Samsung is all set to launch the much-awaited Galaxy S III in India today. The Galaxy S III takes on the mantle of Samsung’s flagship smartphone from the Galaxy S II with an incremental hardware bump and numerous software feature additions. The Galaxy S III is expected to be priced at Rs 39,900, though we are yet to hear the official price from Samsung. In the meanwhile, read on for my first impressions. Also Read - Why you should wait for a week to buy the Samsung Galaxy S III
[nggallery id=156] Also Read - Samsung Galaxy S III in Marble White to be available on May 31, Pebble Blue in second week of June in India
The Galaxy S III is the first smartphone to use Samsung’s Exynos quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz and a 4.8-inch 1280×720 pixel HD Super AMOLED display. Other specs include 1GB of RAM, 8-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front cameras, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC and a massive 2,100 mAh battery. Impressive. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy S III likely to hit retail shelves in India on June 8, priced at Rs 39,990
The specs might be just an incremental upgrade but the real magic lies in all the software work that Samsung has done on top of Android ICS 4.0. One of the most unique features would be what Samsung is calling the eye tracker, which utilizes the front camera to detect whether the user is looking at the phone or not. This feature would come in handy especially while reading considering all phones usually turn off the display once the preset time elapses.
Samsung also has an Apple Siri like voice assistant called S-Voice. One can set the phone to keep listening for voice commands and activate S-Voice without touching the phone by speaking out one of the four pre-defined voice commands – “Hi Galaxy” being one of them.
There are many other software touches like a feature that recognizes people in a photograph that are already present on the user’s social networking profiles and gives the user the option to mail the photographs directly to them. And then comes the camera itself, which does face zoom, burst mode and smart shot selector, most of which are present on the HTC One X too.
One feature that I’d probably end up using the most would be the smart dialer that lets users call someone while replying to one of their texts by lifting the phone and holding it against the ear.
The one area where the Galaxy S III doesn’t impress is the design and its continued use of plastic. Samsung might market it as a premium finish but it remains plastic and feels like plastic too. Yes, the Galaxy S III is light weight but it also feels hollow at the same time.
The Galaxy S III will compete with the HTC One X, both of which boast similar specs and would be priced close to each other. Choosing between the two is going to be very difficult. While the One X scores higher on design and looks, the Galaxy S III has a slight edge when it comes to the brand strength, battery and some of the software tweaks.
Stay tuned for our complete coverage of the Galaxy S III launch all day today.