Samsung Galaxy S III

Verge Review

How do you review a phone like the Galaxy S III? It’s already been subject to so much speculation, exposure, and early judgment — some of it coming from myself, admittedly — that it feels overwhelming to try and condense what it means to everyone into a single treatise. To Samsung, it’s the new flagship handset to keep the company ahead of every other Android OEM through 2012, for most people it’s a device that stretches the definition of the smartphone form factor, and to mobile gaming...

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Basic Specs

Thickness 0.34 inches
Weight 0.29 pounds
Form factor Slab
Screen size (diagonal) 4.8 inches
Carriers Other
Operating system Android
Launch OS version 4.0

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Tech Specs

Hardware

Height 5.38 inches
Width 2.78 inches
Thickness 0.34 inches
Weight 0.29 pounds
Form factor Slab
Color White / Silver, Black / Silver, Red / Silver, Brown / Silver, Blue / Silver
Loudspeaker Yes

Display

Screen size (diagonal) 4.8 inches
Technology Super AMOLED HD
Pixel arrangement PenTile
Resolution (Y) 1280 px
Resolution (X) 720 px
PPI 306
Touchscreen type Capacitive

Connectivity

Carriers Other
GSM Yes
GSM frequencies supported 1900, 1800, 900, 850
UMTS / HSPA Yes
UMTS frequencies supported 900, 2100, 1900, 850
Max WWAN downlink speed 21 Mbps
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi support 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 4.0
NFC support Yes
Media streaming AllShare

Processor

Manufacturer Qualcomm
Brand / family Snapdragon S4
Clock speed 1.5 GHz
Number of cores 2

GPU

Manufacturer Qualcomm
Model Adreno 220

Memory

RAM size 2 GB

Storage

Internal size 16 GB, 64 GB, 32 GB
External Yes
Max external size 64 GB
External type microSD

Front Camera

Resolution 1.9 megapixels
Video resolution 720p
Video framerate 30

Rear Camera

Resolution 8 megapixels
Flash LED
Focus type Autofocus
Video resolution 1080p

Software

Operating system Android
Skin TouchWiz
Launch OS version 4.0
Notable apps Flipboard

Interface

Video out Yes
Headphone jack 3.5mm
Other ports Micro USB

Sensors

Sensors Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Barometer

Battery

Capacity 2100 mAh
Removable Yes
Wireless charging Yes

Benchmarks

Quadrant 5283
Vellamo 2008
GLBenchmark 720p 101 FPS
GLBenchmark 1080p 59 FPS
AnTuTu 10568

Recent News

No recent news about Samsung Galaxy S III.

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  • 5.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Olao99 (Currently owns)

    It's the best phone hardware you can get. But the problem is not everything is hardware. It may be the best in hardware (taking apart the design and the plastic parts) however, it performs poorly with tons of bloatware, and mediocre useless apps. Features that seem inovative, but that doesn't really work as they should. That hardware software poor integration is what makes the experience on this phone, bad.
    I find it also hard to use with one hand, and don't even try to ad a case to it, because it will be impossible.
    Just overall, lack of effort. Finally, after al the crapware, it doesn't even have Android stock, it runs a horrible user interface (in my opinion), that takes away the android ui advantage over the iphone.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 1
    • Display 3
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 10
    • Software 1
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 4
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 6.0
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    Reviewed by NickJack (Previously owned)

    I upgraded to this and decided to send it back, mainly because the phone is, to me, spectacularly ugly. I'd seen it in the store and in various videos, and I thought it would be something I could learn to live with. It turns out that the longer I lived with it the more hideous this phone seemed however, and the blue version (the one I got) is especially odd, both in terms of the colour itself and the fake metal ideas. I didn't find call quality to be especially good, and I disliked the screen. The camera was good though, I will say that much, and it certainly seems to perform very well and have a very good battery life. It's too big though, and I just couldn't stand the poor design. At risk of angering Android fans I have to say that I cannot see this phone worrying Apple, given the design and screen choices Samsung have taken.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 2
    • Display 4
    • Reception / call quality 5
    • Performance 8
    • Software 5
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by SmokeMonster (Currently owns)

    I switched from an Iphone to the Samsung G3S. There are a ton of things I absolutely love about the phone, one being the screen display, the size of the screen and the camera. Those features alone make the phone, in my opinion, much better then any Iphone currently on the market.

    What I don't like about the phone is the location of the power button, which is directly across from the volume button's. That has become a major annoyance for me as I'm always hitting both buttons at the same time. I'm also not thrilled with the battery life of the phone. At 100% and in sleep mode, I'll set the phone by my bed side when I wake up and the batter life will be at 89% when I wake up. Where as the Iphone at 100% in sleep mode would be at 98%. That's a concern for me.

    I am not a fan of the messaging mode either. The Predictive text feature is not very predictive at all and the screen is so sensitive that pressing one of the letters will cause the letter to be pressed multiple times.

    And my other complaint, compared to the iphone, would be the I really liked the 1 touch call feature with numbers in favorites. On the G3S you have to swipe the contact and even then it's not a guarantee that you will have swiped across the screen completely.

