Samsung Galaxy SIII, A missed opportunity?

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Due to success of the galaxy SII, and the fact that most of the tech press were raving about the galaxy SII last year at approximately this time. Lead me to get a galaxy S II as I found it at a reasonable price and I was at the end of my contract.

This decision has not proved me wrong all of the reviews and hype were justified at the time and now almost 12 months later I am still very happy with my SGS II. It was the first gingerbread phone I had seen with apple levels of smooth operation and operates with almost the same level of performance today. Therefore I had high hopes that samsung would again bat everybody else out of the water and retain top spot as the premier android phone manufacturer.

Having watched and read all the coverage across the web, its left me a little disappointed. I expected more as there wasn't anything apart from the processor / battery life that would make me jump from the galaxy S II to the galaxy S 3.

The main things that I was disappointed with was the lack of

RGB non pentile display:

I really like the non pentile display on the galaxy s II. In fact I would prefer it in some aspects to the pentile HD amoloed displays of the galaxy nexus and the SGS III. The only display that beats it on all fronts in the Super LCD 2 from HTC in the one X. Therefore I was disappointed that we didn't get a spec bump from the galaxy nexus to the galaxy SIII as was the case from the nexus S to the galaxy S II

A new body design rather than an iterative change based on what they have released previously.

I think this was one of the most disappointing aspects that Samsung didn't 'push the boat out and try some new materials and instead put a 'cheap' looking glossy coating on the phone.

I thought that they might for one try something brave and new. but looking at all of samsung past phones they have almost always used plastics. There is nothing particularly wrong with this, the plastic on the galaxy SII is fine and makes the phone really light but I thought we might get something a little more substantial. As the design of the lumia 800 is really nice and I hoped that samsung might try this sort of plastic. Maybe this hope unrealistic.

Another one of my biggest disappointments was the lack of design change with touchwiz. As touchwiz has not changed much in design from gingerbread. It does not fit the ICS style guidelines at all which I quite like; so much so that I have for the 1st time, I have replaced the touchwiz launcher on ICS on the sgs II with Apex which is really nice and was something I had hoped that samsung had learned from and adopted with next version of touchwiz.

As Samsung had an excuse with the galaxy SII's move to ICS in the fact that they did not want to overhaul the interface too much so that people familiar with gingerbread touchwiz would not feel out of place on the ICS touchwiz on the galaxy SII . But it seems that with the galaxy SIII they didn't take the opportunity to overhaul the interface to fall into line with the general design principles that Google has brought in with ICS , this is really disappointing and I cutting through the marketing crap with the touchwiz nature UX. Its got nothing to do with nature, I think most of the 'nature' stuff needs to be dumped this is phone, its got nothing natural about it unless it was made from a natural material such as wood as some of the zanier japanese phones have.

There seems to have been a lot of features added to the SGSII but a majority of them are already on the SGSII such as voice recognition or are gimmics. The voice recognition just seems have been developed a little further. The only new features are the eye screen dimming feature ( which probably the only new features which I though was innovative), and the burst and best picture modes on the camera (which otherwise seems to be identical to the camera on the SGS II)

In general the new features do seem to be rather scatter gun and have been added just so that you could tick a box somewhere, there does not seem to be a cohesive theme running though all of the additions. There was nothing particularly groung breaking happening with most of the software features. Most of which I would imagine you could get on the galaxy nexus or SII with apps from the play store ( there was nothing like Kies AIR on the SGS II). The only thing that came close was the NFC functionality that you can get in the galaxy nexus.

On a positive note I think that the processor and battery included could be a saving grace as they are a step up from the galaxy S II and the galaxy nexus with better battery life. However the galaxy S II and galaxy nexus don't feel slow or laggy at all ( as far as I have experienced), so how much the quad core processor is going to be utilized is speculative and the general experience is likely to only be marginally better. I would have been more impressed it samsung had put a dual core ( or quad core) Exynos series 5 ( A15 based) processor in the SII.

So in general the SGS III seems very much like an iterative upgrade and not the ground breaking change that was the SGS II and I don't think it it that much better than the galaxy nexus or the HTC one X.

General thoughts

This iterative approach seems very much like with samsung's tablet strategy that samsung threw everything at the wall and see what sticks and last year and the only exceptions were the SGS II and the Note which did well, which seemed to have surprised them so they thought why change something that sold very well, but I think that they could have consolidated their market leadership with some 'brave' and 'out of the box thinking'. As with the SGS II was the first gingbread phone I had seen with apple levels of fluid and smooth operation and the note included a wacom stylus and digitizer. As I think it would be preferable if samsung put all there efforts in a few phones rather than a veritable collection that was the case last year. As at CES or MWC where the spokesperson from samsung said that they would continue the iterative and not reduce the number of phone models as the other phone manufacturer's were doing as that was what approach was what the market wanted.

Overall I do think since I do think a combination of the Tech press and Samsung had built up the hype to a unreasonable level, so anything unless it was completely new was going to be disappointing and unlike many commenter's I don't think the current SGSIII design is horrendous, I just think its an opportunity missed, just looks a little cheap, especially the one in white although I look forward to reading reviews and handling one myself.

I have no doubt that samsung will sell many galaxy SIII's , but I think they could have consolidated their leadership of andriod handset sales by addressing some the points I have raised. Also I don't think in a year's time the galaxy SIII will feel as current as the galaxy S II feels today. Which is why I would be hard pressed to recommed the galaxy SII over the galaxy nexus or the HTC one X while with the galaxy SII that was a different story. Most likely this means I will hold and wait for the next nexus before changing phone again.

What do you guys think an opportunity missed ?