Samsung Galaxy S III i9300
What we like
What we don't like
The Galaxy series of smartphones from Samsung is a saga of unprecedented success when every model is followed by a superior one. Galaxy S is still selling well even after 3 years of its initial launch. Galaxy S II carried the legacy of its predecessor and became a trend setter for Android fans. Its record sales worldwide sealed its position as one of the best Android smartphone we have ever seen. Now we have seen another Galaxy series smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S III.
Design and Dimensions
The dimensions of Samsung Galaxy s III are 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm and it weighs 133 g. Compare it with rivals: HTC One X – 134.4 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm, 130 g; Galaxy S2 – 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm, 116 g. As you can see The Galaxy S III is slightly bigger than Galaxy S2.
Frankly says, we have not impressed with the design of Samsung new flagship model. At the top it has as usual 3.5 mm jack with the microUSB at the bottom. The right side features an typical on/off button, while the left hosts an as usual volume rocker.
The front face sports a frontal camera together with light and proximity sensors. In the bottom, there is a hardware central (Home) key and two sensor buttons as it was in previous model.
What we made a little bit annoying is its extremely rounded corners and even curvy back side. Those ergonomics make the Samsung Galaxy S III a bit difficult to grip properly. At this place we would praise the Apple iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S design which allows a better grip. Initially only two colors will be available – Marble White and Pebble Blue. Later on the lineup will be expanded and we will get a black phone among others.
As with most any Samsung device, it mostly builds with plastic thanks to the low performed metal made Galaxy R which shows that consumers prefer plastic. The build is on par as compare to the Galaxy S2 without any gaps between sides, while the back cover is tightly fixed. All in all the design aspect of Galaxy S III looks average.
The Galaxy S III has a 4.8″ wide HD Super AMOLED display that boasts 1280х720 pixels resolution with more than 16 million colors support and a rich pixel density of 306 ppi (pixels per inch). This 720p panel is featuring the same old PenTile RBGB pixel arrangement that we have seen in the 4.65-inch version on the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S II HD. It is 0.1 inches bigger across the diagonal as compare to the HTC One X, and 0.15 inches bigger versus the Galaxy Nexus.
The capacitive screen supports up to 10 simultaneous touches. The display quality is exceptional as all Samsung high end smartphones do. The display quality can easily compare with Retina technology from Apple iPhone. Automatic brightness is far more insistent here as compare to the Galaxy S2. That’s why you have to adjust the brightness level manually to the level continent to you.
As the general rule suggest the brighter the screen the more power consumption. Here comes the role of new feature called smart stay. When the frontal camera catches the way you look at the screen and changes the brightness, when you read for instance.
The Samsung Galaxy S III runs on the latest Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which has been seriously customized by the latest TouchWiz UI from Samsung. The UI of S III is heavily inspired by Samsung Galaxy S II along with the ICS update but with polished treatment. It’s definitely a lot cleaner and more refined now. In order to unlock the device, users can swipe their fingers over a pool of water, creating a ripple kind of effect along with the rippling water drop sound effect. There’s also help text that you can disable it when you’ve consumed all the bells and whistles.
The notification area looks familiar – Wi-Fi, GPS, Silent mode, Screen rotation and Power saving (which replaced the Bluetooth toggle). You can scroll them sideways to reveal more functions, Mobile data, Bluetooth, Driving mode and Sync.
Four customizable shortcuts present at the bottom of the display. Just drag one up to activate the specific app. You can also enable a news ticker at the bottom of the lock screen in order to stay up to date on current events which can be expanded to view all news items.
Despite the extra display width of Galaxy S III, the home screen as well as the app drawer fit only four shortcuts on a row. However, there are now five rows in the drawer so you still get more shortcuts per page. Also you can find five icons at the bottom of the dock. The app drawer has basically three view modes – Customizable grid users have the ability to rearrange the icons according to their preferences. Second is the Alphabetical grid, as the name suggests, you can find apps quicker if they’re alphabetized and Alphabetical list. One functionality which was absent in ICS driven Galaxy S II is a tab in app drawer that enables you to pull out widgets to the home screen quite easily in Galaxy S III.
Ice Cream Sandwich comes with various widgets. Some widgets are resizable; a feature we’ve seen in some custom UIs is now available natively in ICS.
The Samsung Galaxy S III features Samsung’s own 8 megapixel camera module, the one we have seen in Galaxy S II. However, Samsung has brought the BIS technology in S III that according to Samsung improves picture quality in low light conditions. The UI of camera screen is almost same as we have found in Galaxy S II. Customizable shortcuts reside on the left side of the display (in landscape), while the capture key and a video / stills toggle is placed on the right. And yes, there is No dedicated camera key.
Samsung also include a feature called face detection in its gallery app. Though, we have noticed an inconsistency in recognizing the face by S III camera. Out of five attempts, the Galaxy S III recognized ones face three times and refused two times.
The 1.9-megapixel frontal camera supports the rear-facing shooter very well, producing fair image quality. For still shots, The Samsung Galaxy S III offers a bouquet of filters and modes, many of which are also available on other Android ICS devices. The features include panorama option for great landscape photos. The burst shot, which takes 20 quick photos over about six seconds, and best shot. The Best Photo mode allows you to select the best among 8 pictures taken in a row.
Other features include HDR that combines three photos taken at different exposures for a more balanced picture. However, we find that its effects are insignificant somehow. The resulting images never look as natural as ones taken in the normal mode. The camera now boasts of zero lag, which means it takes picture in no time after you press the shutter.
Another promising feature you can find on Galaxy S III is Share Shot where users can connect handsets and each photo taken by each handset will be shared across all devices in the photo gallery. However, couple of conditions would definitely make you annoying while using this feature. First is the WiFi requirement which often drops or disconnects. The feature also requires a Galaxy S III be used on both sides of the connection. However, it may be included in additional Samsung phones which set to launch later this year. The maximum video recording resolution is 1920×1080 (1080p) at 30 fps. It uses a fixed focus but you can always change it whenever you like.
Battery Life & Performance
The Samsung Galaxy S III does sport a massive 2100 mAh battery, which is slightly less than the 2500 mAh on the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note and a lot higher than Galaxy S II (1650 mAH). Being a Quad core processors equipped, you just can’t expect S III a marathon runner. However, you can still achieve 6-9 hours back-up with fairly usage of gaming, browsing, videos and calling (Though, this could be a separate issue of term “fairly usage” to different user).
In Quadrant, which comprehensively tests the device from CPU to memory to graphics, the Galaxy S III scored overpass HTC One S with an impressive score of 4911 as compare to 4371. The other smart phones including the Galaxy Note stay well below the 3000 mark.
The Samsung Galaxy S III arrives with the new quad-core Exynos 4412 processor, clocked at 1.4 GHz. The Android runs exceptionally sinuously without any trace of lags. The Galaxy S III comes with 1 GB of RAM which makes you run apps without slowing you down or the annoying freezes. The Galaxy S III lets you do whatever you want from it. You can expect the best gaming experience on the Samsung Galaxy S3 is thanks the on board ARM Mali-400/MP4 GPU. The Nvidia Tegra 3 chip did the tremendous job to handle graphic rich games in Galaxy S III.
Despite being disappointed with its ergonomics, the Samsung Galaxy S III is the phone you’ve been waiting for. With the incredible display, plenty of innovative features and killer processing power, the Samsung Galaxy S III has emerged as the real performer. The camera results are exciting enough to declare the Galaxy S III a true image capture device. Oh yes, the recent update has made it an even better phone. So buy this phone and explore it’s never ending possibilities.