Samsung Galaxy S III evaluate

Samsung Galaxy S III review

It is a unusual feeling, receiving such a keenly anticipated telephone to evaluate. The hubbub of launch occasions, arms-on previews and heated debates all of a sudden dies away, leaving you with one small and intensely silent cardboard field. On this occasion, the packaging contained the “marble white” model of the Galaxy S III (not the extra daring “pebble blue”) alongside one burning query: aside from all of the hype, do that handset’s paper credentials translate right into a product that’s worthy of great money and a 24-month dedication?

These credentials are definitely extra delicate than these of different current units. There isn’t any uncommon digital camera, stand-out show or unibody construct. As an alternative, we get an summary design assertion concerning the telephone being “impressed by nature” alongside an inventory of incremental hardware enhancements akin to a quad-core processor, in addition to recent additions to Samsung’s custom-made Android four.zero pores and skin. Because it seems, these specs forgo speedy swagger in favor of making a strong workhorse of a smartphone that’s intent on attracting an extended-time period following. Learn on and you will uncover simply the way it pulls that off.

Gallery | 24 Pictures
Samsung Galaxy S III evaluation

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Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S III

Execs

  • Massive and delightful AMOLED show
  • Highly effective, future-prepared processor
  • MicroSD slot and lengthy-lasting battery
  • Class-main digital camera

Cons

  • TouchWiz interface feels drained
  • Design is probably too protected

Abstract

The GS III is an all-rounder of a superphone, however robust competitors on the Android scene will cease it reaching the heights of its predecessor.

Hardware

There isn’t any level in skirting round the truth that the GS III might be deflating if you first take a look at it. That is partly as a result of its rounded corners and shiny end make the telephone look extra mainstream and fewer, nicely, edgy than the Galaxy S II, but in addition as a result of the handset nonetheless bears a lot bodily affinity to its predecessors. The earpiece and speaker grilles, digital camera lenses, house button and different gadgets of furnishings are all of their acquainted and predictable bolt-holes and there is nothing overwhelmingly new about any facet of the design. HTC tried one thing totally different with the construct of their new flagship, the One X, however on this event Samsung has voted conservative.

(By the way, for those who start to note that this assessment mentions the One X a heck of lots, you then’ve already cottoned on to one of many main themes that may canine not solely these paragraphs, but in addition the GS III’s complete existence.)

Samsung Galaxy S III review

In any case, when you get previous that “oh, it is one other Samsung” vibe, you understand that the GS III’s design custom is — in lots of respects — no dangerous factor. Minimal bulk with no frills is what Galaxy telephones are all about, and seeing as this specific mannequin lugs a four.eight-inch panel it is solely proper that Samsung’s designers used all their previous tips to maintain the load and dimensions to a minimal. Because of the signature plastic construct and paper-skinny peel-off rear cowl, the load is stored to a good one hundred thirty five grams (four.7 ounces) — sure, that is nonetheless 17 grams greater than the GS II, however it’s approach lower than a unibody handset just like the Lumia 900, which weighs one hundred sixty grams whereas possessing a smaller show.

The GS III can also be simply eight.6mm (zero.34 inches) thick, which is simply marginally fatter than its predecessor and nonetheless properly under the typical smartphone belt buckle, regardless of the inclusion of a hefty 2,100mAh interchangeable battery. Talking of interchangeable: along with the battery we additionally get a microSD slot, which suggests you will not need to pay over the chances for extra storage. That provides as much as a second (and more and more uncommon) tick for the GS III — from the present pack of rivals, solely the HTC EVO 4G LTE matches this spec, however that is nonetheless a distinct segment gadget as a consequence of its restricted radio.

Some consumers will nonetheless be postpone by this handset’s size and width, however at 136.6mm lengthy and 70.6mm extensive the GS III truly falls nicely contained in the bell curve of different present massive-screened flagships. It looks like a telephone, not a phablet, and once you keep in mind what you get in return – an enormous, superb show, for instance – the marginally XL dimensions really feel like a discount.

General, the construct high quality is tough to criticize. The plastic is extraordinarily nicely put collectively, it does not flex or creak and the telephone by no means feels fragile. The all-over steady sheet of Gorilla Glass 2 on the entrance panel did a great (although not good) job of keeping off automotive keys, whereas the shiny rear cowl was equally impervious in its personal approach. What extra might you need from a telephone that is going to comply with you round for years on finish?

