• Just got our Samsung Galaxy S III


    I just got a Samsung Galaxy S III with LTE support. I'm using it on TELUS. This is a work in progress so I won't be done for a few more days. I'll also be comparing it with the quad core varient soon so after you read this check back in a couple of days - there will be more.



    In just 3 short years we've gone from Samsung Galaxy to Galaxy S III. What a ride.
    Under the hood:

    My S III supports LTE and has 32GB of storage with a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 dual core processor. It's the same processor you find in the LTE HTC One X.



    Out of the 32GB of storage 26.26GB is available. There is 2GB of RAM, double what you get from last year's Android flagships.

    The Body:

    The body has a metallic look to it. It's actually plastic with a deep looking clear coat which gives it some depth.

    Even though it's a plastic phone it feels solid even though it's very light.



    There are 3 buttons along the bottom: menu, home and back. It's different than most other Android 4.0 devices which have a back, home and task switcher button. On the S III you can press and hold the home button to bring up the task switcher. I much prefer this setup.



    In front is the status LED, earpiece and 1.9MP camera.



    On top is the 3.5mm headphone jack



    Power button



    Volume buttons



    I like how the microUSB is on the bottom. That configuration makes the most sense to me (unless you use your phone in landscape mode a lot).



    The 8MP camera is on the back along with the flash and speaker.



    Behind the battery cover is the 2100mAh battery, micro SIM slot and microSDHC card slot (accepts up to 64GB cards).

    Compared to the HTC One X:



    Size-wise the S III is more or less the same as the One X.



    The HTC One X has a 4.7" 1280x720 display while the Galaxy S III's measures 4.8" with the same resolution.

    Both have roughly the same viewing angles. The HTC One X's display is slightly sharper because it's not arranged in a pentile matrix like the S III's though to be honest, the difference isn't dramatic like it is on lower resolution pentile displays. When it comes to such high resolution displays the difference just isn't as noticeable. Still, it would have been nice if the S III's subpixels had the same layout as the S II's 480x800 display.


    The S III's display is on top while the One X is on the bottom.

    The HTC One X's colour feels a little more washed out though some find it's more accurate than the S III's which has a lot of pop. Personally, I go for the pop since I don't always look at my phone under optimal viewing conditions.

    The S III has much deeper blacks. It's the main reason why the S III's screen has so much pop. Both are similar in direct sunlight.

    Both the One X and S III have fantastic cutting-edge displays.

    The HTC One X's matte finish feels, well it feels much more matte. My HTC One X is an absolute scratch and scuff magnet so I'm guessing the S III's finish will be more durable. Speaking of finish the S III feels very similar to my Galaxy S, it's got that lacquered plastic feel to it.

    You get a one piece unibody with the One X but the S III doesn't feel shabby either because its battery cover connects at numerous spots.

    Both have the same processor though the S III has double the RAM (2GB vs 1GB). I'll be honest, I'm not sure users will notice the difference between 2GB an 1GB.

    The One X here in North America ships with 16GB of which a paltry 9.9GB is available. I wouldn't mind that except that the One X doesn't have a microSDHC slot so you can't expand the storage. The S III is available in 16GB and 32GB sizes. You still have 26.6GB available with the 32GB. Using that math the 16GB probably has around 11GB available. Regardless, both S III's have a microSDHC card slot which can take up to 64GB cards. In my opinion the microSDHC card slot is one of the most important differences between the 2 devices.

    Another difference is the battery. The HTC One X has 1800mAh battery while the S III has a 2100mAh.

    Menus:



    One feature I've always liked about Samsung Touchwiz are the feature toggles when you pull the notification area down.



    Something new is when you adjust the volume, you can press the button next to the volume display to change other the other volume settings (phone, media and alerts).

    So far it's pretty cool. The screen looks great. Its very sharp. I don't really notice that it's a pentile display with the default color scheme.

    The deep blacks really give the colors a kick.

    As far as text entry goes it doesn't look all that different from the S II's keyboard. You get the Samsung keyboard plus SWYPE which is now called 'Continuous input'. I'm not sure if it is actually SWYPE or if Samsung renamed it but it looks just like SWYPE.

