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Samsung Galaxy S3: Disappointment Or Win? Part 1

Eric McBride
28

 

I'm actually really glad that the cat is finally out of the bag for Samsungs newest flagship. You've probably already heard that the Samsung Galaxy S3 made its official debut yesterday, and it's making big noise as expected. Is the device impressive? Yes. Will it sell well? Most likely yes. Is it powerful? Yes. Feature packed? Yes. Is it worth selling the phone you have now to put towards purchasing? That's a hard one. Did it live up to expectations? Again, a very difficult question to answer. As much as I am glad to see the Samsung Galaxy S3 finally in the wild, I'm still very undecided as to how I feel about the device. Despite the impressive hardware and some very cool features, it's hard for me to really label this phone as the end all king of the Android kingdom device. Why? Because despite the things that Samsung got right with the device, they also got a lot wrong.

(These are naturally only my personal thoughts on the GS3, which can and will differ for everyone. If you like a phone, you should buy it based on how YOU feel about it, and not based on the opinions of others).

What they got right and what could have been better

As speculated before, Samsung did indeed go with using their quad core Exynos 4412 quad core processor, which is of course a good thing. At this point, we can only confirm the global version of the phone will ship with the quad core chip, as in the US it's still being speculated that it will indeed ship with a Snapdragon 4 dual core chip due to US LTE compatibility. This also happened with the US version of the HTC One X, as HTC dropped Tegra 3 in favor of the S4 chip from Qualcomm. So for LTE carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, a dual core chip makes sense. T-Mobile however runs a 4G HSPA+ network, meaning that it could play well with the global S3's quad core chip.

The front facing camera having a 1.9MP HD camera with flash was a nice surprise, and I VERY much welcome the edition of a microSD slot, which is something I very much miss with my Galaxy Nexus. S-Voice, the Samsung Siri variant is an enexpectedly nice surprise, along with the direct calling ability that basically lets your phone know when you're wanting to call or text message, and adjusts accordingly. The 4.8 inch 1280×720 HD Super AMOLED Pentile display is great, but I was really hoping for that same screen with a "PLUS“ on the end of it. The wireless charging feature was VERY welcome, and I'm really happy to see a tier one company finally shipping devices with this functionality being pushed as a unique selling point. 

The phone coming in blue and white is kinda nice, but I still would have liked to see a black version. I have my reasons for why I think they didn't release a black one (listed in the next article discussing what they got wrong), and although I'm not a fan of phones that aren't black or grey in color, the 2 available colors do look pretty good. Again, I'm not whining about these details, but am simply stating they would have been nice to see. I still do feel that Samsung got it more or less right on the screen, many of the features, and with hardware in general. 

Release date was on point, and I like knowing I can pick up this phone in 25 days in Europe and shortly after in the US (if I were going to buy it). Sure, Apple does it faster, but we all have seen the horror stories about people trying to get an iPhone after its release date. I'm not waiting in line 2 days for ANY phone, and have no problem waiting a few weeks to order one. Samsung also hit the nail on the head in terms of availability, as the device will be up for grabs in 145 countries with 296 operators pushing it.

As you can see, Samsung got a lot right with this device. It's fast, it's powerful, great screen, unexpected features that rival the iPhone, and worldwide availability. It's all there, and will most likely be a huge hit with consumers, which is GREAT for Android. But did they get everything right? In my opinion, they certainly didn't, and we'll discuss what they got wrong in part 2 of this article. 

What do you guys think? Did Samsung nail it, or did they hold back?

Stay tuned for part 2!

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Comments

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  • Ti Mo May 4, 2012 Link

    I think they nailed it. I absolutely love it!

    But I dont know if I should get it or wait for the Huawei Ascend d Quad. I mean the hardware is gonna be the same for the Huawei, but it wont have S Voice, Wireless Charging and so on..

    But then on the other hand Im just a poor Student who doesnt just have 600 bucks...

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  • Eric McBride May 4, 2012 Link

    If I were you, I would wait for the next Nexus phone :-D

    But thats just me!

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  • Stefan E. May 4, 2012 Link

    HD AMOLED without PenTile at that small (yes, small) screen size is simply not technically possible at the moment. It would require 50% more subpixels which would (if possible to manufacture at all) significantly reduce the display lifetime.

    I am yet undecided if I like the tons and tons of Samsung software on it, some sound nice, but most would probably be just bloat to me in the end. I guess I prefer a slimmer approach. The hardware seems quite solid, though.

    But I really don't like the dated Gingerbreadish button configuration. At least they could have turned the menu key into a quick switching one like on the HTC One series, but I'd much rather had the device utilizing a software navigation bar, maybe even be a few millimeters shorter in turn.

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  • Eric McBride May 4, 2012 Link

    Good point on the AMOLED on the Pentile display. But as far as lifeline goes, 2 years would be possible right? Guess thats not enough for mass consumers though.

    Totally on your side about the Sammy software and the button config. Touchwiz is FULL of bloatware, and I wish they would have taken the Asus approach and left it more stock with their skin. But seeing Touchwiz doesnt surprise me.

    As far as the physcial buttons and overall config, I also dont like it. I talk about that as one of the things they got wrong in part 2 of the article (going live in around an hour).

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  • PatPion May 4, 2012 Link

    @Stefan and @Eric, I agree with your thoughts about the physical buttons. But to be fair, I believe they need to keep it like that because it still familiar to the 30 million people who bought the S2. Also, they need to differentiate it from the Galaxy Nexus, and I think the next Nexus will also be a Sammy, so they can't have them looking too much the same from the front. I still think its pretty, though.

