Samsung Galaxy S III Preview

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 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 difference 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.



Unfortunately, since our preview unit isn't completely final, we can speak of the actual image and video quality yet, but we're posting the test samples that we did for you to enjoy. Please keep in mind that results may differ slightly with the retail unit.

Samsung Galaxy S III Preview Sample Video 1:



Samsung Galaxy S III Preview Sample Video 2:



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 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. In addition, there's the pop up play feature, which allows you to display the currently played video in a separate small window. You can then put this window in whatever part of the screen you want, allowing you to do other stuff on the phone at the same time.

Of course, the Galaxy S III play 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!

Expectations:

The Samsung Galaxy S III is surely a spectacular phone. A big part of what makes it spectacular is its incredible specs sheet. Well, yeah, although its specs can easily be rivaled by strong competitors like the HTC One X, which also has a quad-core processor and the other beloved tech goodies, the Galaxy S III manages to shine brighter, thanks to its superior user experience. It doesn't falter as far as core functionality goes, and it even take care of the minor stuff, trying to improve every possible aspect of your usage.

For a first time ever, TouchWiz actually feels like a good thing. It doesn't completely cover up the great ICS UI, but changes just enough to make the phone feel different from the stock experience. It adds a lot of nice touches here and there, providing you with more options and customization, without appearing cluttered. We absolutely loved the fact that Samsung has left little hints at some places, which definitely help make the learning curve a lot smoother.

Our single biggest complaint about the phone (for now) has to do with its size and appearance. It's just not the phone that will help get you noticed. Its appearance is bland at best, and we can imagine this would be one of the major factors that could put consumers off, and this is a pity. And when it comes to its size, we definitely appreciate having a big screen, but 4.8” is really an overkill. In case you won't be watching really LOTS of movies (and why would you choose a phone to watch movies on?), we can't really see the point in having such a big display, when you have in mind that this makes the whole device harder to hold and operate with.

Anyway, except for these gripes that probably a lot of users will be OK with, we really don't think there are any other significant problems with the Galaxy S III. Of course, we'll have to wait for the final unit to come, so that we can check its camera quality out, but by the looks of it, Samsung has once again nailed it with the Galaxy S III. 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.

Software version of the previewed unit: Android 4.0.4, Baseband I9300XXLE6, Build IMM76D.I9300XXALE6




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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: 875; 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: 2055; 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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