Samsung Galaxy S III Review (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint)9.3
- 1 Introduction and Design
- 2 Interface and Functionality
- 3 Camera, Multimedia and Software
- 4 Call quality, battery and Conclusion
- Samsung Galaxy S III Verizon specifications
- Samsung Galaxy S III T-Mobile specifications
- Samsung Galaxy S III Sprint specifications
- Samsung Galaxy S III AT&T specifications
Timing is crucial, right? Well, of course it is, mainly because it can dictate the success or demise of a particular handset. As we’ve seen last year with the Samsung Galaxy S II, it made its way to the US market many months after its initial unveiling – and to top it off, each specific carrier version was different in their own way. So yeah, call it confusion to the max or something else entirely. Thankfully, Samsung’s approach this year with its highly anticipated successor, the uniformly named Samsung Galaxy S III, is more rampant and timely with minimal wait.
No doubt, it’s going to be one of the biggest smartphones to kick off the scorching summer season that’s upon us, but more importantly, there’s plenty of work needed by the Galaxy S III in order to reclaim the coveted top spot in the US Android market. In accomplishing that feat, all four major wireless carrier (and regional carrier US Cellular), are in the process of launching this beauty of a smartphone. Although exact release dates and pricing are still in question with some versions, we can totally agree that it’ll launch SOON and priced at $200 on-contract.
Despite having shed the drool worthy quad-core CPU of the international version, these US bound versions replace it with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with 2GB of RAM. Oh yeah, did we mention that nearly all versions (except T-Mobile) will feature 4G LTE connectivity? With that in mind, let’s find out if these US counterparts are still equipped enough to stand on the same pedestal.
The package contains:
- Stereo headphones
- microUSB cable
- Wall Charger
- Quick Start Guide
- Product and Safety Information
Having both the AT&T and Sprint versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III in hand for our review, it’s quite evident that the two share the same design of the international version we checked out – albeit, the only single thing separating them are the accompanying carrier names they’re branded with. Just like before, there’s nothing terribly awe-inspiring about its design, but nevertheless, they embody all of the stellar qualities we’d expect to find on any top-shelf smartphone nowadays, like being lightweight and streamlined. Characterized by being inspired by nature, the handset sports some rounded curves to make it very comfortable to handle, but it’s still too unwieldy to use with one hand.
The AT&T and Sprint versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III share the same design of the international version
Flaunting a polycarbonate body (available in metallic blue, marble white, and an exclusive red for AT&T), it has enough sturdiness to instill us with some confidence, while its Hyperglaze finish does a great job in keeping it clean looking and providing us with an adequate grip. However, we’re leery about the fact that the rear plastic cover on the AT&T version becomes loose on one corner – but then again, the Sprint version is firmly intact. As a whole, the redesign over its predecessor is OK, but it doesn’t blow us away unlike some other recent entrants such as the HTC One X or Nokia Lumia 900.
You can compare the Samsung Galaxy S III with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
For the first time ever, the physical home button is retained with these US bound Samsung Galaxy S III handsets – whereas before, it was simply replaced with the typical four Android capacitive buttons. Certainly viewed as yet another welcomed change, the home button also activates the S Voice app by double tapping it, and it also activates the multi-tasking pane by executing a long press. Surrounding the home button are the capacitive menu and back keys, which so happen to have this cool soft white glow to them. Above the display, we have a 1.9-megapixel front facing camera, earpiece, light & proximity sensors, and a hidden LED notification light.
Around the sides of the phone, we find its volume control, 3.5mm headset jack, noise-cancelling microphone, power button, standard mic, and microUSB port for charging & data connectivity. Furthermore, video-out functionality can be obtained by using a new MHL adapter – meaning, if you have an old one, it won’t work with this.
Power key (right)
microUSB port (bottom)
Volume rocker (left)
3.5mm jack (top)
The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S III
The US versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III utilize the same display in use with the international one – it’s a 4.8” HD Super AMOLED screen. Sure, some people will complain about it using the PenTile matrix arrangement, but it’s not an eyesore because it’s negligible thanks to its 720 x 1280 resolution. Therefore, it’s pretty sharp and detailed enough for our eyes to make out fine text with ease. And considering that this is an AMOLED panel that we’re looking at, it sports all of the lovable characteristics that we adore about it – like its wide viewing angles, oversaturated colors, and strong brightness output. It’s nothing new that we haven’t seen before, but nevertheless, it’s still one of its main visual attractions right off the bat.
Drag the picture or use the keyboard arrows to rotate the phone.
Double click or press keyboard Space to zoom in/out
1. dillonc (Posts: 6; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
This phone looks absolutely amazing! I feel like I've been waiting since Christmas for this thing to become available, and the time is finally here!