    Menu transitions are extremely smooth. I can see a difference when I have it next to my Tegra 3 one x.

    I couldn't help but notice that one of my favourite Android 4.0 features: the ability to create folders on the home screen by dragging one program over another is missing from the S III. You can still create folders but you have to choose edit to do it.

    Motion features:

    One new set of features are the S III's motion features. For example if you're viewing an SMS conversation you can dial the person by moving the S III to your ear. If you have the phone face down you can view missed calls and messages by picking it up.

    You can tap the top of the S III twice to jump to the top of an email or contact list. The S III will zoom on an image if you press 2 fingers to the screen and move it in or out.

    I like how you can take screen shots by swiping the screen left to right using your palm. You can also pause media playback by covering the screen - now no one will catch you looking at racy videos!

    There's a shake to update feature. You can turn it over to mute features.

    Less useful motions are the ability to move an icon from one home screen to another by tapping and holding it and moving the phone left or right. You can also pan around an image in a similar manner (who would want that feature?)

    Smart Stay:

    For those worried about the Smart Stay feature (the one that watches your eyes to keep the screen on) it's disabled by default. I've been playing around with it with mixed results. I'll play with it some more and let you know how it goes.

    Video Features:


    The picture in picture feature is really cool. You start a video and then hit the picture in picture button. It shows the video in a window which you can tap and hold to move around while you use the rest of the phone. You can tap the video to go back to the video player. It's seamless and doesn't appear to slow the menus down at all. Having used it I wish you could do the same with the YouTube player.

    Another cool video feature is that there's a video preview when you're looking at the gallery. It's kind of cool/distracting because ALL videos preview at once.

    AllShare which is Samsung's DLNA program is now named 'AllShare Play" and it has 2 new features. There's SugarSync integration but more interesting you can now play content from one AllShare Play device to another even if they're not on the same access point.

    Here's how it works: You create a login when tracks which devices you have. That's how it knows which devices it can play to. It works over WiFi or 3G/4G. This should make AllShare much easier to use plus it's now useful outside the house. Note that it doesn't upload your content to SugarSync first in order to share it (unless you want it to).

    I was informed that on the Business side there are additional features built into the Galaxy S III that aren't available on other ICS devices. An example is the Cisco VPN client. I'm told that three is a Samsung specific client in the Play Store which has additional features over the generic one. I also noticed that there are a lot more security options when I added an exchange server.

    I just started using the device so I'll update this post with more thoughts and benchmarks throughout the day. I'll also be trying out the motion features more.

    Camera:

    Still testing, will update in a day or 2.

    S Voice:

    S Voice is Samsung's voice assistant. I'll admit, while I use my iPhone 4s an awful lot I don't use Siri much. I'll occasionally text using Siri while I'm driving and got it to read me my messages once or twice but that's it.

    To launch S Voice you just double tap the home button.

    The first thing I tried to do with S Voice is to ask it something stupid. In this case I asked it: 'What is better? The Galaxy S III or Apple iPhone 4s'. It didn't understand what I was asking it.

    Next I tried to send a text message which worked. Note that I'm in my office right now which is pretty quiet so I'll try again some place noisy.

    Benchmarks:

    Sunspider (lower is better):

    HTC One X (LTE): 1550.9
    Samsung Galaxy S III (LTE): 1788.6ms

    Since the LTE versions of the One X and S III both use the same processor the S III's SunSpider scores are quite interesting. Is the lower score the result of less mature firmware or do Samsung's customization require more processing power? Note that I disabled Smart Stay and haven't added a Google account to the S III yet so there was less background processing going on.

    Vellamo (higher is better):

    HTC One X (LTE): 2455.52
    Samsung Galaxy S III (LTE): 2302.51

    The One X outperforms the S III by about 7%


    GL Benchmark Egypt Standard (higher is better):

    HTC One X (LTE): 5571
    Samsung Galaxy S III (LTE): 5423

    Again the HTC One X outscores the Galaxy S III though this time by a much slimmer margin.