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  • Eric McBride May 4, 2012 Link

    I hope to God the next Nexus is from Sammy. It will be a GS3 that looks sexier with the same hardware running stock android. I had a feeling this would happen. But still, its by no means a bad phone. I just expected more.

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  • PatPion May 4, 2012 Link

    Be careful Eric, you are falling into an 'Apple-trap'. :-) iPhone4S much? :-D

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  • Eric McBride May 4, 2012 Link

    NO! I have never actually been a fan of the Galaxy series :-D The Gnexus was the first Sammy phone I ever bought! I wont fall for the trap!!! I just need stock android with a big screen and quad core (or dual core 2ghz :-D) running inside!

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  • Stefan E. May 4, 2012 Link

    I half expected them to make a qHD AMOLED Plus at 4.8", which would probably work. But I doubt that would be a smart move as I think that PenTile hate is very vocal in the Internet but a very small part of the customers would prefer the upper configuration to what actually is in the device.

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  • PatPion May 4, 2012 Link

    I think a PenTile phone has a very specific market, and is not what was ever intended for what is supposed to be the money maker, best seller.

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  • Eric McBride May 4, 2012 Link

    Stefan, if you dont mind me asking..are you an engineer? Just asking because you really know your hardware! :-D

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  • Eric McBride May 4, 2012 Link

    I agree Theunis. That market is VERY specific.

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  • murat mumcu May 4, 2012 Link

    superrrrrrrr

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  • Stefan E. May 4, 2012 Link

    I am just a software developer with personal interest in technology.

    @Theunis: I am not sure if I got you right. You are saying PenTile is not meant for the masses? Then you are wrong. The masses buy it and don't care because only a very small minority looks at the screen through a magnifier.

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  • Ti Mo May 4, 2012 Link

    Uh personal off topic question to Stefan(sorry :P)
    But I wanna be a software developer too some day.. How long did you go to College? For who do you work?
    How much experience do you think is necessary to be able to develop an App?

    Back to topic:
    @Eric: I just dont get it why you love Stock Android 4 so much. I got it on my Desire HD and its just getting boring after 5 minutes :D TouchWiz looks better to me...
    And i would switch to a Sense 4 Rom, but the Camera doesnt work on it and I really need the Camera :(

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  • Eric McBride May 4, 2012 Link

    Guess thats just a personal thing. I have always preferred stock android, especially since ICS looks and runs so perfect. Skins simply dont run as fast as stock, and while I do think Sense 4.0 looks good, I thing stock looks much sexier :-D

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  • PatPion May 4, 2012 Link

    @Stefan - Sorry, what I meant to say is exactly that. That the masses don't really care about that kind of detail.

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  • Eric McBride May 4, 2012 Link

    People dont care..very true. I meant the same..the market of people that CARE is actually very small :-D

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  • Ti Mo May 4, 2012 Link

    But it might be because almost everything I have becomes boring to me after a little bit. It's always the same. I got a sexy new phone.. 3 days the next phone comes out and I just wanna have it and my phone is boring and sucks :D
    It'd be the same with the s3..I just gotta have it now but in 2 months I'd already wanna have a new phone haha
    Man I gotta get a good job and become rich so I can buy a new phone every other month :D

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  • PatPion May 4, 2012 Link

    I have to agree with Eric about stock Android. I have worked with Sense, and with Touchwiz before. It's a subjective opinion of course, but the stock version on my Nexus just looks better to me, and runs smarter and easier than the skins. Even stock Honeycomb on my tablet (and yes, I know its only for tablets) seems to run smoother than some ICS skins have played around with.

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  • Stefan E. May 4, 2012 Link

    @Ti Mo: sorry, but I am not going to discuss my CV here. :)

    Generally what you have to do to become a good developer is develop! Sounds like trivial advice but i really mean it. Especially if you want to develop mobile apps: get the tools, the basics are all free, and start reading tutorials (there are tons). Experiment, adapt examples, try finding your own ideas and tackle them.

    Don't be disappointed if the first results aren't satisfactory - in the long run, everything you look back to after a few years will be terrible, as that is a good indicator that you improved your skill, which a good developer always has to. But I can't tell you the best way to get into paid business - I struggled and stumbled myself, but still got where I wanted to go eventually. Mind that I am not an app developer! Just working on that area in my spare time when I can get myself motivated, which will become a lot harder again on the 15th of May, if you know what I mean... ;)

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  • Ti Mo May 4, 2012 Link

    Haha okay I understand that you don't wanna discuss your cv. Just one more question.. In which field of software development do you Work?

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  • Stefan E. May 4, 2012 Link

    Individual business software.

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  • Brody D. May 4, 2012 Link

    @Ti Mo, Huawei do have incredibly competitive prices don't they. Do you have any idea how they manage to sell phones so well priced? Maybe they borrowed a big loan and are selling for just over production costs to get their name out and gain publicity. :)

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  • Eric McBride May 4, 2012 Link

    Chinese company bro. That's how :-) Just like the Xiaomi mi one phone. Sold for 300 usd and had better specs than gs2 or anything from HTC. Chinese company :-)

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  • Brody D. May 4, 2012 Link

    Chinese phones seem ok, not sure about other products like cars though (eg Great Wall) :)

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  • PatPion May 4, 2012 Link

    Give China 10 years. They are booming now. They are the new Japan of the east. Their cars will become as competative.

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    Christopher Silva May 5, 2012 Link

    I think all the features once realized by users will make this phone a total hit! Like I mentioned in the other post, it will take time just like with the S2 but this phone will rock the planet...

    I want to have it now.... please.

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