Samsung Galaxy S III Review
The Galaxy S II was among the best camera phones of the last 12 months. With the Galaxy S III's new 8MP camera, it's only natural for us to expect a similar, or even better performance. Indeed, the manufacturer has done a lot of improvements in its camera technology. First of all, the sensor is now back-side illuminated (BSI), allowing for more light to come in for the shot. There's also the Burst/Best shot feature (also available on HTC's One line), which lets you take up to 20 shots in quick succession and then choose to leave only the best one. This is all possible thanks to the zero-shutter lag, which means that it takes less than a second for the phone to auto-focus. The latter is actually a feature introduced by Ice Cream Sandwich, not Samsung, but anyway, it's good to see the manufacturer take full advantage of it.
As usual for a Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy S III's camera application features a lot of settings that let you tweak the photo-taking process. There are different shooting modes (Single, Burst, HDR, Beauty, etc.), focusing modes (Auto, Macro, Face detection), as well as many other options for changing the white balance, metering, quality, resolution, contrast and so on. Video is captured at a maximum resolution of 1920x1080, again with the option to tweak a number of settings like exposure, effects, white balance, quality and so on.
For the most part, the photos that we took outdoors are satisfying. The Galaxy S III keeps things fairly balanced when it comes to details and noise. The shots aren't particularly sharp, but aren't muddy either. Colors are vivid, and overall, the images look pretty cool. A nasty problem that was available in the GS II is unfortunately kept here, and it has to do with overexposure of brightly lit objects. Apart from that one issue, we're pretty much content with what we managed to achieve with the 8MP camera of the Galaxy S III.
The indoor photos are also pretty good. Especially when the light is strong, there's very little noise visible, while the handset manages to keep colors fairly natural. We're pleased to see the LED flash being capable enough to illuminate a small room. Yeah, colors do tend to get somewhat colder when you shoot with the flash, at least the objects are clearly visible and there isn't too much noise.
video is captured at a maximum resolution of 1080p, which is the industry standard nowadays. Overall quality is quite good. Again, the image isn't very sharp, but isn't blurry either. Colors are accurate, and thankfully, the frame rate is also more than satisfying at 29 fps.
Samsung Galaxy S III Sample Video:
Samsung Galaxy S III Indoor Sample Video:
The Galaxy S III is a real multimedia powerhouse. With its giant high-resolution AMOLED screen, enjoying whatever multimedia on the phone is an awesome experience. Since this is an Android device, you can just easily put all of your movies, MP3 and other stuff on the phone's memory and you're set – no syncing required.
The built-in music player is quite stock-ish on first glance, but it does offer some cool additional features. For example, it features a pretty good selection of EQ presets, but what's even cooler is the so-called Music Square, which lets you choose the type of music you want to listen to, based on your mood, and it'll automatically pick the best-fitting tracks for you. Basically, it's a square grid, with the horizontal axis going from passionate to joyful, and the vertical one from exciting to calm. It did work pretty well with the tunes in our library.
The video player of the Galaxy S III is amazing. Upon launching it, you'll be presented with a preview grid, populated with your clips. What makes it so cool is the fact that the clip thumbnails are actually animated, showing you a short preview of the respective movie. It's really impressive to see the handset give you a preview of every single clip at the same time without slowing down – it just makes the experience a lot more pleasant if you happen to be the type of user who watches a lot of video on their phone.
Of course, the Galaxy S III plays all kinds of video at up to 1080p resolution. There's no codec or format that can stop it! OK, maybe there are some, but all the popular ones are supported. And boy do things look awesome on that 4.8” HD Super AMOLED screen!
1. android_hitman posted on 15 May 2012, 05:24 53
WOW!!! that's a really good score .. I can't believe my eyes PA ...
nice review btw :D
4. Birds posted on 15 May 2012, 05:32 15
It is. I don't like the GSIII though. I mean it is a great phone and a worthy buy but IDK why I don't like it. lol I guess I would have to play with it for a while then my opinions will change.
