Friday, 4 May 2012

Hands on: Samsung Galaxy SIII review

04/05/2012 12:10pm

The Samsung Galaxy SIII was launched to major fanfare the worldwide Samsung Unpacked event at Earls Court, and What Laptop Tablet & Smartphone were there to get hands-on.

Samsung has upped the size of the Galaxy SIII to 4.8-inch and included a 1,280 x 720 AMOLED display, which looks stunning. On first impressions, the SIII’s screen wasn’t as vibrant as the recently released HTC One X, but viewing angles were excellent, and visuals sharp.
Samsung Galaxy S3
Elsewhere, there’s a quad-core processor running the show, which keeps the Ice Cream Sandwich toting handset running smoothly. This really shows when shooting on the 8MP camera, where shutter lag is abolished, and burst mode can fire off 20 shots, and quickly chooses eight of the best to display. There’s also a larger 2100mAH for longer battery life.

Quality of the photos was hard to gauge as the handset was tethered to a table, but even in low light shots were sharp and well focussed with a minimum of fuss.

We used the photo editor to make some crops, trims, and apply effects to our photos, which were all carried out in the blink of an eye.

However, there were still significant loading times when loading apps and games, which still left us waiting over five seconds for Cut The Rope to launch.

The handset itself will be available in blue and white, with Samsung keen to point out that nature inspired its design. The back is smooth, but made of thin plastic, which helps keen the Galaxy SIII down to a paltry 133g, but it doesn’t feel anywhere near as solid or well-manufactured as the HTC One X, which weighs 130g.
Samsung Galaxy S3
With handsets becoming extremely similar in specification, Samsung has been keen to push software as a differentiator, and there are loads of features to enjoy.

S Voice is a Siri for Samsung, which brings a host of voice commands, such as ‘Hi Samsung’ to wake the handset up, but was equally as finicky to use in the noisy Earls Court. The SIII also monitors your face, preventing it from locking while you’re reading on screen.

Samsung Galaxy S3
There are other nifty additions too: if someone sends you a message, just put the phone to your ear and it will call them. It’s a simple feature, but tangibly beneficial.

Elsewhere, there’s a heap of proprietary Samsung software, which will be of dubious use, unless you convince all your friends to buy in as well.
Samsung Galaxy S3
All Share Play lets you send media to different supported devices, and you can buy a separate dongle. What’s more, you can wirelessly charge using a separate peripheral, and even monitor your health.
In short, the Samsung Galaxy SIII has delivered nearly everything we expected, with a few extras. There’s no doubt it will be a success this year, and puts Samsung back onto the smartphone podium in this Olympics year.

The Samsung Galaxy SIII will be out on May 29, but if your contract isn’t up, follow our guide on how to upgrade your Samsung Galaxy SII to Ice Cream Sandwich.

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