    Overall... I do enjoy the phone and I am happy that I purchased it. But there are issues with it, as there is with any phone. But overall, I wouldn't rate this phone above a 7 because the annoyances are somewhat frustrating to deal with.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 5
    • Ecosystem 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 7.0
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    Reviewed by jistark (Currently owns)

    TL;DR: It'll be better with Jelly Bean. Samsung put on the best hardware but not tied with a consistent software foundation, so you won't feel the quadcore power in your day-to-day use (apart from the lockscreen). Also, the "designed for humans" features packed in won't be used at all for most users. The S III doesn't raise the bar, but's the best on Droids that you can get for now… if you don't go for the HTC's One X.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 5
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 8
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 6
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by DoucheBag (Currently owns)

    Good:
    - Speed
    - Camera
    - Removable battery
    - MicroSD expansion
    - Nice screen (especially for blacks)

    Bad:
    - Cheap plastic design
    - Hardware buttons
    (I personally prefer soft buttons a la Galaxy Nexus)
    - Poor colour reproduction (especially whites)

    Conclusion:
    Samsung could have done much better with the Galaxy S3. It isn't poor per se but considering the hype that the Galaxy S2 has created, the S3 is kind of underwhelming. All in all, the S3 is an impressive phone, but it doesn't blow away competitors like how the S2 did at its time.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 7
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 9
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 7.0
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    Reviewed by ASingh (Previously owned)

    Horribly designed piece of crap. I had a One X for a couple of weeks and then returned it to get this. Loved that phone but wanted the latest and greatest so got my hands on the S III last Friday. Here is a list of complaints:

    1) The Screen – this review does not capture just how crappy the screen is compared to the One X or the iPhone. If you are standing in a store comparing them side-by-side there is just no way you can convince yourself that you want to buy an S III. For people who say that it doesn’t matter my argument is simple the screen is the arguably the most important component of the modern smartphone and as long as the other specs are comparable you want the better screen.

    2) Touch-wiz – I am a fan of stock android experience or Cyanogenmod. But the HTC Sense 4.0 is superior to the Touch-Wiz experience. I am fan of rooting and customization and for me function always trumps form (that is how I convinced myself to buy the SIII in the first place – bigger RAM, better front facing camera, bigger battery, SD card) but Touch Wiz UI is such a crap shoot that the whole phone experience just becomes annoying. The software stutters and lags, you get frequent error messages (For the naysayers I got TWO units, one on Friday which I returned on Saturday because I thought it was defective but I got freezes and crashes with the second one as well. I did not disable any carrier bloatware as I usually would, just downloaded the usual apps I use). The screen also has a slight flickering quality which may be because of the overaggressive auto-brightness or the Pentile arrangement. Other little gripes – no custom themes like HTC ONE X, cannot upload multiple pics to FB from the Gallery, cluttered settings menus (the settings options for Phone and Calls is under Phone), hidden settings (no indication that a native app has extra settings or not u gotta play button mash with the menu button), the home button is useless as pressing it to bring up recent apps feels awkward.

    3) For the first time in my life I am going to choose form over function. The HTC ONE X is close to the S III in specs but just looks, feels and operates much more smoothly. From the design that does not incorporate cheap plastic (the SIII does not feel like a $200 luxury phone – cheap plastic no matter how smooth it is still cheap plastic), to a more stable Android skin, to a screen that frankly is the best on the market, the HTC ONE X is a better phone from a user standpoint.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 3
    • Display 5
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 7
    • Software 5
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by juliano_q (Currently owns)

    I am coming from a Galaxy Nexus (had it broken). Went to a store in Brazil do buy a new one but the price was the same of the SGS3 and I opted to try it this one. This is a great phone. The hardware is so much better than the GNexus. The processor makes everything more fluid, the battery is better. the camera run circles around it and the sound quality is awesome due to the Wolfson chipset.

    Overall I miss a little the pure Android/Google experience, but the hardware more than compensates it. This phone with stock Android would be a dream, but since we can´t have it (at least not a stock one) this is the best we can get. And it is awesome.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Jack4L (Currently owns)

    Ultimately when push came to shove the reason I went with the Galaxy S III is because Samsung stuck with its guns and kept a removable battery and a micro SD card slot.I don't like to give compromises, and the Galaxy S III doesn't compromise anything.

    Software is a bit of a moot point for me, I'll root and unlock my phone asap, but there are a few extra things in Samsung s offerings that they should have gone without, things that Leave the Galaxy S III an island on its own. Personally I think most of these features would have been great if everything was an optional install.

    Oh and design and build quality skeptics be damned, there's nothing cheap about this hardware. As soon as you get it in your hands you'll understand. Most comfortable hardware I've held in my hands since the HTC Sensation XL. You can call glossy plastic ugly, I'll agree, but it is still the nicest piece of glossy plastic I have ever held, plus its so thin that putting a case on it really adds next to no bulk.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by TheBest (Currently owns)

    This phone is a beast! Provides an exellent and very smooth experience. Looks clean and slick. Have absolutely beatiful high resolution big screen. Removeable battery and microSD Card slot are very useful. It is very light and has good balanced. In real looks much better than on photos or videos. For me it's the most beatiful phone available on the market right now.

    Android + this hardware = WIN!

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Chris Ziegler (Currently owns)

    Perhaps no phone has ever run me through the full gamut of emotions more completely than the Galaxy S III, a device that was met with the greatest of expectations — so high that they couldn't ever be met, I believe — when it was announced last month. I remember my reaction (shared by many) very well: why doesn't it have a Super AMOLED Plus display? What is this "Nature UX" nonsense? Why does it still look like a Samsung?

    My mood initially started to turn when I had my first opportunity to play with the GS III at CTIA later in May. I was surprised in particular by two very important things. One, TouchWiz — once an offensive, cartoonish pile of garbage — was tasteful. Two, the phone felt good. My concerns about crappy materials and creaking bodies were beginning to vanish.

    I've now been using the AT&T GS III as my primary phone since Saturday, enough time to formulate a good opinion on it. In brief — to echo something I've said on Twitter — I believe it's the best smartphone ever made, albeit by the slimmest of margins. TouchWiz has evolved in a better direction than HTC's Sense has, and I think this case design may be more resilient than the One X's has proven to be.

    Don't get me wrong: they're both stellar devices. It's a photo finish, along with the still-excellent Galaxy Nexus and the iPhone 4S. But for me, the GS III is the new benchmark.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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