Show

Samsung Galaxy S III review

The GS III’s show is a four.eight-inch window onto wondrousness and positively a serious promoting level. It has all of the distinction and deep blacks that we have come to like from AMOLED shows, nevertheless it’s additionally greater than common, with a wholesome pixel density and — most significantly — a lot better shade rendition than some older AMOLED screens. Six months of progress has led to actual visible enhancements because the Galaxy Nexus, despite the fact that the underlying display know-how is identical: colours aren’t over-saturated they usually do not have that unnatural blue-ish tint. The truth is, the colour temperature is similar to that of the HTC One X, which makes use of extra typical LCD know-how, and that is an enormous accomplishment for Samsung.

Though it does not sound like a lot, the additional display measurement is noticeable and nice to have. It is zero.1 inches greater throughout the diagonal than the HTC One X, and zero.15 inches greater than the Galaxy Nexus – which equates to a seven or eight % distinction in floor space. On the subject of watching movies, studying e-books or browsing web sites, each fraction helps. In reality, in case you virtually made the leap to the jumbo Galaxy Word however could not fairly persuade your self it was smart, then the GS III could possibly be the compromise you’ve got been ready for.

Samsung Galaxy S III review

The additional display measurement helps to mitigate the impact of the PenTile know-how that Samsung makes use of in its AMOLED telephones.

The additional display measurement additionally serves one other helpful objective: it helps to mitigate the impact of the unusual PenTile know-how that Samsung makes use of in its AMOLED smartphones nowadays. For the good thing about those that have not adopted this controversy, this is a refresher: PenTile shows usually do not ship the pixelation-free look that you simply’d rightfully anticipate once you buy a smartphone with a said decision of 1280 x 720 and a pixel density of 306ppi.

The photograph above demonstrates why, by evaluating the Galaxy S line of shows underneath a 230x microscopic zoom. Look how good and neat the older GS II’s purple, inexperienced and blue sub-pixels are: they arrive in tightly-bunched trios (i.e., an RGB format). The newer GS III, nevertheless, is supposed to have 3 times the decision of its predecessor, however in case you rely up its sub-pixels you will see that it has nothing like that numerical benefit. Its sub-pixels are awkwardly spaced out in a PenTile matrix, identical to the primary Galaxy S. Once you zoom again out to a traditional viewing distance, that association of sub-pixels usually leads to grainier or fuzzier photographs.

Ought to the world bang on Samsung’s doorways and demand a 300dpi letter of apology? Properly, perhaps, however not a lot with the GS III, as a result of it is largely rescued by its additional display measurement. Having a four.eight-inch panel encourages you to carry the telephone barely additional out of your face, and even lengthening the space out of your eyeballs by a few inches may be sufficient to obscure the PenTile impact. In comparison with the PenTile show on a Lumia 800 for instance, which is each smaller and has a decrease decision, the GS III was infinitely nicer to take a look at, to the purpose the place the phrase “PenTile” was completely forgotten after a few days of acclimatization. We might solely advise warning for those who’re an avid e-ebook shopper and also you’re extraordinarily fussy about your textual content wanting like it might on a printed web page – in that case chances are you’ll properly want the HTC One X’s Tremendous LCD2 various. Within the meantime, the world can save the door-banging for the GS IV.

Digital camera

Samsung Galaxy S III review

Uncooked velocity. That is what the GS III brings to the photographic desk, and it is probably the most sensible advantages of its highly effective quad-core engine. We pulled off six frames per second with full eight-megapixel decision by holding down the shutter button whereas in burst mode, which was barely greater than the HTC One X and completely adequate for getting a pleasant smile out of shy topics. In Single Shot mode, there was nearly no shutter lag, which significantly assisted photographs of shifting targets: what you see once you faucet the display is strictly what is going to seem in your gallery afterwards. There’s in all probability a slight delay, however it’s so small that it is imperceptible – judging from a non-scientific check, it is lower than zero.1 seconds and shorter than the lag on the HTC One X. General, the velocity and ease-of-use of this digital camera can change the best way you shoot footage – not just by filling up your microSD card with extra photographs than ordinary, however by encouraging you to push for ever extra fascinating photographs that would not potential on a daily laggy telephone.

Samsung Galaxy S III review

In fact, none of that might make sense with out nice picture high quality, and luckily the GS III is as much as scratch in that space too – despite the fact that it does not present quite a lot of progress from earlier Galaxy telephones. In some ways that is good: earlier fashions delivered sharp and colourful photographs, whereas earlier iterations of the TouchWiz digital camera app additionally provided a excessive degree of guide management, and people qualities have been carried over into the GS III. This consists of the press-and-maintain technique of taking a photograph, which permits you set focus and publicity earlier than re-framing and releasing the shutter to take a shot — a system that encourages extra artistic management and which is sorely missing on the One X. It additionally consists of the power to set the compression degree (Regular, High quality or Superfine).

