Samsung Electronics’ highly anticipated flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S3, has launched in SA. The phone has been available from mobile operator Vodacom since the end of last month. Billed by some as the handset that could eat into the market share of Apple, with its iPhone 4S, the S3 is available starting at R7 999.
The S3 includes a 1280×720 pixel, 4,8-inch “HD Super Amoled” display and uses its front-facing camera to monitor eye movement so that the screen remains illuminated when looking at it.
The handset also includes an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera that shoots in excess of three images per second and can take 20 continuous shots. The rear camera can also shoots 30 frames per second video at 720p. The front-facing camera offers 1,9 megapixels.
Running the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, the S3 also includes a 1,4GHz quad-core processor, like Samsung competitor HTC’s recently released One X.
Deon Liebenberg, MD of Samsung Electronics SA, says the S3 is “the most significant product [Samsung has] brought to market in SA”, and adds that, prior to launch, Samsung SA received “just under 50 000 orders”.
A proximity-based function called S Beam allows users to share video files of up to 1GB between devices in three minutes, or a 10MB audio file in less than three seconds.
The handset also offers an alternative to Apple’s voice-recognition service Siri, which it calls S Voice. The service allows users to control the device with voice commands, send messages and e-mails, and even tell the alarm function to “snooze”.
Director of mobile communications at Samsung Electronics SA, Craige Fleischer, says the launch of the S3 also coincides with the launch of Samsung’s Video Hub video-streaming service. “SA is one of seven countries to go live with Video Hub,” says Fleischer.
“You can rent or buy HD movies from as little as R10. The selection is significant, but not all-encompassing. But as the service evolves and becomes more pervasive, we’ll drive further content on it.”
Though Vodacom had the S3 in its stores last week, Fleischer says the handset is now also available on MTN and will be coming to Cell C soon.
Look out for a full hands-on review of the Galaxy S3 on TechCentral next week. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media