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Samsung Galaxy S III Review

Samsung Galaxy S III 9.3

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Camera:

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.

Samsung Galaxy S III camera interface - Samsung Galaxy S III Review

Samsung Galaxy S III camera interface


Camera interface - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Camera interface - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Camera interface - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Camera interface - Samsung Galaxy S III Review

Camera interface


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.
Samsung Galaxy S III Review

Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review

Outdoor samples


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.

Strong - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Medium - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Low light - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Darkness with flash - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S III Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

Darkness with flash

Indoor samples


As we said, 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:




Multimedia:

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 built-in music player of the Samsung Galaxy S III - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
The built-in music player of the Samsung Galaxy S III - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
The built-in music player of the Samsung Galaxy S III - Samsung Galaxy S III Review
The built-in music player of the Samsung Galaxy S III - Samsung Galaxy S III Review

The built-in music player of the Samsung Galaxy S III


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!

172 Comments
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posted on 15 May 2012, 05:24 53

1. android_hitman (unregistered)


WOW!!! that's a really good score .. I can't believe my eyes PA ...
nice review btw :D

posted on 15 May 2012, 05:32 16

4. Birds (Posts: 1164; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


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.

posted on 15 May 2012, 19:04 3

106. Saamic (Posts: 119; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)


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 =)

posted on 15 May 2012, 22:37 2

117. BravoTeam127 (unregistered)


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

posted on 21 May 2012, 01:45 3

139. Dadler22 (Posts: 161; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


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.

posted on 26 May 2012, 10:50 1

146. jdot104 (Posts: 95; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)


AT&T's version of the past two Galaxy devices was different from the flagship. The GS2 even had a smaller display.

posted on 15 May 2012, 05:34 22

6. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


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.

posted on 15 May 2012, 14:20

97. tluv00 (Posts: 134; Member since: 18 Oct 2007)


They do have that sort of. It's by carrier or by OEM.

posted on 24 May 2012, 09:52 5

143. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


The iphone 4s??? Why even bother? It will be completely outclassed, kinda like comparing a destroyer to an aircraft carrier.

posted on 15 May 2012, 12:28 6

78. stillaPOS (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 May 2012)


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

posted on 15 May 2012, 13:58 8

94. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


you have zero understanding of the phone or what's inside it.

posted on 15 May 2012, 16:21 5

100. sgtdisturbed47 (Posts: 670; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


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.

posted on 21 Jun 2012, 09:45 2

160. zhypher_23 (Posts: 195; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)


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...

posted on 15 May 2012, 22:28 4

116. medalaster01 (Posts: 42; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


WOW! It may be the highest score till date,of all the phones on P.A.

posted on 16 May 2012, 03:38 4

124. smacsteve (Posts: 68; Member since: 16 May 2012)


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.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:12

131. Shocky (unregistered)


No consistency in the reviewing process, so the scores are meaningless

Might as well just be some guy’s random blog.

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 05:02

173. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)


Still the iphone 4s wins

posted on 15 May 2012, 05:27 21

2. Birds (Posts: 1164; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


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...

posted on 15 May 2012, 05:57 2

14. Dr_fajardo (Posts: 32; Member since: 29 Apr 2012)


very true.

posted on 15 May 2012, 08:44 7

44. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


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.

posted on 15 May 2012, 11:31 2

71. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


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.

posted on 15 May 2012, 11:41 2

74. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


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." :)

posted on 15 May 2012, 13:03

82. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 1176; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


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.

posted on 15 May 2012, 13:10

83. Jonathan41 (Posts: 532; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)


I just said that yesterday! I would give you another thumbs up if I could.

posted on 15 May 2012, 13:52

93. Jonathan41 (Posts: 532; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)


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.

posted on 15 May 2012, 05:28 13

3. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


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?

posted on 15 May 2012, 05:33 3

5. Birds (Posts: 1164; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


because Ray S. has a sexy voice.... lol jk

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 07:47 1

150. jeraldjamescapao (Posts: 23; Member since: 17 May 2012)


Hahaha!

posted on 15 May 2012, 05:34 8

7. Jericho (unregistered)


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.

posted on 15 May 2012, 05:36 3

8. Birds (Posts: 1164; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I'm actually rooting for LG this time. LG has the power they are just naive about the UI design.

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Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III

OS: Android 4.3 4.1.2 4.1.1 4.0.4
view full specs
Display4.8 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (306 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, Quad-core, 1400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1 GB RAM
Size5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches
(136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm)
4.69 oz  (133 g)
Battery2100 mAh, 22.5 hours talk time

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