106. Saamic posted on 15 May 2012, 19:04 3
lol sometimes I don't get why people thumbs down a comment... I mean what did you say there that was irrational, offensive, or biased?
In my opinion I think this phone is amazing because it's the full package with a unique beneficial software, it's very fast, highly customizable, innovative and clean. My only problem with it is the plastic and the fingerprints it's prone to.
I'll be waiting at in line for it on its U.S. release =)
117. BravoTeam127 (unregistered) posted on 15 May 2012, 22:37 2
Well the design on those have a good chance at changing depending on carriers. Take the t-mobile one for example, that one changed a whole lot with the galaxy s ii
139. Dadler22 posted on 21 May 2012, 01:45 3
AT&T generally doesn't alter the design so much on at least the flagship launch device, HTC One X for example. However, Firmware wise the unlocked version will always be far superior than the ones the carriers rape.
146. jdot104 posted on 26 May 2012, 10:50 1
AT&T's version of the past two Galaxy devices was different from the flagship. The GS2 even had a smaller display.
6. bobfreking55 posted on 15 May 2012, 05:34 22
The 9+ score prediction came true!
PA should have this feature where you can display all the phones according to their score.
If I had the money, I'd get the blue one NOW.
still waiting on the PA knows best lol, PA never answered my e-mail.
Smackdowns are coming, HTC One X vs S III, and the iPhone 4S I'm sure.
97. tluv00 posted on 15 May 2012, 14:20 0
They do have that sort of. It's by carrier or by OEM.
143. jmoita2 posted on 24 May 2012, 09:52 4
The iphone 4s??? Why even bother? It will be completely outclassed, kinda like comparing a destroyer to an aircraft carrier.
78. stillaPOS posted on 15 May 2012, 12:28 6
the sgs3 is still a POS compared to the SGS2:
-the design is the same
-same old screen found on the gnex
-same soc found on so many F+ing phones (for the ones here in the US)
-for international version the gpu is the same one on the GS2 just overclocked!!!
everything about this phone is a recycled, rehashed, and reused just being sold again for full price. Nothing my overclocked and rooted GS2 can't do better
94. remixfa posted on 15 May 2012, 13:58 7
you have zero understanding of the phone or what's inside it.
100. sgtdisturbed47 posted on 15 May 2012, 16:21 5
Good review, but the phone itself looks pretty cheapie. It doesn't look like they spent a lot of time on ergonomics and design. Looks like it's just about "shove the biggest screen in there as we can, without it being another Note".
It might perform well, but ergonomics are more important.
160. zhypher_23 posted on 21 Jun 2012, 09:45 1
Cheapy? Polycarbonate is not cheap man, it's one of the most durable things to put on a smartphone, try to kill a gs2 landing on it's back, it's gonna take you a long time man...
116. medalaster01 posted on 15 May 2012, 22:28 4
WOW! It may be the highest score till date,of all the phones on P.A.
124. smacsteve posted on 16 May 2012, 03:38 4
Nope, the Galaxy Nexus on VZN was higher at 9.5 Which raise's an interesting question... A phone reviewed a year ago by then standard gets a great score and a phone that is reviewed today with raised standards due to much better technology is being judged by a different set of standards. What is one to do? Clearly a HTC One X is a better phone than the GNexus, but according to the score it would appear otherwise.
131. Shocky posted on 16 May 2012, 17:12 0
No consistency in the reviewing process, so the scores are meaningless
Might as well just be some guy’s random blog.
2. Birds posted on 15 May 2012, 05:27 21
I have to say this. I like PhoneArena and all but it's reviews are inconsistent. It doesn't seem to have a standard for what makes a great phone a great phone, what makes a good phone an good phone, and what makes a bad phone an bad phone. I only could hope that it is because each reviewer has a different opinion, but I've come to realize that certain reviewers on this site run back over their previous opinions as well. I'm not trolling I just want to know if the reason they were so inconsistent with their opinions on phones between reviewers was because of them waiting for the next phone-to-beat (GSIII)? I just wish that all the reviews had a scale or something so I can know each particular flaw to category. That will keep it really consistent....But still a good review...
