Omio News Blog

Samsung Galaxy S3 Launch: UK Release Date Set For May 30th

Samsung finally revealed the hotly anticipated Galaxy S3 yesterday evening, in a multi million pound launch event at London’s Earls Court Exhibition Centre.

The handset runs the latest version of Android 4.0.4 on its 1.4 GHz quad-core Exynos processor with 1GB of RAM. 

The screen is an impressive 4.8-inch 720p Super HD AMOLED screen, which, whilst big has a thin bezel around it, so is perfectly holdable.

Figures like that would usually have us reaching for the charger, but the new processor is said to be much more power efficient, and the battery is a whopping 2100mAh, which is roughly 30% more powerful than the rival quad-core HTC One X.

The rear camera is 8MP and super-fast, taking 3.3 still shots per second, and 1080p video. 

The front camera is a surprise at 1.9MP, which is larger than expected, but maybe necessary for facial tracking. The S3 will be able to tell if you are looking at it and stay on if you are reading something, rather than dim the screen on a timer as is the norm.

The Galaxy S3 was given a more rounded appearence than the S2, opting for natural curves and soft edges.

Samsung have said they were inspired by nature when desiging the handset, which explains why we were serenaded by whale noises and birdsong during the build up.  The handset was demoed in two colours, pebble blue and ceramic white, for business and pleasure respectively.

Samsung also described the phone as being ‘designed for humans’ focussing on the social sharing features of the handset.  ‘S Beam’ is a close proximity file sharing feature that uses NFC and wifi to send files between handsets.

Facial recognition software will also allow users to instantly share photo’s with people in their contact list immediately. 

‘S Voice’ brings an air of Siri to the precedings, allowing users to look insane whilst talking to no-one.

You may be able to wake the phone from sleep with a voice command, but we always found the wake button much quicker. Hopefully local search facilities will be enabled upon release, (something Apple have still failed to do here in Europe) and bring this functionality out of novelty status.

The S3 will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities, with this expandable upto a further 64GB with the addition of a micro SDXC card.

Users will also be given 50GB of Dropbox cloud storage free for two years, which should see through a 24month contract.

The Galaxy S3 will be released as a 3G HDSPA+ version on May 29th in Europe, with a 4G LTE version following in countries lucky enough to have super-fast mobile broadband, in June of this year.

The Korean tech giants were keen to play down the numbers and the launch focussed on what the phone could do rather than boast about specifications or previous succeses. Of course, they could have boasted had they wished…

Figures released recently by London firm Strategy Analytics revealed that Samsung held 30% of the smartphone market, beating Apple’s 24%.

Samsung also accounted for 24.5% of the global mobile handset market, passing Nokia, who have been on a downward slide of late.

UK Retailers are currently rubbing their hands in anticipation of the May 29th launch, as the Galaxy S2 sold like hotcakes.

Some information lacking from the launch event was any solid details on pricing. However, retailers will be keen to start pre-sales so expect full details soon.

We expect the handset to be offered on contract from the £35 per month mark, with the upfront cost varying depending on which model you plump for. Those who wish to buy the phone outright rather than tie into a lengthy contract should expect prices starting around £500.

We will of course be sure to bring you any deatils of availability and pricing as soon as we find out.  Sign up for alerts about the Samsung Galaxy S3 on our deals page, or keep tuned to Omio for more news.

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Philip Rust