Samsung has launched its next Galaxy smartphone: the Galaxy S III. Lock it in here to read up on the handset's specs, features, and everything else you need to know.
Oct 25, 2012
Samsung's latest Galaxy S III ad touts sex tape-sharing with a quick bump
"Work Trip" shows a father waving goodbye to his family as he leaves for a few days. His daughters have recorded a video for him to watch on the plane, which gets effortlessly (suspiciously so, in fact) transferred between his Galaxy S III and his wife's through NFC. His wife has also recorded a video, as it turns out, but she makes a slightly different recommendation for when he should watch it. What's on the video? Let your imagination run wild.Read Article >
Next up in the new series is "Game On," which features two friends playing the same game — one on an iPhone, the other on a Galaxy S III. Aside from the potentially confusing implication that the two devices are capable of playing multiplayer games together, the iPhone owner complains about the screen's small size and visibility in sunlight.
Sep 21, 2012
After lengthy delay, Galaxy S III 'Developer Edition' released to non-existent market
Well, that took just a bit longer than expected. Samsung's "Developer Edition" Galaxy S III for Verizon Wireless is now available directly from the manufacturer — over two months after we were told that the device would be "coming soon." Over that time period, an xda-developers member uploaded an unlocked bootloader, which has made it just as easy to load custom ROMs onto the device as any other variant of the Galaxy S III.Read Article >
After Verizon's decision to lock the bootloader on the standard, on-contract Galaxy S III, the "Developer Edition" was announced as an option for those who wanted to have full access to their devices, allowing them to heavily customize how the phone runs and completely change the user interface using alternative ROMs like CyanogenMod. It wasn't an awful compromise — at least it's an option — but with users able to work their way around the locked bootloader and the lengthy delay in getting the special edition to market, we suspect that few if any will be interested in the device at this point. If you are looking to pick one up, it is identical internally to the standard Galaxy S III, and is available directly from Samsung for $599.99 (16GB) or $649.99 (32GB) — the same as the off-contract prices that Verizon quotes on its website.
Aug 24, 2012
Watch this: Samsung's design team tells the story behind the Galaxy S III
Samsung has released a video called "Galaxy S III Design Story" which explains the development history of their latest, well-received flagship phone. The company's design team doesn't have as high a profile as that of Apple, which frequently appears in videos to promote new products, but the ongoing trial between the two companies has put the Korean giant's development process under the spotlight. The video features interviews with various Samsung designers, including Jeeyeun Wang who testified in court last week, and sheds some light on how the Galaxy S III came to be.Read Article >
Much of it is devoted to the influence of nature on the phone's hardware and software, with VP of mobile design Jacob Lee explaining that the company "wanted a more emotional and stronger connection with our customers." Product designer Hangil Song elaborated on how this was reflected in the hardware design:
Jul 2, 2012
Samsung S Health launched: control your weight and blood sugar with the Galaxy S III
Samsung has launched S Health, an app for the recently-launched Galaxy S III that allows users to watch their weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels from their phone. First announced at the Galaxy S III's unveiling back in May, the app syncs with blood pressure monitors and blood glucose meters from Lifescan, Omron, and A&D over Bluetooth or USB depending on the device.Read Article >
S Health stores readings from these devices so the user can view them over time and share them with contacts or social networks. The idea is to provide a framework for users to set goals and track their progress. S Health is launching in the US, South Korea, and five European countries, and can be downloaded either from the Samsung Apps store or More Services link on the Galaxy S III.
Galaxy S III to top 10 million sales next month, says Samsung
Last we heard, the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy S II had moved over 52 million units worldwide between them, and it doesn't look like the latest in the series is going to struggle to live up to the lofty precedent. According to Reuters, Samsung's head of telecommunications JK Shin expects the Galaxy S III to top the 10 million unit mark by the end of July.Read Article >
It's not clear whether this refers to units shipped to retailers or sold to customers, but either way it's an impressive figure — we heard before launch that the device had over 9 million pre-orders, and Sprint has already had to delay its launch due to "overwhelming demand." It's easy to see why the Galaxy S III might spark such excitement, too, as we were more than a little impressed with it in our review.
