Samsung Galaxy S III - Need to Know

What are the key software features?

The S III ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 overlay. The Korean manufacturer has included a number of features to help differentiate it from the mass of Android devices.

It is possible to use voice commands to open apps and dictate notes using S-voice, which is similar to the service Apple provides on the iPhone 4S with Siri. However, Samsung has included other unique gesture based features. When you raise the phone to your ear while sending a text message, the device will automatically call that person. This is known as Direct Call.

Samsung Galaxy S III - Direct call

Gesture-based features such as Direct Call are intuitive and help save time

Other features include a Smart Stay, Smart Alert and Pop up Play. Smart Stay allows the front-facing camera to monitor the user. This ensures the screen will only go into sleep mode when you look away from the screen or put the phone down.

Smart Alert allows the phone to recognise when you have picked it up. The device will vibrate to let you know if you have had any missed calls, texts or emails.

Finally, Pop up Play allows you to watch videos whilst you are carrying out another activity such as composing a text message or email. This is the closest Android devices have ever come to true-multitasking

Samsung has also signed a deal with Dropbox, which will give users 50GB worth of storage when they purchase a device.

What about the battery life?

The 4.8in HD screen and software features are no doubt going to be a drain on battery life. To help power the device, Samsung has included a 2100mAh battery.

Of course battery life will depend on a number of factors including the number of messaging/social networking accounts you have synced up, internet usage and screen brightness.

It remains to be seen whether the Galaxy S III is able to crack the 12 hours mark in the rigorous IT Pro battery test, something smaller devices such HTC One S have been unable to do.

How much will it cost?

A SIM-free Galaxy S III will set you back a rather hefty 500, so it look as though contract options are the best way to go.

Three appears to be offering the best price/allowance ratio for business users. For 34 per month on a 24-month contract, users will get 2,000 minutes, 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes, 5,000 texts and most importantly, all-you-can-eat-data.

User who need more than 2,000 any-network minutes could opt for T-Mobile. For 41 per month on a 24-month contract, the network offers unlimited minutes to any network as well as unlimited texts and internet.

Vodafone, meanwhile, is offering the device for free on a 41 per month, 24 month price plan. This will include 900 minutes, unlimited texts, 2GB of mobile data (for a limited time), as well as 2GB of BT Openzone access.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.