Samsung’s long-awaited Galaxy event kicks off tomorrow at 4am AEST, and we’ll be live-blogging the action as it happens. Update: It’s just wrapped. Click through to see the details as it happened, or go straight to the hands-on.
We’ve seen the likely chip under the hood of what we’ll call (for now) the Galaxy S III. We’ve seen what purports to be leaked video of the device. We’ve seen the not-at-all-sheepish teaser trailer. But tomorrow morning (Australian time), Samsung will lift the veil off its “Next Galaxy” device, and we’ll be live-blogging all the action as it happens. Join us here at 4am sharp (and bleary-eyed) for all the fun.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go and brew a whole lot of coffee. Meanwhile, you’ve got plenty of time to get your last minute predictions in. What will Samsung unveil tomorrow morning?
3.45am: Not long now. The coffee is kicking in, the media is lining up outside the Earls Court venue in London, and I’m getting pumped up. Hit the music!
3.52am: Samsung, spelling your own name wrong doesn’t look good. See the screencap below. - Elly
3.55am: Kicking off a little early! Live video stream (if it holds up) over at http://www.thenextgalaxy.com/
3.55am: After a few streamed vox pops, they’re heading inside for the actual event.
3.58am: And now a view of the stage, some calming music and bubbles. Because, hey, everyone likes bubbles, no?
4.05am Kicking off… but specs are leaking out all over the internet, because clearly Samsung didn’t manage its time (or NDAs) quite properly.
4.05am: Orchestra time!
4.07am: “People are no longer enthused about technology for technology’s sake,” according to the pompous voiceover.
4.07am: So, then, this is just a hollow shell? I think not, but I do get what Samsung are getting at.
4.08am: “It is designed…. (pause)… for humans”. My cat is going to be so disappointed.
4.09am: At least this time they got the site to hold up. At unlike, say, Apple, Samsung is indeed livestreaming.
4.10am: OK, so it looks like Samsung’s embargo has lifted. Which makes the streaming video just EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY amusingly pointless.
4.11am: J.K. Shin, head of mobile communications at Samsung is now on stage. He reminds me of my uncle. -Elly
4:11am: Our friends at Gizmodo UK have the details — 4.8 inch display, 1.4GHz Exynos 4 Cortex-A9 quad-core chips, 1GB of RAM, and a choice of either 16Gb, 32GB or 64GB internal storage configurations.
4.12am: Which is presumably why they’re hitting STRAIGHT into the specs right away.
4.13am: Hang on — didn’t the video say that people were no longer enthused about technology for technology’s sake? I’m confused — this is mostly specs so far!
4.13am: 133g weight is nicely light for a phone this size.
4.14am: Its shape was “inspired by the round shape of pebbles and leaves”. Does nature own its own design IP?
4.15am: “It recognises your eye movement”. Cool technology… but maybe a little creepy.
4.16am: It will be launched in 145 countries, partnering with 296 mobile operators.
4.17am: “The largest number of customers” — launched at the end of May, starting with Europe, Asia.
4.17am: 4G version in Korea, US in (northern hemisphere) “summer”. Smart money says that’s not an 1800MHz LTE version, either.
4.18am: Now showing off the phone on stage… and now here comes video.
4.18am: Now walking through the feature set with European Samsung VIPs. Sorry, I didn’t catch their names; the audio mix on the official feed isn’t all that great.
4.19am: They’re going all on on the eye-recognition technology. And the “It knows” tagline. Has nobody at Samsung seen 2001?
4.24am: S Voice is Siri for SGSIII. - Elly
4.25am: The perils of a live demo. And let the comparisons with Siri begin! (Although maybe the S3 will actually, y’know, know where I am. That’d be nice).
4.27am: You can say “I want to take a photo” and the SGSIII will launch the camera app. - Elly
4.28am: So what happens if you play it this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgnXl7fz0Bc
4.31am: Samsung’s demo videos are incredibly flashy, but they don’t do a lot of explaining. - Elly
4.32am: S Beam — uses NFC and Wi-Fi Direct to share content with friends who are physically near you. - Elly
4.33am: Now demonstrating Buddy Photo Share — when you take a picture, the SGSIII wil recognise your friends’ faces and offer to send the photo to them right away. - Elly
4.33am: “Buddy Photo Share” — I suppose that would be fine if you had a dog called “Buddy”, but it feels very Americanised to me.
4.34am: Another live demo. There’s an old rule of onstage demos; something always goes (at least) slightly wrong. Already seen that with the voice demo… will the photo demo oblige?
4.34am: AllShare Play — also a feature of Samsung’s TVs, etc, because they want that whole ecosystem thing happening.
4.35am: Samsung providing SDKs to developers for AllShare compatible applications. Noble, although a tiny part of my brain screams “fragmentation”. Will Android devs make apps for a single phone series? Time will tell.
