World's largest phonemaker kicks out the latest flagship Galaxy smartphone with a pocket-busting 4.8-inch screen.

Samsung goes large with Galaxy S III

Samsung has launched the latest in the line of Galaxy S smartphones with the Android 4.0 quad-core Galaxy S III.

Few Android phones will ever command the sort of attention of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III ahead of launch. Rumours and mooted features of the third-generation of the largest selling model of Android phone have been all over the web in recent weeks.

As such many of the features aren’t a huge surprise. First there’s the massive 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display with a 1280×720 resolution, even larger than the huge 4.65-inch display in Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. Then there’s Samsung’s 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 4412 and a predictable slew of benchmarks showing that the phone has regained the performance crown in CPU and GPU tasks.

Other rumours turned out to be guff with no sign of a ceramic body. Instead there’s a choice of finishes, "marble white" and "pebble blue". Strangely there’s no plain black. Overall it looks quite like the Galaxy Nexus, aside from somehow being bigger. We’d like to see one of Samsung’s favourite Korean female models holding this phone in one hand. They’d probably look rather like a waiter balancing a set of glases.

Impressively, despite the additional width and height, the Galaxy S III is noticably thinner than the already svelt Galaxy Nexus. It is, not to put too fine a point on it, ridiculously thin. Thankfully too, there is an SD card slot, something rumoured to be missing from the design, also like the Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy S III will still come with either 16 or 32GB of flash on board.

In terms of new features not seen before, Samsung had a couple of surprises including Smart Stay – an eye-tracking feature that uses the front-facing camera to recognise when someone is peeping at the display. If it’s you, the screen unlocks automatically. Nifty!

Samsung have also daubed the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS in the firm’s Touchwiz front end, which isn’t particularly good but then it’s been done up with some "liquid" graphical effects. Maybe that means it’s not as bad as previous versions of Touchwiz… we wouldn’t bet on it.

The camera is the same 8MP model but now boosted with lag-free picture taking, just like the Galaxy Nexus and there’s some Samsung specific software camera goodness such as the 20-shot burst most Best Photo feature.

So that’s the Samsung Galaxy S III. Not particularly revolutionary but again at the head of the class with regards to specs, weight and Samsung’s luscious massive AMOLED display. Doubtless it’ll sell by the truckload.

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