With more than half of Americans owning a smartphone it is easy to say many companies want to be number one in the market. There are many different types of smartphones, especially when it comes to their OS. We have iOS, Apple’s user-friendly interface that runs on all of their mobile devices, Android, which is Google’s superior operation system that runs on a large number of devices, and last but not least there is Blackberry OS, the go-to business phone.
I could spend months writing numerous amounts of articles on all the new tech gear in the smartphone market but in this article I will be speaking and reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S III, which was named Phone of the Year by T3.com and CNet 2012 best device. I, and a few members here at TSF own a Galaxy S III (or S3 for short) and enjoy using it every minute. Below I’ll be going through every detail about the phone: Specifications, design, features, interface and OS and awards.
Figure 1 – Samsung’s S3 slogan.
First, I’ll start off by telling you the jam packed specs found in the S3. The first major thing you will notice is the large 1280x720p 4.8inch HD Super AMOLED display with roughly 308ppi. The picture quality is truly outstanding and the colors are shown as if you were standing there. Another plus for the display is the new Corning Gorilla Glass 2 which makes the screen twice as resistant to cracks and fractures. You would think with a screen that size it could become a problem when calling, well Samsung weighed in the phone at 133g and gave it a curved design to fit firmly and comfortably in your hand.
Since the device is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon) the actions and playback is smooth and fast. Powering the device is a quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex A-9 CPU along with 2GB of RAM. Video play back is quick and buffers like never before.
When it comes to storage and battery life the S3 doesn’t hold back. The phone comes with 16GB of internal storage, which I have still yet to use up, and a microSD card slot (Up to 64GB extra). Samsung decided to stick with a removal battery to allow users to either buy a new one or do a quick swap if it runs out. The battery holds 2,100 mAh which for my use lasts all day.
The back facing camera shoots 1080p videos at 30 FPS. The camera itself is an 8MP, 3264×2448 pixel, auto focus LED flash camera. It too is also packed with features such as simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization and picture filters. Looking right at you is the secondary camera which is a 1.9MP 720p that shoots at 30 FPS as well. All the same features can be found in the front facing camera as well.
Figure 2 – The S3 in five colors.
Moving onto design, the Galaxy S3 is a gorgeous looking phone. Believe it or not the phone’s backing is made from plastic but it doesn’t give you any thought of it being a cheap device. The phone is extremely light weight do to the back cover and feels strong. Samsung stated that the S3 was “Designed for Humans, Inspired by Nature”. To allow the device to fit in your hand and slide into your pocket easily there is a slight curve on the phone along with its curved edges and ultra-thin body. To make it even more attractive you can buy the phone in pebble blue, marble white, amber brown, garnet red (AT&T only), sapphire black, and titanium grey.
The phones dimensions come in at 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 but not all customers may enjoy a big phone. To compensate Samsung created the Galaxy S3 mini which is a 4.0inch display compared to the 4.8inch in the normal phone. Don’t think that the mini is worse then the normal device because the mini still packs a big punch in the features.
Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing on the device. The front’s entire glass screen is smooth and allows your finger to glide without slipping. The phone’s colors are subtle, pure and are not right in your face; I personally own the white one.
Figure 3 – S-Voice
The S3 is jam packed with features. It runs Android Jelly Bean which is the latest Google OS available along with Samsung’s Touch Wiz interface. Every Android phone manufacturers creates their own type of interface to draw in customers. As the looks all may be the same, kind of how all of them use a large weather widget on the phone screen, each interface comes with their own goodies. Touch Wiz holds exclusive features such as S-Voice, Pop up Play, Camera Settings, S Beam, Direct Call, and more.
To compete against the well-known intelligent personal assistant Siri Samsung created S-Voice. Almost identical to Siri S-Voice can send text messages, open apps, call, set up meetings, give you sports, weather and movie facts all with simply speaking to it. Unfortunately S-Voice can at times be very difficult to use as it isn’t the best at understanding full sentences. Although the S3 does have a failsafe for their lacking S-Voice, Google Now. Google Now is known as the best intelligent personal as her voice is not robotic and the accuracy is outstanding.
