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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The Samsung Galaxy S III says hello

Processing power

A plastic build

Full control

Ice cream, anyone?

Some sweet apps

Make it snappy

Camera options

Your best shot

Showtime

Drag and drop

Tag, you're it

Wireless transfer

Flipboard goes Android

On your command

Face or voice unlock

Getting set

How it compares

Back by the battery

Thin and trim

LONDON--At its "Unpacked" event, Samsung unveiled the latest model in its flagship Android line, the Samsung Galaxy S III. Compared with its predecessors, the Galaxy family gets a more rounded look that's almost similar to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED is sharp, crisp, and vibrant.
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The quad-core processor should chew through graphically demanding apps.
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The S III will come in two colors, white or blue. While the blue version has a textured brushed-metal design on the rear cover, it's actually plastic. It feels solid, but it doesn't give a good grip like the Galaxy Nexus, and it doesn't feel as durable as the polycarbonate finish of the One X.
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Samsung chose to retain the physical home button for the S III instead of using soft keys like on the Galaxy Nexus.
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The Galaxy S III runs Ice Cream Sandwich, Android OS 4.0.4.
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Apps in the drawer will feature a more Ice Cream Sandwich-like look.
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The 8-megapixel camera of the S III features face detection and a burst mode of six images per second. I couldn't test the image quality at the prelaunch event, so I can't yet tell you if the S III's is better than the camera on the One X (or on the iPhone 4S).
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The 8-megapixel camera is crammed with features and options.
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After burst mode finishes, you will get a menu where you can select the best picture. The S III is smart enough to pick the "best" image based on whether the eyes are looking at the camera or somewhere else.
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A new button on the video app lets you play a video in the foreground while doing other things like surfing the Web.
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The video window is portable, which means you can drag it anywhere on the screen.
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You can also tag faces to add a name. Photos will then be grouped based on contact info stored on the handset.
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The handset includes an upgrade to Android Beam called S Beam, which lets you transfer files using NFC or Wi-Fi Direct. Samsung claims the file transfer rate between both phones can go up to 300Mbps.
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Flipboard for Android makes its debut on the Galaxy S III. Dropbox is also preloaded on the handset, and will come with free 50GB storage for two years.
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The Samsung Galaxy S III will come with a new look for the S Voice UI -- we last saw this app in the Galaxy Note -- but it looks more refined here.
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Samsung has also added voice unlock to the handset that's meant to be used together with the face unlock app.
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Here's what the setup process looks like. You'll need to repeat yourself four times for the phone to remember your voice.
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The S III (right) is larger than the S II (center), and slightly larger than the Galaxy Nexus (left), with which it bears some resemblance.
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Underneath the rear cover, you'll find a removable 2,100mAh battery, the microSD card slot, and the SIM card slot.
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At just .3-inch thin, this enormous phone is extremely slim. It weighs just 4.7 ounces, too.
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