Did the Samsung Galaxy S III meet expectations?

Whenever anything gets a tremendous amount of hype, it’s usually a letdown more than not. The Galaxy S III had a lot of hype over the last few months so the question is did it meet expectations?

As far as the specs, it came up a little short. I think a lot of people were expecting more megapixels, but honestly 8MP is fine as long as it takes great pictures. Knowing Samsung’s history, I don’t think we should have any worries here. The quad-core processor is on par as well. The letdown has to be the display. Unfortunately we didn’t get a “Plus” after Super AMOLED, so that means PenTile. It will still be a great display, but unfortunately it won’t be as good as the HTC One X’s Super LCD 2 display.

The build quality appears to be an upgrade from previous Samsung products. The back is polycarbonate, but has a hyperglaze to make it very glossy. This is a Samsung trademark, of which I’m not a fan of. For now I will have to wait until I can actually hold it, but I was hoping for something more similar to the One X.

As to the software, we get TouchWiz again. This time they’re calling TouchWiz Nature UX. There are a lot of what appear to be some cool features like S Beam, Smart Stay, S Voice, Buddy Photo Share, AllShare Cast, gestures and much more. They seem really cool, but will they really be worthwhile in the “real world?” I have to say I’m not totally excited about any of them for now, but again, I have to spend some time with the phone. The camera software looks fantastic, but it doesn’t appear Samsung offered anything more than what HTC has offered. The biggest negative has to be that it still looks and feels a lot like the Gingerbread builds of TouchWiz. Yes, you can grab another launcher, but couldn’t they come up with something different?

At this point, I have to say I’m not wowed by the Galaxy S III. Samsung showed a really nice phone today and it’s a decent upgrade over last year’s model. It just doesn’t feel like a major upgrade. I think it’s similar to the iPhone 4S in that if you’re just ending your contract and in the market for a new phone, by all means go and get it. If you’re still under contract, there’s no reason to pay full retail to get it.

The other question is if you’re in the market right now, should you opt for the HTC One X or the Galaxy S III? That is a very tough question and it really comes down to tastes and preferences. I think the display will be much better on the One X, but I still think mainstream consumers won’t notice a difference. As far as the software, again you have to choose between TouchWiz and Sense. Samsung is offering more innovation so they probably get the nod here. In terms of build quality, I have to give the nod to the HTC. Lastly, the cameras are probably a wash. The bottomline is that before today, HTC had the best phone on the market. After today, HTC might not have the best phone, but they’re at least tied for it. I guess HTC is celebrating the fact that they didn’t drop to number 2.

» See more articles by Robert Nazarian


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  • http://about.me/bkbooth Benjamin Booth

    The SGSII was my first Android so I was very excited about the SGSIII, the design is growing on me slowly but I’m still not wowed by it. I can’t stand TouchWiz anymore though, it’s totally made a mess of ICS which is a very nicely designed mobile OS, I’ve been running CM9 nightlies on my SGSII for a while now and haven’t missed any of the Samsung “features” from the SGSII. If I had to choose right now I’d go with the HTC One X even if it was only for the Tegra 3, after nearly a year with the SGSII, there’s still major developers that don’t make the most of the SGSII processor, so games are released that don’t support what has been a flagship device for the last year. I’m still on contract though and neither of these phones excite me enough to look into leaving the contract early.

  • Noah Gray

    Don’t see anything that differentiates it from other phones Android phones at all. Expectations were low, so they were met.

  • Graham Parkes

    I’m tremendously
    excited by the Galaxy SIII, it has everything I want in a phone. I’ll admit I’m
    a Samsung fan, starting from the Galaxy S and now with the Galaxy SII, which is
    my current phone.

     

    Galaxy
    SIII features I’m in love with

     

    4.8 Super
    AMOLED HD Screen – Check.

    Quad
    Core 1.4GHz processor – Check.

    Removable
    2,100mAh battery – Check

    MicroSD
    card support up to 64GB Check

     

    Personally,
    I wouldn’t even consider the HTC One X, as it lacks two features that are
    extremely important to me. That is a removable battery, and a microSD card. I’m
    an extremely heavy user and to manage my power requirements, I carry 2 or 3
    spare batteries. They are small, light and fit easily in the pocket. Couldn’t
    do that with the HTC  One X. May days while out and about, I’ve gone through 2
    and occasionally 3 batteries in a day.

     

    I also
    like to store a lot of stuff on my phone, 4,000 to 5,000 songs, a couple of
    movies, half a dozen TV series episodes, lots of app and many photos. Although
    I use cloud storage, I’m still not sold on the idea for mobile use for music
    and movies. So for me, a microSD card is extremely important and I’m very happy
    to see the Galaxy SIII seems to support the 64GB microSDXC format cards.

     

    As for
    the screen, the Galaxy Note is also Super AMOLED (not plus) and that has
    probably the best screen on any mobile device to date. I’m super happy with
    Samsung screens. I’ve compared a lot of mobile devices and Samsung screens
    always seem to have the most vivid, vibrant and sunlight readable screens
    compared with all other brands. So I can’t wait to see the 4.8 Super AMOLED HD
    screen on the SIII.

     

    I don’t
    know why people complain about the Touchwiz UI. I personally prefer it to Sense
    UI. For those who don’t like it, just install an ICS optimized  launcher such as Apex or Nova.

     

    Some
    people are complaining about the lack of a 12MP camera, but for me 8MP takes
    fantastic photos already and what a lot of people forget is that the file size
    from a 12MP camera would be huge, so you would just be spending time resizing
    photos anyway to upload them to Facebook.

