Last Thursday on 24 May 2012, Samsung Malaysia Electronics (SME) officially announced the launch of the much anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III in Malaysia through an exclusive Media Launch event. Read about my coverage here.
From that post, you’d know that I got my hands on an exclusive yet unreleased unit of the Samsung Galaxy S III for review. This gives me to give you an exclusive sneak peek on the smartphone and answer any questions that you have before it’s (rumoured to be) released end of the month.
Needless to say, I was super excited to get my review unit of the Samsung Galaxy S III at the end of the event last week. See my happy face!
So, here’s a quick unboxing post on what you’d find in the package of the latest Android super phone.
The packaging is very much like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S II (read my review on it here).
Just to recap, here’s a quick highlight of the smartphone’s specifications:-
- 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED display
- 1.4 GHz quad core Exynos processor
- 16 GB, 32 GB (possible 64 GB) internal memory (with expandable microSD slot)
- Available in 2 colours; Pebble Blue and Marble White
- Powered by Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (with Samsung TouchWiz UI)
- 8 megapixel rear camera, 1.9 megapixel front facing camera
- 8.5 mm thin, weighing only 133 grams
- Li-Ion 2,100 mAh battery
Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy S III
Inside, you’ll find the gorgeous 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED screen in all it’s glory. The screen sticker highlights it all. It boasts a quad core CPU processor, the 2nd Android phone to include this right after the HTC One X. My review on that will be coming soon as well.
Samsung has included NFC (Near Field Communication) in this phone, along with Google’s plans to bring this technology to all. NFC is basically like your Touch N Go technology. You tap your phone to NFC readers to pay, transfer files, etc.
Inside the box, once you remove the smartphone, you’ll find the usual suspects – User manuals, charger adapter, micro USB charger cable, Samsung in-ear headphones and a Li-Ion 2,100 mAh battery. The battery on the older SGS2 is 1,650 mAh. This is quite the boost.
For the first time, Samsung is using a micro USB charging cable. No longer is it the proprietary Samsung 30 pin, long flat cable.
The hardware is of the phone is very reminiscent of its predecessor. Other than some minor modification, the SGS3 is a larger, rounder corners, more refined version of SGS2.
Clockwise from top left…
At the front of the device, you’ll see the gorgeous 4.8 inches HD Super AMOLED screen. Samsung has always been great with their display technology and this is no exception. The screen looks crisp, vivid and gorgeous as always.
There is a front facing camera at the top, which not only is used for video calling, but also for self portrait picture and video. Yes… and video. You can now take self video for the camwhores like me. There is the usual proximity sensor next to the camera – which dims the screen when you’re taking a phone call.
At 8.6mm thin, the phone is indeed slim and thin. The power button is on the right while the volume toggles are on the left. This took me awhile to adjust, actually. The 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top, while the micro USB slot is at the bottom of the device.
At the bottom, like the SGS2, there is a physical home button at the centre. Unlike the rectangular, rounded corners one on SGS2, Samsung has made the SGS3 home button thinner. Personally, I don’t like this too much. I know it makes it look more refined, but it’s a little too thin for comfortable pressing. Like the SGS2 though, there is the usual capacitive buttons for “Menu” on the left and “Back” button on the right. The lights for these capacitive buttons come on only when you press it.
At the back, you’ll find the 8 megapixel camera with LED flash by the left side. On the right, there is a small little square speaker. A bit of an odd placement, I feel.
I think I have a slight manufacturing faulty device in my hand with this review unit.
The “Menu” capacitive button is missing its blue light. Although, the menu function is working. Just missing the light. Odd.
Samsung Galaxy S III vs Samsung Galaxy S II
Quick comparison of the new Samsung Galaxy S III vs the older Samsung Galaxy S II (which sold over 20 million units worldwide, by the way):-
For the full spec comparison, check out GSM Arena’s link HERE.
Samsung Galaxy S III vs HTC One X
No doubt, the Samsung Galaxy S III will be compared to the other flagship Android smartphone that just recently hit the market – the HTC One X. Luckily, I have the HTC One X on hand, so I couldn’t resist the hardware comparisons. (Yes, hardware only, OK?)
SGS3 has a 4.8′ HD Super AMOLED screen, while the HTC One X has a 4.7″ Super IPS LCD2 screen. While both screens have its pros and cons, it is truly up to your personal preference which you prefer. In terms of built quality though, HTC One X takes the prize. The unibody polycarbonate body feels superior and well made. Samsung’s device however, uses the same material (plastic) as the SGS2.
Samsung Galaxy S III, like it’s older brother has a removable backplate to access your battery, micro SIM and microSD slots. HTC One X on the other hand has built in batteries that are non-removable, has no microSD expansion slots and microSIM accessible at the top using a pin included in the box. SGS3 is glossy white, so can be a bit of a fingerprint magnet, while the HTC1X has a matte finish that feels rubber like.
Both the SGS3 and HTC1X has 8 megapixel rear cameras with LED Flash. Hardware wise, the Samsung camera was better built. Eventhough it juts out just a few millimetres, it doesn’t protrude too much like the HTC. This is annoying when you place the phone on its back, the camera gets scratched easily.
Both Samsung and HTC has improved their camera functions tremendously – both offering unique features on its camera software functions that sets itself apart from the so many Android phones in the market. More on this in my full review.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is thinner at 8.6mm, while the HTC One X is 8.9mm thin. The curve design of the SGS3 makes it look really sexy, with a thin chrome line along the sides. However, the HTC One X is lighter at 130 grams, while the Samsung Galaxy S III weighs in at 133 grams. In your hand, however, the SGS3 feels lighter.
Conclusion on first impression
On the first official day I walked out in public with the Samsung Galaxy S III, I do get some head turns from true geeks like myself. People stopping me to ask, “Is that the new Galaxy S3? But it’s not out yet?”
After fondling it for a couple of seconds, general impression is that it is a sexy device. It feels very good in your hands. It looks sexy. The screen looks gorgeous and crisp. It seems like some Apple fanbois might even be converted.
Here I am with the Samsung Galaxy S III in hand, next to my face. In case you were wondering if the 4.8″ screen seems too huge. Compared to the 3.7″ iPhone, of course it’s big. With more and more Android phone getting to this 4.X inch size (except 5.3″ phablets like Galaxy Note), you’d grow to love the size and wonder how you ever lived with 3.X inches before.
Two thumb typing is much easier with this screen size. Watching videos (like YouTube) with this size is way better than a 3.X inch screen. With the display technology improvement, the screen size is pure joy to use.
I will be using the Samsung Galaxy S III as my primary device for the next full week, at least. As a moderate to heavy user, it would be a real test for the device.
My full review of the SGS3 will be coming in a week or two. Other than the usual daily use and Samsung’s feature highlights, do drop your comment on what you’d like me to test on this device. Stay tuned…