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17 Jun 12 Review: Samsung Galaxy S III

Shiny but feels little cheap
Samsung has (once again) used lots of glossy plastic in its flagship Android phone. Though, the phone is solidly built. Unlike the somewhat industrial design of Galaxy S II that has straight lines, the new Galaxy has a curvier feel to it (Samsung says the design is inspired by a pebble). Pebble or no pebble, the added roundness does make the phone feel better in the hand. That said, SGS III is a big device and unless you have large hands, you will find it little unwieldy if you use it with single hand.

There is faux metal strip that runs around the device. Unlike Galaxy Nexus, which is also made by the Korean company, SGS III has three buttons under its huge 4.8-inch screen. The ‘home’ is a plastic button while the other two — ‘options’ and ‘back’ — are touch sensitive buttons. The curves on SGS III give it understated but premium looks though we are not sure how the device will fare in the future once the gloss and sheen wears off the plastic.

Samsung’s flagship Android phones are known to pack in hefty hardware. SGS III is powered by Exynos 4412, a quad-core processor built by Samsung using technology from ARM. The CPU runs at 1.4Ghz and its four cores can ramp up or down their speed independently. This helps save the battery. The graphics duty is handled by four chips of Mali 400. It is the same graphics processor that is found in Galaxy S II but in SGS III it runs at a faster speed. The phone has 1GB RAM, 16GB storage with support for a microSD card upto 64GB. The primary camera captures images in 8 mega pixels and videos in up to 1080P resolution. This camera has backlit- illuminated sensor that helps it in low-light photography. The secondary camera sports a tag of 1.9MP.

At least on paper, SGS III is a device that leads every other Android out in the market. But does this hardware make it the best phone?

Smooth performer
Let’s start with the screen. Similar to other Galaxy flagship phones, SGS III uses a Super AMOLED screen. It has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels (720P) and is very sharp. But the best feature about the screen is somewhat saturated colours it shows. While for photographer they may seem inaccurate, mainstream users will find colours on SGS III vibrant and pleasing. Brightness, however, is an issue.

At least subjectively we did not find the screen on SGS III as bright as the one on SGS II. The problem was also compounded by the way auto-brightness is handled by the phone. It seems too aggressive. Though a software update should fix it. Still in the grand scheme of things, these are minor issues. The SGS III screen is one of the best we have ever seen on a phone. It is just that it could have been better.

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