Easily the most anticipated Android smartphone in many countries today, the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been launched recently in Asia. This third iteration of the widely popular Samsung Galaxy S series of Android smartphone is by far the best and most beautiful of the three. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is not only the best when it comes to look and feel but it also excels in performance and usability. With a powerful camera, fast processing speed, gorgeously huge screen display and a plethora of features – the Samsung Galaxy S3 is by far the best smartphone I’ve owned so far. And after using it for several days now, here’s my take on this excellent device.
I never liked the form factor and design of the original Samsung Galaxy S. It lacks style, class and the charisma that would give the iPhone a run for its money. Then came the Samsung Galaxy S2. Samsung got rid of the bulky design and replaced it with a thinner form factor but made it rectagular. For me it was too manly as compared to the feminine look of the original. For the Samsung Galaxy S3, dear old Sammy got rid of the rectangular look and modified the Galaxy Nexus a bit to come up with a sexy, stylish, thin and slim form factor. The first time I saw the photos of the Galaxy S3 I thought it was ugly. But when I opened the box, stared and hold the device – I was simply blown away by its awesome beauty. The glossy white design completes the device’s classy look and completes its thin design which is measured at 8.6 mm.
The 4.8-inch screen display makes full use of the front part of the phone. The space at the bottom holds the virtual Menu, and Back keys and in-between is the physical Home button. On top you’ll find the 2MP front-facing camera. On the right you’ll find the power button while on the left side is the familiar volume rocker. The bottom side has the USB port while on the top side you’ll find the 3.5 mm jack.
At the back of the phone, situated at the top most part is the 8MP camera lens and the LED flash. The back panel also serves as cover for the phone’s 2100 mAh battery, microSD card slot and micro-SIM slot. Samsung has not ditched its penchant for plasticky cover and used the same for this device. So be extra careful when removing this part. The good news is that, it’s not to difficult to remove this cover at all.
As mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy S3 sports a glorious 4.8-inch screen display. Its HD Super AMOLED screen has 1280×720 pixel resolution which renders graphic icons and text as sharp as possible. The screen is also perfect for watching HD movies and videos. Noticed that Samsung dropped the “Plus” in the screen as compared to the Samsung Galaxy S2. But to be honest, there’s really not that big of a difference when it comes to the two phones display prowess. At its finest, this phone definitely has the color and brightness that you’ll look for in a smartphone’s display feature.
Software and Apps
Being an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich device, you can practically load up tons of Android apps available on Google Play. But the availability of apps did not make Samsung to rest on its laurels. Samsung has thrown in its getting-to-be-popular S suite of apps. For this phone you’ll have S Voice (ala SIRI), S Suggest , S Memo and S Planner (or your typical calendar). I’ve pretty much used S Memo before on my Galaxy Note but this is the first time that I’ve used S Voice. Obviously, it’s Samsung answer to SIRI of iPhone and all I can say is that it is a good voice assistant app. You can pretty much do a lot of things with the Galaxy S3 using voice command. And the app respond to your voice command accurately. Best of all, S Voice doesn’t seem to discriminate non-native-English speaking users unlike SIRI.
This is another feature where the Samsung Galaxy S3 excels. The 8MP camera shoots photos fast – as in super fast. You will hardly experience lag time when taking snaps. The photo quality is equally superb even if you use third-party photo editing apps. I’ve been using Instagram with the phone and almost all of the photos I’ve taken and edited using Instagram’s photo filter are very good in quality.
The phone’s camera is also capable of recording 1080p video. While the photo quality of the camera is very good, I couldn’t not say the same thing about the video quality. The Samsung Galaxy Note has a better video output than that of the Samsung Galaxy S3 for some unknown reasons despite the fact that both cameras are 8MP. But there’s one feature of the Samsung Galaxy S3 that the Galaxy Note doesn’t have – the ability to take photos while recording video. Another nice feature of the camera is when taking several photos of similar subjects, it suggest the best shot that you may want to save instead of saving them all.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S3’s camera is one of the best so far among the smartphone cameras that I’ve used, including that of the iPhone.
Performance and Battery Life
The Samsung Galaxy S3 boasts of a quad-core processor. This means that the phone is pretty capable of the even the most power-extensive applications and processes. Web browsing is fast depending on your network. Rendering mobile pages happens in flash and you will hardly notice the lag time in rendering. But the question is how long will its battery go considering that the phone requires much with its large screen real estate and display? I have yet to put the phone into a battery of usage test with several apps running at the same time, 3G/4G on, playing games and watching videos one after another. But so far, on continued usage with Wi-Fi on – the phone pretty much holds up its esteem when it comes to battery life.
Since, this review is already too long. I’ll make the final words short and sweet. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is by far the best performing and best-looking smartphone I’ve ever owned – period. If you have the chance to get it, don’t hesitate to do so. You’ll appreciate how far smartphones have gone through since today. And don’t even argue with me about the phone’s lack of 3D display feature because, quite frankly it’s one unnecessary feature of a great smartphone.