Samsung Galaxy S III feature round up [update: videos]

Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy S III in India for Rs 43,180. With the Galaxy S III, Samsung has not only upped the ante with the hardware specs, but also has introduced a number of new software innovations like S-Voice, Pop-Up play, Smart Stay and a number of camera innovations. We went hands-on with all these features, read on to find out more.


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S-Voice

One of biggest headlining features of the Galaxy S III is its S-Voice voice recognition software. It has the ability recognize natural language in a number of accents including Indian accents.  With this feature one can ask the device to activate a number of applications on the device itself and also ask general knowledge questions such as the weather, time or other philosophical questions like the meaning of life.

Now lets get rid of the big elephant in the room first and by that I mean Siri on the iPhone 4S. In comparison to Siri, S-Voice is perhaps not as engaging as Siri. Both services offer hit or miss results and so, it is not a matter of which one is better but rather how much effort one is willing to put in to get the right answer. Both services are powered by Wolfram Alpha. A couple of places where S-Voice definitely scores over Siri is the ability to start apps like the camera and the music player as well as the ability to select ‘Indian English’ as the input language, which Samsung claims will be more proficient in understanding Indian accents.

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Pop up Play

Samsung has made a big deal of the Pop up play picture in picture feature on the Galaxy S III. Indeed, it is a very impressive way of showcasing the capabilities of the quad core exynos processor on the S III, but its utility in the real world, especially on a phone is questionable as we rarely demand such levels of multitasking of a phone. Perhaps this could come in handy on a tablet, but on a screen as big as 4.8-inches, I don’t see a lot of use. Another problem with this feature is that it is currently restricted to videos on the device and one cannot use the feature for video streamed on the Internet.

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Smart Stay

When the Galaxy S III rumor mill machine started churning out the leaks, an eye tracking feature was rumored but it was dismissed by most pundits. It so happens that the Galaxy S III has Smart Stay, which basically tracks the user via the front facing camera and accordingly it turns the display on and off. This is immensely handy for someone like me who reads a lot on the go, and more often than not while reading large articles the display goes off. This feature will definitely appeal to people who read a lot on their smartphones, but the rest will not care much for this novelty.

Camera Innovations

HTC made a big deal of the camera innovations on the One Series back at MWC and Samsung has more or less matched that on the S III, and gone a bit further. The 8-megapixel camera on the S III, is crazy fast with zero shutter lag. In the burst mode, we can shoot 20 images in literally no time. While HTC offers twin shutters for Videos and Stills by default, on the S III one has to start video camera to see another shutter button pop up for simultaneous stills and video. This is one area where the One X has the leg up over the S III, but the S III has more to offer in terms of social photo sharing. Features like ‘Best Photo’ and ‘Buddy Share’ epitomize the social sharing abilities of the S III. With ‘Best Photo’ the Galaxy S III picks out the best photo from a burst shot and with Buddy Share one can have the Galaxy S III automatically tag your friends as the device can decipher faces from your contact list. On the whole, the camera innovations on the Galaxy S III seem to be pretty immersive, at least on paper, we will have more on this once we review the device.

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Photo/Video Credits: Rohit Sharma



  • Sumeet

    har baat me.. “pretty impressed with it”

    Are you seeing a smart phone for the first time in life?!