    Basemark:

    HTC One X (LTE): 31.95
    Samsung Galaxy S III (LTE): 29.80

    Another narrow victory by the HTC One X.

    Battery Life:

    check back later.

    RF Performance:

    check back later.

    Accessories:

    I also got a chance to check out some of the S 3's accessories:


    You can get a cover/flap that's built into a back cover like on the Galaxy Note. I have one of these for my note and like how sleek it is but found that the cover just trapped dust and debris and rubbed it into my screen.

    There's a fancy metal Samsung pen which works with capacitive screens - so while it can work with the Note it's not an s-pen which is also a magnetic stylus. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture - imagine a metal pen that says Samsung on it.



    There is a docking station and a stand. The stand allows you to remove the battery and charge it in the back. The physical part that holds the phone up doesn't have any charging contacts - just the area in the back. There's a charger connector in the back. Honestly, I don't see any point to this accessory unless you own 2 batteries and don't mind swapping them all the time.

    The docking station has a micro USB connector on the bottom. The back has a charger connector and a line out.

    I'll be updating this post throughout the day so stay tuned.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Just got my Samsung Galaxy S III started by howard View original post
    Comments 108 Comments
    1. theprodigy001's Avatar
      theprodigy001 -
      well my thing is this..i switched back to Tmobile from straight talk..and i got the galaxy s2 on there payment plan.the worker said that i could pay a restocking fee of $50 and get the s3 with no additional pricing or fees.and my s2 has the duel core 1.5Ghz now and i upgraded to the ice cream/4.0.3 version last nite.
      would the S3 be faster then my current s2 with ics...and would it be worth the $50..thanks
    1. Steveanderson13's Avatar
      Steveanderson13 -
      Faster, yes. Worth it? Only you can decide. Put them side by side.

      Sent from my DROID BIONIC using HowardForums
    1. TC_Mits's Avatar
      TC_Mits -
      Quote Originally Posted by Drillbit View Post
      Got the quadcore baby now. And its burning rubber on the benchmarks.

      Over 168,000 on Browsermark with the native browser. (higher is faster)
      Under 1300 with Sunspider with Chrome. (lower is faster)
      Over 5500 on Quadrant.

      Quote Originally Posted by Blue90 View Post
      So are you using straight-talk with it?

      Quote Originally Posted by Drillbit View Post
      Once in a while, but I don't have a habit of using voice commands.
      LMAO!

      In a slightly more serious spirit --
      As far as benchmarks go, the speeds I am most concerned with are sustained and consistent upload and download speeds. I expect the dual-core LTE versions to run away ftom the quad-core international version in that department.


      Perspective instantiates reality.
      [From DX by HoFo app.]
    1. baudbwoy's Avatar
      baudbwoy -
      its late and I just got back from my hands on at the Samsung HQ, the phone is veddy veddy nice. There are plans for a few high end launch parties in the coming days, I'll be at all of them hope to see hofo peeps in the house...I'll snap a few shots and see if I can post it on here.

      hofo rocks, been a member since 2001, keep up the good work.
    1. theprodigy001's Avatar
      theprodigy001 -
      Quote Originally Posted by baudbwoy View Post
      its late and I just got back from my hands on at the Samsung HQ, the phone is veddy veddy nice. There are plans for a few high end launch parties in the coming days, I'll be at all of them hope to see hofo peeps in the house...I'll snap a few shots and see if I can post it on here.

      hofo rocks, been a member since 2001, keep up the good work.

      did you see the US version with the dual core?how did it perform to the S2?

      thanks
    1. baudbwoy's Avatar
      baudbwoy -
      I saw the Canadian ver, dual core with 2gb ram, ICS. the user interface is fluid and the touch is very responsive I been on the Galaxy S team since the Galaxy S and this one has out done them all in innovation and bang for the buck. the devices we had did not have any third part apps so actually user experience can not be really measure until one starts to use the device in real world scenarios. One of the guys uses his phone from 5am to about midnight for demos and personal use and has no complaints about battery or anything else.

