Product Review: Samsung Galaxy S III

I've had my Samsung Galaxy S III with me for almost 4 months already. Yes, I was one of those few people who got it the first week it has become available in the country - June 2012 to be exact. I got mine from Globe so that the carrier could shoulder its hefty price tag. I believe it still retails at PhP32,990 in Samsung Stores. With almost 4 months of usage, I believe that I'll be able to give a competent review of Samsung's latest flagship. My review will not be too technical nor geeky. I want it to be understood by regular netizens like you and me.

First off is the box. I got mine in Marble White because that was the only available color at that time. Not that it matters since it's actually my preferred color. The box is white like the color of the phone. It comes with the Galaxy S III unit, AC charger, USB cable, white in-ear earphones, and some leaflets. I had Globe (which is my network - it really sucks by the way) cut my regular SIM into a micro-SIM so that it would fit my new phone. The phone came with 16GB internal memory (12GB user-accessible) and of course, expandable up to 64GB microSDHC. The Galaxy S III is also available in 32GB and 64GB models. Other colors include Pebble Blue, Red, Black, Brown, and Gray. Basically, the package has it all covered, or at the very least, the important ones.

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This is the white Galaxy S III box given to me by Globe Telecom.
As for the externals, the phone is made of plastic, which is a cheap material for a high-end phone. But don't get me wrong, it looks sleek and feels very solid. The case is hyperglazed and the screen is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 2, which makes it resistant against scratches. But overall, there's nothing really spectacular with its design to write home about.

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Box contents with the original Flip Cover I bought from Samsung. Note: The Flip Cover is not part of the package.
The first time I turned on the smartphone, I was amazed by the vividness of its Super AMOLED HD screen and great viewing angles. The brightness of the phone was so-so as I've seen brighter screens from other phones. (Let's not go to the PenTile Matrix thingy as most will not understand it). It runs Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich out-of-the-box. It supports Adobe Flash Player (which has already been taken out of the Google Play Store and will not come pre-installed with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean) and HMTL5. It has access to the Google Play Store, Samsung's App Market, and several other app marketplaces.

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This is the home screen. You can see from the above icon that I took a screenshot.

The cool thing about it is its interface which is very refreshing compared to older Galaxy models. Samsung did a great job with its TouchWiz interface. The transitions are smooth. I seldom experience lag. It also comes pre-installed with beautiful wallpapers (including live ones). The device came installed with lots of bloatware from Google, although most are useful. Good thing is that you can place them in folders so that they don't mess up on your screen. You can also hide apps!

When it comes to its telephony and messaging features. It supports regular calls, video calls, SMS, EMS, MMS...basically every mode of communication you can think of. You can also change the font face and font size for a customized look. Mine was already changed. For file transfers, you can do it via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and USB. It also supports Wi-Fi Hotspot and Tethering. It has deep Facebook and Twitter integration as well.

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These are my main apps. I also changed the system font.

How about its 8MP camera? Well, it's among the best there is out there... Samsung has managed to come up with camera optics and software that is at a par with those of Apple, HTC, and Sony. The resolution is pretty good. The details are fine. It also has a very strong LED flash for low-light photography. Other features include HDR, Burst Mode, Face Detection, etc. It's also able to capture videos in 720p HD and 1080p FullHD quality. The video frame-rate is surprisingly good with no lags or doubled frames. Also, the phone's built-in video player supports almost every major video format so no need for video conversion.

As far as applications are concerned, virtually any application made for Android can be installed in the Galaxy S III. It has 1GB RAM and expandable memory to accommodate all your applications, music files, videos, documents, and whatnots. It also has a dedicated graphics card for games and applications which graphics-intense. The Google Play Store has a lot of apps for you, with many of them free! Sadly, you cannot transfer apps from phone memory to SD card without rooting the smartphone. I don't know why Samsung disabled this Android feature.

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Actual picture of my phone taken by my Mac's Facetime camera.
The Galaxy S III also has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. Some are useful and others are plain gimmicky. First off is the S-Voice, which is a Siri-like assistant but sadly it's not as useful as one would want it to be. It also features Pop-Up Play, which enables you to watch videos and do other tasks at the same time. This feature also showcases how powerful the quad-core processor of the Galaxy S III is. Other cool features are Smart Stay and Direct Call. The former enables your phone to detect your eyes so that the screen won't turn off while you are still looking at it. The latter enables you to call directly anyone from your phone by just putting it on your ears. It also has a lot of motion and gesture-based tricks. Not to mention it now has an LED indicator light, similar to BlackBerry, which shows the status of your phone- whether you missed a call, someone texted you, you're running out of battery, and whatnot.

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This is Pop-Up Play. This is a video of Nicki Minaj's Starships playing while on the home screen.

When it comes to its Internet and browsing features, everything is covered. You can bookmark sites. You can save pages for later use. You can play Flash videos (which the iPhone cannot do). You can basically do anything you want when it comes to browsing. The zooming and panning also work well. You can play Flash-based games too on your browser!

Regarding battery life, the phone's battery will last for more than a day of normal usage. Turn the Internet on, then you'll need your charger beside you. The Galaxy S III can actually endure hours of talktime, playing music and videos, texting, and whatnot. Just to be sure, always carry your charger and/or car charger with you. 

All in all, I think the Samsung Galaxy S III is the smartphone to beat. But we'll see about that when the iPhone 5 gets released. The Galaxy S III is also set to receive its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in a few weeks, which will make it an even better smartphone. The only cons that I could think of is that file management is kind of tedious and it also takes a lot of hard work to put apps in certain folders. But other than that I think it's a great phone. If you can afford it, go ahead and buy it. You will not regret it, I promise. But if you want to stick with your iPhone, BlackBerry, Nokia Lumia, or another Android smartphone, that's not a problem. To each his own. Suit yourself.

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These are my folders. I bet you see...G.

I will have another review for the Galaxy S III when Android 4.1 Jelly Bean gets released. I'll also review accessories made for the Galaxy S III as well as apps for this powerhouse Android smartphone.

My rating for the Samsung Galaxy S III is 9.5 out of 10.

For the complete specs of this smartphone, please visit this link.

Note: Screenshots were taken from my phone. Samsung did not pay me for this review. I bought this smartphone with my own money.

Til then...

xoxo Nash


hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

Sara said...

I am trying to set up my phone and all the apps but i cant find the way so i think will try to download whatsapp for pc

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