New phones, pads channel Hollywood

Ever since Apple launched its iPhone five years ago, rivals have been desperate to come up with an iPhone-killer — a device that’s cool enough for everyone to want while packing the tech specs like apps, fast Web access, high-resolution video and a powerful camera that consumers now demand from their smartphones.

Samsung has certainly come close with its Galaxy S III.

It’s understandable why Apple sought legal action against Samsung (and won $1.05 billion in damages last month). Powered by Google’s Android software, the Galaxy S III is as close to an iPhone as you can get without actually buying an iPhone.

Most carriers sell the smartphone for $199.99, but Amazon now offers it for $99.99 for a limited time. (Prices can vary based on the purchase of a phone-service contract.)

The screen is bright, clear and colorful, packed with downloadable apps, most of which also appear on the iPhone. The device is light and thin (0.34 inches thick) and easily slides into a pocket. Overall, it’s a sleek, attractive device that commands attention.

Much of that’s due to the large 4.8-inch screen (larger than the new iPhone 5’s 4-inch display). And that’s helpful when wanting to stream YouTube videos, access Netflix or purchase films through the Google Play store and watch them in full HD on the wide screen.

The experience is even better with the Galaxy S III’s fast processor, which eliminates the lag time before a clip begins to play (typical on the iPhone), and features a speedy Internet connection through 4G LTE.

Devices like the Galaxy S III will encourage the discovery of new entertainment. And that’s what should get Hollywood’s creative community excited. With more devices like Samsung’s smartphone, and similarly impressive devices from HTC, Motorola and Apple, the screens in people’s hands are now a more viable and lucrative platform to distribute entertainment.

Within 10 minutes, for example, a post on Flipboard led to entertainment site What’s Trending, which promoted the new teen-targeted Web series “Runaways,” by AwesomenessTV and producers of “Smallville” and “One Tree Hill.”

With a few clicks, an original property that didn’t have much traditional promotion behind it was revealed. And it played beautifully in full screen on the Galaxy S III.

This is the future of entertainment as Hollywood knows it. And if Samsung has proved anything with the Galaxy S III, of which it has sold 20 million units within the first 100 days of its release, powerful screens are now in everyone’s pockets with consumers ready to be entertained anywhere they go.