Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

Samsung Galaxy S III Preview
Introduction:

Samsung Galaxy S III Preview
Samsung kick-started its whole Galaxy line of Android phones back in 2009 with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy I7500 – the first Android smartphone of the manufacturer. Initially, there wasn't such great interest in the product; it was an OK device with moderate specs and no special feature to spawn interest. This was the beginning of Samsung's Android business – no fanfares or great expectations. The company was still trying to figure out if there's potential in the open-source platform.

A few months later, at the end of 2009, Motorola somehow managed to nail it with its new Android phone, the DROID, exclusively available through Verizon. And this turned out to be the moment Google (and the entire Android community, as small as it may have been at that time) was waiting for. In just a few months, everyone knew about Android, and it was mainly Motorola that gained from this. Never wanting to be left out of the limelight, Samsung went back to the lab, firmly decided on crafting the ultimate Android phone, or the ultimate Galaxy phone, to be more specific. In mid-2010, the South Korean company was ready with its new product and unveiled it to the world. Named Samsung Galaxy S, it was a phone that didn't catch the eye, but managed to get every geek excited with its hardware characteristics. With Android becoming more and more popular as an alternative to iOS, and with the Galaxy S basically being the best Android had to offer at the moment, the phone just couldn't fail. And it didn't – the Galaxy S went on to become one of the most popular Android phones ever. Now, the obvious question is how do you follow such a successful product. How do you follow the Galaxy S? Well, with the Galaxy S II, of course! Introduced in 2011, the Galaxy S II actually become something like the people's champ in Android Land. Even when newer models with significantly refined user experiences began to show up later, users preferred to hold on to the Galaxy S II, claiming that it's still unbeatable in many areas. In a way, that meant that all these people were waiting for the Galaxy S III.

Well, it is now 2012, and the time has finally come for the Galaxy S III to show up on stage. The difference between this launch and those of the Galaxy S's before it is that the expectations of the audience are much higher now. People were waiting to see the next BIG thing in the world of wireless. They weren't hoping for a top-notch specs sheet – that was pretty much taken for granted. They were hoping for a ceramic body, a new, premium design that would not only get the job done, but would also spark a few envious glances along the way. That's why many were kind of disappointed after the official announcement of the handset, because it isn't really what you'd call a looker.

Our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S III were quite positive. Yeah, the handset may not be so eye-catching, but it does run incredibly smooth and has learned some very cool new tricks, in an attempt at enhancing our user experience. However, the time has now come for us to take a good, in-depth look at the device and see just how much of a Galaxy S this new Galaxy S III happens to be.


Design:

The Galaxy S II was actually a good-looking handset. It wasn't spectacular, but it had its own style that managed to make the phone appealing to a good number of people, not only hardcore geeks. With the Galaxy S III's design, however, Samsung has made a few controversial decisions. First, it has made the whole device somewhat more rounded. Gone is the simplistic rectangular silhouette of the S II, making place for a new, pebble-inspired shape. So far so good, that could only make the device seem friendlier and more approachable by the regular consumer. Meanwhile, however, the company has also significantly increased the screen size, which is a move that would mainly appeal to the regular geek. This would hardly mean that the Galaxy S III would appeal to both regular consumers and geeks, but would rather mean that there will be a smaller, more specific audience for this particular model. While the GS II was well-received by consumers, due to its relatively compact and sleek form factor, a much bigger device like the Galaxy Nexus, for example, could never become popular in the mass market. There aren't too many reasons to believe that the Galaxy S III will magically become a hit with the average Joe. The device is definitely on the bulkier side. Samsung has tried to decrease the size of the bezel so that the bigger screen doesn't impact the overall device dimensions dramatically, but even with those efforts, the S III is as big as the Nexus, if not bigger.

The design of the Samsung Galaxy S III is actually quite relaxing and feels good in the hand - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S III is actually quite relaxing and feels good in the hand - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S III is actually quite relaxing and feels good in the hand - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S III is actually quite relaxing and feels good in the hand - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

The design of the Samsung Galaxy S III is actually quite relaxing and feels good in the hand

Samsung Galaxy S III Preview
You ca compare the Samsung  Galaxy S III with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

With that out of the way, the device by no means looks bad. Its inspired by nature design is actually quite relaxing and feels good in the hand. Due to the phone's thinness (8.6mm) and light weight, the Galaxy S III doesn't feel too much like the bulky phone that it is.

As we said in our introduction, many fans hoped to see a new fancy ceramic coating used for the S III, which would have given the handset a new, premium appearance. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and we were treated to the good-old plastic solution. Technically it should be polycarbonate, but it feels much more cheapo than the polycarbonate that's used in some other handsets like the One X or Lumia 900. This has practically guaranteed a relatively light (good), but also uninspiring/flimsy (bad) construction. Samsung has come up with the name “Hyperglaze” for the specific finish of the utilized plastic, but we couldn't find anything that special in it. It's just a glossy plastic with an OK texture on it.

