Samsung Galaxy SIII review

Posted by: Brett

We’ve seen it all with the Galaxy SIII, from renders, to supposed press shots to hardware leaks. The Galaxy SIII is probably one of the hottest Android phones of the year and it’s only the sixth month of 2012. It’s difficult for a device to gain so much hype and popularity if it’s not made by Apple, but Samsung has consistently done just that with their Galaxy S line of phones. Does it have what it takes to take over the HTC One X as the best Android phone out there or does it fall short? Keep reading for my full review of the Galaxy SIII.

Device Specifications

Software: Android OS version 4.0.4 with TouchWiz Nature UX

Processor: International version: Samsung Exynos 4 Quad 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM

North American version: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 2GB of RAM

Display: 4.8 inch Super AMOLED HD display

Size: International version: 2.78 inches x 5.38 inches x 0.34 inches

Weight: 4.7 ounces

Hardware

The hardware of Samsung’s devices is something we’ve all grown accustomed to and have come to expect, and either you hate it or you love it. Above average internals and sub par build quality has become the norm for Samsung’s mobile devices and that’s not about to change with the Galaxy SIII. The device is made of polycarbonate, and with the pebble blue version, it looks texturized and premium, except it’s not. This is a slight step up from the usual plastic as seen on the Galaxy SII and SI, but nothing noticeable. The ergonomics of the SIII of excellent and it feels great when you pick it up, despite the materials used by Samsung. The enclosure is noticeably thin and it almost looks like Samsung stuck a large display into a small enclosure, considering it’s barely taller or wider than a Galaxy Nexus.

The first thing you’ll probably notice about the Galaxy SIII is it’s 4.8 inch display. It is a Super AMOLED HD pentile display with a resolution of 1280 by 720, making it a 720p display. As with all other Super AMOLED displays, colors are fantastic and pixelation has been brought down to a minimum. The Super AMOLED display also helps tremendously with battery life. It’s also important to note that this display also uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2 technology. Above the display is the typical array of light senors, as well as a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera (yes, 1.9 megapixels, not 2).

Below the display, there is one oddly shaped home button sitting in between a capacitive menu button and a capacitive back button. For whatever reason, Samsung opted against a dedicated multitasking button and on screen buttons instead of hardware buttons. The power button resides on the right side of the device, albeit a bit lower than previous iterations and the volume rocker is on the left side, a little lower as well.

The device also makes use of Samsung’s new Exynos 4 Quad quad-core processor clocked at 1.4 GHz with 1GB of RAM. The phone is fast and feels even smoother than it’s dual-core predecessor. Going through the entire OS is snappy and responsive, with there being no lag at all.

On the top of the device is the 3.5mm headphone jack as well as a microphone. On the bottom, you’ll find a USB port for charging and connecting to the computer in addition to a second microphone. It also doubles as an HDMI port. On the back is the 8 megapixel camera in between an LED flash on the left and a speaker on the right. The Galaxy SIII comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB varieties in addition to an SD card slot which supports up to an additional 64GB. It has a Bluetooth 4.0 radio, support for WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, WiFi Direct, as well as AllShare. It also has NFC, so if you pick up a Sprint version, it’ll have Google Wallet preinstalled. The original international model does not support LTE, but some carriers such as NTT DoCoMo in Japan and several Canadian carriers have announced versions that will support LTE. Five carriers in the United States, namely Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and US Cellular have announced that their Galaxy SIII models will all support LTE.

Camera

The camera on the Galaxy SIII was not upgraded in terms of megapixels, but that doesn’t mean the quality of the images didn’t improve. The 8 megapixel camera on the SIII has new optics allowing for improved images. Images are more vibrant and clear due to the camera being backside illuminated. There is no dedicated hardware camera button like on the HTC One X so taking pictures won’t be nearly as fun, but essentially all the same modes found on the Galaxy SII are present on the SIII. You’ve got a burst mode so taking pictures is instantaneous, just as fast as the One X and Galaxy Nexus. All the typical camera filters and modes are built in like Panorama, Macro, and HDR.

The SIII can capture video in 1080p with the back camera and 720p video with the front camera for video calls and whatnot. Video quality is impressive, but if you don’t have sufficient lighting conditions you won’t be surprised by what you see at all. You can take pictures while shooting video just like on the HTC One X, but again, image quality isn’t as good as when you aren’t shooting video.

Conclusion

The Galaxy SIII is a fantastic device and a huge step up from the Galaxy SII. It is the fastest and most powerful Android device available on the market right now and is one you’ll wanna pick up either when it hits the States or right now if you live internationally. The SIII still leaves things to desire, especially build quality wise. If you’re trying to decide between the Galaxy SIII and HTC One X, arguably the best Android phones out there, it’s really a toss-up because of the fact that they are like each other in many ways. I can wholeheartedly recommend this device to anyone looking for the latest and greatest Android device, but I’d have a hard time recommending to someone who already has a Galaxy SII , HTC One X, or Galaxy Nexus.

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