The Samsung Galaxy S III headed for the AT&T 4G LTE network was expected to debut at $199, but Monday, June 18 that Android smartphone that delivers Android’s 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) operating system out-of-the-box was launched at $149 for existing customers, and $189 for new customers on contract at select retailers. Online research and data analysis firm ABI research defines the new smartphone device category “phablet” as a smartphone with a large high resolution display between 4.6 and 5.5 inches. It appears that is the way many handsets are headed, and the Galaxy S III 4G certainly qualifies with its large 4.80 inch Super AMOLED screen.
The handset is also exceptionally thin and light when compared to other smartphones, at 0.34 inches (8.6 mm) and 4.73 ounces (134 g). Samsung’s TouchWiz UX UI Android overlay is present on the Galaxy S III, and works with ICS 4.0 to navigate the handset. That display delivers 306 pixels per inch and renders visuals in more than 16 million different colors, and the overall screen resolution runs 720 x 1,280 pixels. A scratch resistant layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 2 overlays the display, also providing glare reduction. Standard light and proximity sensors help automatically adjust for brightness and conserve battery life.
Talk time on the GS III runs approximately 8.0 hours from a single charge of the 2,100 mA battery on board, and standby time runs approximately 8.3 days. Powering the device is a Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon microchip set which includes a dual core 1.5 GHz central processor and Adreno 225 GPU that handles all graphics processing. 16 GB of built-in, user accessible storage is present out-of-the-box, and the Samsung Galaxy S III is one of the first handsets to provide 2.0 GB of RAM memory. A microSD slot is also present, and also offers microSDHC and microSDXC support, accepting cards up to 64 GB.
One of the first non-HTC smartphones to provide simultaneous snapshot and high definition video capture with stereo sound, the Samsung Galaxy S III comes with an LED flash, and back illuminated sensor (BSI), CMOS image sensor, high dynamic range mode (HDR), a special effects package and numerous customization features. That rear mounted 8.0 camcorder provides video capture at a high resolution 1,080P HD and 30 frames per second. A front facing chat cam is also present, as is an FM stereo with RDS and proprietary YouTube video player in the multimedia package. Popular social applications Facebook, Picasa and Twitter have been pre-installed, and are ready for use out-of-the-box. You can purchase the Samsung Galaxy S III starting at $149.