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2 years ago

Galaxy S III 'Pop-up Play' picture-in-picture demonstration

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Samsung showed off a host of new features on the new Galaxy S III today, but one of the most eye-catching was the “Pop-up Play” capability, which brings picture-in-picture video viewing to the device. Activated from within the native Gallery app, Pop-up Play creates a smaller, draggable window that hovers on top of other apps, which sits there playing your video of choice. And in the background, you’re free to run whichever apps you please.

Sure, we’ve seen kind of thing implemented by the rooting and hacking community before, but this is Samsung is the first manufacturer to offer this picture-in-picture viewing out of the box. And combined with the Galaxy S III’s wealth of supported codecs, we’re sure this feature will be of use to many an S III owner in the months ahead.

Check our hands-on video above, and be sure to read the rest of our Galaxy S III coverage for even more info on Samsung’s new flagship smartphone.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III versus the HTC One X!

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You're going to make me choose, aren't you. You're going to make be choose between the HTC One X and the new Samsung Galaxy S III. Fine. I'm a big boy. I can do that.

The One X has the better display. Maybe it's the slightly higher pixel density, thanks to the slightly smaller display (4.7 inches compared to the GSIII's 4.8 inches). Or maybe it's just that I prefer Super LCD2 to Super AMOLED HD. Regardless, I choose the One X on that spec. 

I'm going to take a pass on processor and chipset for the moment. That's something that's better tested in the real world and not after a few hours of demos. But chances are we're going to see pretty good battery times on the Galaxy S III, due in part to it having a greater capacity (2100 mAh) compared to the One X (1800mAh).

I'm not crazy about the physical home button on the GSIII, but if history repeats, U.S. carriers might well opt to get rid of it when the phone hits the states. (On the other hand, it's nice to have a menu button, and multitasking by holding the home button is intuitive enough.)

If you've listened to our Galaxy S III podcast, you know that I'm not crazy about the latest version of Touchwiz. As far as home screens and the launcher go, they're functional, but they're more of the same. But Samsung's camera app, and the S Voice and motion tweaks are pretty killer. We'll call that one a wash, perhaps, because a third-party launcher will cure some what Touchwiz ails. At the end of the day, though, it doesn't feel like you're using an Ice Cream Sandwich device like it does on One X.

When it comes down to that "feels good in the hand" factor, though, the Galaxy S III wins out. It's more curvy than the One X, and it's a full 0.3 millimeters thinner. It's 3 grams heavier, though, but it's nicely balanced and doesn't feel overly hefty.

So which one would I choose? Which of my children do I prefer more than another? 

Gonna sleep on it. In the meantime, enjoy the hands-on video after the break.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III heading to the US in June

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We know that heading into tonight's Samsung Galaxy S III launch event, one of the big questions you guys had surrounded any US availability. We got a couple of answers that should tide you over. 

Yes, there is a 4G LTE version of the Galaxy S III, and yes the phone will be coming to the US. As this slide from the keynote shows us, we're expecting the first signs of the new Samsung flagship in the US in June. What we still don't know at this point, is whether or not this will be the launch, or the availability of the device.

For now, we'll just have to wait until the US carriers start to announce the device, but worry-ye-not American Samsung fans. This time around there won't be that long wait that came for the Galaxy S II.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III international availability

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Update: Carphone Warehouse is now offering a pre-order price for the Galaxy S III, at £499.95 -- about the going rate for a high-end smartphone in the UK.

We're just back from Samsung's Galaxy S III unveiling at the 2012 Unpacked event in London, where it's been announced that the phone will go on sale in Europe from May 29. Following the S III's public debut the usual host of carriers and retailers have announced that they'll be stocking the device.

We already knew that O2 UK and Vodafone UK would be getting Samsung's new flagship smartphone, but we can add Three and Orange to that list, as both have today confirmed that they'll range the S III. And Vodafone says it'll exclusively offer the 32GB version in the UK for the first month of its availability. And we've had confirmation from Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse that they'll stock the Galaxy S III, too.

Elsewhere, Samsung will revealed a world tour event that'll take place in several cities around the world. Venues will include Moscow, Beijing, Zurich, Dubai, Seoul, Delhi, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, New York and an unannounced location in  South-East Asia.

Stay tuned for the first details on U.S. availability.

Source: Three Blog, Orange Blog, Carphone Warehouse

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 official images

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Want official renders of Samsung's new baby, the Galaxy S III (S3)? We've got you covered. Check out renders of the white and blue versions in all their shiny, curvaceous glory after the break.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 versus Samsung Galaxy Nexus!

