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Samsung Galaxy S III Launched

Samsung has finally revealed its Galaxy S III smartphone, the most anticipated Android handset of this year.

The Galaxy S III comes with a 4.8in Super AMOLED 1280 x 720 display, and 1.4GHz quad-core CPU, as expected, and is indeed the handset seen in the leaked shots from a website in the Netherlands which we highlighted this morning.

The device comes with an 8 megapixel camera (so the rumoured 12 megapixel affair turned out to be false), and a 1.9 megapixel front camera. 16GB and 32GB models are to be initially available, with a 64GB storage boasting handset to follow.

The phone has NFC on board, and naturally enough the Ice Cream Sandwich variant of Android. It's 8.6mm thin, weighs 133 grams, and comes with a 2,100 mAh battery on board.

JK Shin, President and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung, enthused: "With the GALAXY S III, Samsung has maximized the consumer benefits by integrating superior hardware with enhanced smartphone usability."

"Designed to be both effortlessly smart and intuitively simple, the GALAXY S III has been created with our human needs and capabilities in mind. What makes me most proud is that it enables one of the most seamless, natural and human-centric mobile experiences, opening up a new horizon that allows you to live a life extraordinary."

Samsung boasts that the phone provides an enhanced user experience, with facial recognition, voice and motion capability.

A new ‘smart stay' feature intelligently recognises when you're in front of the handset, via the camera - and when you're not there, power-saving mode kicks in and the screen goes dead. Samsung notes that it "recognizes how you are using your phone - reading an e-book or browsing the web for instance - by having the front camera identify your eyes; the phone maintains a bright display for continued viewing pleasure."

The S Voice feature provides voice control of the device, so you can tell your phone to launch the camera and snap a photo (yes, a basic Siri, in other words).

The S III's motion sensing capabilities mean that if you're messaging someone, and decide to call them, all you need to do is lift the phone to your ear. The handset will detect this, and the direct call feature will ring their number. A clever touch.

The new Galaxy also expands on Android Beam with the S Beam, which allows for quick and easy sharing, so a 1GB movie file can be shared inside three minutes by simply touching another S III. A 10MB music file is transferred in two seconds flat. The AllShare Cast feature also lets users wirelessly connect their handset to their TV, to stream content across.

Samsung also notes that the main 8 megapixel camera benefits from a zero-lag shutter, and a burst mode which captures 20 continuous shots. Even the front-facing camera is capable of HD video recording.

The Samsung Galaxy S III will be available in pebble blue and marble white, with the 3G HSPA+ handset coming out at the end of May. The 4G LTE version will be pushed out this summer for markets where it's applicable.