Samsung Galaxy S III Review (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint)
In this review we've used the AT&T and Sprint versions of the Galaxy S III. The Verizon and T-Mobile versions are exactly same, with the only difference being that T-Mobile's unit will not have LTE connectivity.


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.

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.

Flipping over to its rear, it’s rocking an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera that’s able to shoot 1080p videos. Surrounding it are the single LED flash and handset’s speaker grill, while prying off the plastic covers provides us access to its 2,100 mAh battery, microSIM slot, and microSD card slot.


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.

Samsung Galaxy S III 360-degrees View:



1. dillonc

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 26, 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: Jun 20, 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 !!!!

33. denied911

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2012

your face is epic fail!!!

83. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

denied911, your comment is an epic fail.

87. denied911

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2012

my coment is classic, but your butt as a nick are as you took "epic fail"

59. Ivan6479

Posts: 250; Member since: Jun 26, 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: 33; Member since: Feb 27, 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: Jun 21, 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

Posts: 122; Member since: Sep 26, 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

Posts: 122; Member since: Sep 26, 2012 compare.jsp? benchmark=glpro25&showhide=true&certified_only=1&D​1=LG %20E973&D2=Samsung%20SCH- I535%20(Verizon%20Galaxy %20S3)&D3=Samsung%20GT- I9300%20Galaxy%20S%20III

20. Mxyzptlk unregistered

It looks like a cheap plastic phone. Why can't Samsung stop using glossy materials for their phones?

30. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 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: Jun 04, 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: 35; Member since: May 29, 2012

Apple starting to get a taste of their own medicine! Samsung sued apple now and won!!! Also Kodak company is seeking software compensations from apple that they so called own but never did! Apple SUX!!!!

45. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 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.

2. mafiaprinc3

Posts: 585; Member since: May 07, 2012

should be at least 9.7 out of 10

3. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 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: Jun 20, 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: Jul 08, 2011

I'll just leave this here, 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: Jun 20, 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: Jul 08, 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: Jun 20, 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 Browsermark: AT&T: 102640 Intl: 110038 Linpack (multi threaded): AT&T: 207.207 Intl: 115.842 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: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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: 137; Member since: Sep 10, 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: 33; Member since: Feb 27, 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: Jun 20, 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: Jun 20, 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: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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: Jun 20, 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.

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