With a reported nine million pre-orders placed for Samsung`s third flagship Android smartphone, it certainly looks as if retailers are expecting major demand from consumers. If the Galaxy S3 bandwagon has so far passed you by, getting to grips with the hardware and software that powers this beast will help you understand the hype.
Samsung is set to launch both black and white editions of the phone, but once it is powered on you will probably ignore its exterior styling and be more interested in the 4.8 inch Super AMOLED display that stretches across almost the entirety of the handset`s front surface. With a high definition resolution and excellent colour and contrast, this display is doubtlessly going to be the talking point of the Galaxy S3 whenever it is pulled out in public. Next to it the 3.5 inch screen of the iPhone 4S looks positively tiny.
All of that screen area does mean that the phone is larger than any of its predecessors, even eclipsing recent launches like the 4.7 inch HTC One X. However, it is not too monolithic thanks to its 133 gram weight and slender 8.6mm chassis, so popping it into a pocket should still be relatively easy, provided you are not wearing skinny jeans.
Processing power is delivered by a quad core Exynos CPU clocked at 1.4GHz, which is vital to make a screen of this size and resolution operate smoothly in tandem with the Android 4.0 operating system. The Samsung TouchWiz interface has been updated to keep it feeling fresh yet familiar, so swiping between homescreens, adding widgets and receiving notifications is more fluid and intuitive than ever before.
There is an eight megapixel camera on the rear with an LED flash and the ability to record high definition video in full HD 1080p resolutions, which is becoming a relatively common facet of most high end smartphones. A secondary camera on the front facilitates video calls and also has a clever system which tracks the position of the user`s eyes. This means that the phone can tell when you are looking at the screen, allowing it to turn down the brightness to save battery when it is not in use. This is something of a gimmick, but features which become essential further down the line have to start somewhere.
In terms of connectivity you get Wi-Fi, 3G and NFC, the latter of which allows you to use the S Beam service to share data between two handsets at high speed. This is a nice addition and advances upon the kind of technology that was introduced with last year`s Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Accessories and add-ons for the Galaxy S3 will be appearing on sites like 3wisemonkeys.co.uk as its popularity grows and it seems that Samsung is beginning to earn iPhone-esque levels of attention for each successive launch. This does mean that critical response could play second fiddle, since consumers will invest in this model due to its cutting edge specifications. But it seems to be a rare example of when hype is actually justified.