It's been a while since we last posted a review of the Samsung Galaxy S III. While the phone is no longer new, it received an Android update and still holds its own against the iPhone 5. The recent February issue of PC & Tech Authority included a comparison of 10 smartphones. In the interests of updating you about how the Galaxy S III fared, here is the review that was published in early January this year.
Only Samsung has been able to match Apple for smartphone supremacy in recent times, and its Galaxy S III ascended last year by improving on the stellar work done by the S II - and now it’s been updated to the latest version of Android, too.
The 4.8in screen out-muscles the 4in panel of the iPhone 5, and its 720 x 1280 resolution serves up more pixels, too, albeit at reduced pixel density: 306ppi on the S III compared to
326ppi on the iPhone 5.
Despite the minor discrepancy, you’ll still struggle to make out individual pixels, and quality is excellent, with colours that are bright and vivid without being oversaturated.
It’s a beautiful display, but we were surprised to find that in some respects the Galaxy S III falls behind its predecessor. The S III’s brightness is good, but not as searing as the S II. The AMOLED panel guarantees perfect contrast, however.
Processor and battery
Samsung has loaded its latest flagship with a seriously powerful processor - a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 4412 Quad processor with 1GB of RAM, and a Mali-400 MP graphics core.
As expected, the benchmark results are fantastic. One benchmark test saw Samsung’s score near the top of the table, though behind the iPhone 5 and Nokia’s Lumia 920.
More important than the numbers is that the S III is extremely slick when scrolling, panning and zooming in the browser and in and around the Android UI.
If you don't mind the ocassional game on a long business trip or commute to work, an update to Android 4.1 has eradicated the occasional sluggishness we discovered during games in our initial review. This time Shadowgun, Dead Trigger and Reckless Racing 2 ran flawlessly.
Battery life is reasonable, too, although a 60% lifespan after our 24-hour test doesn’t lift the S III above average.
Samsung’s TouchWiz UI overlay doesn’t look as classy as HTC Sense, but it’s packed with innovative touches.
Smart Stay uses the front-facing camera to keep the screen on when you’re reading; S Voice provides voice recognition; and we like the auto-dial feature, which automatically makes a call when you lift the phone to your ear on a contact or messaging page.
The S III’s camera is an 8-megapixel unit and quality is excellent. Clarity is simply superb and the macro mode captures remarkable detail.
There’s a mind-boggling range of features: image stabilisation, manual ISO selection and white balance options, a fake HDR option plus a burst mode.
We’re less keen on the S III’s build quality, however. It feels plasticky and poorer quality than its rivals, especially the back panel. The battery can be swapped out from behind this panel and storage can be expanded, but the iPhone 5, HTC One X and Nokia Lumia 920 all feel much nicer in hand.
The lack of finesse on the outside, though, is more than made up for by class-leading performance everywhere else. No other smartphone currently offers this combination of power, software innovation and screen quality - and it’s more sensibly sized than the latest Galaxy Note.
It is simply the best smartphone on the market at the time of writing.
A superb screen, lots of power, innovative software and a reasonable price on contract mean that the Samsung Galaxy S III still retains a high rating. Read the review.