In all the recent excitement over the ICS release for the Samsung Galaxy S II (SGS2), I forgot there was also news about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III (SGS3). Yes, the 3rd generation Galaxy S. You didn’t think Samsung would stop at the SGS2, did you? Samsung’s Galaxy S series of Android smartphones have been extremely successful. Everyone’s expecting the SGS3 to take over as Samsung’s Android smartphone flagship in 2012.
So what do we know about the SGS3? Well, smartphones are headed towards quad-core CPU architectures in 2012, and no surprises here, so will the SGS3. Samsung executives have been reported to have confirmed to Korean Times that the SGS2’s successor will indeed sport a quad-core Exynos CPU. The CPU will run at 1.5GHz, and the speculation is also that the Mali GPU will be upgraded to quad-core.
The other expectation of 2012’s smartphones is the support for LTE. The SGS3 will not disappoint. It’s expected to have LTE too. Personally, I’m not too big on needing LTE. It’s new, and it’s not like 3.5G HSPA is failing us. The real problem with mobile broadband right now isn’t the radio connection between your phone and the cell tower, but more so on the telco’s backend network infrastructure being congested and oversubscribed. But of course, no one’s going to complain about having an LTE smartphone. Let’s hope the LTE frequencies will work around the world, unlike the case of the new iPad’s LTE that’s only useful in the U.S.
Previously, I had complained about the 4.3″ screen being too big. Well, the SGS3 is going to up it. It will be 4.6″ (some reports say 4.8″). It will be a gorgeous Super AMOLED Plus display, sporting a resolution of 1280×720. Yes, the aspect ratio is changed. Depending on how they have designed the overall phone, the size might not have changed much. If we’re talking about just the display size alone, the old one measures 56.2mm x 93.64mm, while the new one will measure 57.3mm x 102mm. It’s not much wider, and although it is taller somewhat (almost 10mm), the overall phone size may not change much if the display is allowed to occupy more of the phone’s surface. For example, if there were no home button, the space needed for it on the SGS2 would now simply be occupied by the display.
Omitting the home button (along with the two capacitive buttons next to it) seems like a reasonable expectation. Android ICS doesn’t require these real buttons anymore. Some photos, which claim to depict the SGS3, do show the phone with the home button still present. That’s the recognizable Galaxy S design, which you’d expect Samsung might want to retain. However, there are also other photos that depict a redesigned look, sans buttons, where there is little bezel around the edges of the screen. (The plastic body might also be traded in for an oxidized aluminum chassis.)
Some new exciting features in the SGS3 include NFC, and wireless charging. Yeah, I think both are pretty cool. Even if we’re not ready to use NFC every day yet, at least the wireless charging will be a cool thing that you’ll be using everyday.
Charging everyday? All of us smartphone users have come to accept that our devices need to juice up every day (or night). The SGS3 is expected to have a much larger battery, 2250 mAh (compared to 1650 mAh on the SGS2), but still, I imagine the daily charge routing isn’t going to change.
The camera hardware has also been updated, albeit only the rear one. The resolution has been bumped from 8MP to 12MP, producing 4000×3000 pixels images. The LED flash on the rear remains unchanged, as is the front 2MP camera.
I’m not a big fan of the TouchWiz UI (neither do I particularly dislike it), but if you are, the TouchWiz UI will be upgraded to 5.0. Honestly, version numbers on their own are meaningless. What exactly is new in version 5.0? I don’t know.
At least one source has quoted May 22 as the release date. GSMArena put the release date in Q4 2012. I hope they’re wrong. Or that’s just the release for North American market.
Are you excited about the SGS3 yet?