13. WTHreally (Posts: 3; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
WTF???? really the internationally version scored like 6000 points more on antutu and over a 1000 more on quadrant. The scores are more like my GS2 running on ics... Crapdragons EPIC FAILED here !!!!
87. denied911 (banned) (Posts: 361; Member since: 31 May 2012)
my coment is classic, but your butt as a nick are as you took "epic fail"
59. Ivan6479 (Posts: 247; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Yeah them switching the processors is quite the disappointment and definitely not worth the upgrade if you have a GS2 as they come pretty close to one another if your running ICS minus some of the fun new features the GS3 has. Either way, I would hold out for the GS4, which by then should probably have a flexible display, so no need to worry about broken screens because Gorilla Glass 2 sucks. Also there is the good ole Google Glass project in the works, that could come to life within the next year or so. There really is just too many possibilities for the near future to spend big bucks on this bad boy if you currently have a GS2. I thought long and hard about it myself, but I keep telling myself I just have to be patient.
60. bruindog (Posts: 31; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
Go check out the phonedog review. He talks more about comparing the two and he got higher scores as well. He also discusses the difference in fluidity between the two.
84. OMGlook (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)
pa clearly states that even the adreno 320 is only a little better than the mali 400 on the gs2 so...
LG-E97 adreno 320
how SAD- people who r defending the s4 with adreno 225- please put your heads down in defeat
119. IHateApple (banned) (Posts: 122; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
See GLBenchmark site! Or Engadget reviews. Adreno 320 is around 50% faster than Mali 400MP4. In GLBenchmark 2.5:
Adreno 320 = iPad 3's GPU.
120. IHateApple (banned) (Posts: 122; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
20. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 5390; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
It looks like a cheap plastic phone. Why can't Samsung stop using glossy materials for their phones?
30. Commentator (Posts: 2644; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Samsung needs to stop with the faux-metallic design cues. I'm fine with a phone being plastic, but one that falsely presents itself as metal (i.e. the ring around the side) comes off as slightly disingenuous.
Also, Samsung should have added a dedicated camera button. The one on my Evo is a perfect "R-button" when using console emulators such as N64oid.
44. zhypher_23 (Posts: 195; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)
They can't because Apple will strike a "P-A-T-E-N-T" on them like they always do, Apple always whine about these little things.....Now you know now? :))
79. durag1 (Posts: 33; Member since: 29 May 2012)
Apple starting to get a taste of their own medicine! Samsung sued apple now and won!!!http://www.phonearena.com/news
/Samsung-scores-a-3G-patent-litigation-win-against-Apple-will-seek-compensation_id31444Also Kodak company is seeking software compensations from apple that they so called own but never did! Apple SUX!!!!
45. ivanko34 (Posts: 617; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)
because a phone will fall on hard floor many times. if it was metal or glass it will be damaged. Plastic can fall many times without any problem.
3. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
PA is really the only site that said this, both cnet, engadget, and theverge say it on par with the One X/evo LTE
14. WTHreally (Posts: 3; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
r u blind the US version CRAPDRAGON sucks compared to the internation just look at the benchmarks it clearly shows which is the more capable phone
17. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
I'll just leave this here,http://www.engadget.com/2012/0
with LTE on the US version has better battery then the international version without LTE.
And here is some benchmark for ya comparing
Beside GPU the Tegra 3 is on par with the 4414.
And there is no app/game will take advantage of the extra power before most people upgrade. Hell people has yet to take advantage of the mali underclock on the SII
22. CrapdragonCRUSHED (Posts: 3; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
Ok don't know which benchmarks your looking at but the one on engadget clearly shows the international one crushing the US by a large margin except for quadrant which I think is a typo. But also look at the egypt test where the fps was 99 vs 54. Are you seriously telling me that despite all the benchmarks this the two phones are on PAR????
24. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
kidding me? Antutu just show you that the T3 score higher then the international.
So all your score is base on the GPU not CPU, you know there is a different. Wow for someone who act like he know what he is talking about you know nothing. The nenamark test show that the both are similar. Let not look at the other two test showing that they are no par with each other.
Troll keeping on trolling. Unlike you I look at other site to see a review.
28. The1upper (Posts: 2; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
OK OK I'll settle this for u 2 engadget reports:
inl wins in quadrant (I really think this is a typo), antutu, glbenchmark, CF bench, and sunspider.
where the US version wins are mainly the bench well are from apps develope by qualcomm like vellamo and nenmark but look at the egpyt test where the intl version scored around 99 fps.
so yeah I think benchmark wise the intl def wins qualcomm isn't really known for superior gpu.
