May 06, 2012, 7:30 AM — After all of the rumors and speculation, the Samsung Galaxy S III is finally here but you probably have a few questions about this new Android phone.
Samsung is the master of flash and flare at its press conferences, but we're here to help you get to the nitty gritty of why you should care about this phone. The Galaxy S III will go on sale in Europe on May 23. No official word yet on a U.S. launch, but it could come this summer.
Can the S III Really Follow Your Every Move?
The Samsung S III really wants to be your new best friend--your new psychic best friend. According to Samsung's somewhat creepy commercial (shown below), the S III "follows your every move." Scared yet?
In reality, the Samsung S III can do things like predict when you want the screen awake by using the front-facing camera to monitor your eyes. If you're watching a movie on your phone and happen to fall asleep, the phone's display will turn off.
The S III also has a feature called S Voice, which is a customized voice-recognition system. Hmm, sound familiar? Like Apple's Siri, S Voice can recognize a variety of commands. For example, you can say "snooze" when your alarm goes off and buy yourself a little more sleeping time. You can also say "direct call" and ring somebody while you're in the middle of a text. You can also control the volume of your music, organize your calendar, and launch the camera via voice commands.
However, there's no word, so far, on whether S Voice works with third-party applications. S Voice works with eight different languages, including British English and American English. A few of my friends from across the pond have complained about Siri's difficulty in understanding them so I guess this is good news there.
Is It Quad-Core Powered?
Samsung confirmed before today's announcement that the Galaxy S III phones will be powered by the company's own quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos 4 Quad processor. Oddly, however, the processor specs were not in the press materials we received today. I have a suspicion that the Samsung quad-core processor is not compatible with U.S. LTE networks. If true, we might see a different processor on the S III phones in the United States. Samsung would not comment on what sort of processor the U.S. versions will have when I asked.
HTC pulled a similar trick with the One X. The global version runs on an NVidia Tegra 3 processor, while the U.S. phone uses a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. NVidia's quad-core processor was not yet compatible with AT&T's LTE network at the time of the One X's manufacture. In our benchmarks, however, the U.S. version of the One X did quite well despite having fewer cores.