Samsung Galaxy S III Smartphone Review And Test Report

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HARDWARE

The Samsung Galaxy S III is 8.6 mm thin and features a 4.8″ Super Amoled (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display, Snapdragon 1.5 GHz dual core processor, and 2 GB of internal RAM. The device comes with either 16 GB or 32 GB expandable onboard memory, and a removable 2100 mAh battery.

In general day-to-day use, the smartphone was quick and responsive, with no obvious lag time when switching between applications.

From a hardware standpoint, only one thing diminishes the experience of using the Galaxy S III, namely the home button. It’s positioned at the bottom middle of the front of the phone, which is fine, but it is strangely clunky and unresponsive. Maybe due to the speed and responsiveness of the other touch-sensitive controls, or maybe because it is simply a design flaw, but because the button requires a substantial push, it feels very out of place on the phone. Part of the problem is that because you have to push the button with some force, thus it is necessary to hold the phone with a finger behind the button’s location. The touch controls on the other hand can be lightly tapped to get a fast response, no matter how the phone is held.

It is a pity the home button is so hard to activate. In some situations it is used to call up one of the best features on the phone, the Recent Apps view that shows all open applications and allows for flipping between them.

The main camera is eight megapixels, and the front-facing camera is 1.9 megapixels with support for video recording and chat. Photos are very good, and video taken with the phone is crisp and smooth.

SOFTWARE

Galaxy S III Recent App view

Recent App view

The Galaxy S III runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and the company announced in late September that it had begun updating the smartphone to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). The 4.0 version of the operating system adds some great functionality, including multitasking and the Recent Apps view. Multitasking on the Galaxy S III is the best I have experienced on an Android phone, and is a key feature difference with the iPhone, which does not really support moving between apps very well. Switching quickly from maps to e-mail, or between an Evernote Window and a web page is very useful; the ability to move between applications is a key desktop computing feature that has been slow to cross over to mobile devices.

Samsung’s TouchWiz interface is as it has always been, cluttered, but easy to clean up. The screen is initially clogged with Samsung Widgets; my normal course of action is to quickly delete everything and then start from scratch adding back in what I actually need and use. Typically I end up with just weather and calendar widgets, but there are countless widgets to choose from.

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