaxy handset at its Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012 event in London, UK at 7pm local time (2pm eastern time). So, were the rumors true? Read on to find out!
Specs for the Galaxy S III include a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED 1280 x 720 display; a quad-core Exynos processor; 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera on the back with a 1.9-megpixel affair up front (as opposed to the 1.3-megapixel lens that was rumored); Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top and new gesture functions to improve navigation; and HSPA+ support (Samsung is also working on an LTE model). The whole package will weigh in at 133g and measures just 8.6mm thick. Samsung says the device is supposed to mimic the 'warmth and beauty' of nature.
As far as software is concerned, Samsung's bundled in some nifty new features, including voice capture for photos (no more reaching around to try to stab the capture button on the touchscreen!), as well as Smart Stay, which keeps your phone active when you're using it using the front-facing camera to detect your face. S Beam is an expansion of Android Beam that uses WiFi and NFC to let you share photos and videos (Samsung mentions a 1GB clip being shared in three minutes and a 10MB music file skipping across to a buddy's phone in two seconds).
S Voice is Samsung's answer to Apple's Siri, and the company is describing it as an 'advanced natural language user interface' that listens and responds to your words. You can tell S Voice to 'snooze' if your alarm goes off and you're not quite ready to leave bed, you can use it to play your favorite songs, send texts, emails, organize your schedule or, like we mentioned, take photos.
There's also Direct Call, which automatically dials the contact on screen when you lift your phone to your ear (handy if you're texting someone and decide simply to call them instead), and Smart Alert, a feature that fills you in on all you missed (calls, messages, weather alerts, etc.,) while your phone has been in your pocket/out of your hands.
Samsung plans to launch this baby in 145 countries and is partnering with 296 mobile operators around the world to do so. The 3G-only model will launch in Europe at the end of this month, and the 4G model will launch in North America, Japan, and Korea during this summer. This is a big improvement on the Galaxy S II, which launched in May of last year in some countries, but didn't arrive in the U.S. until September. No word on pricing just yet, but we'll keep you posted.