Samsung has finally launched its much-anticipated next generation Galaxy smartphone on May 3, 2012 in London at the Samsung Mobile Unpacked. Slated as the “Samsung Galaxy S3”, the phone introduces features that may arguably place itself as one of the best smartphones available – that is, pending what the Cupertino company, Apple, has up its sleeves later this year with its iPhone 5.
Let’s talk business. Here’s a quick rundown of the specifications for the Galaxy S III.
- 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm
- 133 grams
- Display: 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED (1280×720) Pentile (no Plus)
- Processor: Exynos 4 Quad @ 1.4Ghz for HSPA version
- 1GB of RAM
- Rear Camera: 8MP Autofocus, Flash, Zero Lag Shutter BSI Image sensor
- Front Camera: 1.9 MP HD, Flash, Zero Lag Shutter
- Video: Full HD 1080p Recording and Playback
- Storage: 16GB/32GB/64GB
- 2,100mAh battery
- GPS with GLONASS
- 802.11n Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4
- microSD expansion
- 21Mbps HSPA, LTE supported
- Micro SIM
Hands On Review
A prominent IT blogger in Korea, CDManii posted an extensive early hands-on review for the Samsung Galaxy S3. Please check out the post on his blog at CDManii’s Computer Story.
That said, here’s what CDManii posted on his blog – translated into English by Digital Cupcake.
<Here on forward is the hands on review by CDManii>
Today we have our first hands-on review for the just-released Samsung Galaxy S3. While pictures and videos have already been published by international media sources from the launch event, this is the first hands-on review from a blog based in Korea.
We were able to get our hands on a Pebble Blue Galaxy S3 this morning (5/4/12 at the time of writing) – obviously only a handful of the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been spotted outside the offices at Samsung, even in Korea, and we were lucky to receive one for this review.
The color of the Pebble Blue was intriguing in that there were variances in the shades of blue depending on the angle of the light. You should definitely check out the video linked below – images themselves cannot justify or distinguish the true color of the Pebble Blue, it’s quite something.
Apart from the color, the overall design looks and feels great. It’s not nearly at the ‘Wow’ level but certainly has its slick appeal to it to say the least.
One of its distinguished features, the Pop-up Play is AMAZING. Press the Pop-up Play button at the bottom corner of the playback menu and the video shrinks down to a thumbnail size on the homescreen, in which you could then multitask away – you’re able to call, text and of course, surf the web while your video plays in the background – folks, this is multitasking at its prime. The model that we received was the International version so we weren’t able to test out the Pop-up Play with the DMB that will be equipped in the Korean version however.
We initially were a slight bit concerned if the feature would make the general experience ‘laggy’ for obvious reasons but to our surprise, multitasking with the Pop-up Play was silky smooth. The sort of multi tasking that you use on your computer? Yeah that’s pretty much what you get with this new Galaxy S3. Pretty awesome isn’t it?
Samsung Galaxy S3 is currently benchmarked to be the fastest smartphone currently in the market and probably proving the point, flipping through the menus, launching apps…the entire experience and the responsiveness felt fast and smooth, second to none. We really wish we had more time to play around with it…
Here’s the Samsung Galaxy S3 Pebble Blue. The design itself is very slick, although the backside seemed a bit too slippery for my taste. Depending on the user preferences, you could, of course, fit a nice cover to get a ‘grippier’ feel to the phone.
Samsung announced that the Galaxy S3 will support wireless charging with its special charger, to be available as a separate purchase. Unfortunately we weren’t able to check it out with this model but we were told that the S3 will be capable of charging wirelessly at up to 20-30cm (~8-12 in.) range. While many reports claim that you would need to hold the device directly on the charger to achieve wireless charging, it appears like you could charge at a decent range after all.
The S3 comes with a 4.8 inch screen; however due to the reduced size elsewhere such as the bezel, the phone did not feel bulky at all. On hand, the phone feels comparable to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S2 HD. At a first glance, while the Galaxy Note gave us the “Whoa it’s huge!” feeling, the Galaxy S3 didn’t feel too big or too small – it felt ‘just right’.
The bezel is covered in silvery chrome material and as we expressed earlier, images don’t do the phone justice really. Don’t judge the phone by its images alone, well at least not with this phone at least. You really have to see and feel it to give a candid opinion on its design.
Another one of its distinguishing features is the continued use of hardware touch-sensitive capacitive buttons like its predecessors. This way users are able to use the phone like how they have always used, instead of complete touch-based row of buttons like those on the Galaxy Nexus for example.
Here we see the apps included with the Galaxy S3. Flipping through the pages is smooth and responsive as ever. Also its Natural UI produces sound of water droplets for pressing a button – this probably shows Samsung’s attempt to show its awareness to make its products more eco-friendly.
This is a rough feel for how the phone looks under bright fluorescent light. It’s hard to explain the exact color but perhaps it resembles somewhat to a piece of colored paper slightly drenched in water – the smooth natural feel that you get with this…? The color somewhat also resembles a pebble as well (no pun intended).
Here’s a size comparison between the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (left) and the Galaxy Note (far right). Notice that the Galaxy S3 bridges the gap between the standard display of the Galaxy Nexus and the massive one on the Galaxy Note.
The rear cover of the Galaxy S3 is light and quite flimsy to be honest. However rest assured that the flimsiness doesn’t make the cover any more fragile – we’ve tried bending the cover almost completely over itself but the shape came back to its original shape as soon as we put it back.
Obviously for wireless charging, you would need to replace the cover with the special wireless charging-capable battery cover. We’re expecting that wireless charging cover would add a slight bit to to the thickness, although it’s difficult to confirm anything about it at this point.
<End of CDManii Review>
Many thanks to a great review by CDManii. CDManii also noted at the end of the review that he will be providing more information about the NFC feature as well as smart alarm, S Voice, and more as soon as more information surfaces.
That said, what do you think about the Samsung Galaxy S3? Having played around with the Galaxy S2 and currently own the Galaxy Note, it feels like the Galaxy S3 is definitely a good jump from its predecessors and the initial reviews all look very promising as well.
What features do you like the most? What do you wish Samsung added to the Galaxy S3?
- European Samsung Galaxy S3s will reportedly play nice with AT&T and T-Mobile networks (ubergizmo.com)
- Samsung Galaxy S3 hands-on (ubergizmo.com)
- Samsung Galaxy S3 accessories is a potential gold mine (ubergizmo.com)
- Samsung Galaxy S III packs 4.8-inch display, “S Voice” control (arstechnica.com)
- Android this week: Samsung Galaxy S III vs HTC One X (gigaom.com)