Samsung Galaxy S III Review

9.5

Daniel Bader

June 27, 2012 9:08pm


Having sold millions of Galaxy S II’s around the world, in more variations than one can keep track of, Samsung knew it had a lot of work to do in making a worthy successor. In many ways, the device we have before us bears little resemblance to the GT-i9100 released on Bell in July 2011 but the lineage is obvious: big, colourful icons, a squared-off home button and, perhaps most notably, one of the most powerful processors on the market.

Being released on almost every major carrier in Canada, is the Galaxy S III worth your time and money? And does the LTE version match up to the international variety? Let’s take a look.

Specs:

– Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich w/ TouchWIZ Nature UX
– 4.8-inch 720 x 1280 HD Super AMOLED display
– 1.5Ghz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor w/ Adreno 225 GPU
– 2GB RAM / 16-32GB internal storage (plus expandable microSD card slot)
– 8MP back camera w/ autofocus, burst mode and flash / 1.9MP front-facing camera
– 1080p video capture w/ auto stabilization
– 2100mAh removable battery
– HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 Mhz, LTE 700 / 1700 / 2100 Mhz
– 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
– 134g

Design

There is something immediately comfortable about holding the Galaxy S III. Samsung’s focus on making the device more “human” may seem like a bunch of hoopla but it actually translates into a far more ergonomic device than any they’ve released.

Despite the 4.8-inch screen the manufacturer has managed to almost disappear the bezel, resulting in as compact a flagship I’ve ever used. The ports are all in their Samsung-approved locations – power on the right side, near the top; microUSB on the bottom middle; volume rocker on the left side; headphone port on the top.

One of the more divisive aspects of the Galaxy S III may be the new home button. Luckily all models are going to ship with the button intact — no more four-capacitive button variants — but due to the design it is occasionally difficult to press. Because of the phone’s height, the hand is often holding it around the back middle; to action the home button you need to shift your thumb down quite a way, potentially unbalancing the phone in the process. It takes a while to get used to, but I’d have preferred something more akin to the larger and symmetrical button from the Galaxy S II.

Taking a page from the Galaxy Nexus, the SGS3 is equipped with a stunning notification LED that pulses and glows, emanating like magic from behind the white (or blue) façade. The effect is about as satisfying as you’ll find on a smartphone and something we’d love to see on more Samsung devices.

And despite the plastic build, Samsung has actually done a great job improving the durability of the Galaxy S III’s exterior. It’s not perfect – my demo picked up some errant scratches on the chrome bezel and battery cover fairly easily – but it’s a serious improvement over its predecessor. That you can replace the battery cover, unlike the iPhone 4S and HTC One X, is a benefit too.

Display

Forget PenTile, really. We’re at the point where pixels are small enough that subpixel array shouldn’t matter to the naked eye. Indeed, I had a very difficult time finding anything to complain about in regards to the Galaxy S III’s display.

At 720 x 1280, text is sharp and pleasant to read; Samsung promised us they made improvements to the display since the Galaxy Nexus and despite similar characteristics I noticed right away better colour uniformity, whiter whites and a generally superior calibration.

Comparing the display to the HTC One X, my current favourite smartphone display, there are some areas of improvement to be found. Due to its AMOLED nature, there is still a slight bluish tint to whites and greys. Text, too, contains minute aberrations owed to the PenTile subpixel array. Most users won’t notice a difference until you see the two screens side-by-side, but it’s there. We hope Samsung graduates to HD Super AMOLED Plus as soon as possible.

Like all AMOLED-based displays, black levels are wonderfully deep, and viewing angles superlative. I can’t say that the Galaxy S III has the best display on the market, but it’s not far behind the One X and, as a rule, I like to look at the whole package rather than the individual parts. We’ll see later on there is a lot more to like about the SGS3 than just its exterior.

Performance

The North American Galaxy S III is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5Ghz. It’s the identical part to the One X but due to optimizations made to the software it appears to respond slightly faster in day-to-day tasks.

I took the liberty of benchmarking the device against an international Galaxy S III i9300 and the two devices were neck and neck in most CPU-bound tests; GPU-intensive tasks favoured the Mali-400MP inside the international variant.

It’s important to note that the North American Galaxy S III is among the fastest Android phones ever released. During most day-to-day tasks, including loading apps, games and navigating through the user interface, I felt no appreciable difference between the i747 (Snapdragon S4) and i9300. For all intents and purposes they are the same phone.