Korean Samsung Galaxy S III could be the world's first quad-core LTE phone available (update)
If true, this could make it the world's first quad-core LTE phone to be released (the upcoming Arrows X from Fujitsu and a rumored LG device notwithstanding) and would match up with reports we heard before the phone's unveiling. Although Samsung hasn't yet made the spec sheet public, both Olleh and the Chosun Ilbo attended a Samsung launch event this morning in Seoul and reported the same details. We're not quite sure how the company has managed to crack the quad-core LTE nut, but we've reached out for clarification and will let you know when we hear more.Read Article >
Update: Samsung just let us know that the Korean LTE Galaxy S III "includes a quad-Core Exynos application processor and an LTE modem chip separately." This likely explains why it's grown slightly to 9mm in thickness, a 0.4mm gain on the standard model — the battery is the same 2,100mAh unit found elsewhere.
Jun 13, 2012
Samsung's TecTiles NFC stickers let you launch apps, change settings by tapping your phone
The Galaxy S III has NFC built in, and Samsung's doing its best to make sure you use it for more than just paying for gas. The company released TecTiles today, small square stickers that let you launch apps, change settings, or even make phone calls with a single tap of your phone. You buy TecTiles in packs of five for $14.99, and the first time you touch your NFC-enabled phone (a handful of Samsung phones, plus some from other manufacturers) you'll be prompted to download the TecTiles app. Then, you can use the app to program the stickers to do a variety of things — you can have it turn your alarm on, or launch a particular app, or check in on Foursquare. It can even do things like initiate a phone call or text message, though thanks to some Android privacy settings those still require you to confirm the action. TecTiles are a lot like LG's Tag+ or Sony's SmartTags, though Samsung's stickers are both cheaper and more disposable than the other dog tag-like products.Read Article >
We're told the next version will support many more actions, and will let you do a number of different things per tap. You can easily re-program the stickers, too — up to a few thousand times apparently, which should be enough. It's a great way of showing off all the things you can do with NFC, and another nifty trick to show off on your Galaxy S III if you buy one next week.
Jun 12, 2012
Samsung's Galaxy S III accessories demoed on video
While Samsung's Galaxy S III is making its way into the eager hands of Android users around the globe, Mobile Fun has taken a hands-on look at the handset's rather large collection of accessories. Some of which, like the C-Pen and Wi-Fi Display Hub, might appeal to current Samsung smartphone users, but Mobile Fun's videos below confirm what we suspected after hearing that the Galaxy S III uses a unique MHL HDMI adapter — they're not backwards compatible.Read Article >
Naturally, the Desktop Dock, Battery Charger, and Flip Cover are locked to the Galaxy S III because of their physical form, but the C-Pen and Wi-Fi Display Hub should theoretically work with other Samsung handsets, since neither of them are known to use any Galaxy S III exclusive technology. The C-Pen was thought to be a simple capacitive stylus, yet in the video below we see that it doesn't work with an iPhone, indicating that there may be some other technology at play. Similarly, the Wi-Fi Display Hub — which uses DLNA — should work with other devices that support the standard, making us wonder why Samsung hasn't updated its AllShare app on the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S II to support it. Clearly Samsung wants its customers to upgrade to the latest Galaxy device, which isn't so bad considering there are some very compelling reasons to do so.
Jun 8, 2012
Galaxy S III uses unique HDTV Adapter, won't work with existing MHL adapters
New Galaxy S III owners may be disappointed to find out that the phone's microUSB port requires a specific Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) HDMI adapter because of rearrangement of its pins, according to a video unboxing by Clove. The HDTV Adapter plugs into the phone's microUSB port and provides a standard HDMI port for connecting you HDTV, though you'll have to connect a USB cable for power as well. MHL is an industry standard that has a consortium of people and companies backing it, not to mention being currently implemented in a fair number of phones.Read Article >
It's likely that Samsung is actually using MHL compatible circuitry, but the company may have changed the pinout to accommodate new accessories or improve some subtle design aspect. Of course, there is also the possibility that Samsung just wants to make more money, but we'd like to extend the benefit of the doubt. Curiously, the speaker in the video below mentions that the adapter only functions on 1080p HDTVs, and while this would be a substantial restriction, we weren't able to confirm this limitation. If you need to attach your Galaxy S III to the big screen, you can purchase Samsung's specific adapter for around $30.
