Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone delights with exclusive features, voice interactions

Samsung’s highly anticipated Galaxy S III smartphone is getting glowing reviews on technology blogs and across social media sites but its design is a source of contention.

Samsung has foregone cutting-edge design and world-first specs on the flagship device in favor of an improved user interface, software optimization, exclusive on-board features and consumer-pleasing specs.

The device sports a desirable list of hardware specifications that include a huge 4.8” HD Super AMOLED (1280x720) display, a 1.4 GHz Exynos 4 Quadprocessor, an 8MP camera, a 2,100mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. It runs on a customized version of Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Added features such as Siri-challenging voice commands (S Voice), cloud storage, eye-tracking and lag-free photo taking will also help Samsung differentiate the device from its Android competitors.

While bloggers lamented the flagship smartphone’s lack of edgy design, they praised the device’s specs, improved user interface, software optimization and exclusive features.

Engadget said, “this is a good-looking phone, with an impressive high definition Super AMOLED screen and a processor that looks likely to spar for top spot among Android devices,” but complained it lacked stand-out design and “wow-factor hardware.”

Ars Technica called it “a conservative evolution of the Galaxy S II,” and added “It's just a pity that for all the innovation on the inside, and all the work that Samsung has done on the software, the whole thing is wrapped up in a package that's so mediocre. Flagship phones deserve better than flimsy plastic.”

“There’s no doubt that the SIII will be a big seller,” said The Next Web.

Microbloggers agreed that “Samsung galaxy s3 sure looks a cracker with some awesome features and specs” and said “I seriously want a Samsung Galaxy SIII. I can't wait until it's released in the US this summer...I'll be first in line!”

Other Twitter users questioned the Galaxy S III’s lackluster design saying, “The galaxy S3 really looks like my galaxy nexus in a way. :o I thought it would be rectangular” and “The design of Samsung Galaxy S III looks so bad that I won't bother reading all the specs. I will skip this one.”

Gizmodo has posted a side-by-side comparison of the Galaxy S III and the iPhone 4S on its site.

The Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone will launch in Europe on May 29 before a wider rollout in global markets. Pricing has not been announced.