      ok good night.
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Added some screen shots for the motion section.
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      The Canadian Galaxy S III launch has been pushed back a week till June 27th.

      http://www.howardforums.com/content....unched-delayed
    1. Im_A_Drunk's Avatar
      Im_A_Drunk -
      Im sure this is in the fantasy realm but does anyone know if the s3 64gb is compatible with a 64gb microsd and if not what about a s3 32gb with a 64gb ? I apologize if this has been discussed already 🍺🍻
    1. Canoe Head's Avatar
      Canoe Head -
      Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
      The Canadian Galaxy S III launch has been pushed back a week till June 27th.

      http://www.howardforums.com/content....unched-delayed
      Thats interesting. I doubt that "unprecedented demand" is the true reason for delayed release.

      First thought that comes to my mind is that Samsung wants more time to refine the software port from quad to dual core platforms for NA market, especially given this sites comparison of similar HTC One X outperforming the similar SG3 platform on all but the important battery life, SD card etcs.

      If software fixes are the delay I would expect to see the 21-June USA release pushed back, but so far have not seen news of delay to USA release date.
    1. TadMorose's Avatar
      TadMorose -
      Quote Originally Posted by Canoe Head View Post

      If software fixes are the delay I would expect to see the 21-June USA release pushed back, but so far have not seen news of delay to USA release date.
      People from USA are reporting it on XDA forums
    1. sabesh's Avatar
      sabesh -
      Quote Originally Posted by Canoe Head View Post
      Thats interesting. I doubt that "unprecedented demand" is the true reason for delayed release <snip>
      Agreed. More of the same BS, as with the Galaxy Nexus launch delay ("Steve Jobs died, hence we are respectfully delaying our launch") ...
    1. lisaco1's Avatar
      lisaco1 -
      Samsung Galaxy S III i9300 in stock UNLOCKED right now for $849 in USA @ Walmart.com

      http://www.walmart.com/ip/Samsung-Ga...ocked/20933653
    1. Drillbit's Avatar
      Drillbit -
      Quote Originally Posted by Canoe Head View Post
      Thats interesting. I doubt that "unprecedented demand" is the true reason for delayed release.

      First thought that comes to my mind is that Samsung wants more time to refine the software port from quad to dual core platforms for NA market, especially given this sites comparison of similar HTC One X outperforming the similar SG3 platform on all but the important battery life, SD card etcs.

      If software fixes are the delay I would expect to see the 21-June USA release pushed back, but so far have not seen news of delay to USA release date.

      I suspect the real reason is that the supplies for the Qualcomm S4 is quite tight and won't be eased until next year. There is some issues with TSMC production although it appears supplies from Global Foundries is ramping up. The US bound HTC One X, S, Galaxy S3, all use this chip, plus a few other upcoming phones. The Asian HTC One S is reverting to a 1.7GHz Qualcomm S3 to help alleviate concerns of supply, and it is a good choice that HTC went with the Tegra3 on the international One X, that probably saved their ***. As far as the quad core Exynos goes, I don't think there would be any supply problems.

      Various markets with LTE, such as in Korea and Japan also use the Qualcomm S4 chip. Plus some places in Europe. So that can put a tight crimp on the supply.
    1. Usernameisvalid's Avatar
      Usernameisvalid -
      I received my (unfortunately) white S3 last week (pay attention when placing expensive orders at 3am folks! - but apparently the blue was not in stock at that location anyhow so.... ce la vie. Despite the color, which I am really not minding too much as it does not show fingerprints hardly at all - I also wonder if it will keep the unit cooler overall in the summertime? Just a thought.

      So far, I have been amazed with the capabilities of this phone. It has taken me several days and many long nights just trying to learn a fraction of what this thing can do. I opted to purchase the unit unlocked, and received a quad-core unit - which I am using on straighttalks "bring your own phone" SIM program. It seems to work remarkably well. Coverage is excellent. Speed is certainly not what you would get with something like Verizon, but at 45$/month unlimited everything - including using it as a wifi-hotspot - I challenge anyone to find a better deal.