But one area in which the North American version trounces the international is in data speeds. The i9300 is limited to speeds of 21Mbps down and 5.76Mbps up. As we’ll see later, this limitation is killer, especially in a city like Toronto with largely saturated HSPA+ networks. The extra legroom of Rogers’, Bell’s or TELUS’ LTE network is sure to be a key differentiator for many users, and I’d recommend the version sold in Canada for that very reason.

Samsung decided to offset any perceived performance disadvantage of the Snapdragon S4 by including 2GB of DDR2 RAM inside the North American version of the device. From a benchmark perspective it doesn’t seem to offer much advantage, but multitasking was clearly improved over the One X, which comes with just 1GB. Apps resume quickly, tabs inside Chrome for Android or the default Browser don’t often reload and you can have more apps running in the background without a performance hit. Android is still a mobile OS, however, and limits background activities to perfunctory tasks that don’t use too much RAM anyway. While not to say that we won’t see future versions of Android make more use of 1GB+ of RAM, at the moment it’s more an insurance policy than an essential feature.

Software

The Galaxy S III runs Android 4.0.4 with TouchWIZ Nature UX, an evolution of last year’s TouchWIZ 4. In many ways it looks and performs quite similarly: there’s a dock at the bottom of the home screen with four customizable icons and one permanent app drawer button. The app drawer itself is horizontal and is more user-friendly than previous Samsung launchers. Not to say it’s perfect: there are annoyances still, such as the need to press “Save” after moving icons around inside the launcher. Samsung also doesn’t let you create folders by dragging an icon onto another; you have to press “Menu” and “Create folder,” a two-step process that shouldn’t have been difficult to prevent.

Smoothness is a huge factor here: the Galaxy S III is by far the best-performing Android phone I’ve ever used. There is no slowdown whatsoever, as everything seems to have been optimized for hardware acceleration.

Samsung has also emphasized unique features on the Galaxy S III to differentiate it from the rest of the pack. We’ve reached a stage in the Android universe where most high-end devices perform at breakneck speeds. Samsung realized there needed to be something else to keep users interested, and to populate its marketing campaigns. There are a lot of buzz words – Smart Stay, S Voice, S Beam, etc. – but let’s separate the wheat from the chaff.

Smart Stay: One of the premiere features of the Galaxy S III, it uses the front-facing camera to check whether your eyes are looking at the screen at pre-determined intervals. I found the feature to work well in areas of sufficient light, though the company warns you that it won’t work in the dark or dim rooms.

S Beam: The evolution of Android Beam, the NFC-based data transfer system works quite well, as it initiates a connection without another device and then, if it supports the protocol, performs the actual transfer using WiFi Direct. This increases the speed tenfold over NFC itself and aides in the transfer of larger files. Unfortunately the S Beam feature is limited at the moment to other Galaxy S III owners; it falls back to Android Beam for other NFC-supported devices.

S Voice: This Siri competitor needs a lot of work. Powered by Vlingo, it is able to understand many basic semantic enquiries, but for the most part it pales in comparison to the linguistic versatility of Apple’s product. It’s also quite good at misinterpreting what you’re saying: calls made to one person would routinely be mistaken for another, and many times it wouldn’t understand what I was saying at all.

Gestures and Motion: These features have been one of the best reasons, in my eyes, to purchase a Galaxy S III. They make arduous tasks that much more simple. For example, swiping your palm across the display glass takes a screenshot. When receiving a phone call, turning the display over mutes the ringer. When inside a text message screen, putting the phone to your ear initiates a call.

One of my favourite gestures has been the ability to hold down your thumb on the lock screen and rotate the phone 90 degrees to open the camera app. You can also bring the phone to your face to unlock it.

Some of these gestures have been carried over from TouchWIZ 4, such as swiping to the right to make a call and to the left to create a text message when inside the Contacts hub. But the way that Samsung has integrated them all together into a cohesive whole makes the Galaxy S III feel, for the first time, like an ecosystem rather than a disparate use of flashy add-ons.

Social Tag: The ability to apply tags to your friends and family from within the Gallery is actually quite helpful, especially since it links up with their contact information. You can upload those photos directly to Facebook, for example, without having to tag again.