4.38am: Video just used 3G next to LTE. I wonder if Samsung’s trying to avoid falling into the whole 4G regulatory mess the way Apple has?
4.39am: Talking up the design and the colours: “Pebble Blue”. Don’t pebbles come mostly in grey colours?
4.40am Samsung’s taking this “getting back to nature” thing seriously. Nature UX TouchWiz and donations to WWF. - Elly
4.40am: Going all out for the use of the word “organic”. Also, that water droplet sound makes my bladder react, if you know what I mean. Hopefully few people will use that as a ringtone.
4.40am: Partnership with the WWF. Giving $100 for each attendee at Earl’s Court. Nice step!
4.42am: Zero shutter lag and less than one second to get back into camera mode. You can take up to 20 images in burst shot mode. 3.3 shots per second. It can automatically select the best picture out of eight. I wonder how that works. - Elly
4.42am: That pop-up video thing is neat tech, but I’d want some hands-on time — part of me reckons if I’m watching a video, then I’m, y’know, watching a video.
4.42am: Claim of zero shutter lag. Now I want to put this thing head to head with the HTC One X.
4.43am: Best photo picks the ‘best’ picture out of a group of eight. Do I get to keep the other seven?
4.44am: It looks like you can. Not quite as technically neat as Blackberry 10’s whole time shifting camera thing, but then this is a camera that should be out by the end of the month, not out… whenever.
4.45am: Group tagging — reminds me a whole lot of iPhoto’s faces feature (I’m going to catch hell for that comparison, aren’t I? Sigh). A nice feature to have, anyway.
4.45am: The front-facing camera shoots HD video. Nice. - Elly
4.45am: This whole thing where they keep “confirming” the rumours is a little daft. Not only have they lifted the embargo, it seems, but they mentioned it themselves in the opening minutes.
4.45am ‘4.8 inches IS a big screen’… but they’re talking up the narrow bezel. AKA not wanting to fall into the same problems that made the RAZR less enticing.
4.46am: Optional induction charging. Again, nice to have, but the price of the charger will determine whether anyone uses it much.
4.47am: BT 4.0, Wi-Fi channel bonding, and LTE being “prepared”. Details being announced in the US on their “world tour”. Again, I suspect that LTE “world tour” might just miss Australia for now.
4.47am: If that’s true, Alex, it’s a dealbreaker for me. No 4G, no deal. I’ll be very disappointed if this turns out to be the case for Australia. I suspect being in Canada it’ll be a different story for me, though. - Elly
4.48am: And now they’re airing the first Galaxy S III TV advertisement. This at least is a demo that should run smoothly.
4.49am: Again with the “Designed for Humans” tag. My cat is now pouting at me (although perhaps she just wants her breakfast).
4.50am: HDMI adaptor sold separately. Pack-in accessories typically don’t do as well as bundled ones, although it does keep phone costs a little lower.
4.50am: Apparently “the young generation” will go “crazy” for the gaming possibilities. I’m a gamer. Does that make me “young” again? No? Oh well.
4.51am: AV hub services launching in 6-7 countries… but not saying which ones. Samsung does do music here, so I can’t see why it couldn’t work here.
4.52am: Here is Gizmodo UK’s hands-on. Go check it out for all the pictures and specs details. - Elly
4.52am: S-Health? I’m getting a real Army Of Darkness “S-Mart” vibe here.
4.54am: Available May 29 in Europe.
4.55am: 10-city world tour to follow — but which cities? Again, I’ll catch hell for this, but that fruit-themed company at least puts up a slide showing *where* it’s doing this stuff!
4.56am: And now an Olympics tie-in. Because, London, you know? You might not have noticed, or something.
4.58am: It appears to be wrapping up now — but first “one more surprise”
4.59am: Ominous music. If Darth Vader comes out…. RUN!
4.59am: Or it could be the Oprah “you’re all getting one” moment…
4.59am: No, it appears to be Samsung mobile kiosks. That’s… marketing. Not so much “one more surprise”. A bit flat, IMHO.
5am: And that’s a wrap, folks. Your 30-second quick thoughts, Elly?
5am: The hardware specs excite me, the software not so much. They were pretty scant on the details and heavy on the theatrics in today’s presentation. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to get 4G here where I am in Canada, so this will likely be my next purchase. I’ll be sure to scrutinise it from top to bottom as soon as I get my hands on one. In the meantime, check out Gizmodo UK’s hands on.- Elly
5.05am: Agreed. Except for the 4G bit in Australia, that is. Keen to get my hands on a review unit and work out where it really sits in the high-end Android space; it doesn’t quite feel like, say the HTC One X killer that many might have desired. Now, over to you, Giz commentators: What did you think?