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Samsung Galaxy S III ReviewDigit Rating: Excellent4.5/5
- Most powerful Android smartphone in the market
- Brilliant display
- Good battery life, considering the power available
- We feel it is built well
- Excellent camera
- TouchWiz has evolved into the slickest UI around
BUYMRP: 42500Available at 1 store/(s) 25500BUY
- S-Voice does not have any sense of humour
- May be too big for some users
- Does clearly heat up under most usage scenarios
Ladies and gentlemen, this is undoubtedly the most powerful Android smartphone at the moment. And it doesn't look like anyone is taking that crown away from the Galaxy S III in a hurry. We have to vehemently defend Samsung against all the criticisms regarding the Pentile display and the so-called plasticky build quality. In both cases, the final product is absolutely brilliant, and totally worth the effort.Powered By: http://www.91mobiles.com
Features & Specifications
On the spec sheet, the Samsung Galaxy SII comes across as an extremely loaded device. The specs look something like this – Exynos 4212 Quad Core processor clocking at 1.4GHz, 1GHz RAM, the Mali-400MP graphics and 16GB internal storage with a microSD slot for up to 64GB more. One look at the spec sheet, and you know that it matches the HTC One X for the most part, and then just takes it a notch further with the graphics bit.
The 4.8-inch display is 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, and is the Super AMOLED with the Gorilla Glass 2 treatment. Samsung has faced a lot of flack for the Pentile display, but the results in reality don’t have any negative impact on the package. We will explain that in detail in the performance section.
Android ICS version loaded on this phone is the 4.0.4 version. While it doesn’t look very different, you can easily make out that a lot of work has gone into the TouchWiz UI. It is not only more functional, particularly with the more workable widgets on ICS, but seems to have been optimized immensely to work well between the hardware and the software. This is one grudge that we hold against HTC and the One X. Sense as a visual element is possibly the most visually UI, but beyond that, it does more harm than good. With TouchWiz, there are a bunch of improvements that are aimed at the “one touch” solution. Slide down the notification bar, and you find a bunch of quick toggles, which can be swiped left and right within the dropdown. The tiny settings icon takes you to the whole settings menu.
Press the volume rocker, and you get the neatly laid out volume sliders for the call volume, speaker volume and the notifications. The lock screen is possibly the most interesting bit – turn on the display, swipe anywhere on the display, and it unlocks. Not without the ripple effect on the display and the water sound, telling you about it’s nature based inspiration every single time! After a while, you may just want to turn the sound off! I think it is safe to say that with the TouchWiz, we don’t feel the need to rush to the Play Store and download an alternative home UI. Running across the base of all the home screens is a set of 4 application shortcuts. Fully customizable, but that cannot be said for the four shortcuts on the lock screen – call, ChatOn, browser and camera.
The pop-up play feature lets you multitask while playing back a video on the phone. This is true for all videos that may be on the local storage, and even network storage accessed via the gallery. Once the video starts playing, tap the Pop-up icon, and the video window converts into a small popup and sits in one corner of the display, with the previous screen visible in the background. You can then slide the video pop-up around to place it wherever. Useful feature, and it works very smoothly. Not sure how many people will really use this feature regularly, beyond the initial “look ma, the multitasking on the S III is awesome” phase.
For the India-specific demographic, Siri on the iPhone doesn’t really work, unless you really have too much time and patience to make it understand the accent. Same issue plagues Samsung’s response to Siri - the S-Voice app. To access S-voice, you need to double tap the home key. Now, either tap the mic, and start talking, or say “Hi Galaxy” to wake it up. It is all fair and good to have this feature to act as a sandbag against the boasting of the iPhone 4S totters, but in reality, the current avatars don’t work. And S-Voice definitely doesn’t have Siri’s humour and wittiness.
Smart Stay, on the other hand, is something that works well. It is nothing revolutionary, but the functionality and comfort added to the usage pattern is immense. Essentially, when enabled, the front facing camera will track your eyes (in reality, it is the face as a whole) and keep the display on, irrespective of the time-out setting, as long as you are looking at it. We were testing this, and while the display stayed on as long as we were looking at it, it did dim after a while of no user input. This feature works well, and will be very useful if you are reading a long mail, or an interesting article in an app or the browser. Be aware though, that the battery life will take a bit of a hit, considering the front facing camera will be constantly active in the tracking function.
Another interesting feature is the Direct Dial motion feature. If you have a contact's details open on the display, just bring the phone close to the ear, and the Galaxy SIII will immediately dial the default contact number. For this to work, Motion Activation needs to be checked in the Motion menu in the settings.
Samsung users can sign in with their Dropbox accounts and claim 50GB free storage for 2 years. We take that as a bonus feature, because it will appeal only to a limited demographic. Others will either prefer to expand local storage, or choose to be limited by the 3G connectivity caps on tariff plans and the charges post the cap limit.
Visit page three to read about the Galaxy S III's performance, and our verdict...Platform: Android 4.0.4; Processor: Exynos 4212 Quad Core processor clocking at 1.4GHz; RAM: 1GB; Display: 4.8-inch Super AMOLED, 1280x 720 pixels, Gorilla Glass 2; Storage: 16GB, with microSD slot up to 64GB, plus Dropbox free storage of 50GB for 2 years; Camera: 8MP with 1080p HD videos; Battery: 2100mah
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