Samsung Galaxy S III Is a 4.8-Inch Sleepless Smartphone-Bot

Samsung designed the Galaxy S III by taking calming cues from nature and pairing them with six sensors to create a phone that "watches" you, listens and anticipates your needs.

The Samsung Galaxy S III was introduced at a London event May 3, ending months of speculation and raising eyebrows.

The Galaxy S III runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich, features a quad-core processor and a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, is 8.6mm thick, and weighs 133 grams. The iPhone 4S, for a quick comparison, is 9.3mm thick and 140 grams.

But, those aren€™t the S III€™s most fun features.

€œAt Samsung we believe a phone should be more than just smart, and that is where the Galaxy S III comes in,€ Jean-Daniel Ayme, a sharply tailored, Paris-based Samsung vice president, said by way of introduction. €œIt€™s inspired by nature. It€™s designed for humans.€

Think what you will of the slogan, but the idea is this: Samsung sifted through the nicer bits of nature, collected soothing textures, colors and sounds€”for example, when one taps the screen to unlock the phone, it visually and audibly reacts like a still pond that€™s been disturbed€”toward the goal of delivering a €œminimal, organic design that takes us back to nature,€ said Loesje De Criese, Samsung€™s Belgium-based marketing manager.

It then took these natural elements and combined them with hardware that€™s not so unlike the HTC One X. Then there are six very high-tech sensors that make the handset a slightly creepy, ever vigilant robot phone that watches human behavior.

The Galaxy S III, said Ayme, will see, listen, respond and predict our intentions. €œYou speak, it listens. It turns off when you look away. €¦ It€™s resting, waiting for you to wake up.€

Maybe something was lost in translation. With Siri, Apple created a sort of assistant one can access through the phone€”or one that even lives in the phone. Samsung€™s S Voice, however, is the phone.

€œIt is annoying to continuously touch a screen to keep it awake€ when doing things like reading a long email or ebook,€ said Ayme. €œThe Galaxy S III will solve this for us. It sees us, with its front-facing camera. It knows precisely what we are doing, and it follows our intentions.€

Did you take a nap before a presentation and miss five calls, an email and a text message from your boss? Your Galaxy recognizes the onslaught from a single contact, and when you pick it up it will buzz in your hand to let you know what a dummy you€™ve been.

With the Smart Alert feature, said Ayme, €œyou can never be caught off guard.€

Creepy smart features aside, the S III can also easily share content with other devices through a feature called Bump. And it has a Social Tag feature that recognizes the faces in photos, making it easier to share photos with the people in them, and it responds to voice commands to do things such as place a call, play music or take a photo when the user says, €œCheese!€ Presumably, the voice prompt can be customized.

Its 8-megapixel rear-facing camera has€”again like the HTC One X€”the ability to snap 20 photos at once and have the device choose the best one, as well as the ability to snap a photo while recording a video.

Plus, thanks to its quad-core processor, not to mention that gigantic screen, a user can reframe an HD video, making it smaller so she can watch while also doing other things, like emailing. The front-facing camera, at 1.9 megapixels, can also record in HD.

The Galaxy S III will come in two color options, Marble White or Pebble Blue, and has a €œvirtually seamless€ design that De Criese credited to a process called Hyperglaze that Samsung developed specifically for this phone. Plus, by narrowing the bezel, Samsung says the S III feels hardly any bigger than the S II, despite being 22 percent larger.

Samsung didn€™t share pricing, but the Galaxy S III will go on sale in Europe May 29, kicking off a 10-city world tour. A Long-Term Evolution (LTE) version is being created for the United States, and the invasion will begin this summer.

Follow me on Twitter at @eWEEK_Michelle.