Lock screen shortcuts: Like Sense UI, Samsung allows you to assign four shortcuts to your lock screen for quick entry. By default they are Phone, Messaging, S Voice and Camera, but they can be changed. You can also add a Yahoo-powered news ticker to the bottom of the screen, though it takes away from the uncluttered visual aesthetic.

Picture-in-picture: What at first emerges as a gimmick emerges as a useful and, dare I say, essential feature on the Galaxy S III. The ability to “pull out” a video to the home screen and open other apps while continuing to watch may have huge implications in future versions of TouchWIZ, but its current limitations keep it from being more than a party trick. Since you can only use the feature from within the default video app, it precludes YouTube videos, TED Talks or anything else one would decide to stream. As it stands, you’ll have to transfer video files manually to your device to use PIP.

I did manage to watch an episode of Mad Men while reading my RSS feeds one morning, and the experience was pretty positive.

By default, the Nature UX extends not only to visual elements of the software – the water ripple on the lock screen, for example – but also to the default sounds. While at first hearing the artificial sounds of water droplets can be soothing, by the hundredth time they begin to take a toll.

I would be remiss to note that a Movies Hub, in addition to the requisite Music and Social hubs, ships with the Galaxy S III, allowing users to purchase films at prices equivalent to iTunes or Google Play. There’s also 50GB of free Dropbox storage for two years, a wonderful (and potentially cost-saving) inclusion.

Camera

When iFixit took the Galaxy S III apart for the world to see, they announced the handset used “essentially the same” 8MP camera module as the iPhone 4S. While we found that quality between the two devices to be similar, the camera experience on the SGS3 is notably superior. (We’ll be comparing the cameras of some of the top smartphones in a future post.)

Users can now take multiple shots – burst shot, if you will – in short succession, and choose one or a number of the photos taken. I found that the device was able to keep focus better than the One X under the same circumstances, and the results were regularly usable.

The camera UI has been slightly tweaked from TouchWIZ 4, but maintains much of the same stolid aesthetic we wish Samsung would undertake to overhaul. Not to say it’s bad, but Sense 4.0 improved things for the Android crowd by such a margin it’s hard to compete. That’s not to say the results are superior, but HTC did some serious consolidation of what they considered to be superfluous features, and the result was a superlative still/video experience.

Samsung shines, however, in the marriage of hardware and software. Whereas the One X feels bulky and awkward to hold in one hand, the Galaxy S III is tight and compact and the shutter button big and responsive. You can also tweak shortcuts on the left side of the device for quick access to features like autofocus metering, ISO and exposure settings and photo size. Samsung’s Gallery app is, like the stock Android version, quick and minimal, with basic editing features like crop and rotate built right in.

You can zoom in on a subject by pinching outwards anywhere on the viewfinder; to re-focus, just tap the screen. I rarely had a problem with focusing, even on close-up objects, and despite the narrower aperture macro shots often turned out better on the Galaxy S III than the One X.

Overall photo quality is amazing. I really have little to complain about: colours pop, artificial sharpening algorithms do not mar detail and even low-light quality is excellent. What the Galaxy S II started the GS3 finishes: Android users finally have a camera experience – that’s quality and UI combined – to rival, and occasional surpass, the iPhone 4S.

Similarly, video quality on the Galaxy S III is superb. There’s no doubt that Samsung had big shoes to fill after last year, but the new flagship delivers. From image stabilization to overall detail, the camera doesn’t let us down. There were times in lower-light situations the phone would lose focus on a subject for a few seconds, but it happened too few times to be more than a passing notice.

Where Samsung really struggled to improve over last year’s model, and in fact seemed to regress slightly, was audio capture. Tinny and thin, the sound captured when shooting a video often made the footage unusable. Keep that in mind if you’re planning on filming outside: the microphones are extremely sensitive to wind and other nearby aberrations your ears may not be able to pick up.

Like most other smartphone, the front-facing camera is largely superfluous, though on the SGS3 it is more useful than others for its Smart Stay. At 1.9MP, the quality was good enough for Skype calls and vanity photos, but we wouldn’t go much further than that.

Battery Life 

The 2100mAh battery inside the Galaxy S III is replaceable and the S4 chip is reasonably power-friendly, so I wasn’t surprised to see the device last more than a day and a half on a charge without too much trouble.

