Samsung announces Galaxy S III, biggest iPhone competitor to date

Samsung announces Galaxy S III, biggest iPhone competitor to date

Samsung has announced their next generation flagship Android phone, and as expected it's the Galaxy S III (no, they didn't go with "the new Galaxy"). Android Central is covering everything live from London and they've already gone over all the big stuff. On the hardware, Alex Dobie says:

The Samsung Galaxy S III is perhaps best summarized with three S’s -- sleek, sexy and shiny. It’s available in two colors -- pebble blue and pearl white, and both versions feature the same glossy plastic finish with a metallic trim around the side. It’s a fingerprint magnet to be sure, but the Galaxy S III certainly isn’t lacking star quality -- it looks and feels like a high-end device, and Samsung’s made a clean break with some of its older design language in this new flagship product.

Sadly, it doesn't look like they upgraded the plastic of their casing to match the Nokia Lumia 900 or HTC One X, which means I'm still calling Hasbro on the feel. However, everything else looks significantly great. As for the software:

The new design language is most evident in the new TouchWiz lockscreen, which ripples like a pool of water when activated. Audio cues, too, take on a more naturalistic approach, with droplet sounds punctuating UI interactions like menu selections and button presses.

Also, the TouchWiz launcher has been re-vamped, but the changes are largely cosmetic -- different icons, different chrome, but functionally very similar to the way TouchWiz’d ICS operates on the Galaxy S II. You’ve got seven home screens by default, customizable with the usual plethora of bright, vivid widgets (yep, TouchWiz is colorful as always). There’s a neat 3D transition effect when jumping from panel to panel, and thanks to the bleeding edge hardware inside the phone, all this visual finery flows off the screen at a buttery-smooth frame rate.

Android Central has literally a ton more coverage, including a monstrous gallery and a bunch of video.

Head on over there now, drink it all in, and then come back here and let us know what you think. Will the Galaxy S III slow down iPhone 4S sales in the short term? Will it force Apple to raise the bar even higher for the iPhone 5?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Samsung announces Galaxy S III, biggest iPhone competitor to date


Nothing too surprising here. A FANTASTIC device for those who love Android, for the iPhone folks, myself included, nothing so amazing that I am compelled to make a switch.

Looks nice. I'm sure the Android faithful will be excited. Glad I'm not into that ecosystem, though.. can't even keep a phone for a year without being leapfrogged by 10 new handsets.

Yet you'll keep an iPhone for a year and by the time you can upgrade it it's already been "leapfrogged" by 10 Android devices .. What exactly was your point !!

Umm.. that you sign a two year contract for a top of the line Android device only to find out a more advanced one is coming out a month later..

So what's it like to buy a phone that is 3 to 6 months behind before it's even released?
At least the best Android phones usually get a whole month to run at the front of the pack! :P

I think that's the fundamental difference in philosophy. Yes, Android phones come out in droves each year but when you [at least when I] select a device you're buying into that line.
So whether I buy an iPhone, S3, Evo, etc there will only be one phone per year for that line. Unless you are distracted by everything that comes out, there is no issue here. If you are distracted, the new Blackberry may entice you or even the Windows/Nokia marriage gives you buyers remorse.
No issue if you think of it in those terms.

This is the most sensible response I've seen in a long time.
The SGSIII looks very enticing, will be getting that before Christmas.

I am sticking with iOS, but if I were looking for an android phone, I would have a hard time deciding between the Galazy SIII and the HTC ONE phones.

I'm in that boat now. I don't know if I want the S3 or the new Evo. Both are compelling but I think battery life will be my telling factor as the Evo line has burned me two years in a row.

The phone boasts a 2100mAh battery which is a big jump from its predecessor that only had 1650mAh battery.
Please be reminded that there is always the option for an extend battery that are relatively cheap!

Yes, removable batteries are indeed a benefit, as is removable and expandable data cards (SD). If i had to go into every reason WHY that is an advantage you should have your head removed from where you sit.
But that being said i didn't need either, which is why i am on an ip4s.
But to say because something doesn't fit MY needs it is useless or pointless is just asinine..

