Samsung Galaxy S3 tested in hands-on video

Watch our hands-on video of the Samsung Galaxy S3, the year's most hotly-anticipated Android phone.

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Samsung's flagship phone for 2012, the Galaxy S3, has just been announced, and I've had some hands-on time with it already. Watch the video above to see what I thought, and come back a little bit later to see a more in-depth video. Below is most of the video in text form for those that prefer reading to ogling.

The key thing is the 4.8-inch screen. This is half an inch bigger than the screen on its predecessor, the Galaxy S2 . The screen resolution is 1280x720 and it looks bright and colourful with crisp fonts.

The S3 is running Android ICS, which as usual has been heavily customised with Samsung's Touchwiz interface.

One of the main things Samsung is pushing is the camera. The rear snapper packs 8 megapixels, and it's super-quick to take a picture. Samsung says the camera will automatically tag your friends and share the photo with them, providing you have their picture stored with their contact details, although this feature wasn't finished on sample I saw.

Burst mode lets you take up to 20 photos in one go and something called 'select best shot' takes eight photos and recommends the best one.

Elsewhere, you can record 1080p videos and take still pictures simultaneously, although only at 6-megapixel resolution.

At the front is a 2-megapixel camera which works with something called 'smart stay' to keep the screen from dimming while you're looking at the phone.

Inside is Samsung's own quad-core chip running at 1.4Ghz. Samsung says this uses a lot less power than the dual-core processor in the S2. Now combine that with the high capacity battery and that means the S3 will last longer away from the mains than the S2, or so Samsung says. There's no final figure for battery life yet, but I'm told to expect roughly 13 hours.

The S3 feels really good in the hand - nice and light and it's just 8.6mm thick. There's a physical home button on the front and a couple of touch-sensitive keys that are a little close to the edge for my liking as I kept hitting them by mistake, but you'll get used to it.

Other cool features include a video player that you can move around the screen. This means you can browse the internet or text without breaking off from the video you're watching. There's also something called S Voice, which is basically Samsung's version of Apple's Siri, so you can say 'what's the weather like today?' and the phone will go away and find out.

With S Beam you can share files over Wi-Fi with another Galaxy by tapping the phones together, and you get a free 50GB Dropbox account with every S3, which impressed me.

The S3 will arrive in 16, 32 and 64GB versions, and there's also a microSD slot for a further 64GB of memory if you need it.

The best thing of all for me is the removable battery, so if it dies you can replace it with a new one, unlike many other high-end phones.

The HSPA version of the S3 is going to be available in Europe first towards the end of May, then in the other countries that use the GSM standard. An LTE version for the US will follow, but not until December. Sorry America!

What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy S3? Let me know in the comments below or on our Facebook wall.

 

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