By Stephen Schenck | May 3, 2012 3:49 PM
Samsung’s announcement of the Galaxy S III has finally put an end to the months of speculation leading up to today, confirming with just what hardware the phone will arrive. The full experience we get from a smartphone is dependent on a lot more than just its silicon guts, and based on what Samsung’s revealed so far, the GS3 should have plenty of attractive features to help it stand out from the crowd. Let’s take a look at five of the big ones from today’s reveal.
One: We heard rumors about Smart Stay a little earlier, and now Samsung has confirmed the feature. It takes advantage of the phone’s front-facing camera to recognize when you’re looking at the screen. Even if you don’t touch the display for an extended period of time, the GS3 won’t go into standby so long as it senses you’re still looking at it. We’re curious just what kind of drain this will end up having on the battery, but it’s a neat feature, all the same.
Two: S Voice sounds like Samsung’s answer to Siri, and while it’s hard to deny the inspiration from Cupertino, Samsung’s working to make S Voice its own. Some of the features the company demonstrated today include bringing up the phone’s camera and waking the GS3 from standby with your voice. The software will allow you to define five custom voice-actuated commands.
Three: Samsung’s Direct Call is a smart use of your phone’s sensors to offer some context-sensitive gesture control. If you’re reading a message from someone and raise the phone up to your ear, software will make the connection that you’re trying to call this person, and automatically pull up their contact info and start dialing.
Four: Samsung mentioned an interesting multi-tasking system that will be present on the GS3. Called PopUp Play, you’ll be able to collapse a video you’re watching down into a floating window, which you can continue to view in the foreground as you pull up new apps to work with beneath it.
Five: Finally, the Galaxy S III will introduce some enhanced camera functionality to Samsung smartphones. Zero shutter lag should mean fewer missed shots, and a burst mode captures up to twenty sequential images; the phone will even attempt to automatically pick the best pic for you. The new Social Tag feature will let the camera tag faces of people pictured in a shot, while sending them all their own copies.
This is just scratching the surface, and with new NFC sharing modes, music scanning and recognition, and a new alert system, there are going to be plenty of reasons to take a closer look at the GS3.