Jun 4, 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III pre-orders for Verizon begin June 6th
Soon after the Samsung Galaxy S III was announced for five US carriers, we've gotten our first information about ordering the phone. Verizon has announced that the Galaxy S III will be arriving at its stores in "the coming weeks," and it's open to pre-orders starting at 7am EDT on Wednesday, June 6th. As Samsung promised, it will indeed start at $199.99 for the 16GB version, with the 32GB one available for $249.99. Both those prices require the standard two-year agreement, and customers will need to subscribe to an LTE data package, the cheapest of which provides 2GB of monthly data for $30. Beyond having a different antenna, there aren't substantial differences between this and the Galaxy S III phones that will be coming to AT&T, T-Mobile, and others, so hopefully this announcement means that we'll be seeing a similar release date for everyone else.Read Article >
Update: There was some concern among Verizon customers who have been clinging to their unlimited data plans that they'd have to give them up when upgrading to the Galaxy S III — after all, Verizon's language notes that customers will need to subscribe to an LTE data package starting at $30 for 2GB of data. However, Verizon has confirmed to Droid Life that current customers with unlimited data plans will get to keep them when buying the Galaxy S III. That isn't a huge surprise — Verizon had previously said that it customers could keep unlimited data when upgrading until the carrier launches shared data plans. Still, it's a comforting reassurance for those clinging to their precious unlimited plans.
Jun 4, 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III to hit five US carriers 'beginning' in June, starting at $199 on contract
Most notable of all, Samsung's PR says that it is "delivering the same iconic smartphone design and premium content sharing experience with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular." That statement, our earlier leak of the Galaxy S III on T-Mobile, and the fact that Samsung's PR doesn't have carrier-specific variants all lead to one conclusion: Samsung doesn't appear to be creating carrier-specific variants of the GSIII beyond customizing the radios. No silly per-carrier names like Fascinate and Epic 4G. No (It's also worth pointing out that all of the US models of the Galaxy S III will include 2GB of RAM).Read Article >
Samsung had scored quite a coup with the original Galaxy S, launching variants on all four major US carriers at the same time. With the Galaxy S III, the company appears to have topped that feat by launching an identical-looking phone on five US carriers. Unfortunately, it's an open question whether or not Samsung will be releasing on all five carriers in short order; the company's PR says only that the the releases will be "beginning" in June.
Jun 1, 2012
Quad-core Galaxy S III opened up by iFixIt and Chipworks (update: camera sensor by Sony)
We took a look at the experience of using the Samsung Galaxy S III in our recent review, but iFixIt has taken a look inside the device to see what components make it possible. With images courtesy of Chipworks, the teardown reveals the 1.4GHz Exynos 4412 quad-core A9 processor and 8-megapixel camera module, both of which are easily accessible with the use of a spudger to pry apart the device's plastic assembly (Chipworks is currently analyzing the camera module to determine its manufacturer). Not so easy to disassemble, however, is the phone's screen: the glass is fused to the display itself, and that to the phone's frame. Collectively, it means replacing the glass will be quite the expensive proposition should any Galaxy S III owners crack the glass covering the device's 4.8-inch 720 x 1280 display. Chipworks is continuing to investigate the phone's parts — and iFixIt will be performing its own teardown, no doubt providing even further insights — but if you have the stomach to see Samsung's latest broken down piece by piece, you can view the rest of the images at iFixIt or Chipworks.Read Article >
Update: The camera module analysis didn't take long. iFixIt and Chipworks have updated their respective posts, and it turns out the Galaxy S III's backside-illuminated sensor is made by none other than Sony. While iFixIt calls the sensor "basically" the same as that featured in the iPhone 4S — a phone nearly eight months old now — Chipworks reports that its early analysis has shown the sensor is a new model. We'll let you know as soon as more information is discovered.
