The flagship of Samsung’s Galaxy line-up, the Galaxy S III represents the pinnacle of Samsung engineering(at least until the Note 2 came out), and having sold in excess of 20 million units in less than 100 days, is obviously not a dud when it comesto sales. Yoona and Taeyeon themselves are part of that number, showing that the phone attracted the attention of Girls’ Generation themselves. But just how good IS this device?I’ll be brief: it’s damn good. Why? I’ll explain.
Picking up the phone, you’ll notice one thing: it’s plastic. Not cheap plastic, but plastic nonetheless. Definitely a change from the solid-body that the iPhone 5 currently sports, and different that the polycarbonate that other similarly-priced phones have. Still, the ergonomics are great, and it definitely feels like it was designed to be held for long periods of time. Flipping it over, you’ll notice the beautiful 4.8 inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, one of the larger ones out there. While not as sharp as Apple’s Retina display, it’s still very nice, and produces richly saturated colors, though some may find it too saturated for their liking. Other than that, it’s got the standard headphone jack, 3 physical buttons, and a volume rocker.
As for usability, it’s an Android phone, and it does what Android does best: allows users to tinker and change almost whatever they want. With a quad-core(dual-core in the United States) processor and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, this one of the fastest ones around. Anything you do, from gaming to web browsing to Tweeting happens almost within an instant, and with a larger than normal battery, allows for great battery life for a smartphone, though if you tend to be a constant phone checker, you might notice it draining faster, but still be able to get out a good 6-7 hours before hitting about 20-30% battery life. The Android app store has grown considerably, and while not as large as Apples, definitely offers something for everyone, and many Apple users will be able to find comparable apps to make the transition easier. With an 8-megapixel camera, it delivers great shots, though you’ll want to rely on an actual camera for those tricky night shots, or when you really need clarity. But as a basic snapshot camera, it excels, and also has the ability to record 1080p video, and with 16-64 GB’s of storage internally, and a microSDHC expansion slot, you never need to worry about running out of room for all your media.
So what are the cons? For one thing, it’s big. Not unbearable big, as the small-handed members like Taeyeon and Yoona use it, but for some, may be a bit unwieldy. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the build quality falls a little short, and feels more like a mid-range device, rather than a premium one. The display also isn’t as nice as the iPhone’s, and colors tend to be a have a bluish hue to them. When it comes to usability, Android’s customization is second to none, but some users may not need that much freedom, and it definitely is not as pick-up-and-play as Apple’s. Lastly, Samsung tends to be slow when it comes to updating, so while it’s starting to roll out Android 4.1 Jellybean, the next update could take several months to get ready, and Samsung has a history of forgoing updates at all.
Overall, this is definitely one of the best Android phones around, and if you want a switch from an iPhone, and don’t mind learning a new system, or you love Android and just want something bigger and better(but smaller than the Note 2), the Galaxy S III is the phone for you.
Overall rating: 4.5/5