Gallery | 25 Photographs
Samsung Galaxy S III digital camera samples

With the bottom compression, nonetheless photographs usually weigh between 2.7MB and four.7MB, which suggests they include exactly the quantity of data we might need from such a excessive decision picture — different telephones are recognized to cap file-sizes at round 3MB, which hurts picture high quality.

Samsung Galaxy S III review

The GS III additionally brings a multi-publicity HDR mode for bringing out extra element in highlights and shadows, and that works properly. There’s additionally a panorama mode for stitching collectively a number of photographs to nice one lengthy horizon. Identical to HDR, that is mode is extraordinarily quick because of the processor. It is fast and straightforward to tug off little artistic tips.

Samsung Galaxy S III review

Samsung Galaxy S III review

The one factor lacking right here is actual optical improvement: the utmost aperture is f/2.6, which is principally the identical as its predecessors and properly behind the sunshine-loving f/2.zero lens on the HTC One X. This implies the GS III will usually be worse off in low-mild conditions, though we nonetheless discovered that it carried out admirably, with minimal noise. Additionally, in comparison with the superb digital camera within the iPhone four (not 4S), the GS III might overexpose barely and present much less dynamic vary — its photographs are sharper and have extra correct colours, however on the expense of being much less dramatic.

Samsung Galaxy S III review

Samsung Galaxy S III review

Shifting on to video footage and it is clear that when once more the snappy processor resides as much as its rep: autofocus throughout video recording was a number of the greatest we have seen in any smartphone. 1080p is recorded with a knowledge-price of round 2.2MB/s, which could be very wholesome certainly, and autoexposure shifts easily and sensibly. There is no sluggish-mo sadly, which counts towards the GS III as a result of that might have been a cool function to have, however common 1080p / 30fps footage is clean and largely freed from the rolling shutter “jello” impact.

Efficiency and battery life

Samsung Galaxy S III AT&T Galaxy Observe Motorola Droid RAZRHTC One X (LTE) Quadrant 5,189 2,667 2,357 four,784 Vellamo 1,751 554 1,021 2,259 AnTuTu eleven,960 6,582 6,027 6,956 SunSpider zero.9.1 (ms) 1,460 three,059 2,one hundred forty 1,453 GLBenchmark Egypt Offscreen (fps) ninety nine 33 28 fifty six CF-Bench thirteen,one hundred ten 6,063 6,191 9,479

So, we come to one of many GS III’s not-so-secret weapons: its Exynos Quad processor, which is the one different engine past NVIDIA’s Tegra three to deliver greater than two cores to a mainstream handset. In the event you want additional proof of simply how bleeding-edge the brand new 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos is, you solely want to take a look at its transistor measurement. Shrinking transistors is an costly, painstaking enterprise that solely excessive-quantity corporations like Samsung can afford, however for the top consumer it broadly interprets to a capability for extra efficiency with much less battery drain — sure, that is each on the similar time; one of many bodily world’s uncommon win-win conditions. The GS III’s silicon is a fabricated with a 32-nanometer course of, which is considerably smaller than final yr’s era of 45nm telephones and in addition smaller than Tegra three’s 40nm course of. The one different mainstream cell phone processors that profit from such shrinkage are Intel’s 32nm Medfield, which is put to good impact within the Lava Xolo for instance, and Qualcomm’s exceptional 28nm Snapdragon S4, which powers telephones just like the HTC One S and the LTE model of the HTC One X.

Okay, so what is that this highfalutin Exynos chip able to in actual-world phrases? Let’s begin with every day operation first: this telephone boots up from chilly in beneath 25 seconds and by no means stalls, by no means lags and by no means journeys over itself. Whether or not you are navigating image-heavy PDFs in Polaris Workplace, enjoying again chunky 1080p clips shot in your DSLR, or just browsing content material-heavy web sites, you will by no means even take into consideration the processor. The true energy of this processor will solely materialize because the software program turns into out there to take advantage of 4-approach multi-threading. Within the meantime, the one approach you are going to check this telephone is should you get the prospect to do loopy issues like operating robust augmented actuality apps (one thing we might love to do in future, so as to check the graphical element of the Exynos), or a twin OS, or enjoying Skyrim, or for those who run benchmarks.

