Well, well, well. After months of rumours and speculation, and not forgetting the heartbreaking Mobile World Congress no-show, the “next Galaxy” – or Samsung Galaxy S III to use its actual name – is finally here.
I’m not sure what we were expecting exactly, but – much like when the iPhone 4S dropped last October – the reaction from Mobotniks seems to be a resounding “meh”. You’re a tough bunch to please.
To be fair to everyone’s favourite South Korean manufacturer (no offense, LG), it has gone all-out in terms in Samsung Galaxy S III features, though some are arguably more appealing than others.
Smart Stay uses the front-facing camera to detect when you’re looking at your Samsung Galaxy S III, and prevents locking if you haven’t touched the screen in a while – so long as you’re still gazing longingly at the display.
Treab had a good laugh at Direct Call last night. If you’re reading a message from someone and decide you’d rather give him or her a call than text back, just hold the phone up to your ear and it’ll dial automatically. It doesn't get much lazier than that.
It’s hard to talk about S Voice without mentioning you-know-what, so I’ll say it now: Siri. Yep, S Voice is essentially Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Siri, with voice-activated commands allowing you to, among other things, bring up the camera and wake your Galaxy S III from sleeping.
There’s also PopUp Play, which allows you to shrink a video and continue watching it while you play with other apps. Shades of the Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) update for the Sony Tablet S there.
For me, none of those features are going to make the difference between shelling out £500 for a Samsung Galaxy S III and not. Let’s file them under ‘Nice to have (but probably won’t use them much (if ever))’.
Similarly, I’m not overly bothered about Pentile (sorry, Matt), and a modest 8MP camera instead of 12MP? Surely anyone who cares that much about snapping will invest in a separate camera. Or maybe that’s just me.
Call me vain, but I think the real disappointment is what’s on the outside. There were rumours that the Samsung Galaxy S III’s technology would be nestled inside an indestructible ceramic case, baked in the fires of hell. That would’ve been pretty sweet. Alas, it’s plastic, and reportedly pretty cheap feeling too. Boo.
The Samsung Galaxy S III colours didn’t exactly impress either. You can grab the latest Galaxy in white or pebble blue, which Matt fantastically described as “a choice between looking gay and looking just awful” respectively.
All in all: good, but not great. I’m not actually sure what would’ve won me over. Maybe a super-strong case and waterproof action without the need for a cover? I dunno. Er, that's probably why I don't work in R&D. Heck, at least it's not bloody autostereoscopic.
Personally, I’m not feeling overly enthused about any of the latest smartphone releases. I really liked the HTC One X when I played with it at Mobile World Congress, but it didn’t make me feel like I had to run out and buy one the day it came out. Oddly, I'm more drawn to the HTC One S.
I reckon I’ll wait till later in the year and see what the iPhone 5 brings. And let’s not forget that Windows Phone Apollo is just around the corner too. I’m not even joking, man.