There are just three physical buttons on the Galaxy S III (actually four, if you count the volume rocker as two buttons). The home key, situated under the display, is surrounded by old-school capacitive menu and back keys. Apparently, Samsung isn't willing to make the switch to on-screen navigational keys for its flagship line just yet. We aren't big fans of the exact position chosen for the home button and even the capacitive keys surrounding it. They don't take the center of the plastic area below the screen (considering the vertical axis); instead, they are placed a bit lower. While this may sound as nitpicking to you, it does have a significant (negative) effect on the appearance and comfort of using the phone. It has a negative effect on the appearance, because the home key look very good in this position, while the comfort is compromised because the capacitive keys sit too close to the edge, meaning they are easy to press accidentally (yep, we had many of those frustrating situations).  

Samsung Galaxy S III Preview
Android buttons - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

Android buttons

Front-facing camera - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

Front-facing camera


Of course, there's the usual 3.5mm jack at the top, as well as microUSB at the bottom. The glossy back houses an 8MP camera with LED flash and the speaker grill right beside it. Interestingly, gone is the characteristic bump that's present on the lower-back sides of the Galaxy S and S II. Not that we'll be missing it much. Removing the flimsy back cover will grant you access to the Micro-SIM and microSD card slots.

Power key (right) - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S III - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

Power key (right)

3.5mm jack (top) - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S III - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

3.5mm jack (top)

Volume rocker (left) - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S III - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

Volume rocker (left)

microUSB port (bottom) - The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S III - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

microUSB port (bottom)

The sides of the Samsung Galaxy S III


Overall, we aren't blown away by the looks of the Galaxy S III. The phone is OK to look at, but could have been much better. To tell you the truth, it should have been much better, having in mind that it's a top-of-the-line Android smartphone we're talking about, not just some run-of-the-mill budget offering.

Back - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

Back

Rear camera - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

Rear camera

Battery compartment - Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

Battery compartment



Display:

Samsung Galaxy S III Preview
Samsung has been an innovator when it comes to screen technology in phones. Its AMOLED-based screens have been customer favorites for a long time now, and obviously the company intends on sticking with that tech in the long term. In the Galaxy S III, what we have is an enormous 4.8” HD Super AMOLED display, with resolution of 720x1280 pixels. As with every AMOLED screen, this one has extremely saturated colors. In some situations, like when browsing the web, for example, this doesn't look great, as we aren't really used to such “colorful web” experience. It doesn't seem natural, so to speak. However, in many other situations, like viewing photos, watching video or playing games, having such vibrant colors really pays off. There's in an option in the settings, however, which allows you to set a different color saturation level. For the purists, there's a "Natural" presets, which makes colors look much more... natural and not as vivid. When you combine that with the great contrast (black color that is completely black, not just very dark gray, as in LCD displays), multimedia consumption does get much more enjoyable.

Many were actually disappointed when it was announced that the S III will use a PenTile matrix for its screen, instead of a regular RGB one as in its predecessor. Just recently, Samsung USA's Philip Berne shed some more light on why Samsung decided to stick with PenTile. Obviously the reason is in the longevity – according to Samsung, a PenTile-based AMOLED screen will keep its initial quality for a longer time, compared to an RGB AMOLED one, which will suffer from deteriorating blue subpixels over longer periods of time. Well, since we don't really find the traditional drawbacks of the PenTile screen to be that visible in the GS III, that seems like a good decision by Samsung. If you look very closely at the screen of the Galaxy S III, you will notice some pixelization going on here and there, but when you look at the screen from a normal distance, those nasty dots aren't really visible, due to the high resolution.




Samsung Galaxy S III 360-degrees View:

FEATURED VIDEO

49 Comments

1. Mehdia

Posts: 23; Member since: Apr 22, 2012

good Phone 8.8 of 10

18. frmrVZguy

Posts: 42; Member since: Mar 10, 2012

Just Good? :-) I predict that in 6 months we will have a new expression in the business world: 'Heins-sight". I'm speculating that with this 'last-minute' reversal to include 3 'Blackberry-style' buttons that this is going to be the launch phone for the re-birth of Blackberry as a service and appliction add-on. For a short while Samsung will have the only hardware ready to support the BBOS - through the typical exclusivity deal. As a manufacturer that knows how hard it is to capture new customers, the idea of suddenly having the FIRST NEW phone available for the millions of Blackberry users world-wide, mustt be an opportunity too good to let a little button adjustment get in the way. They are about to scoop up a huge percentage of the market 'overnight' .....IF my speculation is correct. And everyone knows how well Samsung builds their phones....compare that to BB user experience over the last 5 years....

49. frmrVZguy

Posts: 42; Member since: Mar 10, 2012

OK, it took 12 months.... I was still correct .... BBOS is dead, long live BBM. Today at Blackberry World Heins has effectively given up on the BB hardware platform..... porting BBM to iOS and Android.