     

    So for
    me, the Galaxy SII was the definitive iPhone4/4S killer and the Galaxy SIII
    will be the iPhone 5 and everything else killer J.

    • http://about.me/bkbooth Benjamin Booth

      Yeah, lack of Micro SD would be a deal killer for the One X for me too actually, I hadn’t noticed it didn’t support this. My dislike of TouchWiz isn’t just the launcher, it’s all of the stock apps (Settings, Calendar, SMS/MMS, Phone, etc.), I find them all ugly on Samsung phones and don’t want to go through the hassle of 3rd party apps, they’re mostly over-complicated. I haven’t spent any length of time with a HTC phone so I might not like Sense either…

  • http://TEKADDIKT.COM/ TEKADDIKT.COM

    I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve had both HTC and Samsung phones and I’m more excited about the Galaxy S III over the HTC One X. The most exciting feature for me is S Voice. I’ve been looking for something Siri-like on Android and have only found cheap copycats. It looks like this might be on par. I will say, that I would prefer a better build for a flagship device, but Sammy isn’t known for that (at least in the Galaxy line–I’ve had the original and have the GS2 now). One last thing, of all of the “smartphones” that I have had (Windows Mobile, Palm Pre, HTC Hero, Galaxy S, and the Galaxy S II), I have no complaints with the SGS2. It’s the best phone I’ve ever had.

  • Graham Parkes

    Never understood, why some people critisice Samsung for their built quality. I’ve always thought it’s fine. I think many people seem to think just because the SII is plastic and relatively light weight, it’s cheap. Personally, I’m super happy with my SII, which has survived numerous drops unscathed and I’m glad Samsung carried on with the same build materials for the SIII. They may be plastic, but IMO they look great and are proven to be very durable.

    In drop tests, the SII survived far better than the iPhone with it’s crack-prone glass front and back (I mean honestly, who thought a glass back would be a good idea…..haha). I’m glad Samsung decided not to go with something like ceramic for the SIII, as ceramic can be prone to chipping. A stainless steel or aluminium chassis might have been nice to see though.

  • http://www.nerdshowandtell.com nerdshowandtell.com

    one one major difference….. removable battery is a major win for the s3.

  • xaml

    Unrealistic expetations are deemed to get faced with reality and the Galaxy S III did a great job in that regard. I want one, that’s almost all that counts.

  • Graham Parkes

    The new software features are pretty gimmicky and likely would only get used a few times and never used again. Just like face unlock on ICS, I used it for about 2 days and then turned it off. Same with voice features, nice in theory, but I personally never use them.

    However, the hardware specs of the SIII are what have me really excited. Samsung have included everything I was hopping for, with the sole exception of 2GB of RAM.

    I’m so happy that Samsung didn’t follw some manufactures and drop the microSD card and remoavable battery feature. That would have been a deal breaker for me.

    I’ve been close to trading in my SII for a Galaxy Note and was just holding on until the Galaxy SIII specs were confirmed. Now I will definitely wait for the SIII.

  • Citation51power

    Not completely happy with the outcome of the s3

  • dontie

    I think the phone had a good up grade in specs, I did not expect a 10 or12 MP camera. Or edge to edge display.
    But the nexus like design is a bit ugly or lost. No straight or sharp lines that make a phone look high end or elegant, so it will end up a bit lost on the shelves among the more budget hand sets. To me it looks like an oversized optimus one. Lol

  • RTWright

    I love how some have said -low- expectations and especially this review.  You know I am still on a HTC Evo 4G who has never got love from HTC or Sprint much at all since it’s release.  It got one update maybe two, but never anything major and they never intended to.  When the rumors of the GSIII started, I basically held off of going for a GSII to wait and see how much of these rumored specs would come to life.

    Problem here is most of the people that read these sites, forget that these were just that, rumors!  Getting your hopes up is your own fault, not that of the manufacture, you put something up too high on the pedestal and you get let down.  As far as this not having anything really different from others? Well like others have pointed out, having the ability to change out the battery and SDcard is a major plus, seeing how so many have dropped that on their phones ( One X? ).

    As far as the UI goes, I’ve tried everything from GB and ICS launchers as my phone is definitely unlocked and heavily modded.  But no ICS can run on my phone and have everything working so I still stay with GB.  Sense vs TouchWIZ, I’d have to say there is enough of a change for me at least to enjoy TouchWIZ, as I’ve been dealing with Sense for a while now.  If I don’t like it, I have access to a lot of launchers and have no issues changing to something I do like.

    Basically what I’m looking forward to is the QuadCore Processor power, being able to go up to 64GB and not have to ROOT my phone to get ICS and keep it as secure as possible.  I know that CM9 they’re working on having it very Secure, a lot more than CM’s in the past were.  As a ROOTED phone is a high security risk when it comes to certain things, it’s a known and accepted risk however amongst those of us who choose that path.  I for one will be happy to not have to have that on a new phone and the GSIII is definitely a very fine upgrade to me.

    And since when does having a hard edged design equate high end? Just because they didn’t follow another company in design doesn’t mean this phone is not good.  Too many people put too much into aesthetics, vanity, as apposed to looking at functionality first.  As far as I’m concerned it’s got a cool enough look for what it brings to the table.  Yeah it could have been cooler looking I guess, but it’s fine just how it is too, beside over half of us will be putting it into a case of some sort anyway.

    As far as I’m concerned it’s a great upgrade and I cannot wait to get one of my own this summer as my contract with Sprint ends and it’s about time to get a phone worth having over ones that stick you with proprietary configurations.  Heck some of these new phones didn’t even come out with ICS on them and that in itself is a disappointment.  So good job Samsung! Look forward to the GSIII!