In fact, when compared to the quad-core Exynos chip inside the international variant, the North American version lasted around 6-8 hours longer on a single charge.

That the battery is replaceable is a huge advantage over the closed-in HTC One X, and Samsung sells a second battery plus charger, making it possible to keep the GS3 going indefinitely while travelling. For anyone upgrading from a last-generation device, or even a Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy S III even running on LTE is likely to last significantly longer per charge.

Network Speeds, Call Quality & Audio

I was able to try the Galaxy S III on all three networks, including TELUS, Bell and Rogers, and the results were fairly similar to previous LTE tests. I averaged between 15Mbps and 35Mbps down , 8Mbps and 30Mbps up. I truly believe Samsung made the right move ensuring the Canadian version was LTE-compatible. Even when falling back to HSPA+ the baseband is capable of 42Mbps, but I averaged around 8-12Mbps depending on the network and area.

These results are significantly faster than what the international variant can do; I was never able to exceed 6Mbps on any network.

Call quality on the Galaxy S III has also been improved over its predecessor, which was known to sound soft and thin. Voice calls came through clearly and without a hint of sibilance, something that occasionally affects most high-end smartphones.

Audio quality was not quite as good as the international variant, as Qualcomm uses its own DSP in the i747, whereas the i9300 uses a newer Wolfson Audio chip. Volume and soundstage was reasonably loud and wide, respectively, and I noticed no detectable hiss or buzz even from high ohm headphones. In fact, the amp was able to power my 250ohm Beyerdynamic DT770s to sufficient volumes while maintaining a decent amount of dynamic range.

One issue I had with the Galaxy S III was with the audio interface itself. The device detects when a pair of headphones has been inserted, and offers quick access to the FM radio, Music Player and Music Hub from the notification bar. These are not customizable, unfortunately, so you can’t insert Rdio or your favourite audio app in their stead.

And occasionally audio apps would close of their own volition after a few minutes, often mid-song and without prompting. I hope this is a software issue that can be corrected in a future update because it became very frustrating very quickly.

Conclusion 

The Galaxy S III is currently the best Android phone on the market, perhaps not by a large margin – the One X pales only slightly in battery life and overall usability, while beating Samsung in build quality — but the overall package comes together exceptionally well.

The hardware doesn’t shake things up too much – it’s actually thicker than its predecessor by a tiny bit – but it feels great in the hand. The screen resolution is top-notch despite its PenTile makeup, and the HyperGlaze coating protects against surface-level scratches.

Available in white and blue in a variety of sizes, Samsung accomplished something great by convincing all the carriers to accept a single design. It’s an understated, fast and beautiful handset that is sure to be instantly recognizable in a few months.

9.5

Final Score

  • moi

    Can anyone please tell me if the galaxy s3 can be rooted to get stock ics (or jellybean now…)
    because i would rather get this than galaxy nexus but i dont want touchwiz (not that i dont like it, i just prefer vanilla more).

    • Sean

      Check out XDA for rooting instructions. I don’t think there are any AOSP roms though

    • Bob

      I say give it a month and there will be a stable JB (it hasn’t been released on ASOP yet)

    • Mangufbat

      Is this BB 10?

    • RIM?

      RIM?

    • Manbo

      Also, if you don’t like touchwiz, as a quick fix install NOVA or APEX launcher.

    • Ando

      Honestly Nature UI isn’t that bad… esp. the motion aka gesture.

  • Sean

    I wonder how the performance of this will compare after it receives 4.1 with Project Butter

    • Tomatoes

      Probably not by much because Samsung already uses hardware Exceleration for the browser at least. JB probably does take away an advantage that Samsung used to have over HTC and others though.

  • Glen G

    All my contact pictures are blurry on incoming & outgoing calls on my siii. Does anyone else have this issue, or know how to fix it?

    • Sean

      4.1 brings high resolution contact pictures

    • Plazmic Flame

      If you sync with Gmail, blurry photos. If you set pics on the phone, they are high rez. It’s very stupid and unfortunately there is not fix…. after all these years.

  • Poulet

    I’m doing the average of these scores and it gives me 9.0/10, not 9.5.

    Average, 15 to 24 hours? That’s a HUGE difference… I wouldn’t call that an average.

  • zzZZzz

    @Poulet, I’m pretty sure that the overall score is not an average, but just that… an overall, subjective if you will, score from the reviewer.

