Samsung has finally revealed the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S2 and surprisingly it’s called the Galaxy S3. We’ve managed to get some hands-on time with the illustrious device at the launch event so here’s our initial Samsung Galaxy S3 review.
Samsung Galaxy S3: Design
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is similar to its predecessor with a few changes. The alleged home button is a reality saddled by two touch sensitive counterparts for Back and Menu. We’d rather a full set of touch buttons but you can’t have everything.
Samsung said the shape is ‘inspired by nature’ but what really matters is the size, weight and feel. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is very thin at just 8.6mm and light for a large phone at 133g. It is comfortable to hold, partly because Samsung has reduced the bezel size keeping the dimensions down as much as possible.
The Galaxy S3 handset is available in a dark blue colour and white. Both look nice but we prefer the blue option. Our one small quibble with the design other than the physical home button is the somewhat plasticy feel and flimsy removable rear cover – a bit of a let down for such a ‘premium’ smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy S3: Hardware
As expected the Galaxy S3 is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 4 Quad processor, something we actually knew before the launch event. It is a 32nm chip based on the ARM Cortex A9 quad-core architecture and has ‘performance capabilities exceeding 1.4GHz’.
Strangely Samsung hasn’t specified the amount of RAM but the performance is silky smooth. In terms of internal storage, the Galaxy S3 matches the iPhone 4S and has 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacity options. Much to our delight it also has a microSD card slot for expansion. This choice is a big win in our opinion.
Many different rumours bounced around leading up to the launch about the Galaxy S3’s display. We can now tell you that it has a 4.8-inch SuperAMOLED screen with a resolution of 720 x 1280.
The Galaxy S3 screen is stunning and comparable in quality to the one found on the HTC One X. It has a Retina quality where individual pixels are not distinguishable. The only issue we could find was a slight lack in brightness.
Wireless charging was a rumour we hoped would come true for the Galaxy S3. Well it has so that’s one thing which differentiates it from the competition.
Other connectivity in the Galaxy S3 includes the standard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and microUSB as well as near-field communications (NFC) technology and support for the digital living network alliance (DLNA) standard.
Samsung Galaxy S3: Software
There are no prizes for guessing that the Galaxy S3 is running on Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. To be precise, version 4.0.4 coupled with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface overlay.
The new improved version of TouchWiz is much better than previous versions with a sleeker and more modern look. The Galaxy S3 phone is also packed with various software features.
S Voice is voice recognition software similar to Apple’s Siri which we found to be very good. You can unlock the Galaxy S3 phone by saying something like “Hi Galaxy” and do tasks like get weather forecasts, send emails and set reminders.
Direct Call allows you to instantly call the person you are sending a text message to by lifting the Galaxy S3 phone to your ear. One interesting one is Allshare Cast which lets you put whatever is on your screen on a larger display like a TV, similar to Apple’s AirPlay.
Samsung Galaxy S3: Camera
Before Samsung announced the Galaxy S3 we weren’t sure whether it would have an 8Mp or 12Mp camera. It is equipped with the former of the two. The front camera is a 1.9Mp shooter which can record HD video at 30fps.
We haven’t been able to give the camera a full run for its money because of our restricted time inside Earls Court with the Galaxy S3 phone. However, our selection of test shots taken at the launch event were impressively sharp and we expect the camera will do well in a more thorough assessment.
The camera app lauches quickly and has various handy features including a burst mode which can shoot up to 20 images and a Best Shot mode which takes eight photos and chooses the best one. Samsung said it has zero shutter lag, which we found to be mostly the case and it can also recognise your friends faces – something we can’t vouch for yet.
Samsung Galaxy S3: Battery
Seeing as we’ve only spent a short amount of time with the Galaxy S3 we can’t give you any detailed information on how much battery life the phone offers. Samsung has fitted the phone with a whopping 2100mAh battery promising rival beating battery life. We’ll give you a more expansive report on battery life when we get the Galaxy S3 into the lab for testing.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Specs
2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE)
3G (HSPA+ 21Mbps)
4G (Dependant on market)
4.8″ HD Super AMOLED (1280×720)
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Main: 8mp Auto Focus with flash, zero shutter lag and BSI
Front: 1.9mp HD recording @30fps with flash, zero shutter lag and BSI
Video: Full HD (1080p) Recording and Playback
Wi-Fi- a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi HT40, GPS/GLONASS, NFC, BT4.0(LE)
16GB / 32GB / 64GB
microSD Slot (SDXC 64GB exFAT Support)
136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm, 133g
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