May 31, 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III with 2GB of RAM, Snapdragon S4 processor set for Canadian release on June 20thRead Article >
We knew that the Galaxy S III was coming to Canadian carrier Videotron on June 20th, but now Samsung is announcing that not only will its Canadian phone have the same 2GB of RAM as its Japanese version, it will be coming to all of the country's major wireless providers, including Rogers, Bell, Telus, and Virgin Mobile. Preorders have already started at Rogers and Telus, the latter of which is offering the 16GB S III for $159.99 and the 32GB model for $209.99 with a three-year contract. In addition to the extra RAM, the Canadian phone will have LTE and a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, instead of the quad-core Exynos processor found in Samsung’s international model.
May 30, 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III coming to Canadian carrier Videotron June 20thRead Article >
The Samsung Galaxy S III is finally arriving in North America on June 20th, starting with Quebec-based carrier Videotron. Specifics regarding pricing have yet to be announced, but Videotron offers a sign-up page for email updates on the phone's release date. There's still no official word from any US carriers, although previous reports suggest that the metallic blue version is headed to T-Mobile on the 20th as well. Once you're done marking your calendar, make sure to check out our extensive review of the Galaxy S III.
Samsung: Pebble Blue Galaxy S III will be in 'short supply' for two to three weeks
Confirming information from UK retailer Clove, Samsung has gone official with the news that the Pebble Blue version of its Galaxy S III handset will be in limited supply for the next few weeks. The darker variant of this Android 4.0 phone is manufactured and styled differently from the more conventional white model, including "a newly invented blue color and special hyperglaze material." Samsung's statement — quoted in full below — asserts that adherence to the highest quality standards is holding production back, however all efforts are being made to meet demand. That having been said, we're much bigger fans of the snow-white look of the GS III, which doesn't have the same faux brushed aluminum appearance as the extra-fancy Pebble Blue, so if you agree with us this should be no great loss.Read Article >
Update: The guys over at Mobile Bulgaria seem to have experienced the issue that Samsung is afraid of, with their Pebble Blue review unit exhibiting a splotchy appearance just under the surface of the back cover.
Samsung launches £9.99 Music Hub Premium with unlimited streaming, scan-and-match, 100GB cloud storage
Not to be outdone by Apple and every other contender in the music streaming space, Samsung is today officially introducing its overhauled Music Hub application — which now includes a £9.99 / €9.99 Premium option to allow you to stream music from a library of 19 million tracks through either a web browser or up to five authorized devices. Moreover, you can listen to customizable radio stations or upload your own music, using the recently announced scan-and-match service, for anything that isn't in the vast catalog Samsung already offers. TJ Kang, Senior Vice President for Samsung's Media Solution Center, describes this as the first time Samsung has really built up a service from scratch, however the core functionality here will be provided by the guys from mSpot — who were acquired by Samsung earlier this month — while 7 Digital is in charge of providing the vast selection of music.Read Article >
Samsung's ambitions are as lofty as you would expect from the Korean giant, with Kang admitting that "we haven't done much in the content space but that's changing." Ubiquity will be a big part of Samsung's play with the new Music Hub, as its present launch on the Galaxy S III will be expanded to earlier devices like the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note, Samsung's Smart TV range, audio docks, and even smart fridges. Plus, it will be made a standard feature on future Samsung smartphones. A browser-based media player will let you access the Music Hub anywhere you are, while apps for iOS and other platforms are also being developed. The goal is to distribute the service as widely as Samsung's ChatON instant messaging application. Eventually, Kang would like to see Samsung at the top of the heap, expressing a commonly held desire within the company to be "bigger than Apple." That all starts today with the initial rollout on the Galaxy S III in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, with more markets and devices to follow.
