Samsung Galaxy S III - The New Star on the Block (Updated with Video!)

Hands-on & Comparison Photos

Hands-on & Comparison Photos

One thing we noticed off the bat about the Samsung Galaxy S III is its strong departure from its predecessors in terms of design. Instead of the squarish form factor that's found on the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Galaxy S III takes on a more curvaceous shape quite like the Galaxy Nexus. What it does retain is the lone home button and its two accompanying capacitive touch buttons that are on the Samsung Galaxy S II, instead of the virtual-button format that the other Android 4.0 smartphones have. Not that we are complaining either - these will probably be easier to adapt to for those transiting from earlier Android smartphones.

The plastic cover that covers the Galaxy's back isn't what we'd call sturdy, but it is definitely thicker than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus'. Otherwise, we were pretty impressed with its lightweight and rounded body, of which contributed to a positive handling experience.

All the top dogs in a row - from left to right: HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S II, and the Samsung Galaxy S III (White & Blue).

We sort of like the silver touch done to the sides of the Galaxy S III. At 8.6mm thin, it is the thinnest out of the lot (HTC One X = 8.9mm, Samsung Galaxy Nexus = 8.94mm).

However, it is slightly thicker than the Galaxy S II (8.49mm) - the difference is barely noticeable. What stands out is the difference in its design; the curvy Galaxy S III resembles more of the Galaxy Nexus than its boxy predecessor.

Here's a closer look at the shades: Marble White and Pebble Blue. If you look closer, the blue variant comes with a slight metallic sheen.

iOS-exclusive Flipboard makes an appearance on the Galaxy S III when it's not even available on Google Play yet?! Yes, we aren't seeing things. When asked about its presence and whether it's an exclusive to the device, Samsung reps were evasive and told us to wait till the official event itself.

The Flipboard app will be exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy S III for now - it is stated on Flipboard's Android page that the app will be "coming to select Android mobile phones". This might mean that the app will only work on devices running on a particular Android OS version and above (say 4.0). For updates, do sign up on their page here.

The volume rocker's on the left and exhibited good feedback.

The power button, not unlike the one on Galaxy Nexus, is a little too thin, but otherwise, we had no problems with it.

The micro USB is situated on the bottom with the headphone jack sitting right on top of the phone. Oh and yes, we managed to slip in an obligatory white HTC One X vs. white Samsung Galaxy S III shot.

Micro SIM it is, for the Galaxy Samsung S III. Beside it, the microSD card slot that allows users to have more memory space (up to 64GB).

The S III will come with a whopping 50GB - twice of what HTC's is offering with its HTC One series - of free Dropbox storage that will last for two years, bringing the rumors of the S-Cloud service to rest, at least for now. There will only be one device launched at the official event, which is, well, the Samsung Galaxy S III. Other products making their appearances would be accessories related to the device, putting allegations that a dual-core Galaxy device would make its appearance to rest. Samsung is expecting brisk sales for the Galaxy S III. And Mr. Lee Jui Siang, Director, Regional Mobile Business, Southeast Asia, Oceania & Taiwan is confident that it will do as well (if not better) than the Galaxy S II: "The S II sold more than 20 million units in ten months and we believe that the S III will do very well too, and help keep us in the leadership position as well as gain market share in this industry."

Price and availability have not been announced yet but Mr. Lee mentioned that the phone will make its way first to Europe, estimated end May to early June, before hitting other markets like Asia and Australia. The LTE version is subject to availability based on the country's network infrastructure profile, and there's no confirmation whether it will be coming to Singapore.

Well, that's it for now. But keep your eyes peeled at HardwareZone, as we bring you more details of the Samsung Galaxy S III after the official event.

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