Monday, May 7, 2012

It’s Official: Samsung Galaxy S III is the Next Galaxy

Samsung officially unveiled its latest flagship device in London last May 3, 2012: Samsung Galaxy S III. Compared to its predecessor, this phone sports a rounded design, a bigger screen, quad core processor, but the same 8MP camera.

Here are the specs of the Samsung Galaxy S III:

Dimensions - 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
Weight - 133 g
Screen - Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size - 4.8 inches - 306 ppi pixel density 
Protection - Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Card slot - microSD, up to 64 GB
Internal Storage - 16/32/64 GB variants, 1 GB RAM
Bluetooth - 4.0 
NFC - Yes
USB - microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go
CAMERA - Primary 8 MP, autofocus, with LED flash
Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization
        Video 1080p@30fps
         Secondary 1.9 MP, 720p@30fps
OS - Android OS, v4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with TouchWiz 4.0 overlay
CPU - Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9
GPU - Mali-400MP
Available Colors - Blue, White
SIM Card - MicroSIM card support only
BATTERY - Standard battery, Li-Ion 2100 mAh

The Samsung Galaxy S III, deviates from the design philosophy of its predecessor which has a rectangular shape, angular, and a bump at the back. This new phone takes its resemblance from a pebble. The SIII sports rounded corners and smooth flowing lines. It’s like holding a smooth flat stone.

Unlike Galaxy S I and II, Samsung has eliminated the back accent, a design feature which helps gripping the phone. The thickest point of the phone is now at the middle. The textured back cover is also gone and Samsung instead opted for a glossy finish. There are two color variants, blue and white. The blue has a brushed metal finish. Samsung by the way, still used plastic materials for the exterior, which is not a bad thing for me because it doesn't interfere with signal reception. 

The phone maintained its removable battery cover and user-replaceable battery. This is viewed as a good feature because users are given the option to purchase an additional battery pack or replace the batteries themselves without going to a service center. Inside, you can find the microSIM card slot, and microSD slots.

The most noticeable change in the Galaxy SIII is the screen. The phone has a significantly bigger display, a 4.8” Super AMOLED HD. This is the same display technology used in the Galaxy Note. It has a higher pixel density count of 306 ppi which is comparable to iPhone 4S Retina display. But it uses a PenTile Matrix pixel arrangement. To some users, this is a disappointment because Pentile Matrix uses an RGBG pixel arrangement which is not as smooth when viewed from a very close distance as compared to RGB pixels of LCD or Super AMOLED Plus.

The third Galaxy S is equipped with a 1.4 Ghz Quad Core Cortex-A9 processor which is slightly underclocked compared to the processor of One X, HTC's newest flagship device. This competitor phone is equipped with a 1.5 Ghz Quad Core Snapdragon processor. But in terms of speed, the Galaxy S III beats the HTC One X in benchmarks. Therefore, Samsung Galaxy S III is officially the fastest flagship device in the market.

The S III used the same 8MP camera of the S II, with an LED flash. What’s new is the improved 1.9MP front-facing camera. The phone can now take photos while shooting video clips. This is a feature also present in the HTC One X.

Another notable improvement is the enlarged battery size. The phone now comes with a 2,100 mAh battery, which is bigger than the 2,000 mAh of the Galaxy Note.

The Samsung Galaxy S III runs on the latest Android platform, 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. There are also several new features present on the phone:

The S-Voice, which is a voice activated command similar to Siri. I believe this is a gimmick which will add coolness to the phone but will not add that much functionality. Much like what happened to Siri. Smart-stay tracking which detects you’re the user’s eye contact with the phone and adjusts brightness accordingly. I think this is a useful feature in terms of power-saving for the device. Free 50GB of cloud storage from Dropbox. This is a good feature if the person has a regular internet connection.

There was a mixed feeling or reaction that I felt upon seeing the unveiled Samsung Galaxy S III. I was highly anticipating the announcement of this phone. But somehow, I did not completely feel delighted when photos and videos came out. When I saw the Galaxy S II last year, I was wowed by its thin profile and minimalist design. This year, I wasn’t impressed by the design unlike the newest flagship phones of Nokia and HTC. 

On the other hand, this phone may not be a stunning-looking device but its performance can win a lot of fans. Reading the benchmarks and initial user experience, I could foresee this phone has the potential to exceed customers expectations. The in-depth discussion about the phone and fan reactions shall be another topic.


  1. It DOESN'T use the same image sensor,it's a completely new to Samsung BSI (BackSide Illumination)type of sensor.Well done to Samsung for not joining the rest of the sheep in the megapixel war.