May 29, 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III launches in 28 countries, to be available in 145 by July
Although some retailers are saying they don't expect to have inventory right away, Samsung is officially claiming that it has launched the Galaxy S III in 28 countries today. That's a massive launch, but the phone maker has even grander claims, saying it will be offered by a grand total of 296 carriers in 145 countries by July. The last rumored date for the US and Canada was June 20th, which would obviously mean Samsung will have done a faster (and perhaps more successful) launch with the Galaxy S III than it did with its predecessor. The Galaxy S II reportedly owns ten percent of the total Android ecosystem, so if the Galaxy S III comes even close, Samsung will have another blockbuster on its hands.Read Article >
In any case, if you're in one of the 28 launch countries, which include much of Europe and the Middle East, you can begin your hunt for a Galaxy S III today, though obviously we suggest you absorb our comprehensive review first.
May 26, 2012
Rumor: Galaxy S III to hit US and Canada June 20th, Galaxy Note coming to T-Mobile July 11th
We found a lot to like in Samsung's Galaxy S III when we took a look at it this week, and while we know the phone is scheduled to arrive in Europe on May 29th, the best we'd heard for North America was "June." That window appears to be narrowing, as a number of rumors are suggesting that June 20th is the day US and Canadian users will be able to get their hands on Samsung's flagship device. MobileSyrup posted a screenshot denoting a June 20th release for the phone, with availability on Canadian carriers Rogers, Bell, Telus, and Virgin Mobile. The site reports that it was later asked to take down the screenshot, but not before Tom's Hardware grabbed a copy of the image.Read Article >
Adding another piece to the puzzle, TMoNews reports that it received a tip on the phone's availability on T-Mobile, with the metallic blue version of the device slated to arrive on — you guessed it — June 20th. According to the site, the white version of the Galaxy S III won't be arriving until July 11th, and in the 16GB variety only, at that. The 11th is also said to feature the debut of three additional phones on T-Mobile: the carrier's recently-spotted version of the Galaxy Note, as well as two new MyTouch devices made by Huawei. Of course, all of the dates should be considered rumors until they're officially confirmed, but the next two months might provide Android users quite a few new choices to pick from.
May 25, 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III review
How do you review a phone like the Galaxy S III? It’s already been subject to so much speculation, exposure, and early judgment — some of it coming from myself, admittedly — that it feels overwhelming to try and condense what it means to everyone into a single treatise. To Samsung, it’s the new flagship handset to keep the company ahead of every other Android OEM through 2012, for most people it’s a device that stretches the definition of the smartphone form factor, and to mobile gaming enthusiasts it’s potentially the most powerful platform yet.Read Article >
Being a spec leader isn’t new to Samsung, but the Galaxy S III betrays an even loftier ambition: South Korea’s largest chaebol wants to also be known as a front runner in software. Android 4.0 is the basis upon which Samsung has built a formidable list of new and returning enhancements: S Beam, S Memo, S Planner, S Voice, Smart Stay, Direct Call, and even a limited-term exclusive of the Flipboard Android app. Throwing in 50GB of free Dropbox storage for two years makes Samsung’s offering seem comprehensive, but is it cohesive? That’ll be the primary question to answer for people wondering if the long wait for the Galaxy S III has been worth it.
May 24, 2012
Siri vs. S Voice: battle of the robot-voiced assistants
Apple's Siri, introduced as the big new feature in the iPhone 4S, is facing its biggest competitor to date in Samsung's S Voice, an extremely similar voice-activated mobile assistant that will make its retail debut with the Galaxy S III early next week. In anticipation of that time, I've brought the two together for a side-by-side comparison to determine which performs better at the daily tasks one might wish to entrust to a robot-voiced virtual assistant.Read Article >
The first thing to say is that neither Siri nor S Voice is particularly good. Both demand that you enunciate studiously if you care to have your query recognized, and even then some hilarious misinterpretations can and do occur. That's a big stumbling block for any piece of software that aims to streamline your user experience with a smartphone — if you have to repeat or correct yourself, you might as well use more conventional means to achieve your goal. Similarly, both Siri and S Voice have a tendency to rely on external search engines for their results, sometimes integrating them in stub form within the app and sometimes throwing you out to a Google search. S Voice does the latter quite a bit more often than Siri does.