Australia’s first Samsung Galaxy S3 review

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Samsung’s update to last year’s excellent Galaxy S2 is one of the most talked about and hyped phone for 2012. With ten million preorders internationally, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is already a winner for the Korean company. But how does the phone perform, and is it enough to take the crown from Apple as the best smartphone, right before the next iPhone arrives?

Features

In Samsung’s next generation of Galaxy handsets, the company is doing more than just prove it can ramp up the specs, pushing the software to a new place while improving much of the hardware.

First let’s look at the screen, with the 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus from the S2 shifting to a bigger 4.8 inch Super AMOLED on the S3, sporting an increased 1280×720 HD resolution (up from 800×480). This increased size and resolution also makes the pixels per inch value higher, coming out to 306ppi, under that of the iPhone 4’s Retina panel (330ppi), but certainly high enough for the human eye to see perfectly clear text and images.

The choice of processor has improved dramatically, with a Samsung dual-core processor being effectively doubled to a quad-core Samsung chip in the S3. Dedicated graphics is on offer as is the same 1GB RAM size from before.

Android has also changed, now at the current version of the operating system, 4.0, also known as “Ice Cream Sandwich”, bringing with it faster camera support, a more speedy interface, face unlocking, and a whole bunch of other improvements.

Samsung’s overlay to Android still comes with the handset, with a cleaner version of the TouchWiz interface installed on this handset.

Most of the specs are close to the Galaxy S2 from here, however.

Storage in the S3 sits at practically the same as the previous generation, with a minimum of 16GB built right into the handset, though there is a 32GB model coming shortly. A microSD slot is also this handset, affording you the optionto upgrade with up to a 64GB microSD card.

Like the Galaxy S2, you’ll find an 8 megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash, as well as a front 1.9 megapixel camera capable of capturing 720p HD video recordings, as well as being useful for video conferencing.

Connectivity options are also similar, with WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, and a HSDPA 21Mbps downlink for mobile Internet. A few things are different here, with GPS getting support from the Russian GLONASS satellite system, Bluetooth being pushed up to the newer power efficient Bluetooth 4.0 version, and the modern wireless Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology being included in the battery.

While some Galaxy S3 devices are being reported as having a dual SIM, we only had a microSIM and a microSD slot on ours.

Like most touchscreen devices, you can expect an accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, and proximity sensor, as well as a couple of newbies, including an RGB sensor and a barometer.

Gone from the Galaxy S2 though is the standard SIM card slot, replaced with the ever-popular microSIM standard we’re seeing on most devices released lately.

Samsung hasn’t changed the chassis much, though, again relying on plastic as the main build material, completely with plastic rear cover that can be removed to change microSD cards, microSIMs, and of course the battery. The front of the handset is protected by Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 2.

Few ports or buttons exist on the S3, with merely a microphone and microUSB port at the bottom of the handset, a 3.5mm headset port and second noise cancelling microphone at the top, volume rocker button on the left, and lone power button on the right. A single home button sits on the front, flanked by a soft button on each side that are only visible when the phone is powered and they light up.

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7 Comments

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  1. Kross2311
    June 02, 11:04 Kross2311

    Does the music app RDIO work on this phone? It didn’t on my previous galaxy s?

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  2. Spamjammer
    June 07, 14:38 Spamjammer

    Been using my Galaxy S3 now for a week and been using a iPhone4S since launch last year.
    Likes – big, bright screen, surprisingly thin and feels good in the hand, very quick, cutting edge tech like NFC.

    Dislikes – plastic casing feels a bit cheap and ‘greasy’, some things are gimmicky (Smart-Stay doesn’t always work, S-Voice not as ‘smart’ as Siri), confusing array of settings and counter-intuitive settings menu structure, battery life is about 1 day max at normal use.
    Still – great effort by Samsung!

    Reply this comment
  3. Suzukibrh
    August 11, 05:57 Suzukibrh

    Had same problom, i bought an origional HTC charger and it fitted better and chargers quicker.I have one for sale. A spare one. U can email me and we could work out a price and postage.

    Reply this comment
  4. Johny
    August 15, 00:13 Johny

    Been using s3 from few past weeks excellent smartphone in every aspect from iphone 4s.Lets you do so many things whereas iphone restricts your freedom to use the phone as you want and do not even has the options that s3 offers you on hand.Will never buy an apple iphone.

    Reply this comment
  5. Nina Gray Montgomery
    December 18, 11:33 Nina Gray Montgomery

    What’s the best text application people have found for their G3? Swift Keys drove me mad and T-Swipe isn’t much better.

    My G3 Bluetooth can’t find my car so I can use my car as my handsfree. It worked beautifully with my Iphone 4. I also can’t use the car’s USB-radio dock as the it connects and disconnects every few seconds.

    Reply this comment
    • Simon Anderson
      September 11, 15:59 Simon Anderson

      I love “Swype” myself. Super fast, lots of nice themes. I believe it was the original…

      [Edit: oh wow i just realised this was two years old lol… i was thinking i was on a different page. Oh well, you might still be looking two years later i guess 🙂 ]

      Reply this comment
  6. September 27, 15:50 galaxy s3 s voice funny questions | Share4you blog

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