Is the new Samsung Galaxy SIII the new king of Android?

With HTC and Sony throwing down the gauntlet with the release of the HTC One X and Xperia S which by all accounts propelled them to the top of the android super phone wish lists of 2012, Samsung is hoping to regain the title of best Android smartphone from the HTC One X which it hopes will continue the legacy of the Galaxy SII from last year. There’s been loads of rumours and supposed leaks of its specs and how it will look from various sources, but finally we get to take a closer look at the real thing and see if it matches the hype.

As is the current fashion with top of the line Android phones, it sports a huge 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED touchscreen with a pixel density of 306PPI. Powering it is Samsung’s own 1.4GHz Exynos 4 Quad processor, which has been attached to a Quad-core GPU. 1GB RAM is included to make sure responses are super fast.

On the rear is an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p Full HD video recording abilities with a 1.9-megapixel front camera that can shoot in 720p HD video.

To further differentiate itself from current top of the line Android competitors, Samsung has fitted it with an array of innovative features such as a Smart Stay setting that uses facial recognition to ensure the screen is illuminated as long as it detects a user looking at it and a S Voice dictation and voice command software which is vaguely familiar to Apple’s Siri.

However one of the most eye-catching new features was the “Pop-up Play” capability, which provides picture-in-picture video viewing. From the built in Gallery app, Pop-up Play creates a smaller, but draggable window that hovers on top of other apps, which plays your video of choice whilst background apps are running as normal.

Storage will be available in 16, 32 and 64GB variants and reversing the current trend in top Android phones, there is a microSD card slot and a removable 2100mAh battery which should help it need fewer trips to the charger with a wireless charging option allegedly in the works already.

At 133g, it’s extremely light, especially when taking into account its dimensions of 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm.

Additional connection include Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi Direct, DLNA, an MHL-compatible micro-USB port, headphone socket, and NFC.

Also onboard is S Beam, which combines the ICS Android Beam with Wi-Fi Direct, users can bump their phones together and transfer video or photo content with the tap of one button. Transfer rates are 400Mbps for NFC, 300Mbps with Wi-Fi Direct.

Like HTC and Apple, Samsung has adopted the micro SIM format for the Galaxy S III with DLNA wireless support through AllShare Play.

It will be available in May in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East and the 4G version will hit the US, Japan and Korea later this summer in both “marble white” and “pebble blue”

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