Samsung Galaxy S III: Early reaction

What have the critics made of Samsung's new quad-core handset?
Darren Allan

May 4, 2012

The Samsung Galaxy S III has been unveiled, with the phone due to go on sale at the end of the month.

Naturally enough, the reviews – well, early first impression write-ups – are already rolling in, and we thought we’d take an overview of the broad reaction to the much anticipated Android smartphone three-quel.

First, though, a quick reminder of the tech spec (if you want to see the full spec details, take a gander at our news piece on the launch here). The S III comes with a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 4 processor, and has a 4.8 inch Super AMOLED 720p display.

There’s an 8 megapixel main camera, and 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, both of which are capable of HD recording. 16GB and 32GB storage options are offered (with 64GB to come), along with NFC support.

So, onto the reaction. Generally, it has been pretty positive, although there has been a slight lack of enthusiasm in some corners.

The Telegraph said the handset is a worthy successor to the massive selling S II. The reviewer noted that the screen was the best he’d seen on the market, in terms of responsiveness and sharpness. He said it beats even the excellent display of the HTC One X, also a 720p resolution model, albeit 0.1 of an inch smaller.

The sheer size, at 4.8 inches, probably helps the S III’s cause, with the very thin bezel helping to give a big-screen impression, on a (relatively) small phone.

Anandtech’s initial performance testing pegs the Galaxy smartphone as “insanely fast” when it comes to GPU performance.

CNET said there were good reasons to buy this smartphone on both the hardware and software front, and it was likely to be one of the top Android handsets of the year. called it a worthy opponent to the iPhone 4S, and said the S III was comfortable to hold despite its size, very thin, and extremely nippy thanks to the quad-core CPU.

Engadget said it was a good looking phone, with an impressive screen, although didn’t feel Samsung had advanced that much with the hardware, and was pushing on the software features front instead.

Several reviewers have said that the build quality of the device feels a little cheap and plasticky (yet it is undeniably very light). Others have wondered about the usefulness of the voice and motion features, and potential extra battery drain.

So it seems Samsung has pretty much hit the right notes, with a few reservations. We’ll have to wait for full in-depth write-ups, where issues such as how the new battery copes with all the bells and whistles are addressed, before we can be sure.

However, the Galaxy S III is likely to be the next best-seller of an Android phone, and is certain to get a good run at the market before the iPhone 5 emerges in the autumn.


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