You had a douchebag response to his post. Taking things a little too personal, friend. What you need is a good porn or just get laid already.

The S2 has great battery life so the S3 with a larger battery should be astonishing. You can't same the same about the Evo or Evo 3D so I'm skeptical on the Evo 4G LTE.

I think it's FUGLY and I really don't understand anyone who thinks it's a good idea to have a phone the size of a tablet. Mobile phone, smart or otherwise should be just that, mobile otherwise what is the point, seriously. If I wanted to carry round a tablet sized device i'd just buy a tablet !!

Are people still struggling to understand how different users have different desires and needs in phone aesthetics? 4-5 inch phones sell well. Might be time to get used to that fact.

Agreed. I have a Galaxy Nexus and vastly prefer it to the iPhone 4s, but I'd be thrilled if the look and feel of the physical device were in the same league as the iPhone 4 series.

There are some really nice updates here with a few gimmicks but overall I think it'll be an industry leading device family again. We shall see.
Oh and no it won't make Apple step their game up. Apple is going to stay status quo for as long as they choose. Incremental updates plus a big feature or two are enough in iOS land. Android land seems to have multiple gimmicks, some big features, and some "why?" one's with every device [looking at my Evo 3D as I type]. lol

Yes but it will play smoothly! Its not about resolution, its about having enough power to actually handle the filesize!

I think when looking at the screen it looks very much like an that has been copied into a bigger screen. I also like the feeling of the iphone with it's weight than plastic cheap feeling. What I'm waiting to see is if Apple continues to impress its users with the new Iphone or if I will just stick with my iphone 4 or 4s until something new arrives. Samsung is defintely pushing the iphone look that is for sure.

I am a self confessed apple fanboy, I'm on my 4th iphone, 2nd ipad, 2nd touch ( wifes ) and have an atv2, it pains me however to admit that if the next iphone doesn't have a larger screen I will be very tempted to jump ship. If a 4" screen and a new physical design are they only major selling points of the new iphone that will be enough for me to stay but if its the same 3.5" screen I will give android a shot. I may come back with my tail between my legs but I'll give it a shot.

That's exactly what I thought and did with the Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4S when the last was released.
Sent from my iPhone 4S

Has anyone even looked at the features of this thing? Calling a contact by just holding the phone next to your ear? Going to sleep when you sleep, or look away? Telling you what happend in your social media while you were sleeping? Tracking your eyes? Recognising your friends in photos you take? Ahh...and all this without Jailbreaking...

Not to mention this is the stock ROM...the myriad of custom ROMs will be the icing on the cake once rooted.

Not only does it recognize your friends when you take their picture, it automagically emails or texts them with a copy of the photo!!
Gimmicky? Indeed... but it's a neat trick! :)

Android fanboys deserve a phone the too can be proud of....if only for a few weeks before the Galaxy 4 drops.

....Instead of waiting a year and getting the same phone with just an S added at the end....

and 64GBs, oh and a some megapixels, and ios 5. But what do i care what prior iphones had. I only bought a 4S. compared to what i had before it's a great phone.

Too big. Size makes it a nonstarter as does color. did he say it's blue and white? No black? Those make it a nonstarter for me.
Other than that the phone looks ok. I've got nothing really against android. I'm ok with it. every OS has some areas to improve. But the size and if it didn't come in black would make it not an option for me. 4.5 is too big let alone 4.8. I'm not interested in switching from an iphone but this hardware wouldn't do it had i wanted to.

Looking around the web at more shots this just looks very cheap to me. Not very premium at all. I'd still get the Galaxy Nexus over this if I had to choose.

You know it Jenna. Luckily, I don't have a need to overcompensate with a bigger phone. I'm well equipped already. lol.

Impressive phone but nothing that'll make me want to switch. Excited to see what Android phone trumps this one next week.

Funny how everyone here says its too big, but if Apple were to bring out a similarly sized iPhone all you fanboys would be waiting in line for days....Just sayin...

