With a backlog of a year of rumors flying in a frenzy debating the look and soul of the flagship, Samsung, the manufacturer known for its flagship devices, remarkably again pulls off its splendid iteration much surrounded to a pre-launch hype at London’s Earls Court arena on 3rd May 2012.
Samsung again forges the One Ring from their Mount Doom and unveils it under the grandiose title Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012, all to launch just one phone, its precious.
Packing in some hardcore hardware and subtly adding new panoramic features, this iteration, the mighty S III, easily wins over the dual-core gadget herd and due to sheer hardware fuel, very quietly scores over the quad-core debutant, the HTC One X.
Samsung ditches its usual touch to all of its smartphones and adds voluptuous curves to the S III. Coming from the previous Galaxy S Series, the rounded edges and the rectangular shape is left to the grave and Samsung adopts new design features including a ceramic polycarbonate back, yet adds a plastic touch to it.
The distinct bulge in the lower back of the Galaxy phones doesn’t make it up to this year’s flagship. The back cover is almost the same as the original first Galaxy S.
Minimal bulk with no extra additions is what Galaxy phones are all about, and seeing as this particular model fits a 4.8-inch panel it’s only right that Samsung’s designers used all their old tricks to keep the weight and dimensions to a minimum.
The GS III is also just 8.6mm (0.34 inches) thick, which is only thicker by a small margin than its predecessor and still well below the average smartphone thickness, despite it adds a giant 2,100mAh interchangeable battery. In addition to this, the device comes with an microSD slot which is a relief as majority of devices now ship with only internal memory storage capabilities, such as the Galaxy Nexus and yes, the HTC One X.
The earpiece and speaker grilles, camera lenses, home button and other items of furniture are all in their familiar and predictable bolt-holes and there’s nothing overwhelmingly new about any aspect of the design. A much more welcome addition is the Notification LED which is rarely seen on Android phones.
The home button is smaller than the rectangular piece fitted onto Galaxy phones. The round bezel and the position of the home button can be a minus point for the design. Surely, they could do better or they could design it the home button usual way.
Samsung continues the display tradition, making the 4.8-inch display panel SuperAmoled HD with a 1280 x 720 and a pixel density of 306ppi. The display is Pentile Matrix fabricated instead of RGB fabrication done in its predecessor, making it a honeycomb for critic bees. But the screen size quite nicely squares off for the old fashioned Pentile technology.
The screen size is frankly quite large for smaller hand people, but the ergonomics and the width is kept to a minimum, thus splitting opinions narrowly. It actually feels a phone and does not waver onto the phablet region, the only phones wandering into that region remains the Galaxy Note and the HTC Sensation XL.
Samsung doesn’t upgrade the mega pixels here but optimizes on the speed and the quality. S II had made a name for itself on the camera front, and S III arrives just to do the same. Sheer raw speed is what the camera is on this beast.
In Single Shot mode, there was virtually no shutter lag, which greatly assisted shots of moving targets: what you see when you tap the screen is exactly what will appear in your gallery afterwards.
Samsung also includes an optional “Best photo” setting which fires off eight pictures in rapid succession and then flags up the one it believes is the best, based on exposure, brightness, whether people have their eyes open and smiles on their faces, and other elements. You can override its decision if you disagree.
The GS III also brings a multi-exposure HDR mode for bringing out more detail in highlights and shadows, and that works well. There’s also a panorama mode for stitching together multiple shots to great one long horizon. Just like HDR, this is mode is extremely fast thanks to the processor. It’s quick and easy to pull off little creative tricks.
The S III is fueled by a herculean 1.4 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with 1 GB of RAM. This processor is a 32nm chip with 50 percent greater graphics performance and 30 percent less power consumption than its previous chip, the Exynos 4410 which featured in the Samsung Galaxy S2.
Samsung has kept only a meager 1 GB of RAM which of course does the job for the day, but the quad-core processor should be complemented by at least 2 GB of RAM, which due to performance slippage in the International version, the US and Korean Variants ship with the required 2 gig of RAM and a S4 Snapdragon processor. As is usual with the OEM skin put over stock vanilla Android, the Touchwiz eats up quite a lot RAM.
Samsung, a rumor says it, has looked onto forums and other gadget sites, to lend an ear to the public’s interest for the S III and much to the delight of audiophiles and music lover, the powerful Wolfson Micro audio chip tweaked in order to keep power consumption low makes a comeback in this iteration. This means Voodoo Hack developer supercurio will extend his support for the S III.
As to the benchmark part, this T-Rex tears apart other ‘sauras’ much due to its Exynos quad-core processor. Here, are the usual benchmarks done and compared between recent devices.
|Samsung Galaxy S III||AT&T Galaxy Note||Motorola Droid RAZR||HTC One X (LTE)|
|SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms)||1,460||3,059||2,140||1,453|
|GLBenchmark Egypt Offscreen (fps)||99||33||28||56|
Software Features :
Samsung drapes the stock Android theme with its own iteration of Touchwiz 5 and ships with Android version 4.0.4(Ice Cream Sandwich). This iteration is a uplift from the previous version, as the icons undergo overhaul to prove sophistication in the S III. The usual widgets and cluttery interface are included which can prove to be big turn-offs for the migrating iPhone and Windows users. The slab of Touchwiz is another negative sight for stock Nexus users.
But, this time, Touchwiz is relatively less jammed up and comes in with some useful tricks coming right up from the sleeves of Samsung.
- 50GB of free Dropbox storage: Apart from gigabytes and gigabytes of storage, the device comes preloaded with the famous Dropbox app which offers an extra 50GB of cloud space which comes in handy when there is no PC around to sync.
- Swiping contacts to call or message them: The simplest ideas are often the best. Swiping contacts left to send them a message or right to ring them becomes second nature after a while.
- Smart stay: The screen refuses to timeout when you’re looking at it, based on face recognition via the front-facing camera. There’s nothing worse than a screen that switches off at the wrong moment and this feature solves the frustration when your screen turns off when reading a particular content.
- Social tag: When you first take a photo of someone, the phone asks you to name them. From then on, it does all the hard work of recognizing that person again in future snaps, and linking up their social networking profiles so that you can share your photos faster.
- Face unlock: This is a stock feature from pure Android 4, but fortunately Samsung has carried it over to TouchWiz 5. It works great and it’s the easily the fastest method of unlocking the phone, even though it isn’t the most secure.
- S Beam: Merging Android Beam from the Android 4.0 and Wi-Fi Direct from its own kitchen, Samsung does a wonderful job of transferring files at higher rates than the conventional Bluetooth technology.
- S Voice: Coming up against Apple’s own Siri, Samsung launches S Voice, which is not as comprehensive and user friendly as Siri is but patiently, it does work and favorable results can be obtained.
- Pop Up Play: Watch a video when multi-tasking on your Android, Samsung at last fulfills this feature with Pop Up Play.
This device is made for the people, be it of any gadget strata. S III directly goes into comparison with the One X, which scores over the S III in the solidity of its UI and a slightly better built, as always has been the case with HTC. But against the raw power of the S III, the One X falls mighty short which only the US One X variant can match up.
S III emerges as the king over the others due to its sheer performance and simple fluid technology used behind it. The only competitor which might end the dominance for this flagship is the Iphone 5 which is currently under works and makes it way to its rumored released in October. But till then, the King marches on truly ‘inspired by nature’.