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Samsung announces Galaxy S III

Leave it to Samsung to announce their newest phone before the press event even starts! The Korean phone maker has just announced their “next Galaxy”: the Galaxy S III.

The Galaxy S III packs Samsung’s new 1.4GHz Exynos 4 Quad processor, as well as 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear shooter, and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. The phone sports a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720 – standard for most high-end Android devices these days. The Galaxy S III is a slender device, measuring just 8.6mm thick and weighing in at only 133 grams. The phone will be available in two colours: Marble White and Pebble Blue, and both appear to be glossy plastic.

Samsung has included a 2,100 mAh battery with the Galaxy S III, which should come in handy seeing as the North American variant is a 4G LTE device. Samsung has also announced a 3G variant for international markets. Other specs include either 16GB or 32GB of storage (with a 64GB model coming later), Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with GLONASS, and NFC.

Samsung has also introduced the updated “TouchWiz Nature UX”, which they say has been “inspired by nature”. The new version of TouchWiz has been somewhat toned down and obviously optimized to look and feel more like Ice Cream Sandwich, and includes nature-inspired ringtones and sounds such as water droplets. Aside from visual updates, Samsung has introduced some new software features. Using the front-facing camera, Samsung has created a feature they call “Smart stay”, which keeps the screen illuminated as long as your eyes are looking at it. Samsung has also built a Siri competitor called S Voice, that can be used to play music, send text messages, take a picture, look up the weather, and even wake up the phone by saying “Hi, Galaxy”. Direct Call will allow you to call the person you are texting by simply raising the phone to your ear. Samsung has also customized Android Beam, which they now call S Beam, that will allow users to quickly transfer files between devices by using NFC.

Also of note, Samsung will launch an optional “C Pen” stylus for the Galaxy S III, which sports a rubber tip and metallic finish to match the phone. In addition, a wireless charging pad will be available, akin to Palm’s TouchStone dock for the Pre.

Europe will see the Galaxy S III launch on May 29th, while North America can expect the phone to arrive in June.

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