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You didn't think we'd come all the way to London to see the Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) and not put it up against the Galaxy Nexus, did you? Physically, you can see some differences, of course. The SGSIII is a little more sleek, a little less angular. The glossy finish (especially the Pebble Blue color) is easier on the eyes, certainly less industrial feeling than the GNex, especially when you trade the textured battery cover in for a smooth surface.

The displays are fairly close in size, at 4.65 inches for the Galaxy Nexus, while the Galaxy S3 is a full 4.8 inches diagonally. But in terms of display quality, we're going for the GSIII, which a the very least seems to have fewer issues with whites than its older cousin.

Under the hood, we're also going to pin a winner on the Galaxy S III. The Nexus is fast, to be sure, but something appears to have been put into overdrive on the SGSIII, even with Touchwiz and livewallpapers a'blazin.

We'd have no problem trading in Touchwiz for stock Ice Cream Sandwich, but maybe not all of it. The GNex camera app is spartan at best. Samsung's custom motion tweaks are a fun addition (for example: When you're looking at a friend's contact info, you can simply raise the phone to your ear to place a call), and S Voice is a competent interactive companion. (OK, OK. A Siri "competitor.")

Build quality on the SGSIII certainly is as good as on the GNex, if not better. It's a solid-feeling phone, though it does tend to feel a little more like a hunk of plastic, whereas the GNex has hints of rubber.

Our one turn-off in comparing the two phones is that for while we're not necessarily against improving on the Ice Cream Sandwich user interface, Touchwiz doesn't necessarily do so. The app drawer is decent enough and mostly stick with the ICS paradigm. But the Touchwiz widgets don't look anymore sophisticated than they did a year ago. And considering how far Android itself has come since then, it's perhaps time for something new.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III available in Europe May 29

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SO you've seen all the hoopla about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III, and decided you have to get one in your hands. We don't blame you one bit. The question now is when can we expect to see it on the shelves? If you're in Europe, Samsung will be unleashing the beast on May 29 across various markets. No word on what it will cost you, but how do you put a price on something this beautiful?

If you're stateside, you'll have to wait until "this summer" for the HSPA+ and LTE versions to hit. We'll wait with ya, and there's always the forums to keep you company.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III camera app hands-on

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Samsung has had some pretty good cameras in its phones for some time now, and the Galaxy S III is no exception. The SGSIII finds itself with an 8-megapixel rear shooter, and a 1.9-megapixel camera round front. Sammy's mantra as far as the camera goes is that it wants you to "never miss a picture-perfect moment."

The camera app remains impressive. The shutter snaps as soon as you touch the screen (some people prefer that, others prefer it to trigger on release), and there's virtually no lag between touch and picture. You've got some pretty standard options -- panorama mode, macro, etc. -- and HDR imaging (that's the one where pictures of differing resolutions are combined for a more dynamic look) is now built in as well.

A feature Samsung's particularly proud of is burst mode, which will capture up to 20 images in a single take by holding down the shutter button. (You do have to first enable burst mode in the settings.)

Facial recognition is another high point, as Samsung's making a big deal out of being able to identify your friends faces, tag photos, group them, and share them. In demos it's seemed to work well enough. We'll reserve ful judgment for when we get to use it in the real world.

Shooting video works as expected, and Samsung's also got the ability to snap still images while recording motion at 1080p. (Unlike HTC's video playback, however, you can't take still images while reviewing a video.)

All in all, though, a pretty solid performance by the Samsung Galaxy S III in the optical department.

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2 years ago

Android Central 95: The Samsung Galaxy S III

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Audio-only stream below

We're live in London from the Samsung Galaxy S III event, and we've got your complete lowdown on Samsung's newest flagship phone. Join Phil and Alex for all the inside info in this week's special podcast! (Note: No video this week, but you get it and all the sexy SGSIII info a little early. Huzzah!)

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2 years ago

Samsung officially announces the Galaxy S III

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After all the rumors, leaks and hype, we finally get to lay eyes on the Samsung Galaxy S III -- the unicorn of the Android world. It's impressive to say the least, big, beautiful, and built with natural curves to set it apart from the pack. We're even digging the fact that it isn't just your basic black. It's safe to say Samsung has went all out to bring us the best they have to offer.

There's a lot of new technology packed in there as well. Natural Interactions recognize your voice, and your face, and new motion gestures make it something new and different. We love new and different. 

Regarding U.S. availability, Samsung's official statement:

Samsung Mobile is planning a U.S. version of Galaxy S III, optimized for the fastest LTE and HSPA+ networks in the U.S., which will be available in the summer of 2012.  Exact timing and retail channel availability is not being announced at this time. We believe the Galaxy S III is the most anticipated product in the 20-year history of Samsung Mobile; therefore, we will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Hit the break to see the full press release.

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