SAMSUNG GALAXY S3: THE REVIEW
Adding to the success story of Galaxy range of smartphones by Samsung, is the new entry “SAMSUNG GALAXY S3”, which takes the arena of smartphones to a whole new level. With the tagline being “Designed for humans”, Samsung claims to have put forth some groundbreaking features which it believes, imbibed with the right technology, add a “Human” dimension and make the smartphone smarter and more understanding of its user. But do these claims match the real performance, does the S3 truly outperform its predecessor ‘Galaxy S2’ and is the new dimension worth the exorbitant price? Scivista reviews it for you to find out.
At the first glance, the S3 looks like an oversized pebble with smoothly rounded corners and a gently curved back. The glossy finish on the polycarbonate body adds some chic to it but fails to make the eyes pop out. The overall look is minimal and subtle which seems good enough. Weighed at 133 grams and with a thickness of 8.6 mm, it’s lightweight for its size and comfortable to hold though operating it entirely with single hand can become a bit of a trouble. The chrome embodied sides break its otherwise monotonous appearance. There’s a volume rocker button on the left side of the phone which is comfortable to get hold of. However that may not be the case with the power key on the right side which is placed at some height. On the top side is the universal 3.5 mm jack so it would be a delight for the music lovers to plug in their personal favourite pairs of earphones instead of going with the ones that come along. Below the display is the physical home key which opens up the S voice app when tapped twice and activates the multi tasking pane when long pressed. On either sides of the home key are the touch sensitive menu and back keys with white LED glow. The placement of these keys is extremely convenient for execution. Above the display are the earpiece, 1.9 megapixels front facing camera, light and proximity sensors and an LED notification light. At the back is the 8 megapixels autofocus camera, the LED flash and the speaker grill. Taking off the handset’s cover reveals the microSD card slot, microSIM card slot and the battery. The whole look of the S3 fails to draw too much attention yet somehow appeals with its usability and simplicity.
SCREEN AND DISPLAY
The 4.8 inches HD super AMOLED screen with a 720 x 1280 resolution adds immensely to the whole UI experience with bright, warm, saturated colours delighting the eyes and the text presenting itself so finely and luxuriously that the phone screen proves to be a complete eye candy. With a pixel density per inch of 306 ppi, the resolution might not look too sharp on the specs chart but thankfully the disappointment is hardly noticed when the phone is actually used and hence the S3’s display succeeds at winning hearts. The capacitive multi touch screen is a breeze to use and it’s a cakewalk going through the various menus and apps with the fingertips swiping and pressing in a rhythmic fashion.
USER INTERFACE AND APPS
The S3 comes packed with the latest version of Android UI that is Android 4.0 also known as ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ which allows a higher level of customization and accessibility and has even introduced some new lock screen actions such as checking the notifications and going directly to the camera. This is adorned with the Samsung’s own UI ‘TouchWiz Nature UX’. The amalgam of these two yields an experience backed by power, versatility, strength and pleasurable functionality, not to forget, a host of new features and the much advertised about ‘human touch’ which we shall now prod, explore and judge upon. One of the first few of its ‘For Humans’ features is the “S voice” which is more or less the Samsung’s version of Apple’s Siri. Using it has been as much of a mixed bag of comfort and complication, if not worse, as in Siri’s case with there sometimes being a problem in it understanding what the user is saying. Honestly most often it’s much more easier to just perform the tasks manually than banging one’s head with such gimmicks. The voice control still needs to be perfected by a long measure by all the smartphone makers. The next one in line is the “Smart Stay” which uses the front facing camera to check if user’s eyes are locked upon the screen and turns off the display if user is not looking at the screen. Now this one’s quite cool and handy. Another one in the stack is the “Pop Up Play” which makes multitasking a sweet treat such as allowing users to watch videos as they text, email or tweet. Another addition, the “S Beam” uses wifi connection and allow users to transfer files by keeping their phone back to back with another compatible galaxy phone. The “All Share” feature allows file sharing such as pictures, videos, games etc and screen sharing using Wifi. In a nutshell, even though Samsung’s TouchWiz succeeds at impressing with something here and there but it still has to strive harder in case it wants to give Apple’s iOS and HTC Sense a strong defeat.
CAMERA AND MUSIC PLAYER
The 8 megapixels autofocus camera gives sharp and crisp images with true to life colours. There’s clarity in images taken both indoors and outdoors. Sometimes some colours might seem too bright than the others but the overall result is pleasing and satisfactory. It also has HTC One’s feature that allows one to take pictures while capturing a video which is a huge welcome. It offers a hoard of shooting modes and focussing modes which only add to the ease and convenience. The 1080p HD video recording is effortless and produces detailed shots. The built-in music player is authentic in its performance and the speakers give out admirable quality of music and sound at slightly lower than highest level of volume. The ‘Music Square’ feature allows you to choose the type of music you want to listen to and selects the befitting tracks aptly. On a whole, the multimedia experience on the S3 is surely a mind blower.
INTERNET AND CONNECTIVITY
The browsing experience is a complete zip zap zoom with the pages loading without any noteworthy lag and navigating through various websites being as smooth as cream. The results are almost instantaneous and a good wifi connectivity enhances the traversal exponentially. The huge screen ensures that the web pages exude clarity and the fingers swipe through comfortably. It is at par, if not more, with what you might expect of any high end smartphone.
PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY BACKUP
With a mind blowing 1.4GHz Quad core processor, the overall performance of the phone is undoubtedly a stunner. There’s no hint of unreasonable lag. Its power is enviable. However all its quick paced features and the huge screen do take a toll on its battery life. Since its 2100mAh battery is removable, one can carry an extra. However there’s also an option of power saver mode which when activated, increases the battery life substantially. A full charge can give a full day’s worth of performance.
Even though the S3 comes with some admirably humanising features but it seems they have still not been perfected but they surely have added a new dimension that can be built upon by Samsung as well as other smartphone makers. This phone is definitely not meant for casual users with average expectations and demands from their phones and a medium budget. This one is for the speed thirsty, heavy gamers and video viewers with a penchant for the top of the notch smartphones.
Although it’s priced at an MRP of 43,180, it’s available for 4000-5000 bucks less with the local retailers.