My thoughts exactly... The comments transpire some well deserved jealousy but "no man down" yet, the iOS user base is probably as loyal as the Mac OS X crowd. In any case (no pun intended) they will all patiently wait till big daddy Cook comes with the new toy. It better be good though and Siri can't say in beta much longer, they can't pull the 4s trick off twice.
Last but not least : while the S3 is gonna be a clear hit like the 4s was six months ago, it becomes obvious that is more and more difficult to truly innovate in smartphoneland, till starts to feel like MS Office n+1. Time for the next big thing indeed.

speak for yourself. i'm not buying a 4.8 inch phone no matter who makes it. There have been what 4 or 5, including all the s models, iphones already and i'm just now buying my first. Seems to me you're likely just a fanboy of some other platform. See we all aren't fanboys. I've got no problem with the phone except size and color. Oh and i refused to buy an ipod until they released a black one. Some people have things they want. i don't buy things cause it's simply made by some company. I think you're just caught up in idiotic nerd operating system battles.

Not sure about the colors. They need a black one also. Looks nice, but I think a 4" screen it really the perfect size. As we go bigger, it is harder to use one handed.

I think this phone will totally rock! I have to say, I was completely against the giant phones for so long. I though they looked ridiculous. Then I read a post on a forum (regarding the Note) that said "It does look a little big when you hold it up to your ear but I rarely talk on my phone anyway". I thought that was a great point. I will be anxious to see the iPhone 5 (or 6, whatever) specs. Its going to be a tough choice this summer.

Every week when a new Android phone is announced it's supposed to be the biggest competitor. Then 2 months later you can pick it up for .99 cents on contract.

I was recently in a big dick contest and someone asked me, "how big is it?"
I simply replied, " I only take out enough to win."

Has no one picked up on the "S Voice" yet?? I mean come on! Samsung gets sued for copying the look and feel of idevices and they come out with S Voice....Siri?!

It's actually a really nice phone although I'm still someone who doesn't like the really big screens. I think 4" is perfect so hope Apple decides to suck it up and make a bigger screen. I also hope they choose to make some serious UI improvements with iOS 6 although I'm not holding my breath but iOS needs a refresh. Apple would laugh at that as it has made them insanely rich and dominant in the mobile world.

I have an iPhone as my main phone and a Galaxy S2 X on a discount carrier. Really don't care for Android/Samsung and will likely switch over to a Windows phone or a Blackberry 10 phone

If Samsung continues to increase the size of those things, by 2050 they could be used as surfboards...

The Galaxy SIII is an iterative upgrade and not a bad one but it didn't live up to the hype built up around the device. I think the new HTC One X is a better looking device and the Super LCD 2 screen gives a better viewing experience than the Pentile Super Amoled led on the S3. It's been 2 years iphone 4 came out but with phones like the HTC One X, Rezound and S3 Android has finally caught up in terms of screen quality and pixle density while offering a wider variety of sizes.

No matter what device comes out.....none can be like an iPhone. Even if iPhone is behind the times---I will never want to use Android. The iPhone is in it's own category/world in my eyes. I hope iPhone/Apple always keeps it up. But I am addicted to iPhone/iOS (Android is way too much nonsense--half the people I know who have one don't even know how to properly save a picture or find it after they take/save one!)...and they (Apple) are not gonna be like Blackberry---they are smarter than these other phone-makers. They will bring it since they brought it. ;-)

Wow, this is probably the most android friendly ios website. I admire you guys for expressing your opinions without having to retort to mockery. Death to fanboyism! I may be fan of Samsung, but I can't lie, I did wish Samsung would produce a galaxy phone with a smaller screen like the iphone. Maximum, 4.5 inches (screen size)!

There goes Samsung shamlessly ripping off Apple again... Their "Siri" like tech looks exactly like Siri on the iPhone... Even the icons are the same... They should just put an Apple on their products and be done with it...

For some maybe, but not everyone is as well informed as you regarding iOS options and settings. Enjoy launching your MacBook from the 4th floor, sounds like fun!

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