The Galaxy S3 boasts a Quad-core 1.4GHz processor, huge 4.8" screen and an 8MP camera boosted by a plethora of image-tweaking software. All this made to run seamlessly with Android 4.0
Editor's Review of the Galaxy S3
The most highly-anticipated Android phone of 2012 (and probably ever, for that matter) has finally arrived, and it's got a hell of a lot of hype to live up to.
After Samsung's first quad-core phone, the S3, was revealed back at the start of May, the reaction to it was mixed. From the design to the 8MP camera, many disputed whether the phone was really going to be the next-gen beast we were all hoping for.
Read on to see if the Galaxy S3 lives up to the cosmic expectations.
Design & Build
The first obvious thing you'll notice about the S3 is its change in design. Moving away from the more slab-like looks of its predecessor, the Galaxy S3 has an overall more curvy design (or pebble design, to use the correct term). It comes in both white and blue colours.
One of the bigger talking points about this phone was its 4.8" Super AMOLED screen, which is among the biggest on any smartphone. It packs a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and squeezes in 306ppi. The S3 screen does technically pack one less sub-pixel per inch than the S2 (which was Super AMOLED 'Plus'), but you'll be too busy being impressed by its viewing angles and general vibrance to pay attention to this.
The sides of the phone are lined with a slick chrome finish, while the back - contrary to what some cynics suspected - is made of sturdy polycarbonate rather than frail plastic. THe Galaxy S3 is 8.6mm thick, making it a tiny bit chubbier than the S2, but it's worth it for the sheer amount of horsepower you get here.
The new look certainly isn't for everyone. I personally prefer the bolder, less glossy look of the HTC One X. Also, the relentless smoothness of the Galaxy S3 means that it can sometimes be a bit slippery in your hands; not what you want with a ?500 piece of kit.
Some were disappointed that the Galaxy S3 hasn't improved the pixel count from the 8MP of its predecessor. It's not all about pixel count though, and the S3 has improved the camera in terms of shutter-lag (now virtually zero). It also has the neat feature of working out which photo from a series is best by using smile detection and facial recognition. Isn't it clever?
OS & performance
Samsung runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich overlaid with TouchWiz 4.0, which is probably the best UI of all the Android-based manufacturers. The Pop-up Play option is a neat feature, allowing you to watch videos while doing banal activities like texting or Facebook stalking.
Probably the most touted feature of the S3 is its quad-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A9 processor. If this means nothing to you, rest assured that it's extremely powerful, and will smoothly run anything you throw at it (that being said, there really isn't much on Google Play right now to really test it).
Multimedia & Storage
In the wake of Apple being panned for Siri's various failings, Samsung have brought out their answer to it - S Voice. While it has a considerable bank of responses and information to whatever you ask it, it's let down by awkward voice recognition and slow response times.
S-Beam is another new feature to Samsung, allowing you to send large files between devices on a WiFi network. Just around the corner also is Samsung's new Music Hub service, which is a kind of cross between iTunes and Spotify with the ability to be activated on up to five different devices. Evidently, Samsung are keen to spread their hardware successes into the realm of music.
Battery life, connectivity, and the rest
Considering the power contained within, the Galaxy S3 has done surprisingly well when it comes to battery life. The 2,100mAh battery will get you a good long day's of average use out of it, with the internet permanently switched on. For such a thin, powerful phone, that Samsung managed to pull this off borders on magic.
The Galaxy S3 has various cutting-edge ways of connecting with other devices. NFC is present here. The extreme close-range and extremely fast wireless transfer technology will be tested by Samsung at the Olympic Games to see if it's a viable option for making payments in the future.
Sadly, contrary to what Samsung originally told us, the S3 won't be compatible with any form of DC-HSPA - the 42Mbps wireless networks that have started being rolled out in the UK recently. Instead, you'll have to settle for HSDPA, which gives a theoretical 21Mbps of data speeds.
As we already mentioned, the S3 features S Beam wireless file transfer, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFI 802.11 a/b/g/n. In other words, the S3 really is the complete package for connectivity.
The Galaxy S3 delivers on the hype that's been surrounding it on most fronts. Its unrivalled processing power means that it's future-proof, and even on a two-year contract you won't feel like a stick in the mud when the times comes to upgrade.
Perhaps the Galaxy S3 didn't revolutionise as much as it could have in terms of camera quality or mobile internet speeds, but at this moment in time it's the best all-round smartphone on the market. Even though it's not the only quad-core phone on the market, it trounces the competition, and it'll be interesting to see how it rivals the iPhone 5 in terms of phone quality and sales. Let the war begin!
Samsung Galaxy S3 News
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Samsung Galaxy S3 Specifications
136.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.6mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Type: Super AMOLED
Size: 4.8 inches
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Interface: TouchWiz 4.0
Integrated NFC Chip
External: microSD up to 64GB
CPU: 1.4GHZ Quad-core
A-GPS with maps
3G, HSDPA, HSPA+
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microSD
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
8.0 megapixel camera
Auto Focus and LED Flash
1080p Video Recording
At 30 fps
Front facing camera with video calling
Battery Capacity: 2100 mAh
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Playback: MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
Video supported formats