44. Commentator posted on 15 May 2012, 08:44 7
There was a time when reviews were authored by "the PhoneArena Team." What happened to those days? If nothing else, at least all high-end devices should be compared by the same person/team, for consistency's sake (my vote is for John V, as I'm sure most people would agree with.)
Also factor in the fact that Ray clearly has some sort of vendetta against HTC. The last sentence of this review takes a completely unnecessary shot at them (and he just recycled it from his preview of the device, mind you.) Sure, the Global One X wasn't perfect, and the Galaxy S III is almost certainly a better phone, but it damn-well deserved a better score than a 7.8 considering that when it was launched it was unanimously hailed as the greatest Android device ever made.
71. bobfreking55 posted on 15 May 2012, 11:31 2
I agree on this one and every PA reviewer out there has their own standard, and I did notice that Vendetta part for quite awhile now.
Oh, and also, WHERE"S THE VIDEO? lol, i have been waiting for it to download so that I can watch it on my nerd time alone.
74. bobfreking55 posted on 15 May 2012, 11:41 2
oh and Sir Ray, if you ever happen to conduct the smackdown between the One X and the S III, please don't be too harsh on the One X. We would also want to know the advantages and disadvantages of each.
well, since I'm not the only one who feels like you're angry with HTC. *just a feeling though lol*
and for constructive criticism, please take this positively, you say too much "uhmm." :)
82. QWIKSTRIKE posted on 15 May 2012, 13:03 0
Agreed on all points here. The reviewer especially has his own opinionated reviews in my opinion. Was this such a great review or was it more like we anted so very much to hear only great things that we had presupposed high marks for this phone.
I am not taking away from any thing said; However the reviewers many reviews have left my opinion of his reviews jaded, and distrusting. I feel to validate reviews on this site I need to read else where to make an informed opinion in the last few months.
83. Jonathan41 posted on 15 May 2012, 13:10 0
I just said that yesterday! I would give you another thumbs up if I could.
93. Jonathan41 posted on 15 May 2012, 13:52 0
dk but phonearena's reviews lack a certain consistancy that I would expect from such a otherwise carefully though out sight. Reviews seem inconsistent between reviewer and devices. Something that are cons for one device aren't for others. Sometimes more powerful international unlocked phones get lesser scores then their supsidized versions (this is especially peculiar when the only differance between the two is more powerful chipset of the international version). Sometimes the reviewer puts something into cons that's more opinon then actual fact. It's like PA reviews and comparisons are generally mostly based more on opinon then fact. During review they never actually test devices with benckmarks or test to compare statistics. You usually just hear the reviewer say 'this device feels/looks like it does xxxx better'. Meaning that however trained that reviews eye is we are still subject to their perspective on thing much less then actual device performance. PA attempt to tell the reader which device is better for day to day use. That's impossible to do without generalizing your audience in someway and if each reviewer has a slightly different idea of what the readers want it's very hard to keep consistency between all the reviewer when scoring phones. I used to live buy pa review but I have grown weary. I love PA but, at times I see thing that seem like contradictions.
3. Muhannad posted on 15 May 2012, 05:28 13
My only problem is that plastic is collects a lot of fingerprints but I think the white version makes up for that. Nevertheless, this is definitely my next phone. Also, what's the point of an extremely detailed preview followed by a 26 minute video preview if the review was a few days away?
7. Jericho posted on 15 May 2012, 05:34 8
WOW! Incredable score from phonearena to THE galaxy s3. Between lg optimus 4x, htc one x and samsung galaxy SIII I was going to buy the phone which had the highest score on phonearena but i think LG can't beat SAMSUNG here.
8. Birds posted on 15 May 2012, 05:36 3
I'm actually rooting for LG this time. LG has the power they are just naive about the UI design.