Have you ever been watching a movie or video and you also want to text or run another app at the same time? Yeah, me neither, but Samsung has you covered! With Pop up play you can be watching videos/movies and have the screen pop out of the player and transition into a smaller player which can be moved around or resized.
The camera has everyday settings features like filters, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, and image stabilization. A useful and helpful feature is the ability to quickly snap photos even when you’re recording videos. It lets you never miss that perfect picture moment. When you take a picture of your friends, for say Facebook, you can have the S3 automatically use GPS to save the location of where the picture was taken. The camera app also will start remembering familiar faces and automatically tag them. Never again will you forget where you were or who you were with. A feature you may have seen many Google Android TV ads is the ability to unlock your phone with your face! The feature is great for quick and easy unlocking and will even recognize you with glasses or a hat.
Moving on from the camera we get to S Beam and Direct Call. If you have friends with a Galaxy S3 or Note 2 you can instantly share content from Webpages, Pictures, Documents, Contacts, etc. just by putting the phones back-to-back. Samsung is one of a few that puts NFC (Near Field Communications) into their phones. Sharing content is not all the NFC or S Beam is good for. You can also have the ability to use your phone as a credit card via Google Wallet or Version’s Isis. Direct Call lets you be texting your friend or looking at their contact and put the phone right to your hear to enabling calling to that person. The S3 utilizes its proximity sensor to understand if you’re looking at the phone or have it at your ear. It becomes very useful when texting to instantly call them and chat!
I have only scraped the surface for the amount of features that are in this phone. I would be writing for days to list them all ! Jelly Bean offers millions of Apps, Widgets and Settings and Samsung’s Touch Wiz has even more secrets as well. Visiting’s Samsung’s website will show you and demonstrate the hundreds of features that can be found.
Figure 4 – Touch Wiz on the S3.
Interface and OS
When buying an Android phone you’ll notice that they all look different; different body styles, colors, widgets, apps, interfaces, etc. but each phone still runs a similar OS of Android. The three popular Android OS’s are Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Gingerbread. Android is a Linux-based operation system designed to run on touchscreen mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptop hybrids.
The Galaxy S3 runs the latest OS, Jelly Bean, and with the S3’s Quad-Core CPU it’s amazingly smooth. Google set out to take Ice Cream Sandwich and create a new project for it, Project Butter. It was to smooth out Ice Cream Sandwich to allow apps to close quicker, open quicker, understand actions quicker, see a pattern here?
So what sets the S3 apart from let’s say an LG Android phone? Well like I said above each phone manufacturer creates their own specially designed interface to draw in that one person. The take stock Android and change colors, apps, widgets, sounds, anything you can change they will change! The enchantment really brings out the theme of the phone. Samsung said the Galaxy S3 was designed by Nature so Touch Wiz was created with a Nature theme, giving the phone water/bird sounds and having natured inspired wallpaper.
Figure 5 – Three Major Awards
It’s well known that the Galaxy S3 is one of the top 5 most bought phones on the US market. The reason behind that is maybe due to the fact Samsung created the device for every single major US carrier to each every market. The phone has received some noticeable awards for its popularity. CNet gave the S3 their June 2012 Editors’ Choice award along with a four out of five star rating. Just recently CNet also award the S3 their 2012 device of the year award; beating the iPhone 5. PCMag awarded the S3 their own Editors’ Choice award with another four out of five star rating. Lastly T3, a popular phone review website, gave the S3 the 2012 phone of the year award and gave the phone a five out of five star rating. Something to take note is that T3 awarded the Galaxy S2 the same award last year.
Filed under Smart Phones.
Figure 8 – Waving Android
There is only so much one review can touch on for this device. I have gone through what I found to be the coolest and most useful items about the outstanding phone. Others here at TSF also own a Galaxy S3 and all have commented on how much they enjoy it. The cons are far and few between. Samsung designed this phone to last many years and mainly to complete against their big rival Apple. The Galaxy S3 truly does go beyond the Galaxy.