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Samsung Galaxy S III: Galaxy S II Vs. The Galaxy S III - Part 2

Samsung has launched at an event in London the new Galaxy flagship phone, the S III. ITProPortal was in attendance, live blogging from the event of all the happenings and capturing a hands-on walkthrough in pictures and on video, of the new top-tier phone.

On the 29th of May, the handset will be available, either on a new contract, as an upgrade, or just outright, SIM free and unlocked.

With that in mind, ITPP is now publishing a complete guide to the changes between the Samsung Galaxy S II and the new device, with a view to highlight the worthy differences between the two mobile phones. As owners of the original Samsung Galaxy S will no doubt be wondering: if it is worth upgrading, when the phone is around.

In Part 1 of Samsung Galaxy S III: Galaxy S II Vs. The Galaxy S III, we covered Connectivity, the Operating System And User Interface, along with the Processor.

And now ....

The Design

The Samsung Galaxy S II came with a much squarer design, than the first Galaxy S, with an almost early Skoda form-factor look to the phone. This layout was very boxy, with only slightly-rounded corners and a rectangular shape.

This design has now been dropped in the Galaxy S III. Instead, there's a return to the original handset's layout, with more rounded edges and a friendly form factor.

The updated curvy layout doesn't stop at the corners of the device either, but carries on across the top, sides and bottom - with the way it envelops into the rear of the case.

Also gone, is the executive look of the Galaxy S II; back is the friendly and more accessible design of the first Galaxy. As it stands, the available colours of the S III will be marble white and pebble blue. This is a very similar to what is offered on the Galaxy Note in the USA, which are referred to there, as carbon blue and ceramic white.

There is the distinctive metallic rim around the phone's edges, which is now synonymous with the Samsung Galaxy flagship models. It has been seen in all three handsets, the S, S II and now the S III.

The South Korean outfit has taken away the flush oblong home-screen button, from the S - which had a metal rim, on the S II - to replace this with a long half-moon shaped, raised, variant. This is flanked, either side, by two capacitive buttons, with the options and back functionality, from left to right. These perform in much the same way as any other Android OS based device, with the relevant features of 'Ice Cream Sandwich', relating to each button.

What we hoped, if not expected to see, was embedded capacitive touch buttons into the screen. We first saw this on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and it is a feature of Google's Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich' 4.0 OS. Seeing as Samsung, also designed that very phone and for the search engine giant to take advantage of the new platform, we thought we would see this in the Galaxy S III.

It is disappointing not to have screen-embedded buttons in the S III, as it would have made an excellent addition to the device and one that other manufacturers, have still yet to use. Other companies, have also deployed ICS on their flagship models, only Samsung was the first to use the OS and run with this feature.

The width of the mobile has changed from 66.1mm, to 70.6mm and the height, from 125.3mm to 136.6mm, in the S III. These new dimensions are to accommodate the 4.8in screen, from 4.3in display of the phone's predecessor.

Just above this screen, is a 1.9-megapixel camera, which has been shifted from the left to the, on the Galaxy S III. On the earlier mobile, this was actually a 2MP version. Despite the slight step backwards, there has been a forward jump - as the new camera can capture video and within 720p HD.

The camera is also utilised in another way, keeping the screen alive. Under the umbrella name of ‘Smart stay', is a new ability to the Galaxy S series. The camera and phone recognises that the screen it is being viewed and it doesn't dim, even after a period of inactively. Smart stay recognises the eyes of the person seeing the display, where if the mobile phone owner actually closes his or her eyes, the screen is then allowed to dim, but only at that point.

The thickness of the former Galaxy flagship has seen a controversial increase in size. The Samsung Galaxy S II was only 8.49mm thin, but it did have a meatier part. This was toward the base of the phone, at the rear and this part measured 9.89mm thick. The rear-speaker is contained in this section, along with the charging and data microUSB port.

There is now an overall thickness of 8.6mm, with no areas of controversy, whatsoever. There has been a slight weight gain too, with the larger screen and all that the device now contains. This has gone from 116grams of the S II, to 133g in the S III.

A possible contributing factor for this increased weight could be the battery, which has gone from a 1,650 mAh to a 2,100 mAh. Samsung hasn't confirmed the increased talk or standby time as a result of the new battery, but it'll will have been upped from 520mins or 610hours on 3G, of the S II.

Samsung has said the Galaxy S III design was inspired by nature, with its minimal and organic look that is reflected by its smooth and non-linear lines of the device. We can see what the company was gunning for, as the phone's design is an improvement to the S II.

Rob Kerr is a journalist with more than 14 years experience of news, reviews and feature writing on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show. The mobile phone world is his real passion and forte, having owned a handset as far back as 1994 where he has seen them grow from just a business tool to a necessity in everyone’s everyday life.