The Samsung Galaxy S III And What It Means To The Android World!!
The Samsung Galaxy series of phones has been a bit of a game changer in the Android world. The first phone in the series, the Galaxy S was a huge seller, racking up over 10 million units sold. The Galaxy S was the first Android phone to be DivX certified and at the time of release was both the thinnest phone at 9.9mm available, combined with the fastest graphics processing unit, the Power VR. Then came the Galaxy S II. The S II won the Mobile World Congress’s “Smart Phone of the Year Award” for 2012. World wide 3 million units were sold in 55 days and 10 million were sold in less than 6 months. All of this attention has led to every iteration of the Galaxy line to be almost over come by its own hype and this year was no different. Samsung did it’s best to keep the S III under wraps but after months of fake pictures, Reddit leaks, and wild speculation of specs the phone is shipping out world-wide. A lot of people seemed to be under the assumption that the Galaxy S III was going to come made with tiger blood and Adonis DNA however if you take the time to look at the specs this is by no means a disappointing phone. Lets see why….
One of the biggest sources of moaning and groaning from tech hipsters has come about the display on the GSIII. The display, measuring 4.8″ is a Super AMOLED variety. Notice there is not Plus tacked onto the end of that description and combined with the fact that this is a Pentile display you have found the source of discontent. It has been 6 months since the GNex released and Sammy is still using the same display? Why not a 3D hologram Apple slaying display??? People, lets take a breath. In the past half a year Samsung has been hard at work on this display. The large screen size combined with the high pixel density mean that you will have to try extremely hard to become annoyed by this screen. The temperatures that this display operate at are almost to the level of the HTC One X’s Super LCD screen. This means no more blueish tint or that odd yellow that my GNex has. Yes it is a Pentile display, that means the pixels are not lined up as closely as the ones in the HTC unit. Will you notice? Well if you make it a habit of reading your texts with a microscope, yes get out your complaint letter. Otherwise just enjoy this awesome display.
For weeks before this phone dropped there was all sorts of crazy rumors about the processor that would power the GSIII. Samsung did a great job of keeping it’s Exynos 4 chip under wraps, however when they went public with the processor, it is readily apparent that it is a beast. The quad-core chip set is a benchmark slayer much like its chief competetor the Tegra 3, found in the HTC One X. There was a large amount of initial disappointment in both Sammy and HTC camps when they found out that any version of these phones that will run on a LTE network(AT&T, Sprint,Verizon) would be coming with Snapdragon’s S4 Krait dual-core processor instead. Before anybody freaks out lets take a look at the S4 because I am pretty sure that this chipset will be more than enough to keep most users happy. The S4 has shown in numerous benchmark tests that while it does lose out to the quad-core processor in some tests, in many that measure daily use the S4 carries the day. The S4 features 2 Krait processors that compared to the last generation of Snapdragon feature a faster GPU, improved memory/cache interface, and much improved power efficiency. Basically I could talk tech here all day but this boils down to one thing. Not many apps out there can even take advantage of the 4 cores in the Exynos 4 or the Tegra 3 so will you see a difference in normal use between the S4 and the Exynos? Maybe during the most graphics intensive gaming you can do but rest assured that the S4 will be more than up to the challenge of anything you can throw at this phone.
So here is another area where people seemed to expect digital SLR 24MP performance. Cries of only 8MP went up all over the world. Yes this is the same MP count as the GSII and yes there is not a spec chasing sensor in the camera. However half the battle in a smart phone camera is the software and here Sammy did a fine job. Yes they could have gone with a 12MP unit but then the phone would be thicker or the pictures not as good and people would still be upset. The camera on the GSIII is capable of a lot of the tricks you expect out a top-tier device right now. Burst mode? Check. 1080p video recording with the ability to capture still shots while recording? Check. Zero-Lag Shutter? Check. HDR and Panorama mode? Check. The only real let down about this camera in real world performance is the fact that it’s aperture is f/2.6, much lower then the HTC One X’s f/2.0 unit. This means the Sammy unit is not quite as light loving and images in lower light will suffer a little bit. Is it a deal breaker? Judging from reviews of the phone in Europe, hell no it is not. The phone still takes great pictures in all levels of light however you will be able to see a little more image noise in lower light pictures. Is it a little disappointing that they didn’t go crazy on the specs here, maybe but I for one after dealing with the crappy camera on the GNex would rather have a lower MP camera that works well with the software then a 12MP unit that does not.
Design and Construction
One last point to hit here before I finish up and that is the construction of the GSIII. I am going to step up on my soapbox and say I am sick to death of people complaining about Samsung phones being made of plastic. Having owned 3 straight plastic fantastic Sammy phones and having them all survive numerous drops I can attest that everyone needs to get over the plastic chassis. Now I am not arguing aesthetics here, I know some people just like the feel of aluminum and that is fine. However do not think that just because this phone is plastic, it is not well-built. Not only does the plastic allow for better reception but the phone features Gorilla Glass and the plastic construction allows the phone to be 8.6mm thin despite having a 2,100mAh battery on board. Besides if you do not put a case on your phone then you deserve anything that happens when you drop it. You do not just carry around your laptop on the subway without a bag right? Why do the same with the $500 computer in your pocket?
I hope that some of this information has helped to clear up any misconceptions about the Samsung Galaxy S III. The phone while not the game changer that some expected, is a more than capable phone in its own right and more than deserves it’s title as a top-tier Android phone. I’m sure you noticed I compared it to the One X numerous times and since these two phones are the two new big kids on the block it is only natural to compare the devices. Side by side both have their advantages and drawbacks however it will be up to you the consumer to handle both and see which one just feels right to you. So hopefully this information will help you either eliminate or purchase the Galaxy S III. Either way, I smell another hit device for Samsung.
JKeene, AndroREV Editor
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