And the charts in the article clearly shows the intl out benchmarks the t3 and the s4 in antutu so where are you coming from?
121. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)
HTC One X (Source=Anandtech):
Sunspider (less is better):
AT&T: 1608 ms
Intl: 1737.7 ms
Linpack (multi threaded):
It is not a typo. In Linpack, S4 is a hell lot faster than Tegra 3.
GLBench Egypt (Offscreen 720p):
AT&T: 56 fps
Intl: 63 fps
GLBench Pro (Offscreen 720p):
AT&T: 95 fps
Intl: 90 fps
It is not a typo. S4 variant pulls out ahead again.
But I agree with the fact that Adreno 225 is slower than SGS2's Mali-400.
39. remixfa (Posts: 14252; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
you really are the biggest anti-samsung pro Qualcomm troll on the boards.
The ONLY test where YOUR websites even show that the OneX comes close is on VELLAMO, WHICH IS A QUALCOMM MADE TEST TO SHOW S4'S STRENGTH.
Dude.. get a grip.
The US version is great. Its still the BEST phone in the US. Its certainly better than any barely functioning camera, HTC OneX
It just doesnt measure up to its brother international.
104. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
Except that in the real world, the limiting factor isn't the chip. It's that the signal is delivered by the carrier. In actual usage, the US LTE version will stomp the International version on anything that requires streaming data.
It's a shame, though, that we have to have this discussion. I still haven't heard a good reason why the US version doesn't get the Exynos. Maybe they can't produce enough to meet demand?
63. bruindog (Posts: 31; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
im all for benchmarks but if its real world functionality is kick @$$ then thats more important to me.
82. OKendruu (Posts: 3; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
the US version kick NO @$$ notice the review says that there are some slow down and lags well... thats the s4. There was no lag for s2 with exynos and there is no lag or slow down with the s3 intl. i can assure you there will be none for the gs4 with exynos as well.
69. Endruu (Posts: 13; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
Personally judging a phone by its benchmarks is like judging a guy/girl based on their looks, and we all know how those kind of relationships turn out.
72. remixfa (Posts: 14252; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
hot sex and over before your bored?
works for me.
Anyways, thats BS, because only the worlds ugliest people say "only personality matters". Truth is, we dont hit on people we dont find attractive in the way they look, carry themselves, and act. Its not shallow, its our base nature to find mates with the best features to pass on.
unless were drunk then none of that matters, they just have to be willing.. lol.
76. Endruu (Posts: 13; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
I didn't say "only personality matters", but really if we based the phone on one aspect such as benchmarking, it really doesn't help determine if the phone's overall performance.
80. OKendruu (Posts: 3; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
See endruu if what your saying is REALLY true than go ahead and get last years phone because there are many fine phones that perform more than anyone needs. people here want the BEST- clearly you don't or don't understand. Benchmarks are there to give an idea of what the phone is capable of even if we don't ever use it in that manner. From the test scores the INTL version is clearly the more powerful phone. Please do some research before giving idiotic comments it only makes you look really st_p_d!!!!!
92. remixfa (Posts: 14252; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
anything from Exynos dual core and up is going to be more than "most people" need. Its not about "need", its about wanting the MOST for my money. And yes, the benchmarks are a great indicator of that because rarely do I use stock software. I want the hardware.
102. Endruu (Posts: 13; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
I'm giving the thumbs up to remixfa for his reply, we pick the phone we want.
Clearly OKendruu wants the best, and seems awfully passionate about his views so whatever man, I was just sharing mine don't take it personally yo.
I just want something that works for me. I rock a HSPA+ GNex and it's honestly good enough to convince me that having a rock solid OS like ICS does make a difference in performance even though the Nexus is sporting older hardware.
103. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5665; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
yeah, really we OMAP4 packing device owners shouldn't be in a hurry for anything. if i were to get a Droid Razr HD it would primarily be for the larger HD Display and the 13MP Camera. the extra power would just be a little bonus.
101. Endruu (Posts: 13; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
wow, you're really angry, and that's cute cause I wasn't.
99. MartyK (Posts: 729; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
hot sex and over before your bored?
works for me.
ding, ding, ding..the winner and best comment of 2012!!!....hahahaha
4. baldilocks (Posts: 583; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)
I have the International version and I think I'll stick with it.
5. Tjey007 (Posts: 86; Member since: 22 May 2012)
i think s3 deserves better score than one x. one x got some flaws apart from sd card & battery department.HTC also admitted it.
6. rsiders (Posts: 384; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)
I have to admit I was hard on Samsung when they first announced this phone, but truthfully they have yet another winner with this phone. Have to give credit when it's due.
