And, here it is, our review of Samsung's latest and greatest flagship mobile phone, the Galaxy S III! This bad boy is probably the most anticipated Android handset of the year, and it certainly packs the specs that make it deserving to be the current king of Sammy's smartphone brood. But does it truly live up to the hype? Here's what we think after spending a good week with it.
The Galaxy S III, which comes in either pebble blue or marble white (we got the latter), sports a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED capacitive screen and a curved back side. Weighing only 133g, it feels light and thin on our hands especially for a device that has its dimensions. It's also slimmer than many handsets in the same size range and looks slicker than its predecessor, the Galaxy S II.
The back cover may feel a bit cheap, considering that it's glossed up plastic of glossy polycarbonate construction and not metallic, but it's a way to keep the phone lighter and slimmer so, yeah, we can let them off the hook on that one. We also love the fact that it has a removable battery for the simple reason that you can get and slap a spare on it in a jiffy when needed.
The Galaxy S III is powered by a quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos 4 Cortex-A9 processor. Each of its four cores can speed up or power down independently which helps to save battery life. The graphics department is taken cared of by a Mali-400MP GPU, which is also found in the Galaxy S II, but runs at a faster speed in the Galaxy S III. The phone also contains 1GB of RAM, the standard as far as current flagships are concerned, 16GB of internal memory (there's also a 32GB and a 64GB version), and a microSD slot, which can add up to an extra 64GB of external storage.
In the eye-candy department we have a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen (1280 x 720 pixels). Despite going with a PenTile matrix screen (which more people dislike because it can result to the so-called "screen door" (pixelated) effect), the Galaxy S III's display is still pretty good. No, it's probably not the most gorgeous out there today but it still impresses. Our only beef with it is outdoor visibility. Like with many other handsets, viewing the Galaxy S III's screen under direct sunlight can be a drag, although tweaking the brightness settings will certainly help.
The Samsung Galaxy S III runs on Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.4) and Samsung's own TouchWiz user interface. Quality for basic voice calls and reception is great while a feature called "Direct Call" (where you can just pick up the phone while in the messages app and it will directly call the person you're texting) is a nifty addition. The visual quality was also amazing for the most part---you can even view .mp4 videos right from the gallery.
Overall navigation is a breeze; we encountered very few lags (which were really, really slight) while using the handset, and we expected nothing less from its hardware. The Galaxy S III also comes up big in terms of multi-tasking and has no problems with running multiple features/apps simultaneously, too. Seriously, it's one hell of a speedster, a device you'll have no qualms about, say, running several games while downloading something and surfing the net on. It can handle pretty much everything a handset is expected to today, and might have more power to spare.
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Click here to view the Samsung Galaxy S III in the Buyer's Guide
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