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6/19/2012
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Samsung Galaxy S III Visual Tour: Android Superphone

Samsung's Galaxy S III looks more elegant and thin than the company's previous smartphones, with an even larger display. It is a fantastic media consumption unit.




The Android superphone race is on. Samsung and HTC have been in a fierce smartphone duel, showcasing raw horsepower (on that, they're even), beautiful design and very large, high-resolution displays (of the 4.7- and 4.8-inch variety), all in phenomenally compact, thin, light packaging. Samsung's latest offering, the company's flagship Galaxy S III, has been available for pre-order from all the major carriers, and started shipping from some of them on June 21.

The Galaxy S III takes off where the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S II left off--it is even more elegant and thin, with an even larger display. It is a fantastic media consumption unit. Although it isn't equipped with the newest quad-core processors, it's plenty fast.

It is also packed with features. On top of the standard fare in the latest version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich), it also includes more ways to connect and transfer data between phones and other devices (from Android Beam to Samsung's S Beam to Wi-Fi Direct), not to mention file and media sharing apps like AllShare and Group Cast.

The Galaxy S III camera is also among the top cameras in smartphones, with its macro shooting, light settings, smile capture, burst mode, and a dizzying array of other features.

This phone is smart about using its accelerometer--there are a host of motion control options that make the phone more fun and easier to use.

Seems like Samsung has a little Siri envy. S Voice lets you give voice commands to your phone, in addition to providing speech-to-text dictation capabilities. By enabling voice commands in the settings menu, I was able to tell the Galaxy S III to set an alarm, reject calls, play and pause music (and skip songs), turn on Wi-Fi, and even provide status updates on social networks. I took pictures using a voice command. As with so many of these systems, the quality of the speech to text translation wasn't perfect, but it was decent enough (one of my Tweets didn't make much sense and I didn't catch the error--embarrassing). You need a network connection for S Voice to work.

The list of features goes on--call rejection notices, pop up video player, Tec Tiles (NFC enabled stickers), and many other Galaxy S III peripherals. Dig into our visual tour to see and learn more.


The Samsung Galaxy S III has a 4.8 inch Super AMOLED display (1280 x 720), an 8-MP rear-facing camera (1.9-MP front facing) that shoots HD video, weighs 133 grams, and is 8.6-mm thin. It is powered by a dual core Qualcomm S4 processor running at 1.5 GHz. It runs on HSPA+ and LTE networks across five carriers--Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular. Its MHL port supports HDMI and microUSB. It comes with either 16 GB and 32 GB, and a microSD slot that can take 64 GB more storage.

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Android's Ice Cream Sandwich uses NFC to let phones "Beam" content, but the Galaxy S III has S-Beam, which uses NFC to connect and Wi-Fi Direct to transmit data. In other words, there are numerous options with which to share data between users of these smartphones.

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The Galaxy S III includes several physical ways to share data between devices. These include NFC using Android Beam (a standard capability in Android), S-Beam (Samsung's augmentation of Beam), and Wi-Fi Direct (the Wi-Fi standard that allows enabled devices to share content peer to peer). All of this is easily set up in the phone's Wi-Fi settings.

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Samsung's Groupcast feature lets Galaxy S III users share content in real time. Most apps have Groupcast as a sharing feature--just select it from within an app (or a document), create a PIN, and other users can join in and see the content at the same time. The documents are stored in memory on the receiving devices.

Recommended Reading

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The Galaxy S III includes Samsung's video player, which can be put into pop up mode--that is, it can be minimized and then watched on top of other applications. Here, we're watching a video while playing around in the music app. Unfortunately this feature isn't available for other video apps, like Google's video player, or YouTube.

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Samsung makes fantastic use of the phone's accelerometer. These are a few of the motion features available. We also liked the ability to place the phone face down to mute a call or music. You can also mute music by placing your palm over the face of the phone.

Recommended Reading

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If you're on the phone when a call comes in (or just too busy or important to take a call), Samsung's Galaxy S III lets you choose from a set of pre-defined or custom messages so you can tell the caller why you aren't picking up.

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The Samsung Galaxy S III camera is fantastic. It includes a host of settings that let you pick the scene (indoors, sporting event, and so on), burst mode (takes 20 pictures in a burst), best mode (takes 8 pictures in a burst and selects the best one from the bunch), smile mode (waits until the subject smiles to snap the shot), Buddy Share (lets you tag your photos using your contact list), and much more.

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Tec Tiles are NFC stickers. Program them, put them in your car or other handy places. When you hold the phone up to the Tec Tile, those programmed actions magically take place--call a number, visit a website, turn on phone settings, toggle on Wi-Fi, and so on.

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This is the very simple, clean menu for the Tec Tiles app. It's where you program phone features for a Tec Tile. The selections and menus are very straightforward.

Recommended Reading

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Samsung TecTiles Automate Android Tasks Via NFC

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Samsung Galaxy S III U.S. Version Uses Qualcomm Snapdragon

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One of the Tec Tiles selections lets you program social and Web functionality, like Facebook or Foursquare check in, launch a website, or set a destination for Google Maps to navigate for you.

Recommended Reading

Samsung Galaxy S III: Hands-On Test Wows

Samsung CEO: Software Key To Device Wars

HTC: No Low-End Phones For Us

Samsung TecTiles Automate Android Tasks Via NFC

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Samsung Galaxy S III U.S. Version Uses Qualcomm Snapdragon

10 Ways To Get More From Android Devices

10 Essential Android Apps For SMBs

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress


The Samsung Galaxy S III includes the ability to give voice commands--to do everything from controlling applications (taking a picture, playing music, rejecting a call, setting an alarm), to finding information. Samsung's S Voice powers this capability.

Recommended Reading

Samsung Galaxy S III: Hands-On Test Wows

Samsung CEO: Software Key To Device Wars

HTC: No Low-End Phones For Us

Samsung TecTiles Automate Android Tasks Via NFC

Should Your Next Smartphone Be A Phablet?

Samsung Galaxy S III U.S. Version Uses Qualcomm Snapdragon

10 Ways To Get More From Android Devices

10 Essential Android Apps For SMBs

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress


S Voice lets you find information--for example, calling up the weather app to find out what the day's temperature will be like.

Recommended Reading

Samsung Galaxy S III: Hands-On Test Wows

Samsung CEO: Software Key To Device Wars

HTC: No Low-End Phones For Us

Samsung TecTiles Automate Android Tasks Via NFC

Should Your Next Smartphone Be A Phablet?

Samsung Galaxy S III U.S. Version Uses Qualcomm Snapdragon

10 Ways To Get More From Android Devices

10 Essential Android Apps For SMBs

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress


Samsung is announcing a host of peripherals for its Samsung Galaxy S III phone. Pictured here: The Universal Multimedia Desktop Dock ($49.99), which charges the phone and can be a station for external speakers; the HDTV Smart Adapter ($39.99); and a Protective Flip Cover ($39.99), available at Samsung.com beginning June 20.

Recommended Reading

Samsung Galaxy S III: Hands-On Test Wows

Samsung CEO: Software Key To Device Wars

HTC: No Low-End Phones For Us

Samsung TecTiles Automate Android Tasks Via NFC

Should Your Next Smartphone Be A Phablet?

Samsung Galaxy S III U.S. Version Uses Qualcomm Snapdragon

10 Ways To Get More From Android Devices

10 Essential Android Apps For SMBs

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

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