It’s 7pm which can mean only one thing, the next Galaxy phone will be announced imminently.
We’ve got front row seats at the Samsung unpacked event, a feat which isn’t to be taken lightly. No more than five minutes in and we’re three metres away from J K Shin, head of IT and mobile communications division who’s warming us up with talk of the new handset that the Koreans claim is ‘designed for humans’.
Thirty seconds later and we’re granted a name, welcome to the world the Samsung Galaxy S III – hardly a surprise to those who’ve been following the news recently.
A 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen is top of the bill alongside an 8 megapixel camera with ‘intelligent features’ and a whopping 2100mAh battery.
Talk is all about the naturalistic approach – the sophisticated and elegant 8.6mm chassis is ergonomically designed with inspiration taken from pebbles and leaves. Weighing a mere 133g it’s by no means overbearing.
Now for the science-fiction bits, Shin moves on to discuss the new facial recognition technology, or rather the eye recognition tech. Apparently the S III uses its front facing camera to detect your eye movement and keeps the screen lit up until you close your eyes or turn away. Useful for ebooks.
Not only does the Galactic super-phone see you, but it listens to you too. It recognises your favourite songs and automatically turns the volume up or down. Shin’s closing statement summarises all the nature-esque marketing that we’ve seen this evening, ‘it’s a human phone that understands you’.
Jean-Daniel Ayme, VP of European telecom operations is called to the stage to run through key features, first up is Smart Stay – that’s the eye recognition technology we mentioned earlier. Next on the bill is S-Voice, a Samsung branded Siri from what we can see. It’s your personal assistant and best friend rolled into one, or so we’re told.
Tell it you want to take a photo and it’ll open the camera app, say ‘hi galaxy’ and the phone will burst into life, fortunately for the Koreans the demos worked well. It’ll apparently respond to 8 different languages including British, Italian, German, French, Spanish and Korean.
We’re now treated to a video of other key features, Smart Alert to inform you of your missed calls, Social Tag which tags your nearest and dearest automatically in images that you capture and Buddy Share that enables photo sharing from your gallery.
One that we particular like is a simple but effective feature, Direct Call – you start typing a message to a friend, think better of it and decide to call them instead, just raise the S3 to your ear and it will call them automatically. It’ll also work on messages that you’ve received.
Android Beam, the NFC sharing function first found on ICS device the Galaxy Nexus has been developed, enabling Samsung to call it their own S-Beam. It serves the same purpose – allows users to share content between compatible devices – but they say they’ve enhanced the function, which now uses both NFC and Wi-Fi direct, making sharing things quicker then ever before.
Loesje de Vriese, head of marketing Samsung Belgium is next up to talk us through the remainder of the Samsung Galaxy S III inventory, a 1.4GHz quad-core CPU, AllShare ecosystem, TouchWiz UX, HD front facing camera, intelligent 8 megapixel rear camera and pop up play video feature round things off.
They now invite the floor to go and test out the device, not before announcing a launch date of 29 May. First impressions are good, we’ll let you know more once we’ve had a hands-on..