Which brings us easily on to these (barely) much less subjective arbiters of efficiency. We have just lately up to date our suite of checks, so there are literally two units of tables. The primary, above, throws the GS III up towards lately-reviewed telephones utilizing our new benchmarks. (Observe: all of the numbers for different telephones come after current firmware updates, in order that they could be totally different to what we have revealed in earlier evaluations.)

On the entire you are taking a look at a tool that’s unsurpassed when it comes to efficiency.

On the entire you are taking a look at a tool that’s unsurpassed when it comes to efficiency. The GS III loses out to the One X on a couple of scores however beats it on others. It does notably properly on the SunSpider rating, which displays net-shopping efficiency: it is on a par with the One X right here, and nicely past the newest Apple A5-based mostly units –- as an example, the new iPad solely scores 2,011ms. If we take a look at Tegra three units, like the worldwide model of HTC One X, which is not listed on the desk above, we see an identical image of the GS III profitable on some and dropping on a pair (specifically CF-Bench and Quadrant). General, we might should name it a draw between the GS III and both variant of the HTC One X, a minimum of on the idea of those particular exams.

Samsung Galaxy S III Samsung Galaxy Nexus ASUS Transformer Prime HTC One S Linpack single-thread (MFLOPS) fifty six.22 forty two.eighty five forty three.35 103.88 Linpack multi-thread (MFLOPS) 132.eighty sixty nine.37 sixty seven.05 222.22 NenaMark 1 (fps) 60.zero fifty three.03 60.07 60.eight Nenamark 2 (fps) fifty eight.eight 24.26 forty six.07 sixty one.zero

Lastly, for the sake of comparability with a couple of older and cheaper units, we have included above a legacy desk with our earlier suite of benchmarks. Though these benchmarks wrestle to differentiate between the very newest telephones — which is exactly why we have moved on from them -– they however show two issues. Firstly, if processor grunt is a main concern you then need not splash out on a GS III: you are able to do at the least as nicely with a the Snapdragon S4-fueled HTC One S, which is a considerably cheaper handset. Secondly, the Galaxy Nexus – a lot as we like it — is now very a lot final yr’s information when it comes to horsepower.

Samsung Galaxy S III review

Ah, however wait a second. We will not transfer with out acknowledging that efficiency has a flip-aspect: battery drain. We had excessive hopes for the GS III on this regard, after we noticed it had an unusually excessive-capability 2,100mAh battery, and after GSMArena discovered of their personal checks that the handset can go for nearly as an extended as a pill. Fortuitously, we will corroborate these outcomes. Hooked as much as Vodafone’s HSPA+ community in London, UK, the telephone survived a full day of intensive use. That included operating power-sapping benchmarks, capturing stills and video, net-searching over WiFi and mobile knowledge for over an hour, plus round forty minutes of voice calls. (For the document, we had no issues with reception or audio high quality, whether or not by way of the earpiece, speakerphone or the bundled canalphone headset — though the latter was too tinny to be taken critically for music.)

In our looped video battery run-down check, the telephone lasted someplace between eight.5 hours and 9.5 hours. This can be a nice end result given the telephone’s display measurement and determination, and the truth that it solely has a really early firmware model. It is also principally the identical because the 9 hours achieved by the AT&T HTC One X — so shut that we will re-run the check to get a extra exact measurement and hopefully set up a transparent winner. We’ll replace this assessment as quickly as that is completed, and in addition add extra battery-life examples of on a regular basis utilization, however within the meantime, relaxation assured that this telephone already scores extraordinarily properly for battery life.

Replace: a second run of the looped video check yielded 9 hours and two minutes. That is an excellent rating given the display’s measurement and determination. Motorola’s Droid RAZR Maxx may supply up extra, however that telephone is simply qHD and its processor is comparatively underpowered in comparison with the GS III’s.

Software program

Samsung Galaxy S III review

The GS III is an Android (Model four) telephone, nevertheless it has a really heavy TouchWiz pores and skin caught on prime of it. Which means along with the standard Android-type muddle of widgets and menus and settings screens, the telephone additionally has Samsung-solely twists that add to a common sense of busyness. For followers of iOS (no widgets) or Home windows Telephone (no muddle), the entire thing is perhaps a flip-off. Equally, should you’re a devotee of the pure Android four.zero consumer interface, which is extra fluid and fewer busy than earlier variations, then you definitely’ll even be disillusioned.