8. E.N. (Posts: 2486; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
agreed. Once you get over the initial disappointment of it not having the rumored specs and design, it's easy to see that its a solid device.
47. archangel9 (Posts: 231; Member since: 07 Feb 2010)
This phone WILL dominate period!!!Apple IpHone 5 or whatever ,eat a d!(%!!!
7. avataranjie (Posts: 15; Member since: 03 Dec 2011)
Are you sure it's the same processor for TMOUS version? There are two krait s4 chips one with integrated LTE one without. Just like the HTC One XL and One s. Does the TMO version have the soC without integrated LTE radio?
9. biophone (Posts: 1900; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
You know what I don't usually troll but I have to say Samsung definitely did this on purpose.
"Certainly viewed as yet another welcomed change, the home button also activates the S Voice app by double tapping it, and it also activates the multi-tasking pane by executing a long press. "
Siri is activated with a long hold which is how they made multiasking activate on the Sgs3 and switched multitasking activation to s-voice activation method. Not to mention calling it S-voice was a shot at apple clearly meant for people to think of Siri-voice. At least they changed the clear copies of apple charging cable from the sgs2 just changed up the color to black. Samsung really wants to get up apple skin because this is just so clearly copying. Not saying the SGS3 is a copy the design is definitely distinct but these things are urking me. If the iphone is so terrible sammy why do you keep taking pages out of its book????
Troll rant over.
16. infernal88 (Posts: 113; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
well ..im not trolling or anything ..but if u had least type of knowledge u would have known that this is how multitasking works in android long ago ..and about the activation of voice assist ..i have the S2 and u can open the voice talk by double clicking the home button it starts ...so by far i have to agree with u ...i would say samsung copied the 4S 6 months perior to the release of 4S
40. protozeloz (Posts: 5387; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
1. Multi task has ALLWAYS being like that before....
2. if you ever used a motorola device (or even CM9) you could use double tap to activate other applications, heck even some applications are well known for hacking the home button double tap feature to do something else...
49. biophone (Posts: 1900; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
This was clearly a shot at apple by making these feature activations similar. The fact they use a home buttom fine but to give its the exact same functionality not ok.
50. protozeloz (Posts: 5387; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
well they could use search but they dont have it... plus they already use double tap for vlingo if im not mistaken since the Galaxy S2 (ill ask my friend about it, since he has the international version) you should check whats on the S2 first
52. protozeloz (Posts: 5387; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
confirmed double tap on the galaxy S2 witch is older than the 4S works to launch vlingo, can you explain who is the one copying now?
53. remixfa (Posts: 14252; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
it doesnt matter if android had it first, apple invents it even if they are last to the feature. u know that. ask taco. it must be true if he thinks so.
56. protozeloz (Posts: 5387; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
check my vlingo video at the bottom, there is something I really hate and that's someone taking shots at company X and calming they copied without the basic knowledge of that company's , this goes along with other "allegations" of android ripping off iOS ideas, he should also be mad at all the android features introduced on iOS6....
55. protozeloz (Posts: 5387; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
heck here is a video
look at the date
46. MEeee (Posts: 300; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
There is no cure for you. Your weak iClouded mind is already infected.
77. jp26sx (Posts: 14; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
I think the charger is Samsung's design. I think the iphone uses a nice chunk of Sammy's dirty business under the hood. :-)
10. biophone (Posts: 1900; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Anyway the exynos crushed the S4. Where are those trolls now huh? huh?
15. WTHreally (Posts: 3; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
yeah... where are all those IDIOTS that were saying how effin great the s4 was???? look at the benchmarks- the score BLOWS
18. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
I leave this here for ya beside CPU the Exynos crushed nothing, the Terga 3 did better then the Exynos on antutu.
You will not see the different and you say you can you are lying
23. CrapdragonCRUSHED (Posts: 3; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
i don't think so earlier review put the adreno 225 as only a little faster than the mali 400 found in the gs2. The mali 400 in the gs3 int is way faster. Better check the facts before trying to sound like a smartass
25. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
I did and the mali in the GS3 is overclock and it does well in GPU but the overall chip is on par with many other chips in the market. And for you fyi the powerVR 544 (ipad 3 and Vita) is much more powerful then the mali in the SG3.
If you testing the CPU the 4414 is similar to both the T3 and S4.
If you know the different between what CPU and GPU then you would know that.
29. The1upper (Posts: 2; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
yes the overclock mali 400 is not as powerful as the 544 but what he said about the oC mali 400 being faster than the adreno 225 is correct. there was a whole article abou this on PA not that long ago.