Samsung Galaxy S III Review

CHENNAI : 06/07/2012 : Samsung Galaxy S III - smartphone. Photo : R_Ravindran.   -  THE HINDU

Back panel of SIII   -  BUSINESS LINE

11th July, 2012

By now, I've been in love thrice. And each time I thought that was the best I could have, till I met the next. I'm talking about Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones, all three of them. It was easy to be wooed by the first. It was big – a 4-inch display – and easy to communicate with; I could SWYPE instead of type. And it was fast, at that time, at least, with its 1GHz processor.

The second suitor, Galaxy S II, too was a stunner with its bright and smooth-as-butter screen with a great camera and was overall smarter and quicker than its predecessor.

Now, I am playing with the third and it seems like I have reason to stay hooked.

The first couple of minutes with the S III remind me of the cliché about first impressions – the 4.8-inch smartphone manages to impress easily. The white body (of our review unit) lined with subtle grey highlights on the side gives it classy looks. And, by now, nothing spells ‘expensive' as eloquently as a bigger-than-your-ego touch screen. The Samsung Galaxy S III has a massive 4.8 one and a really good one at that! The Super AMOLED screen which has impressed us before continues to do so with this smartphone. Not only is it easy on the battery but also makes for super-vivid display and great visibility under sunlight.

The sixth sense

The Galaxy S III has a lot of intuitive features based on gesture recognition and motion sensing. These little tweaks are what set the Galaxy S III apart from the others in the field, for us.

The camera also has a feature called ‘Social Tag' where it automatically prompts you to tag your friends after you've snapped some pictures. Once identified, the tag automatically links their mugshots to their say their Facebook account. So, the next time you see their picture, their latest status message will be displayed on screen for you. The only problem we had with this feature is if there was the slightest hint of a shadow on someone's face, the software wouldn't prompt for an identification tag. S Voice, Samsung's answer to Apple's Siri (and one of the many alleged patent infringements according to Apple), basically lets you talk to the phone and execute functions rather than do it manually. So, if you ask “Where have I reached?” it'll automatically open Google Maps and pinpoint your current location. If you ask ‘her' to call “Akshay” and there are more than one in your contacts list she'll prompt both numbers and ask you to choose from one. Similarly, “Find me some good music” will take you directly to the default music player on the smartphone and start playing whatever tracks you have stored.

The Samsung Galaxy S III executes another thoughtful little gesture when you might want to make calls. Say you received an SMS from your friend and instead of texting back you want to call him. All you have to do is bring the phone to your ear, while still on the SMS screen, and the S III will automatically dial his/her number for you. The same gesture works even when you have your contacts list open.

Media

The 8-megger cam on the Galaxy S III comes with a lot more shooting options than its predecessor. You have the option for a Self-Portrait, HDR, Cartoon and Burst mode. The icons available can be re-arranged and customised to make your favourite options available on screen. Pics taken in quick succession can sometimes be out of focus and grainy. Those taken with the flash on (at night or under low-light) gave us decent results. The overall colour reproduction was true to original; however it's definitely not the best smartphone camera we've tried out in recent times. The camera can shoot HD videos (1080p) at 30 fps.

The smartphone has an internal memory of 16 GB (the only version available here) which should suffice for your favourite music tracks and a couple of movies. The audio quality (music/video playback) on the smartphone is loud enough but it tends to get a little tinny on higher volumes.

Performance

The S III runs on a 1.4GHz Quad-Core processor and needless to say there wasn't a moment of lag during the couple of weeks that we used the device for. On the Quadrant Standard benchmark test, the Galaxy S III scored a never-seen-before 5180, shooting way ahead of Samsung Galaxy Nexus and HTC One X. The battery life on the phone, too, was better than we've experienced on similar super-smartphones. The 2,100 mAh battery pack powered the smartphone for more than a day with voice calls, a little bit of gaming and a lot of web browsing.

We say

Design-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S III, although attractive, is a bit of a delicate darling; we were always wary of the plastic body getting scratched. It also doesn't seem the kinds that'll survive a drop without a crack. Features-wise, the S III delivers all that you'd expect of a top-of-the-rung smartphone and a little more. All that matters is whether you have big bucks to spend on this smartie and make it, and all of its awesomeness, all yours!

Love Super-sleek, smart processor, decent battery life

Hate Scratch-prone plastic body, steep price

Rs 43,180

Published on July 09, 2012
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