Gallery | 14 Pictures
Samsung Galaxy S III screenshots

It is comprehensible that Samsung needs to make its personal mark on Android and differentiate itself from the competitors, however did it actually need to mess with Android four.zero so brutally within the course of? Whenever you take a look at how a lot effort Google places into enhancing its open supply OS, it is truly unforgiveable for Samsung to return alongside and provides us a pores and skin that makes all of it really feel like old style Android 2.three. The telephone does not even comply with the newest button conventions: it has ‘again’ and ‘menu’ capacative buttons on both aspect of the bodily residence button, and thus omits the ‘multi-tasking’ button that got here with the ICS. This implies you must press and maintain the primary house button for a second or so (truthfully, it seems like an eternity), simply to maneuver between the apps that you simply’re operating. It is backwards and it is incorrect.

However that is sufficient of the fashion. Not everybody feels so strongly concerning the UI, and maybe many will like TouchWiz if it makes them really feel at house. Extra importantly although, lots of Samsung’s useful additions are genuinely helpful. This is an inventory of the primary options that got here in useful, in descending order from good to much less good:

50GB of free Dropbox storage. So good. This storage increase was triggered once we first signed into the pre-loaded Dropbox app, and it all of the sudden made it possible to mechanically stream our pictures to the cloud. Pleased days.

Swiping contacts to name or message them. The only concepts are sometimes the perfect. Swiping contacts left to ship them a message or proper to ring them turned second nature after some time, as a result of it is quite a bit quicker than navigating sequential screens and tapping buttons. In truth, Samsung ought to have made much more use of swiping gestures, for instance house display and multi-tasking navigation like on the iPad — the display measurement is definitely large enough to deal with it.

Sensible keep. The display refuses to timeout if you’re taking a look at it, based mostly on face recognition by way of the entrance-dealing with digital camera. There’s nothing worse than a display that switches off simply as you are beginning to make sense of the content material it is displaying you, and this function nips that drawback within the bud.

Social tag. Whenever you first take a photograph of somebody, the telephone asks you to call them. From then on, it does all of the arduous work of recognizing that individual once more in future snaps, and linking up their social networking profiles as a way to share your pictures quicker. This also needs to make it very easy to catalog a gallery, or search it for footage of a specific individual, however we did not spot a means to try this.

Face unlock. This can be a inventory function from pure Android four, however thankfully Samsung has carried it over to TouchWiz. It really works nice and it is the simply the quickest technique of unlocking the telephone, regardless that it is not probably the most safe – it additionally disables the power to leap straight into a selected app from the lock display, which frequently undoes a few of its velocity positive aspects.

And listed here are some options that we simply did not get together with:

S Beam. This might have been so highly effective, however it as an alternative represents the issue with Samsung’s philosophy. They’ve taken two open-supply requirements, Android Beam and WiFi Direct, and reworked them right into a proprietary wi-fi interface that’s extraordinarily quick, however which solely works between two GS III handsets. Except for the moral implications, how typically are you going to get an opportunity to make use of this function?

S Voice. This is not as “human” as iPhone’s Siri. It does not work as shortly or as intelligently, and it typically cuts you off mid-sentence, thereby losing time deciphering meaningless fragments of requests. With endurance it will probably yield higher outcomes, however general it is onerous to think about many individuals utilizing it regularly. Do this many individuals even use Siri?

Wrap-up

Samsung Galaxy S III review

One of the best factor concerning the Galaxy S III? That it is greater than the sum of its elements. Individually, the marginally bigger and higher show, stronger processor and quicker digital camera might not sound that particular, however in day by day operation they rating main combo factors: gathering up all one of the best bits of the older Galaxy S II and re-working them right into a solidly trendy (learn: mid-2012) gadget. The facility- and storage-hungry Android consumer merely can’t go mistaken with this buy, and neither can these on the lookout for a fantastic digital camera.

The worst factor concerning the GS III? Regardless of how arduous it tries, it simply is not larger than the sum of the HTC One X’s elements. That is to not say it falls brief, however merely to emphasise that occasions have modified since final yr’s Galaxy S II, which landed on an unsuspecting world that was largely devoid of predators. The Snapdragon variant of the One X has comparable computing energy, battery life and photographic credibility, nevertheless it additionally has a a lot better consumer interface that sticks extra intently to the guiding ethos of Android four.zero. The One X additionally has a extra ahead-wanting bodily design, whereas the GS III clings to the tried and true types of previous. Maybe the most important sacrifice you’d make by going for the One X over the GS III is the lack of a budget storage provided by the microSD card. That is a painful factor to surrender, however given how deeply we really feel concerning the want for Android to maneuver ahead and never get caught in a Gingerbread-flavored groundhog day, we’d simply take the hit.

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