The rumors have been realized as Samsung unveiled the latest in its popular Galaxy line on Thursday. The S III is set to begin shipping in late May, pushing out a new wave of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich handsets. Launching with far less fanfare this week is the updated version of the mid-sized Panasonic Android tablet for mobile workers. And as far as rumored devices go, Sony may be catching up to rivals with an updated Xperia offering.
Samsung Galaxy S III
It’s official. The Samsung Galaxy S III is here, as demonstrated at the highly anticipated London event this week. The latest in Samsung’s flagship line of smartphones, the Galaxy S III is a rival to Apple’s iPhone and takes on Nokia’s Lumia and PureView 808. Many of the rumored specs turned out to be true, including the quad-core Exynos processor, a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED 720p display and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The rear-facing camera is slightly smaller than expected at 8-megapixels, and the S III comes with 1GB of RAM and up to 64GB of onboard storage. Samsung also included their TouchWiz user interface, which has been upgraded with new features such as “Pop up Play” for videos and S-Beam, a ramped up version of Android Beam. Look for the S III to ship sometime between late May and early June, first in Europe then Asia. No official word on when the S III will hit the U.S., but it’s likely to be within a few months.
While Samsung revels in mass market appeal, Panasonic takes the niche approach with its newest midsize Android tablet, targeting the enterprise with pre-loaded Mocana mobile security technology. The 7-inch tablet has an LCD screen and runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb, and it’s shock-, dust- and water-proof. Initially released in Japan late last year, the BizPad also comes with an NFC reader, a replaceable battery, a microSD slot and an ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core CPU. The upgraded version comes pre-loaded with Mocana’s FIPS-certified Android security software, which is one of the most advanced encryption solutions for Android devices. It’s a perk Panasonic is hoping will catch your eye, given the rising number of malware attacks plaguing Android users today. The enterprise is especially cautious of newer tablets, as they often lack the firewalls a company’s IT department can install on office desktops.
Sony LT29i Hayabusa
Sony may be updating its Xperia line with more than just ICS, according to Chinese sources. Addressing the growing number of rivals sporting dual- or quad-core processors and larger HD touchscreen displays, Sony is reportedly working on a revamp of their Xperia line, code-named Hayabusa. Leaked photos show an Android device with navigation buttons moved to the bottom of the screen, suggesting the Hayabusa is running ICS. It could also feature a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 ARM-based processor, and a 13-megapixel camera with a stacked sensor capable of supporting HDR video functionality and stellar low-light performance. The HD Reality Display would be 4.55-inches, with a profile of about 7mm.