2. Evil_SaNz

Posts: 259; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Not watching movies, but browsing webpages with desktop UA, not a minor thing. There's still someone watching sites in mobile version =)?

3. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

Awesome phone , 9.5/10 !

27. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

I second that! Should be 9+ beside the Nexus, the iPhone 4, Tprime and the Gnex.

4. Mehdia

Posts: 23; Member since: Apr 22, 2012

wow camera the best

5. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

I really wanna know how long that 2100 mAh battery will last. If it can get me through a full day with moderate usage I would buy this phone.

9. decent4u

Posts: 75; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

according to battery test on some sites it lasts more than a day with normal usage

16. galanoth

Posts: 428; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

gsmarena just put up their battery test for the galaxy s iii if you want to take a look.

22. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

28. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Thanks for the links. The test results are pretty impressive, considering that the phone has a large screen 4G Lte and a powerful processor and it's all powered by a 2100 mAh battery.

36. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Exactly. Altough I know extended batteries will be developed as well.

6. cGmC11

Posts: 152; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

The Pantech Vega Racer 2 debuted one day ahead of GSIII looking much better & it have the glory of ceramic coating material!

7. ilia1986 unregistered

Awesome article. I agree 100%. So whether I'm getting the SGS2 or the SGS3 - I'll sure as hell will be one happy man :)

8. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

One of the first articles i enjoyed reading from Ray S. Lol, luv the last two sentances "HTC better sell as many of those One Xs while it still can, because the king of the Android jungle will soon be back from its pebble collection trip. And it seems to be very pissed off."

10. strikercho

Posts: 156; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Well, excluding the downside that they both run on Handroid, I still prefer the HTC because of its superior monoblock body and display. As for the screen size - its's ridiculously large and it is hardly a phone, more sort of an iPad. Between 3 and 4'' is the largest screen size for a smartphone in order to operate it normally with one hand.

13. Hafiz

Posts: 78; Member since: Dec 20, 2011

Lucky i have two hands :D

39. Raymond_htc

Posts: 430; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

i agree with you strikercho. as my name says, i am a pure HTC Fan and i will support this great brand till its last day. i agree that a phone with 3'' to 4'' is good for me as i dun wanna operate a phone with 2 hands. one hand operating FTW

11. ryq24

Posts: 874; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

htc will always have a hard time competing with samsung which is a huge company with large cache of cash.

38. ph00ny

Posts: 1994; Member since: May 26, 2011

It's not all about being large either. It's the fact that they don't really rely on others for components. They can also hand pick components and change whatever is needed on the fly Look at the Galaxy Tab 10.1. They announced a thick version and the ipad2 came out. They went back to the drawing board and the newer slicker version was out in matter of weeks. No one in the industry can do this

12. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

Sounds great but if the att variant uses dual core for lte I wouldn't see a reason to get this over the galaxy nexus. I just prefer stock Android.

14. x7black7x

Posts: 118; Member since: Feb 19, 2012

great review sir @ray.s and its a great phone in its own ways htc cant even compare to it it has a better processor, better battery, better camera, and although htc sense 4.0 contains more eye candy but touchwiz nature ux is better cause it has more features smart stay, pop up play, sbeam, all share, svoice and much more....

15. x7black7x

Posts: 118; Member since: Feb 19, 2012

and yes it has a removable battery also.... so now tell me htc one x vs galaxy s III once again samsung is on the top of the android food chain with this beast

17. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

The screen is gonna suck. I have the Galaxy Nexus. & Was very disappointed with the screen. Colors don't look natural. amoled screens are supposed to be great at reproducing black. But black looks awful on this screen. I always use black as wallpaper. & could see alot of discoloration. Same problem when i am watching a movie. Can't understand why I haven't heard more complaints about the screen.

25. u-suck-more

Posts: 529; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

maybe yours was faulty

26. Lboogey6

Posts: 281; Member since: Jan 31, 2012

Hey idk if you got to read but an article before this showed the screen being newer than the nexus.

19. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I disagree that 4.8 inch screen is an overkill for a device that thin and light. Most of "average Joes" are wowed by galaxy Note's handling/using experience despite of it's size and weight. Even some small handed women are more than happy with Galaxy Note. A larger screen doesn't just mean a plus for movie watching. EVERYTHING looks better - movies, photos, web pages, e-books, and games. It's a major advantage.

43. animeware

Posts: 32; Member since: May 14, 2012

Do you prefer a device that is iPhone where it's 3.4 inch screen. NTY I prefer the phone if I can test it and if it feels good in my hands I might consider on getting it.

20. APPLE_R0YALLY

Posts: 73; Member since: May 08, 2012

WE LIKE™ the Review "RAY.S" EYE™ all so like the Galaxy S3....
Galaxy S III
  • Display 4.8" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.9 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, Quad-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2100 mAh(11.60h 3G talk time)

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