    Received the phone in store today; it doesn’t seem that ugly anymore compared to my previous opinion (blue or white), but IMO if you have the GS2 it doesn’t justify shelling out cash (or break a contract) to buy this one. Great phone, sure! Worthy of an early upgrade, I wouldn’t say so.

    • omg

      wow just saw a sgs3 with CM10! >OMG< makes sammy's original software look like shite!

    • Cindy

      I read where someone said this phone isn’t worth an early upgrade…I have a blackberry bold 9700 now…it has to be better than this! Right now I’m able to upgrade and trying to decide between the Iphone 4S or this one. Anyone have an opinion on either? I don’t know a thing about andriod but I do have an ipod touch so I’m familiar with the aspects of the iphone.
      Any help would be appreciated.

  • Patrick

    I’m still deciding whether to keep my Galaxy Nexus or buy the Galaxy SIII… I heard Android OS 4.0 still runs better in Nexus than SIII? Is that true?

    • boil

      well, i would say that the galaxy s3 is more fluid and smooth.
      But one thing is that a lot of people like the vanilla ice cream sandwich experience more than any skin on top of android.
      (That means Stock ics > Touchwiz)
      id agree with that too. But i must say that the galaxy nexus lags once in a while, sometimes even with simple tasks (such as swiping through homescreens without live wallpaper and minimal widgets)
      One last thing… Sorry for the long response.

    • Kevin

      I have used both a Samsung galaxy tab and Samsung S11 lte in Downtown Toronto. Data was unusable on the tab. Switched the S11 to HPSA mode, and it also was unusable data. HPSA in the area I live in is fine. I will not buy a non-lte phone for this reason.

  • John

    Hoping my htc one s can hold its own

  • Andrew C

    Why is there a picture of the Blackberry CEO? Hidden message? Takeover bid? Just kidding…

  • Anona

    Traded in my Galaxy Nexus this morning. It will be missed. But out with the old.

  • RogersRep7

    The device is gorgerous and smooth based on my initial experience with it, but it’s not by any means head and shoulders above the Nexus, S2, Razr, etc. The One X is comparable, if not extremely similar with regard to fundamentals. If you’re coming up on your 2+ years since your last phone, I’d say definitely grab it. But early upgrade worthy? Not quite. I’m sticking with my Nexus (best phone I’ve used yet) and waiting to see what Apple brings to the table, or more likely waiting for the new Nexus / S4.

  • mike

    will the price of the nexus go down now?

  • MB

    Just search on YT ” Galaxy S3 tricks and tips” and you’ll see the phone is worth the upgrade

  • MicroSD

    @Mike. It just did. Galaxy Nexus on the google play website is now listed $350 instead of $400. The catch is, it’s only in the states I believe

    • Gr8Price

      Galaxy Nexus for $350 or
      Samsung Galaxy S2 (i9100)for $350 ?? (Virgin -Futureshop)

      Is the SGS2 still worth it, or is the Nexus @ $350 the one to go for??

    • KnightFire

      Yea, USA only. But the Nexus 7 is available on Google Play to us Canadians.

  • J

    Is that clock in the 4th pick available in the market?

  • Roger

    Fantatic phone as seen. However unless you are ready to upgrade from your contract, you might as well wait for the fall set of phones to be released.
    The next line of Nexus Phones will most definaltely be running the newer quad core chipsets and even Window phines will be running Quad core chips with High res screens…

  • Bob C

    Glen g purchase haxsync app it gives you your high resolution could contact pic’s its a must have app. I love it

  • Ref

    Can anyone get the Motion stuff to work? and or the palm swipe to take screenshot. Mine does nothing, I have tried it like 10 times

    • Tomatoes

      Features are disabled by default. You have to go into settings, motion controls, then check the boxes.

  • Azzo

    I went to check this bad boy at The source @ Eaton Centre. I can’t believe how extremely amazing this phone was. i couldn’t take my eyes off it. Its really fast, all the features are sick and the way the phone feels extremely confortable in the hand is really nice. I can go on and on but i this review explains it all.

    ps. Bell & virgin have a deal were you can get 125$ in store credit. They also have the trade in your own phone for more money. (i believe this is only @ the source.)

    • Gr8Price

      The trade in at the Souce is only on THREE YR CONTRACT, so you can forget about it.

