Wednesday, 20 June 2012

samsung galaxy s3 reviewSamsung Galaxy S3 Review 

The Good
  • Great screen
  • Decent life battery
  • Lots of new features
  • Excellent battery life
  • Superb screen
  • Quad core speed
The Bad
  • S Voice not optimised
  • It’s just so big
  • Gloss plastic looks cheap
  • Some extras seem gimmicky   

Never has an Android phone been so eagerly awaited as the Samsung Galaxy S3. The Samsung Galaxy S3 follows on from the runaway success that was the Samsung Galaxy S2, which won great praise and sold in huge numbers. So the new Galaxy had a lot to live up to. It had to be fast, powerful and feature-packed. Oh, and it had to look classy.

Amid levels of hype and speculation usually reserved for the launch of a new iPhone, the latest Samsung handset has arrived with a heavy brief – it must at least live up to its phenomenally successful predecessor (the Galaxy S II) and also attempt to dethrone the HTC One X as the top dog of Android smartphone royalty.

The S3 has gone big on innovation, with lots of new features the speculation hadn’t dreamed of. But the first thing you notice is the size. Samsung has shown it can make a success of big screens with the 5.3in display on the Samsung Galaxy Note.
So can the Galaxy S3 compete with HTC’s combination of raw power and elegant design?

Samsung Galaxy S3 – design, build and connectivity
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is closer in design to the Galaxy Nexus than the Galaxy S II, thanks to those rounded corners which (I imagine) leave Apple's lawyers with a little less work to do over the coming months.

The S3 has a 4.8in display and it's certainly big. It’s a slim phone from front to back so it’s more manageable than you might think, but even so. Actually, what helps more in terms of comfort is the gloss finish. It’s like a smooth, flat worry stone that you can roll seamlessly through your fingers. A matte finish wouldn’t have felt as good.

Available in both pebble blue and marble white (I prefer the former’s textured appearance), the Galaxy S3 cuts a dashing figure at a svelte 8.6mm thick, just 0.2mm thinner than the HTC One X. That’s an impressive feat given its larger 2100mAh battery (the One X’s battery offers 1800mAh).

Samsung Galaxy S3: Screen

Back to the size. If your hands can, er, handle it, the positive consequence is a superbly viewable screen. Video playback on a mobile is always a questionable priority – if you can’t watch on a TV, a tablet makes much more sense – but with 4.8ins of high-resolution Super AMOLED screen with its vivid colours and contrasty blacks, this makes it more of a possibility than before.

The screen resolution is identical to the HTC One X, so the pixels per inch aren’t quite as high on this slightly bigger screen, but both displays look lush and inviting, with this one winning in terms of bright, rich colours.

Samsung Galaxy S3 – processor, power and gaming
At the heart of the Samsung Galaxy S3 lies Samsung's very own 1.4Ghz quad-core Exynos processor, and it handles Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with ease. Transitions are delivered with a gossamer-like fluidity, while the One X offers the occasional stutter between homescreens at times. Simply put, the Galaxy S3 offers the slickest Android experience we've had to date and brings iPhone-like levels of smoothness to the Google camp at long last.

Firing up a 1080p movie trailer is also no problem for Samsung’s new phone. Smooth, fluid playback and intensive 3D games from the Google Play store posed little challenge for Samsung's homegrown silicon. GTA III and Frontline Commando perform perfectly with no lag, proving the Galaxy S3 is more than ready to take on the mantle of portable gaming.

Samsung Galaxy S3 – camera and video
The Samsung Galaxy S3's 8MP camera fires up in seconds and can snap shots even faster. So fast, in fact, you might not realise you've actually taken a photo. The photos themselves are sharp and offer more detail than the HTC One X's camera, which look slightly hazy by comparison.

Colour reproduction is also accurate with little grain on show, and the Samsung Galaxy S3's camera is easily on par with other imaging heavy hitters like the Sony Xperia S and brings along some useful options like a quick-fire burst mode which automatically selects the best picture.

One gripe we do have with the camera app is the lack of some of Ice Cream Sandwich's default imaging features like sweep panorama and time lapse, along with a few real-time effects. The One X, by contrast, has a plethora of effects, though the Galaxy S3 does ape the HTC phone’s ability to snap photos while shooting video.

The S3 also lets you assign contact thumbnails directly from photos. Simply tap a face, assign a name, and the Galaxy S3 automatically changes the corresponding contact profile picture.

Video quality is equally impressive, with 1080p-recorded video serving up vivid colours and sharp detail. Fast movement could be handled a bit better – we noticed a bit of motion blur while filming rapid action.

Samsung Galaxy S3 – verdict
Samsung had a lot to live up to with the release of its latest flagship Galaxy phone. Having set the bar for Android smartphones with the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus – and seen it exceeded with the HTC One X – the S3 needed to be a special phone.
Although some people may prefer the truer whites of the One X's screen, the Samsung Galaxy S3 still more than deserves to stand at the top of the pile, just above its HTC rival. Given its innovative software, expandable storage and much better battery life, the S3 has a rightful claim to be crowned the new king of Android phones. And Apple needs to watch its back... the smartphone war isn't won yet.


  • Large 4.8" HD Super AMOLED display
  • Super-fast 1.4 GHz quad-core processor
  • Large 2100mAh battery
  • 1.9 megapixel front camera with BSI
  • 8 megapixel low light camera with auto-focus and LED flash
  • Full HD video recording and playback
  • Up to 16GB internal memory
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System
  • NFC
  • Notification light
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