June 20, 2012 | by Natesh Sood
A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the American Samsung Galaxy S III models at a private viewing event. I wanted to share some of my own thoughts and opinions of the device and why I think it has the potential to be a great smartphone for consumers.
Upon leaving the event, there was one theme that really stuck with me (granted, Samsung was really trying to push it): Sharing. The Galaxy S III does a great job of handling media, but then sharing it with nearby Galaxy S III devices. For the smartphone to work as billed, many are going to have to adopt the smartphone, but with its powerful hardware and unique software integration, I don’t see why that would be a derailing obstacle. The common design of the Samsung Galaxy S III across the five different major carriers will surely help individuals see it as one singular device and utilize the sharing features that Samsung has built into the device.
The first feature I would like to talk about is AllShare Play. The concept of AllShare Play is having media stored on one device that can be displayed to other users on the same WiFi network. Anyone in the network with access to the secured AllShare Play group can control the presentation in real-time and even edit it. The app does not work with videos at this time, but photos are fair game. AllShare Play can hook up with an Internet enabled television and display the media — provided each device is on the same WiFi network.
Another feature heavily advertised by Samsung is Popup Play. The idea here is one can multitask while viewing a video. If you are watching a movie on your phone, you can play it in a smaller screen within the device and send out a text message or surf the web at the same time. As you can imagine, the process is a memory intensive one, but the 2GB RAM and 1.5GHz dual-core processor handles the task well.
Using NFC and WiFi Direct in tandem, the Galaxy S III has a feature known as S Beam which can transfer any type of media almost instantly. Samsung boasts it is capable of transferring a 1GB file in three minutes. The way this works is two Galaxy S III phones simply touch while one is playing a video and it will immediately transfer. I think this feature is one of the better ones since you can transfer files very quickly with WiFi direct just by touching two phones together. Sure, there’s email for small files, and Android Beam is a standard Android 4.0 feature, but for larger files, a direct connection is much more efficient. The downfall is that the way Samsung implements sharing limits device compatibility to other phones with S Beam built-in.
The camera is a shining moment for Samsung in the design of the Galaxy S III, and an excellent example of sharing. It has an 8MP rear facing shooter that captures 1080p video and strong photos, that can then be passed to other users with a feature called ShareShot. The premise in which Samsung envisions owners using this feature is a party where you and your friends want to share the pictures each has amassed. By tuning into the same WiFi network and joining the ShareShot group, each picture taken will automatically upload to each other’s gallery immediately. The idea is that rather than wait for pics to pop on Facebook the next day, Galaxy S III users can instantly send their photos to each other throughout the night and capture memories from multiple angles.
These are just some of the features I was able to test out at the Samsung event. Unfortunately, I was not able to snap any pictures, but fellow staff writer Andrew Kameka has a full review of the Samsung Galaxy S III for your reading pleasure.