Ok, well, before I kill you softly with a warped lyrics from an old song, today’s the day Samsung’s anti-iPhone lands in Australia, complete with Siri-esque S-Voice and the deepest level of “personal integration” with “you” that any phone, smart or otherwise, has ever delivered.
As you’ve most likely already read, either in these pages or across a cornucopia of tech toting news corners online, the Galaxy SIII can, as Samsung tells us, “recognise your voice, detect when you want to make a call and lets you share a moment quickly and effortlessly”, able to “see” your face and respond to a far greater array of commands than Apple’s Siri is currently capable of.
Of course, it’s not just the SIII’s new level of smartness that has excited the world’s Fandroids, but the amazing amount of lawsuit-killing design that the SIII exhibits, something that Android Police went into a lot of detail to actually detail, although as you’d expect, Samsung later came out to deny its lawyers were responsible for the SIII’s design, suggesting instead it is all part of some undetailed 5 year plan.
Whatever the truth of the sometimes angry birds that make up the legal eagles and their hawkish ways, it’s easy to see that the SIII is the most anti-iPhone Samsung has ever designed – a surprise, given the very, very iPhone nature of the Galaxy Ace and the SI and SII before it.
But Samsung know how to be Bada-boys’n’girls when they want to be, and a throwing a wrench into Apple’s litigation plans by anti-copying them for once is a great way to get the world’s press talking, generating as much pre-iPhone 5 hype and as many sales as possible.
And, while the anti-Pentile screen types might complain about the Pentile screen, we’re talking about one of the most advanced Pentile screens around, thus relegating the Pentile-vs-LCD wars only to those who actually know what a Pentile screen is, as most will simply go wow at the biiiiig 4.8-screen with HD Super AMOLED goodness.
Naturally, Samsung has beefed its flagship with full cream goodness too, comprising of Ice Cream Sandwhich Android OS 4.0, that 4.8-inch screen, an 8 megapixel rear shooter and 1.9 megapixel front cam, the surprising inclusion of a full-size SIM and a microSIM slot (as discovered by iTWire colleague Anthony Caruana), the Siri-challenging S-Voice and the ability to “detect your face, voice and motions”.
The SIII knows when you’re looking at it, and won’t dim the screen because some autolock says it is supposed to at that moment.
S-Voice lets you do more than Siri, meaning you can tell your phone to snooze when the alarm goes off, tell your phone to turn the volume up or down, send emails in addition to text message – even turn on the camera and take a photo.
That’s not to say Siri’s down and out – Apple’s own CEO, Tim Cook, recently hinted much greater capabilities for Siri on the way, presumably with the launch of the iPhone 5 or whatever Apple will call it, so while Siri was the original one we turned our chairs around for, and S-Voice the next, we’re sure the new Siri will be speaking for herself once again soon enough.
Then there’s the NFC functionality that most people, up until now, have had “no effing clue” (NFC geddit?) what to do with.
Thankfully, Samsung has found a use for this wireless tech, letting you send files between SIII devices, whether it be a 1GB file or a 10MB file, but until the world and all phones are NFC enabled, it’ll still be a while before the CommBank’s Kaching can do its thing with an NFC native device, let alone giving you the opportunity to NFC a file across from a SIII to an iDevice or your tablet, PC or portable.
One of the reasons why Samsung delayed the SIII’s launch despite sending a stack of Aussie journalists to London for the UK SIII launch (full disclosure: I wasn’t invited) is because Samsung likes to organise a plethora of local content to beef up the SIII’s attractiveness to local consumers – and to give a reason not to buy from well regarded grey importers like Mobicity.
There’s pre-loaded or downloadable content from Channel Ten, the Age/SMH Good Food Guide, the Navigon GPS app with two years of maps (updated every three months) included, among others, in addition to Quickflix streaming content that includes shows from HBO, the BBC and Hollywood movie studios at a “low monthly subscription”.
As you can imagine, every major Aussie telco (and some of their subsidiaries) have come out announcing a range of Galaxy SIII plans, but as always, there’s an outright price too, which is AUD $899 for the 16GB model.
So, what we have is a fantastically capable phone that outclasses the current iPhone and all competitors, but as always with pre-new-iPhone phones, one never really knows what “killer feature” the next iPhone will offer to blow every other smartphone away – even if the next iPhone’s screen is nowhere near as big as the SIII’s, or Siri improves but still remains “in beta”.
That said, there’s a lot of phones to be sold between now and any iPhone iRelease, and plenty thereafter too, so as a next-gen SII beating model, the SIII does a great job of being the best Android smartphone out there, and a great job of tempting anyone wanting to upgrade to the latest and greatest.
It’s also a great competitive answer to HTC’s excellent One and One XL series of flagship Android smartphones, giving Android buyers a real conundrum over which model to choose, with both droids also doing a great job of trying to iTempt iDevice owners away from the iOS side of the force.
As always, the iJuggernaut is ginormous and will prove as hyperbolic as ever later this year, so if you haven’t set your heart on an SIII, or One, or the next iPhone as yet, the choice hasn’t become any easier, showing just how much life the golden age of smartphones still has left!
Galaxy SIII specs are on page two, please read on!
The S-Voice: Samsung’s Galaxy SIII sings iKilling song?
Strumming the screen with your fingers, Samsinging your iLife with these words, iKilling your phone with this Samsung, iKilling it softly, with this phone…
I hear the Samsung Galaxy SIII sings a good song with its S-Voice, I hear it has a good style, so the celebrities came out to see it, to listen to launch speeches for a while.
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