Apart from the larger brighter screen the first you notice about the new Galaxy S3 is that it comes in a choice of new colours including ‘Marble White’ and ‘Pebble Blue’ and that it has a new “plastic” feel” and curved edges similar to the Galaxy Nexus.
It’s also larger than the Galaxy S2 with dimensions of 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm which is why Samsung has been able to pack in a new 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD screen a move that could stop sales of the HTC One X when it goes on sale in Australia next month.
Those who played with the device at the London launch claim that the plastic feeling of the Galaxy S3 won’t appeal to all smartphone users.
Samsung has moved to the new material in an effort to keep the device lightweight at 133g.
The big new standout feature is the use of a Super AMOLED screen. Tech Radar said that the 309ppi pixel density is up there with the iPhone 4S, and it makes one realise that while a Retina Display which is found in the Apple iPhone is lovely, a 3.5-inch screen just don’t cut it anymore.
Another development has seen Samsung re-tool the Touchwiz overlay for the Galaxy S3. The lock screen is more interactive with a little ripple running across the screen when you go to unlock the new phone. Users actually get a little water drop sound, and the whole effect is surprisingly pleasing said some reviewers.
Critical reaction to the new device was positive, from both analysts and commentators said the Daily Telegraph in the UK. Stuart Miles, founder of technology website Pocket-Lint.com, said “The Samsung Galaxy S III is likely to be one of the phones of the year offering just about all the tech you could want from a mobile phone. It’s a device that has the power and capabilities to not only take on the iPhone 4S but also the next iPhone as well.”
The Daily Telegraph said that “the new S3 adds useful features that, for instance, can automatically share a photograph you take with people whose faces are recognised, called ‘Buddy Photo Share, or display social media profiles directly on a photograph when those face are recognised. These are features that are useful rather than revolutionary, but they feel like they will be obvious standards in the near future. Tagging groups and offering an automatic slideshow zooming into the faces in a picture are also useful additions. Samsung, unless the patent wars cause further upset, is setting new standards.”
When it comes to features such as S-Beam, which transfers files quickly between devices by touching them together, or sharing the phone’s screen content with other devices, these are increasingly becoming more widespread industry standards, as indicated on the new Motorola Razr, which offers similar concepts. The Samsung processor is fast enough to allow crystal clear video to play in a window on your homescreens, which again is nifty, but not vital.
Tech Radar observed that the dock at the bottom of the display has been increased to now hold five favourite items, which is a real plus for those that want internet, mail, phone and messaging all within easy reach (as well as the app menu).
One issue of concern is that the new quad core 1.4 GHz Exynos CPU could suck power due in part to the introduction of several new features.Tech Radar said “the other ‘smart’ idea Samsung had was the idea that voice recognition could work with Smart Voice – and we hope that this does actually happen as it was nowhere near Siri level on the Samsung Galaxy S2.”
Engadget said that “in short, Samsung’s tried to bring its Galaxy S series in line with (and in some ways, further ahead of) what its team-up with Google accomplished. It’s added some new quad-core Exynos processing juice, a 4.8-inch, HD Super AMOLED screen and a handful of Galaxy S III-only features in an earnest bid to maintain its place at the top of the Android pile.”
“At first blush, we were a little disappointed that Samsung didn’t intend to push the design envelope with its new flagship. That’s not to say we were repulsed: it just looks a lot like an amalgam of all the Galaxy phones we’ve seen in the last year. It flies closer to the Galaxy Nexus than the Galaxy S II, with a shape and contour all too similar to Google’s first Android 4.0 handset.
“In the hand, the 4.8-inch screen is counter-balanced by the thin bezel, resulting in a shape that is still comfortable to hold. It feels very light, a mere 133g (4.7 ounces — just a smidgen heavier than the HTC One X), and measures 8.6mm (0.34 inches) deep across its central waistline. (That’s right, there’s no more chin.)”
4.8″ Super Amoled HD display
16/32/64GB depending on model, plus expandable MicroSD card
50GB Dropbox for two years
Pebble blue or marble white
2,100mAh (wireless charging optional extra)
8MP rear; 1.9 MP front
720 x 1280 px (306ppi)
136.6 x 70.6 x 8.55 mm
Exynos 4 Quad (1.4GHz)