Expectations are high for the Samsung Galaxy S III, and from our hands-on playtime with the new Android flagship we’ve a feeling users will be pleased. Samsung may not have lived up to the pre-launch hype, but it has delivered a phone that improves on all areas of its predecessor: better screen, faster processor and more usable camera.

It’s a bigger phone than the Galaxy S II, but it doesn’t feel so huge thanks to slimmer bezels and curved edges. The plastics aren’t as high quality as the HTC One X, but neither are they quite as cheap feeling as before; the coated polycarbonate doesn’t quite live up to Samsung’s “it feels like ceramic” billing but it should help avoid too many scratches.

Performance from the modified Ice Cream Sandwich and new TouchWiz is slick and smooth, with no lag or slow-down observed on the Exynos quadcore. We’ll have to wait for full benchmarking for all the details, but the Galaxy S III could comfortably play an HD video in a floating box above a full webpage, with no impact on zooming or panning.

Samsung Galaxy S III hands-on:

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The new camera tweaks work well, particularly the burst photography mode. HTC’s One Series may have rapid capture too, but it lacks the Samsung’s useful automatic suggestion as to which it believes is the best shot. In our experience, we generally agreed with its selection. We had less time to play with the facial recognition linked to social networks in the gallery, though, without our own contacts and images loaded on the phone. According to Samsung, contacts will automatically be recognized and links to Google+ and Facebook floated on top of the frame.

Samsung’s Siri alternative, S-Voice, struggled in a busy briefing room. Much like Siri, it uses server-side processing to do natural voice recognition, opening apps and setting alarms. We managed to coax it into setting an alarm and telling us today’s weather, as well as doing basic searches, but otherwise it proved frustrated by ambient noise.

Overall, though, there’s plenty to like about the Galaxy S III. Samsung had a best-seller on its hands with its predecessor, and we’ve seen nothing to suggest that the Galaxy S III will be any different. Great speed, distinctive looks and a brilliant display that’s perfectly suited to multimedia add up to a fitting flagship.

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  1. ”  HTC’s One Series may have rapid capture too, but it lacks the Samsung’s useful automatic suggestion as to which it believes is the best shot.”
    My HTC One X has best shot suggestion…

  2. Awesome pictures Vincent.  Internals aside, I think I am more and more liking the HTC. The SGS III looks damn great and shiny, but the white polycarbonate in my opinion looks better and more durable on the HTC.

    •  agreed. This is quite impressive, but compared to the htc one X, it’s about equal minus the microsd card and battery.. and the fact that this looks like any other plasticky samsung

      • One X lacks GLONASS, has an inferior DAC, lacks micro SD (which has exFAT support), lacks USB host, has an inferior GPU, an inferior CPU (32nm and more battery saving in the S3), it has a smaller, non-removable battery… Yep, a better screen and build quality outweigh all of that…

    • yeah, now I think that leaked design had a better industrial design, and should’ve been what they released.

  3. I’m not a fan of the design, its new yet it looks dated and cheap. apart from a bigger battery i don’t really see how it is better that the HTC one X

    Pentile screens have a lower resolution look to them.  i got my One x about a month ago and im even more happy now that i didn’t wait for the s3 

  4. This has all the specs of a next gen device yet, I’m reading mostly disappointment on every tech site I go to. Sure it doesn’t have and RGB 720p screen but unless you walk around with the phone taped over your eyes you wont notice anything but an awesome screen. And the build materials may not appeal to some. Bottom line, this is just as good as the One X on paper AND it has:

    Removable/large battery + MicroSD expansion 

    • Surely there are some people who do not mind and are impressed with such specs due to their light usage on superphones. But there are people who are heavy users, or computer scientist, who understands the limits of specs well enough to tell you that s3 can be a disappointment in many ways. The screen can be one of them, because pentile gives off that grainy green effect just by looking at colours that are bright. The more disappointing thing is the ram. As of current generation devices, 720p textures are ram heavy. Added to the fact that samsung decided to introduce tons of what some call bloatware, like the s health, onto the s3 and inaccurate technology like s voice, the 1gb of ram won’t be exactly useful if you love to watch flash videos and play ram heavy games like real racing 2. You’ll find that many of your important drivers are killed by the low memory killer once your ram consumption becomes increasingly high. And if you’ve studied android ram management system, you’ll realise that it is actually disadvantageous when ram is at low. Clock speed is used up to kill and reboot processes and services, thus making your device slow. These problems recur in older generation devices like the galaxy s, and the potential for s3 to meet such problems in the next generation is very high since every generation, ram consumption will be even higher. Don’t expect the s3 to last until s5. 

      • Good point. It’s interesting that with CPU they quadrupled the amount of cores and clock speed was increased but with RAM they kept *exactly* the same specs as with the S2 but added a lot of stuff that needs much RAM

      • More ram = more battery consumption.
        Having 2 GB of ram in a smartphone, today, means that your battery will be drained in half an hour.
        With the actual technology, it’s not possible to expand the ram more than 1 GB. This is a reason because the SIII’s ram is equal to his predecessor’s.

        When we’ll have better batteries, expects to have a smartphone with 2 or more GB of ram.

      • Galaxy SIII is not using slower old 40nm process LPDDR2 ram. Instead Samsung, because the Memory Modules are being applied in a PoP (package on package) onto a the 32nm Exynos it simply must be smaller as well.

        Samsung was reported as producing new memory at 30nm-class Process Technology DRAM (LPDDR3) late last year and it is assumed that is what they would use instead of doubling the capacity to 2GB 40nm LPDDR2 that also wouldn’t fit on top of the die shrink!

  5. These phones are gorgeous from the super rich super fast (0.01ms) AMOLED screen to the very advanced hardware tech that’s make this phone tick. Consider this possibility…. this phone most likely has the most memory (PoP- package on package) of any phone to be released this year. No doubt Samsung loaded on this 32nm process fabricated Exynos Quad on Quad SoC, 2gigs of LPDDR2 (or 3) memory they’re producing on their 30nm. No wonder he was able to take 20 shots in burst mode at full res with that much fast memory on board. This phone will kick any processor out to the curb and most likely even future competitor’s processors like the A6 not even out of testing stages coming from Apple! ….by the way also produced by Samsung! 

    Great Review and so glad you didn’t feed the asinine pentile clowns and trolls any additional gutter fed FUD!

  6. Im looking forward to getting my hands on one if the wife ever lets me. I have the glaxy S2 and its an amazing bit of kit the problem is my wifes contract runs out in June mine does not run out till next year ;-( Nice post and great Gallery

  7. Thought it was going to be my first Samsung but my mind changed quickly. 

    Reminds you of all those auto shows where all the prototypes look so great then the production versions come out and………….meh.

  8. Connecting a few dots here and it looks near-certain that the S3 will support WiiMotes on stock firmwares over bluetooth, and PS3 controllers via USB OTG, and also have support for midi devices via USB OTG. Pretty cool stuff. [URL=”http://www.androidnz.net/2012/05/samsung-galaxy-s3-more-secrets-revealed.html”]Details.[/URL]


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