The Samsung Galaxy S III i9300 is sold as one of best smartphones in the market, clearly defining high expectations that were enforced for this review’s tests.
From the hardware side we described the specifications as clearly fitting the labelling of a top-end device: the quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 4.8″ touchscreen display with HD resolution, and the 8 megapixel camera with full HD video recording. These, however, only place the device in the same level as its competitors, the closest ones being the HTC One X and the LG Optimus 4X HD.
The hardware features aren’t limited to what the specifications sheet describes, instead, examining the display in real-life shows that the Super AMOLED technology provides for more than just a high-resolution screen, outputting vivid colours in any condition. The 8 megapixel camera, even if not much highlighted in promotional materials, captures images in high quality, but underperforms slightly in video recording.
The software, Google Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, has been improved with the addition of Samsung’s TouchWIZ package. Although Readers Hub, perhaps the best app in the package, was removed, S Voice and other apps available on the Samsung Apps store give Android an extra touch. Unfortunately S Voice, a competitor to Apple’s Siri, is not ripe in its current version.
Samsung also bundled in Smart Stay, an eye-tracking feature that deactivates the display when the user is not looking at it. Android itself comes with face unlock that doesn’t require the user to trace any patterns of swipe the screen to unlock it, just showing the user’s face is enough.
The Galaxy S III, even with its few disadvantages, is nothing short of a powerful top-end smartphone as tested in our previous review chapters, and it deserves the crown of the best 2012 smartphone, given not just the hardware and software features that it carries, but their respective quality.
Advantages: Touchscreen display with Super AMOLED technology and HD resolution, thin device at 8.6mm, quad-core processor at 1.4GHz, 1GB of RAM, 8 megapixel camera with high-quality images, eye-tracking that controls display activity, face unlock, simultaneous video and image capturing, minimized video playback, Gooogle Maps with Street View, 50GB free for the user’s Dropbox account.
Disadvantages: Readers Hub not included by Samsung, video recording could be improved, Siri-like S Voice is rather slow, web browser lags when every tab (maximum of 8) is open, Kies Air must be installed manually.