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Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC)'s latest smartphone is its attempt to take on Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) in the software and design departments, but carriers may be more concerned about the data stress this Android monster will put on their networks.

Samsung introduced the phone at a glitzy event in London with TV presenter Suzi Perry and the London Metropolitan Orchestra playing live musical interludes between multiple Samsung demonstrations of the new device.

Features of the device include:

  • A large 4.8-inch screen but casing that makes the device not much bigger than the Galaxy S II
  • An 8-megapixel camera
  • The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system
  • Face recognition software that follows your eyes, so that the phone "sleeps when you do," according to Samsung
  • A proximity sensor that allows the phone to call the person you were texting with if you lift the device to your ear
  • Voice Equalizer software to improve call quality
  • Wi-Fi collaboration software to tag and share photos with others on the same network


Samsung executives stressed that these features will help to personalize the smartphone experience for users. "Simply, Galaxy S III is a human phone that understands you," declared J.K. Shin, president of Samsung Mobile in London.

More than ever, in fact, Samsung executives stressed the software and design features of the phone over the hardware upgrades. A steady stream of Samsung executives, representatives and ads at the event repeated the mantra that the phone is "inspired by nature, designed for humans." [Ed note: As opposed to the previous Galaxy phones, which were actually designed for goats?] The new data hog in town
Carriers, however, are likely to be eyeing the large crisp screen of the S III and wondering what kind of data traffic it might consume and the signaling load it will place on the network.

The screen size is not much smaller than the 5.3-inch display on the Samsung phone-cum-tablet Galaxy Note. As Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and others have noted, tablets and other large display devices consume comparatively more data than smartphones.

"Tablets generate about five times as much traffic as smartphones," Thomas Barnett, senior manager of service provider marketing at Cisco told Light Reading Mobile in February 2011. (See Cisco: Tablets Hog More Data Than Smart Phones.) Thus, it follows that a video-friendly, large-screen smartphone can generate more data and signaling traffic than its smaller rivals. Data bottlenecks and signaling channel congestion can cause dropped calls and slow data transfers on cellular networks. (See LTE Signaling Woes Ahead?.)

The Android operating has been considered a signaling "bad boy" in the past, although Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and its partners have started to put in upgrades to improve the situation in the operating system itself. (See NSN: Android & RIM Are Signaling Bad Boys and Android Zaps Signaling Noise .)

U.S. carriers will have a little more time to discover this new Galaxy than their European counterparts. The 3G version of Galaxy S III will be released on the old continent on May 29. Samsung hasn't revealed exact timing -- or pricing -- for the U.S., only saying that it is preparing a 4G version for stateside and Asian customers this summer.

For more

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:34:07 PM
re: Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches

Face recognition, and the phone "sleeps when you do." In other words, it's watching you like a stalker?


Feature overload is all fun and games until it gets creepy.

myhui 12/5/2012 | 5:34:07 PM
re: Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches

So that's why your employer wants you to aim the front facing camera at your face at all times when you're on the job.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:34:07 PM
re: Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches I know right?

How long before its all: "I'm afraid I can't do that, Dan."

But Siri was bound to open the floodgates to all that.
sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:34:06 PM
re: Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches

Does technology like S Talk and Siri have learning engines in it so that it gets to you know your accent, frequent requests, etc and improves over time? That'd add to the creep factor, but it'd also make it so much more helpful and accurate. 

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:34:06 PM
re: Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches Dude. My laptop seems to take a picture of me every time I open it. Not pretty, I'm guessing...
shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:34:05 PM
re: Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches

"Simply, Galaxy S III is a human phone that understands you."


Does this mean the eventual disintermediation of psychoanalysts? Or maybe a death knell for services like match.com?

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:34:04 PM
re: Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches

Siri says: Find your own damn coffee shop.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:34:04 PM
re: Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches

Don't know, I mean if your phone understands you does that mean it has has to like you? We'd be getting back to Asimov's laws as regards Android then. :-)

joanengebretson 12/5/2012 | 5:34:04 PM
re: Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches

I'm waiting for someone to develop facial recognition software that recognizes other peoples' faces. Say you're at a business reception & you recognize some CEO but can't remember his name. Facial recognition app to the rescue. It might need some sort of 90-degree angle lens though so you don't have to aim your phone right at the guy.

Bannana 12/5/2012 | 5:34:03 PM
re: Samsung's New Galaxy: A Data Hog Approaches

You'd better not forget its birthday. Or use it to talk to your provider about a hardware upgrade when the Galaxy 4 comes out.

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