10. bobfreking55 posted on 15 May 2012, 05:43 2
if it comes with Tegra 3 and an LG UI, well expect it to be like the One X.
I'm saying this without any fanboysim, but Samsung just raised the bar again with Super AMOLED, Exynos, the Camera and the software - without anything better or equal to those 4, i don't think it will be a success.
21. Filly posted on 15 May 2012, 06:33 5
Raised the bar with s**tty short-living pentile amoled? LGs AH-IPS Screen is much better then samsungs hd amoled screen. Its comparable with the display in the htc one x
61. bobfreking55 posted on 15 May 2012, 10:25 0
well played. :) maybe except that part I went wrong.
62. remixfa posted on 15 May 2012, 10:28 1
maybe u cant read but samsung just put out a statement proving that pentile arangements last a lot longer than RGB. My sgs1 is 2 years old and still beautiful without any dead pixels or anything.. so i can atleast attest to that.
Samsung's LCD2 and Amoled/+ screens are all superior to IPS.
But then again, its user choice at the end of the day.
73. bobfreking55 posted on 15 May 2012, 11:36 1
Yeah. Everyone also praised the display on the One X so much - dubbed it as the best display ever... HTC sucked at making displays until that 'one' day. (pun)
but again, here's the Samsung Galaxy S III's display. Is there a difference between the attributes of the Gnex's and S3's screen? (no idea on that, answers?)
- cause if they are different, then we should have a display comparison.
75. remixfa posted on 15 May 2012, 11:41 0
HTC didnt make that display, Samsung did. Its samsung's LCD2 display that is riding the OneX.
85. rpostel posted on 15 May 2012, 13:15 0
Samsung did not make the displays for HTC. HTC has 3 manufacterers for their screen for the One line: Sony, Acer, and Sharp.
123. bobfreking55 posted on 15 May 2012, 23:55 0
then... which is better? :)
84. ph00ny posted on 15 May 2012, 13:15 0
Sony and LG makes those displays
57. Jericho posted on 15 May 2012, 10:01 3
Hey i am a BIG LG! fan but if the 4x couldn't even come close to S3 then i will buy this phone. And i really want LG to win They still haven't revealed 6 unique features.
79. stillaPOS posted on 15 May 2012, 12:29 0
umm didn't the GS2 and the iphone beat this score when it came out???
88. Commentator posted on 15 May 2012, 13:35 2
Don't worry too much, PhoneArena's rating system goes by nothing more than the personal preferences of whoever is doing the review (not to fault anyone, it's human nature to be biased. I know I'd probably rate certain phones higher than others based on my ideas of what makes a good phone.) At any rate, it's probably better to take the number system with a grain of salt and go by the content of the review instead.
To address your specific question, yes the GS2 and iPhone both had higher scores than this, but that's because they were the best phones of their generation. If they compared generations of phones to each other, PhoneArena would have to rate the GS3 a 1 so it could rate the GS12 a 10 (or whatever). Obviously this doesn't make any sense, so you have to compartmentalize phone rankings by generation. Rankings are good for comparing, say, the GS3 to the One X, or the Xperia S, or any current generation phone. It doesn't work too well when comparing to anything before the Galaxy Nexus though (except maybe the iPhone 4s, since it IS the current generation iPhone...)
As an example, PA ranked the original Palm Pre a 9.9 (for some reason), which would make it the current most powerful phone, as no other phone has been ranked that high since. Clearly it isn't the most powerful phone.
9. Non_Sequitur posted on 15 May 2012, 05:41 4
I used to hate the design of the Galaxy S3. It's growing on me, though. The one thing I HATE about LG and Samsung is the favorites bar. It really should be like stock ICS and have the apps drawer in the center. That drives me crazy.
52. Dark4o90 posted on 15 May 2012, 09:06 3
then buy a metal brick and make calls and watch video on it
63. remixfa posted on 15 May 2012, 10:29 3
so you would rather buy expensive plastic? you know its all the same plastic right? lol
this isnt cheap plastic, its the same polycarbonate made in the Nokia 900 and HTC OneX/S
And I'll take that over glass and tin any day of the week.
