One of the most hyped mobile handsets of the year had its launch in Australia this week, offering a vision of a handset “inspired by nature” featuring a combination of technologies and an emphasis on human interaction.

The follow-up to one of Samsung’s biggest devices, the Samsung Galaxy S3 (or SIII depending on what you’re searching for) is the latest smartphone for Samsung and has been designed to take on Apple’s next iPhone before the juggernaut comes out.

Attempting to second guess the competition ahead of time, Samsung has equipped the S3 with a massive 4.8 inch Super AMOLED screen with an HD 1280×720 resolution, 16GB storage, microSD slot for expanding beyond this, Android’s latest operation system (4.0, “Ice Cream Sandwich”), Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, 3G connection with 21Mbps downlink, and a Samsung produced quad-core processor.

There’s no 4G LTE yet, nor is there any strong aluminium or metal in its built, with the Galaxy S3 featuring a chassis made of plastic and glass. In fact, the front massive glass element protecting the 4.8 inch screen takes advantage of the second generation Gorilla Glass, able to survive even more of a beating than past handsets.

A massive 2100mAh battery is powering the S3, up from the 1650 offered by the Galaxy S2 last year. For a quick reference, most top tier smartphones offer between 1400 and 1800mAh, potentially giving Samsung an edge.

The difference in batteries, with the 1650mAh Galaxy S2 (left) and the 2100 mAh Galaxy S3 (right).

Also of note is the battery, a part that’s still replaceable in the S3. If you’re heading on a business trip any time soon and find you need extra juice, more batteries can be purchased, and even charged simultaneously with an upcoming combination battery and phone charging dock.

Adding to these features, you’ll find an 8 megapixel camera that Samsung’s Tyler McGee says “redefines the photography experience”, offering a camera with absolutely no shutter lag, the ability to fire multiple shots in quick succession and have the camera select one, video stabilisation, a front-facing 1.9 megapixel camera capable of grabbing HD video, and even make the handset pick up on facial recognition with “group tag”.

In fact, it’s features like the social tagging facility that Samsung is attempting to highlight with the S3, pushing hard with more than just the technical superiority its handset offers.

While it runs the latest version of Android, the operating system and Samsung’s own TouchWiz overlay has been refined to make things more “human”, so to speak.

“S Voice” is Samsung’s attempt at remaking a voice interface similar to Apple’s Siri, allowing you to say things to your phone and have them performed for you. We had a quick play with this and were able to grab the weather, set an alarm, search the Internet for something, and even send an SMS.

It’s more than just talking though, as Samsung’s S3 offers technology that takes advantage of motion sensors and cameras, with “Smart Stay” and “Direct Call.”

Smart Stay is one of those features you’re not sure you’ll need, but promises to be of some use. If you’ve ever looked at your screen, read something, and found the display switches off mid-sentence, only to force you to unlock it with your fingers, Smart Stay gets around this. In essence, the camera watches your face and makes sure you’re reading the screen. When you’ve stopped reading, the screen will switch off, saving you battery power.