Samsung Galaxy S III rumoured to have 4.8in screen

The Galaxy S III will have other impressive tech specs, but will its massive screen could turn off mainstream consumers?

An artists impression of what the Samsung Galaxy S III could look like

An artists impression of what the Samsung Galaxy S III could look like

Samsung's Galaxy S III will have some impressive tech specs, according to a new leak, but a massive screen could turn off mainstream consumers.

Boy Genius Report got its hands on what is reportedly a partial list of Samsung Galaxy S III specs. The list includes a 1.5 GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, an 8-megapixel camera in the back, a 2-megapixel camera up front, 4G LTE support and a ceramic case. Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, will be on board, according to the report.

The Galaxy S III display also seems like a stunner, with 1080p resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio, but at 4.8 inches, it would also be a larger screen than any Galaxy S phone to date. The original Galaxy S had a 4-inch display, and its sequel had either a 4.3-inch or a 4.5-inch screen, depending on wireless carrier.

Granted, Ice Cream Sandwich phones can use software buttons for navigation (such as home and back buttons), allowing for extra screen real estate where hardware buttons are usually located. But even so, 4.8 inches is a lot of screen. Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, for example, has roughly the same workable area on its 4.65-inch display as my 4.3-inch Samsung Galaxy S II. And even that's pushing the limit of comfortable one-handed use.

To be clear, I don't think extra large smartphones are a bad idea in general. I have used and enjoyed Samsung's 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, but it's a niche product. Not everyone wants to sacrifice one-handed operation for more room on the screen.

The Galaxy S series is Samsung's flagship. They are slim, high-performance handsets with no gimmicks, and I suspect that's why the company has sold millions of them. If Boy Genius Report is accurate, and Samsung goes extra-large with the Galaxy S III to hit that 1080p marketing bullet point, the company may sacrifice broad appeal as a result.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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