THE event of the year: Samsung Galaxy S3 launch

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So where do I begin to describe the Samsung Galaxy S3 launch ?

From previous experience with Samsung, I knew we were in for a night to remember however they went above and beyond what anyone had expected – pyrotechnics & amazing stage performances included  !

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The launch was set at the Sandton Convention Centre. Those who are familiar with the venue know that it is a very large venue and that should have been my first clue that were into something spectacular. Only once I arrived the scale of the even dawned on me – it was massive ! There were over a thousand Samsung obsessed guest ranging from every part of the mobile industry. Everyone wanted to see, touch and feel the revolutionary Galaxy S3.

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The event was run with clockwork precision. There was a media brief where Deon Liebenberg, Samsung’s SA MD discussed Samsung success. There was 9 million units of the Galaxy S3 pre ordered – a world first! In SA there 50 000 units were pre-ordered by retailers and Samsung reaffirmed that they will provide maximum support to the SA market to supply as many units as the market demands. They better get ready as demand will be massive. Deon goes on to say that the Galaxy S3 is the most significant product launch ever by Samsung in South Africa and “is the most human phone Samsung has ever made”

…And let me tell you why that is such a true statement.

Craige Fleischer,Director of Mobile Communication & Justin Hume, Head of Marketing took the onlookers through the S3’s features.

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Some of my favourites are:

Social Tag & Buddy Photo Share

I am pretty sure other phone manufacturers are slapping their heads saying Why didn’t we think of this? I am also pretty sure this will copied throughout the phone industry.

  • Social Tag identifies the photos in your album or the pic you have just taken and compares it with the photos in the contacts list. When it finds a match it displays the person’s name as an “overlay” on top of the photo. Social integration means that it can even display the current status of your contact on Google+ and even Facebook. A simple tap and the phone takes you there too.
  • Buddy Photo Share is an expansion of the facial recognition where you can instantly share a group photo with all the people in the pic as the software matches up each face in your contacts.

LOVE IT

Smart Stay:

  • The phone uses its front facing camera to catch your eyes. As long as you are staring at the screen, the screen remains on. Full Stop. This means that when you read a long email or even an e-book, you don’t have to contently worry about the power saving mode kicking in and switching off the screen mid-sentence.

Direct Call

  • You just received an SMS and by simply holding up the phone to your ear, the S3 knows that you want to call that person and so it dials their number. Simple and effective.

Pop Up Play

  • No need to stop watching a video just because you want to check on an email or quickly look up something on the net. This feature lets you play videos on a smaller screen while you do these other tasks. You can also drag the video to anywhere on the screen so it doesnt get in your way.

Best Photo

  • The S3 takes a burst of 6 frames-per-second for up to 20 continuous shots. It also has a Best Photo mode which snaps eight consecutive images at 6 frames per second. it then highlighting for you the most appealing frame based on various professional parameters such as sharpness, contrast and even the person’s facial expression.

AllShare Cast

  • Currently the AllShare facility is available. You download the windows file and you can make your pc on the WiFi network a “media server” and share your music and videos.  However with the S3 this is stepped up a notch or two: You can now use AllShare to transmit the display of your S3 to a television. this means that your phone can be used as a games controller, you can broadcast your photos and video with no cables. If your TV is not so smart that has a WiFi connecter to it, you can get the AllShare Cast dongle which makes the TV part of the WiFi network. What is also great is that you can use this to run presentations direct from the phone with the Polaris Office suite which is included in the SG3.

S Voice

  • We know there is Siri so naturally we compare it to that. couldn’t really test this feature at the event as there was too much background noise. However, you can speak commands into your phone like “Snooze an Alarm” or “reject a call or “turn the volume up” etc. I am keen to test the “Send Email” command and the “Take photo now” command. what is nice is that you dont have to put on an American accent for it to understand you.

S Beam

  • Mix NFC and WiFi Direct & you get the ability to move 1 Gb of data from one device to the S3 in minutes. So if you are watching a movie on your mates S3 and want to carry on watching it on your phone, tap it and it will transfer the info. Quickly.

So in summary:

Referring to the Galaxy S3 as just a phone is like referring to the Nelson Mandela as just “some dude”. It is so much more than that. What is clear to me is that right from the outset the end user was in mind at every step of the way: “What and how will the user do/think/react”. Now that’s smart.

I cant wait to get my hands on it and test it in the “real world”

Think I am in love…

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