      I would also like to inquire from you kind folks what apps you have found to be either indispensable or at least excellent. There are SO many out there that are free, that I have been going nuts loading this thing up the last few days. Once I get a chance to evaluate them all, I will answer my own question above...

      Having used every iDevice made (and yes I love the new pad) - I will have to say that this phone is a real Apple slayer (when it comes to phones at least - but honestly, it doesn't make a bad small tablet).

      I picked up the samsung stylus for it, and find that it works perfectly. The phone is not too large to really require a bluetooth headset- but I may consider one in the future. What I am really having a hard time finding is a carrying case that will accommodate this thing properly. The large / inexpensive one I picked up for my previous Nexus S is just too small by about an inch or so. Perusing the electronics stores I have not found much in the way of accessories for this phone, which I am sure will change with time. Anyone that has already found an idea case, please let me know.

      Sorry for the long winded rant - obviously I am pretty excited about my new investment- and come what may, I can see sticking with this one for a long while.

      My best to you all - J
    1. TadMorose's Avatar
      TadMorose -
      Quote Originally Posted by Usernameisvalid View Post
      I received my (unfortunately) white S3 last week (pay attention when placing expensive orders at 3am folks! - but apparently the blue was not in stock at that location anyhow so.... ce la vie. Despite the color, which I am really not minding too much as it does not show fingerprints hardly at all - I also wonder if it will keep the unit cooler overall in the summertime? Just a thought.

      So far, I have been amazed with the capabilities of this phone. It has taken me several days and many long nights just trying to learn a fraction of what this thing can do. I opted to purchase the unit unlocked, and received a quad-core unit - which I am using on straighttalks "bring your own phone" SIM program. It seems to work remarkably well. Coverage is excellent. Speed is certainly not what you would get with something like Verizon, but at 45$/month unlimited everything - including using it as a wifi-hotspot - I challenge anyone to find a better deal.

      I would also like to inquire from you kind folks what apps you have found to be either indispensable or at least excellent. There are SO many out there that are free, that I have been going nuts loading this thing up the last few days. Once I get a chance to evaluate them all, I will answer my own question above...

      Having used every iDevice made (and yes I love the new pad) - I will have to say that this phone is a real Apple slayer (when it comes to phones at least - but honestly, it doesn't make a bad small tablet).

      I picked up the samsung stylus for it, and find that it works perfectly. The phone is not too large to really require a bluetooth headset- but I may consider one in the future. What I am really having a hard time finding is a carrying case that will accommodate this thing properly. The large / inexpensive one I picked up for my previous Nexus S is just too small by about an inch or so. Perusing the electronics stores I have not found much in the way of accessories for this phone, which I am sure will change with time. Anyone that has already found an idea case, please let me know.

      Sorry for the long winded rant - obviously I am pretty excited about my new investment- and come what may, I can see sticking with this one for a long while.

      My best to you all - J
      Thanks for the rant I'm expecting my S III in about 10 days.

      As for the cases, I suggest you check eBay. I found a ton of listings for S III carrying cases in various styles.

      Good luck!
    1. macuis's Avatar
      macuis -
      Just got my shipping confirmation from expansys.ca today, should expect it tomorrow!
    1. blue265's Avatar
      blue265 -
      Howard, does the Galaxy S 3 LTE i747 version have FM radio like the i9300 International quad core does? I would love to know. Thanks!
    1. Usernameisvalid's Avatar
      Usernameisvalid -
      I ordered a unlocked i9300 from newegg - not sure if that is the same as the LTE i747 (isn't that ATT's version?) - regardless, the version I received DOES have the FM radio, and it is quite a slick app. I wonder if it wouldn't become a downloadable app for those that don't have it. Granted, it would be a streaming service versus a direct FM receiver....
    1. Canoe Head's Avatar
      Canoe Head -
      I have NOT seen mention of the FM radio in the i747 user manual.
      It is there in the i9300 international manual & index only.
      Have not had a clear confirmation that it is not present and may have to wait one more week to confirm.