The Samsung Galaxy SIII officially launches in the UK tomorrow, on May 30th, although both Carphone Warehouse and Samsung are offering it one day early today.
You’ve read the specifications countless times, cast your eyes over plenty of high-resolution images of the phone and perhaps even watched one or two of the early unboxing videos. But what do people think of the phone from using it as their own?
Some of the top tech sites were fortunate enough to score a review sample of the phone ahead of its UK launch, and have since posted lengthy and conclusive reviews. If you’re thinking about getting Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone anytime soon, here’s what some of our favourite tech sites think of it.
“There is a lot to love about the Samsung Galaxy S III. As a premium flagship smartphone it has plenty going for it. The huge display, the power, the smooth and fast operation are all to its credit. Add to this the ability to change batteries and expand storage and you’ve a very good package indeed.
Of course there are always areas that we might want an improvement: the display could be brighter for example, which is our biggest real gripe. We found some bugs with screen unlock and the Smart Stay feature designed to keep the screen on when reading never really worked for us.”
“A lot of good, mixed in with a little bit of bad. The camera is easily the best I’ve used on an Android device, the processor claims the title of benchmarking champion, and the customizations layered on top of Ice Cream Sandwich are mostly unobtrusive and sometimes even helpful.
While neither the display nor the construction materials on the Galaxy S III are the best possible, both represent acceptable compromises that help Samsung balance out the rest of its class-leading spec sheet.
The extra-large size of this phone, even with its great ergonomics, may prove to be a stumbling block for those who can’t comfortably fit a 4.8-inch handset into their daily routine.”
“Love it or hate it, the S III is one of the top phones on the market and will stay so for quite a while.
When we say “hate it”, we’re mostly referring to its size (though it’s not much bigger than the S II) and the plastic the outer body is made of – both have their detractors.
Those two aside, the Galaxy S III leaves users with no other options but be impressed – from the light, slender body, the beautiful screen, the improved camera, powerful chipset to all kinds of advanced software features (some of which are truly useful, while others are just for show).”
“We try not to read too much into raw benchmarking, but the day to day experience of the Galaxy S III suggests this is one of the best performing, most usable Android devices around, if not the best.
If you demand high-quality photos and video without bulk; and if you want to future-proof yourself over the typical two-year contract, then the Galaxy S III delivers all that in spades. We’ve a feeling Samsung will discover those are key motivators for many, many buyers, and they’re unlikely to be disappointed with the Galaxy S III.”
Is it the best phone out there?
From the initial reviews above and others that we’ve read, the opinion on the Galaxy SIII appears to be divided. While it’s certainly a big step for Android in general and packs plenty of tech inside, it won’t tick all the boxes for everyone.
Many sites have drawn comparisons from the HTC One X, the Galaxy SIII’s closest rival. While the Samsung-made Exynos quad-core processor clearly outstrips the Nvidia Tegra 3 equivalent in the One X, many feel that the screen, build quality and design of the latter beat Samsung’s latest effort.
The One X’s Super AMOLED screen offers a crisper picture and a better representation of white, whereas whites appear typically blue-ish on the S3’s screen. While both use a polycarbonate body, the thickness and overall one-piece design of the One X seems to be preferred by many.
However, with a super-fast and fluid performance, user-friendly software and many cool new features such as S Voice, Pop-up Play and Smart Stay, the Galaxy SIII has plenty to offer. If a 4.8-inch smartphone doesn’t seem too unwieldy and big a proposition to you, it’s a great choice.
If you’re concerned about the comments on build quality – especially those about the ‘bendy’, ‘flimsy’ battery cover – we’d highly recommend heading to a shop to get some hands-on time with both to see which you prefer. Many reviewers have felt that the S3 still has a solid, well-built feel to it.
Will you be picking up one as soon as possible, are you waiting a bit, or will you go for something different? Either way, let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.
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