      Virgin has the phone for $600, I wonder if you have to get a 3yr contract to get the $125?
      If you do, you are better off paying $600 and saving your money going month to month, you will recover it in one yr.

  • monsterduc1000

    To everyone who does not like TouchWiz, please understand it is only Samsungs launcher and can be replaced with a different one such as Nova Launcher(the one I am using), LauncherPro, GoLauncher and so forth. That is the blessing of Android. If you do not like it, replace it with a better version :)

    • Pauly

      Agreed… I like the Go one and may use it when I get the S3

  • ddenn

    whats the availability like right now?
    the headphone jack on my infuse 4g is busted, and i have Best buy’s warranty thing. have been waiting to switch phones now.

  • Sergei Mutovkin

    If Mobilicity or Wind version were unlocked, would it be an LTE phone working well on Rogers?

    • Eluder

      No, that is an HSPA only variant, not LTE, so if you plan on using it on LTE, you have to buy it from Rogers or Bellus.

    • Nitin Gaba

      Sergei,

      No the Wind/Mob is the AWS version and even if it has the LTE radios built in it would probably require a software update for it to work on LTE as it is only HSPA+.

  • David

    I was planning on waiting for the release of the iphone 5 and bb10 to compare products to see which I should get, but after reading this, i already decided on the galaxy s3 :D

  • Drone

    ONly one month left on my contract with rogers, would like to upgrade to this bad boy but i want one of those retention deals from rogers? any tips on how to get it?

  • andrew

    first off thanks for the review!
    second I wish that I could get the rogers version of the phone and unlock it but I think I will spend some time in germany soonish and it doesnt appear like the rogers version will work there, as the frequencies in germany are GSM 900/1800.
    I ordered the int version from newegg today and reading this review I am sad to see my download speeds are going to be s**t compared to the north american version!!

  • Michael

    Just picked up an S3 for my wife today through Wind. She loves it! Happy wife = happy life!

  • Richard

    Galaxy sII held up as the best phone for a whole year and now this phone should do the same. upgrade, i guess depends on how much cash you want to shell out. For me I don’t care cause its a write off and I got the cash. If you’re on a limited budget things obviously change

    • KingK

      It will be blown away in September/October.

    • vinai kumar singh

      20000 Rs.

  • Gian

    wheree did u ifnd the cbc music its awol vrywhere i lookk

  • Jesse

    I think the build quality is just poor. If Samsung adopted the polycarbonate shell that HTC and Nokia have used, I would be a lot more inclined to purchase a Samsung phone period.

    • Bob

      It’s the opposite. Build quality is much higher on this device than on those in metal and/or glass because it will survive much better to a drop because of the absorption of plastic.

      What you meant is that you don’t like the look of this device. It’s all about taste and aesthetic, and has nothing to do with build quality.

  • Thomas

    NOOO! It doesnt have the Wolfson chip? Damn!! That might actually be a deal breaker for me. I have a GS2 and might just wait it out now…not even kidding.

    When I read about audip apps closing randomly I felt your pain. The GS2 suffered from that for about 8 months. Was the most annoying thing ever.

  • LiightSkiinBoii

    This phone is sexayyy and flawless smoothness and fastest phone I’ve ever used glad I got it doesnt disappoint at all

  • Pete

    i have the same problem with audio apps stopping. had the same issue on my sgs2. haven’t been able to figure it out yet. if anyone has any ideas I’d love to hear them!

  • art

    I just ordered mine yesterday and can’t wait! This will be my first venture into the Android world for a smartphone. Reading all the positive reviews makes me think I made the right decision.

  • Simian

    I was considering picking up a One X but has me re-thinking it. I’m not the biggest fan of Samsungs overlay and, since I use my handset as a music player on the go, the app closing is troubling but all in all this is pretty damn tempting… I mean if I hadn’t re-upped my 3 year on Rogers for a GNex in January AND hadn’t just pre-ordered a Nexus 7.

  • Roaj Sahndeep

    Polycarbonate is plastic, just a fancier name.

    I recently worked for an HTC program and was told by the HTC trainer that polycarbonate is just the name we should use to make it sound better than plastic, but that truthfully it means the same thing

    • RogersRep7

      This is incorrect. Saying “plastic is plastic” is like saying “a car is a car”. The TYPE of plastic is what matters, and PC is one of the strongest, densest plastics available for mass production in a variety of products. most safety glasses are made from PC. Pick up a water bottle made of PET plastic (most generic brands use this) and a bottle made of PC and try to tell me “plastic is plastic”.