13. tharag posted on 15 May 2012, 05:52 2
as expected it will sweep the reviews all over the net ...but let me tell you one thing when the hype around those imaginary will clear out then the true capability of s3 will wow us
15. APPLE_R0YALLY (banned) posted on 15 May 2012, 05:59 1
WE SAY® REALLY NICE REVIEW "RAY. S" WE SAY® we are Amazed......!? EYE SAY® i shall be buying this very Soon......!? WE ARE® Liking This......!?
16. PackMan posted on 15 May 2012, 06:01 4
This is just re-branded preview article with ratings.
17. Nathan_ingx posted on 15 May 2012, 06:03 2
Time to begin speculations for the 4th version of the Galaxy series!!
18. Martine posted on 15 May 2012, 06:04 2
Pros: Fantastic Video Camera, Unlimited Storage cabalities, Great batteey performance, etc
19. Jericho posted on 15 May 2012, 06:11 0
When will you guys do a video review or preview of LG Optimus 4x HD. Really waitin 4 it.
20. JDCohen722 posted on 15 May 2012, 06:28 1
Love the copy and paste from the Preview. These days I never trust PhoneArena Reviews, especially the ones by Ray S. The One X gets a rating as horridly low as 7.8 making it average whereas the SIII gets a rating of 9.3?!?! Look at User Opinions of the One X, they rated it 9.4. Not that PhoneArena should rate it 9.4, but ATLEAST +8.8. Whats more, other reviewers from major websites have rated the One X as arguably one of the best phones in the world, giving it ratings of 4.5 or 5 stars, or ratings of ±9/10, but PhoneArena is the only website to give such a low score to it. The Verge claiming it to be probably the Best Phone in the World (With their only drawback being they would rather have it closer to stock ICS) Im not trying to troll, but this isn't fair Ray S. Its pure biased.
23. remixfa posted on 15 May 2012, 06:39 4
the oneX also has video issues, crash issues, and gets like 1/2 the battery life.
31. ph00ny posted on 15 May 2012, 07:49 1
Maybe their review unit of the HOX was a defective one (it looks like some owners are going through boatload of defective units and amazon UK pulled it off their sitehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/HTC-One-Sim-Free-Smartphone/dp/B0078LXM40/ref=s
As for inconsistency of the scores, there is really no way of getting around the fact that people have different opinions about a device.
Now I'm not entirely sure what happened with the One X review, it just sounded like he didn't like sense. I think he complained about the sense arrangements as much as he complained about plastic in this review
I'm however very surprised by the score of the S3 from the resident iphone fanboy/android hater Ray S
42. Ray.S posted on 15 May 2012, 08:39 6
Unfortunately, the problem wasn't with our unit only. We tested several One X units, and all of them performed the same.
50. JDCohen722 posted on 15 May 2012, 09:01 1
What do you mean by performance? Was it laggy or not buttery smooth or was Sense just glitchy? Because as far as I'm concerned anything promoted as "Quad Core" should not display the slightest hint of lag.
58. remixfa posted on 15 May 2012, 10:19 1
read the review. it details the issues with the camera FPS and other things.
The T3 chip impresses me quite a bit in many areas, but unless they can figure out the 1080p video issues its a non starter with me... at least on a phone. On a tablet I could care less since i wont be using it for much video.
66. gwuhua1984 posted on 15 May 2012, 10:48 2
The One X is filled with bugs. The device hardware itself has no problems, it's all on the programming part. There was screen glitch, video recording frame drops, and battery bug. I think screeen glitches and battery bug are fixed with the new OTA...
92. Jonathan41 posted on 15 May 2012, 13:46 2
I don't know about the bias part. There may be some bais in there though. He just really inconsistent when it comes to score. He gives phone with very similar capability dramatically different score based off of personal opinion and other very little things that he dosen't like. It's hard to be objective and denotative.