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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

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CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Loud and Clear

Can Samsung surprise with the Galaxy S III?

One of our favourite GS3 mock-ups. (Credit: BGR)

Samsung may be top of the smartphone heap right now, but this puts it in the unenviable position of needing to deliver "the next big thing" when it unveils the Galaxy S III in a fortnight. Can Samsung surprise its fans with the design and features of its latest flagship model, or is it destined to disappoint?

The Galaxy S II was for many a benchmark for Android handsets last year. Its 4.3-inch AMOLED screen and zippy dual-core processor were the centrepieces in a phone that ticked many boxes. It's great for media playback, has an excellent camera and remains one of the fastest mobile devices for web browsing. It's also one of the thinnest and lightest phones around, even if it lacks a certain aesthetic flair.

There are, obviously, a lot of areas of smartphone design and features that Samsung will have to improve on to satisfy its fans and convince them that this newer model is a worthy upgrade. The Galaxy S III also faces stiff competition from handsets already in stores, especially from a marketing perspective. Will Samsung impress with a quad-core processor, when the HTC One X already sports one? Can Samsung add photography features to outshine HTC's new camera features or Nokia's 41-megapixel 808 PureView?

The question about quad-core processors is particularly interesting. Samsung has prided itself on being the fastest and most powerful, and often advertises the specs of its latest handsets over their other attributes. But will the quad-core story wash with tech lovers this year? We've already published our suspicions that even if quad core is faster than dual core, it is a very difficult thing to demonstrate. This isn't to say that Samsung should avoid the use of quad-core processors, but if it does and we're to pay for them, it'd be nice to know that there is added performance that we are paying for.

Battery life is also one area where Samsung could really put the screws to its closest competitors. The Galaxy S II suffered from average battery life, at best, so for Samsung to really up the ante in the battery capacity department would be a real acknowledgement that it is listening to its customers and responding to their feedback.

To really succeed in wowing the smartphone world, Samsung needs more than specs and speeds. It needs Apple's famous "one more thing". We have heard rumours that Samsung is working on a wireless charger that can charge a portable device from a range of several metres around the charging station. Samsung also has its flexible display in the works, although it's unlikely that this will be commercially available for some time.

There are also a number of lifestyle use cases that Samsung could lead on with this new release. We know that games are always among the top-selling apps for both Android and iOS, and yet no one has really nailed the gaming phone concept. Sony Ericsson gave it a good shot with the Xperia Play, but imagine if Samsung took that concept and went one step further, adding an HDMI port and making your phone a gaming console and controller all in one. Or Motorola's flagging LapDock concept of having your phone as your mobile PC. This concept is brilliant, but it needs a lot of work, and Samsung is exactly the kind of company that can polish this project.

What new features or big ideas would you like to see in the Galaxy S III, or in any new smartphone, for that matter? Let me know in the comments below.

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Swm AliA posted a comment   



S posted a comment   

I can't think of much but I'am pretty sure that Samsung will shake the industry with the new S series beast (as usual)


SantoshR posted a comment   

First time Samsung's handset release has no leaked image.
Looks like we are going to have to's one x has the best camera in a phone which we can use, edit and share pictures have to match that first..Battery issue looks resolved as in Galaxy note..and display is already sitting at the,feel,camera,speed ( either 1.5GHZ or 1.8GHZ would do)...are the factors


SatheeshK posted a comment   

really awesome to know. wanna know more about this. samsung became the giant and they will definitely do something different. when can i play with S III..


dvduran87 posted a comment   

If they try and come up with anything thing innovative or refined, they'll just be sued for patent infringement.


Will1505 posted a reply   

See in the past, samsung keep getting themself stuck because they take forever to release the device after announcement. However the new thinking is to just get in on the market and worry about the lawsuits later. No court will take a product off of the shelf after it is released. (i am not talking about china, i know they took the ipad off the shelf)


davidatscpc posted a comment   

They should also look at improving reception for regional cities. A Testra sales rep told me he wouldn't use a Galaxy if you paid him because the reception was so poor compared to the Motorola Atrix.

Can Cnet please test reception when you test phones?


Will1505 posted a reply   

The galaxy Y is a bluetick phone, fingers crossed.


dapsta posted a reply   

OMFG I work for telstra and that person told you complete BS. The atrix and the defy are by far the two worst phones that telstra sells, [poor build quality, poor software, poor support.

Sounds like they had no stock of the samsung or he was trying to get rid of stock. I don't know a single rep that could sell a motorola over a Samsung, and that's a fact.

Also Telstra gets excellent reception where wevere you are and despite what phone you are using. Unless you live on a farm and require a blue tick handset, you have been lied to.

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