      But I’m sure you’d rather have a Geo Metro instead of a BMW to drive around in. “Beemer” is just a fancier name for a vehicle, right?

    • Real Monkey Face

      RogersRep->You just confirmed the posters assertion that plastic is just plastic. A car is a car, despite one being a Beamer and the other being a s**t box. It’s still a damn car. It’s like me calling you a moron or a r****d. It doesn’t matter what I call you, they’re just synonyms of calling you stupid.

  • Peednhsa Jaor

    I too worked for HTC program, but I was also invited to Samsung’s program. Met the people behind the design, and they said polycarbonate means shut up and buy the phone.

  • kinwolf

    I take it this picture is not taken from a Rogers version. I have no FM radio on it and it peeves me to no end. Why do carriers remove built-in features like that!!! Anyone knows how to get FM radio on the Rogers GS3? I inatalled FM Spirit light but it’s not working either.

  • TheBoze

    your overall score should total 8.9, not 9.5

  • Awkward Turtle

    I apologize for my ignorance, as I haven’t really been following the GS3 news. But why aren’t we getting quad core here in Canada? I always thought of the processor as being the main upgrade with each Galaxy S device or generation of high end smartphones in general.

  • kinwolf

    @Awkward Turtle That’s because the quad core CPU from Nvidia(Tegra 3 I think?) is not compatible with LTE chipsets at the moment, so they had to use the Snapdragon double-core instead.

  • OGOD

    I think GSMARENA’s review is better…, just an opinion.

  • monit

    How can we get the clock to show like that on the lock screen? Also how can we get the battery percent on the picture showing 46% discharging? Thanks appreciated.

  • TKG2666

    Loving my new gs3!!!!

    So far battery is like all other’s 9hrs and at 35% already

  • iOS

    I do actually like the design of the samsung galaxy S iii. But I’ve seen it in person and it is just so unnecessarily massive. A phone should not be that huge.

  • hihihi

    9.5 for design for this hideous thing?

    LOL what a joke.

  • rich

    i just got the galaxy s3 with telus – no fm radio – anybody knouws why?

  • art

    I just got my email saying that the phone has been shipped! I will be anxiously waiting for it. I will post my likes/dislikes once I get some time with it next week. Happy Canada Day everyone!

  • arcsvibe

    Wow this looks amazing! Got go and play with one :-)

  • Steve Dion

    Where is the part of the review that mentions the heat issue from doing basic browsing the web. Also the crashing of apps and bad wifi performance. Yes perfect Android.

    • kinwolf

      If your phone has those problem, you should quickly return it. I have none of the problems you describe and I’ve been using the S3 ALOT since I got it. Looks like yours has a defective chip in it that overheat and cause trouble.

    • Jeff

      I have this phone and I know others who have this phone and I never herd or experience such problems.

  • Rajnikant Sharma

    Its a smartest ever phone with greatest features and better that LUMIA.

  • MaXiM

    My 2c – and again, it it a personal opinion – I had BB Bold, Storm, Iphone 3G, Iphone 4S, Nokia Lumia, Sony Ericsson and older models from Samsung or LG… so on, mine or from work.
    Don’t get me wrong, the screen is great (not greatest), blazing speed (applications and network) – but holding this phone in my hand was indeed like holding a piece of plastic. Sorry to say, but I am used to much more sturdiness, that feeling that you hold indeed a flagship item of a big company. Even compared with SII is behind in craftmanship. This phone might be good for the ones who can afford to pay the full price upfront, but I don’t see it functional after the usual 3 years-canadian-contract.

  • passerby

    “I noticed no detectable hiss or buzz even from high ohm headphones.”

    High impedance headphones are affected LESS by background noise.

  • Garnet L

    I’d love to try one!

  • Marvin

    I like roaming from one provider to another, incliding big ROBELUS and Wind/Mobilicity, also using local SIM cards when in Europe. That kept me on Google phones – Nexus S, now GNex. With all the awesomeness of S3, which version is the best? Or some won’t work at all on some providers (Bell’s on Wind?) or might work but with cripple speeds (using Wind’s on Telus LTE or O2 in UK?). Is there an S3 to rule them all?

  • LAUREL KEATING

    looks amazing love the reviews

  • Riley

    My Galaxy SIII should be here later today and I’m getting antsy waiting for it! I have the Galaxy S from two years ago, so I am ready for this upgrade! I’m really looking forward to using the LTE network since I’ve heard so much good about it from my Dish co-workers. I use the Dish Remote Access app to stream shows from my Sling Adapter-connected receiver to my phone all the time. I can’t begin to explain how great it was being able to stream the soccer games while I waiting for my flight last week. I know that the apps will work wonders on the Galaxy SIII once it gets here.

  • cole

    I found those audio problems as well on my Galaxy Nexus. It’s not an issue, most likely with the GS3, but with the CBC Radio app trying to stay in memory and stealing focus from another running audio app.

  • Jimmer

    Can anyone tell me the advantages of buying the 32 Gb over the 16? If I buy a large SD card for the 16 it will give me plenty of storage. Is the 32 for people who want maximum room or does built-in have an advantage over a chip?

  • Me-too

    Does anyone have the FM-radio working on a Telus version. I cannot find the app on my S III.

  • H-bomb

    A word of caution to those considering buying this. Samsung phones are great when they work. Too bad the same cannot be said for their customer service and warranty policies. My Galaxy Nexus mic wont work so I sent it in (6 months old). They claim there is evidence of “liquid damage” to the micro USB in the form of corrosion so they voided the warranty, even thought there is no evidence of liquid damage anywhere inside. Thing is I never exposed this phone to any liquid at all. They tell me it could have been condensation, to which I said that if that is able to damage their phone then they have a serious design flaw on their hand. Their response to me was to send me an email of their warranty policy. Its not even about the money. Its that I have lost confidence in their phones abilities to withstand normal everyday use, and the complete lack of respect with which they treated me. If Samsung is going to compete with Apple they need to step it up and deliver the whole package including customer care. Just my experience….I don’t know what other people have found. Be curious to hear some HTC or Nokia experiences.

    • Jimmer

      Rogers/Apple did the same thing to me a few years back. Sent a little pic of a strip inside that changed colour. Wouldn’t even send the phone back to me. Crooks!

  • Davide

    I am new to Android just upgraded from a Blackberry. One thing I cannot figure out how to do is how to get an actual spellcheck and autocorrect to work. I know there is Predictive Text..which predicts the world you want to type but for me I don’t want that. My wife has an iphone and she can type and things will get auto corrected and will indentify if there is a spelling error.

  • Davide

    can someone tell me how to get spell check and auto correct to work? I know there is the option for Predictive text, but I want to be able to type something without it attempting to predict what the word is.

  • Dave

    Comment for Ian.

  • Terran juice

    wow u fandriod worship this phone lol

  • Mark

    Well my phone died with in a month! The time to fix is unreal and the service is next to 0! Save yourself the headache and get a real phone that works! If thinking about going with Rogers save yourself the time next to 0 customer service! So my advice move on and not much to see here folks!

  • gordawn

    DOES IT COMPARE TO THE BB BOLD? THINKING OF CHANGEING.

  • sml

    this phone is a big piece of plastic sh it

  • Zac

    I just upgraded from Galaxy S2 to S3. Overall, I like it a lot and the battery was huge improvement. But I found the Wifi reception seems weaker than S2. My router is in the basement. With S2, I always got 2 or 3Wifi bar on the second floor. With S3, most time 0 or 1 wifi bar (wifi still works with 0 bar). Also, pictures takes a bit more time to launch. You will see “loading” on screen when trying to open a picture. I did not see this in S2 either.

    Does anybody have similar issue and is there any fix?

  • jayzero

    i have (had) the galaxy s3 for a week and the screen broke on the phone. it dropped from around 20cm on the floor. it has gorilla glass 2 and that is very strong glass and it should handle it with no problem but how samsung build the phone it gives the screen to much pressure on the edges so it will break it in one second. soon with a little hit on the edge of the phone.
    think about before buying the phone.i never had a case for my phones and never problems with it!!!

    • Peter Shelton

      Exact same thing happend to mine. It made me so sad :(

  • kanika oberoi

    wow

  • vinai kumar singh

    nice phone

  • vinai kumar singh

    20000

  • Makayla

    Does the international version work with Rogers?