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  • ervinshiznit - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    On your SGSII review you say that it had 17 Mbps 1080p video recording, not 15 Mbps as you state in this article. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Oh weird, I didn't go look at what I wrote before but went off of what I heard at some point from a Samsung rep said. Fixing...

  • vol7ron - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    3rd paragrah threw me off.. "I was sampled" Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    err 4th Reply
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Do you have any insight on why Samsung chose not to go with a pentaband design like with the SGN? Personally, that's a bit of a deal breaker. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    The T-Mobile variant is pretty close, it's just missing 900 MHz WCDMA (eg GN is 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz, T-Mo SGS3 is 850, 1700, 1900, 2100). Other than that, the device will work on AT&T and T-Mo, if you can snag an unlocked one.

    Or are you talking about GT-I9300 (the canonical SGS3)?

  • 3DoubleD - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Can you name the models in the review using their model number. You say SGSIII USA, but there are 4 models total and 3 of those are being carried in the US. Calling it T999, I747, I535, and I9300 is much more straightforward and avoids a lot of confusion. Also, if Samsung doesn't want to be embarassed by their terrible naming, they can pick better model names.

    Thanks for the speedy review. I didn't expect this review for at least a few more weeks. Thanks a million!
  • Brian Klug - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link


    AT&T: SGH-I747
    T-Mobile: SGH-T999

  • Zoomer - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Are you certain that it supports Band I when it's doing AWS? It seems to be a common theme among other phones. Reply
  • sunbear - Saturday, June 30, 2012 - link

    If I can unlock a tmobile device, would it work on AT&T's LTE, or would it be limited to to HSPA+? Reply
  • HexiumVII - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Darn no quad core love for the US? Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    No big loss, the S4 is roughly equivalent despite being a dual, since it's an all new design instead of a core bump. The GPU is actually the bigger loss, if you're into graphically intensive games. Reply
  • B3an - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link


    The international quad-core version (which i have and love!) is based on ARM Cortex A9. While the US dual-core version uses the Krait SoC which is a lot closer to ARM's new Cortex A15 design (but it's not an A15, it's a custom design from Qualcomm thats similar in performance). So overall for CPU performance the international and US versions are pretty similar.

    The international version definitely has a better GPU though - the higher clocked Mali-400 is the fastest GPU in any phone at the moment. Where as the US version has the slower Adreno 225.

    On the other hand... the US version has 2GB RAM, where as the international has 1GB.

    I guess Samsung felt bad about the slower GPU and tried to make up for it by giving you all 2GB instead.

    Personally i prefer the international version because of the extra GPU performance as i do more gaming, and with a screen this big @ 720p gaming is great.
  • robinthakur - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link

    So...quick question. I have an international version which I picked up in HK as well. What games actually make good use of the improved graphics? I've already got Angry Birds Space. I'm not that impressed with the device so far. The thin plastic back feels incredibly cheap for a device costing around £400 and the Android OS seems poorly optimised compared to the iPhone 4S I used to use, with much worse touch controls. The camera which initially sold me (along with the nice water drops animations on the Home screen!) with its rapid shots, also disappoints with pretty mediocre pictures compared to the 4S. Front facing camera is nicer though. The motion controls are utterly pointless as is face unlocking. Have you ever got the wave hand across the screen to take a screenshot to work? I've got it switched on but...nothing! There were plenty of options compared to iOS for to geek out over for 48 hours but now having to actually use the device it seems lacking, i dunno, just unpolished. Considering it just came out, why is text all fuzzy for example? Isn't this a retina display? I assumed that coming out more than 2 years after the iPhone 4, every phone has them these days, but apparently not. I'm considering selling it before the price drops and going back into the Apple Matrix as life seems easier with iOS all told. Reply
  • JamesL88 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    "What games actually make good use of the improved graphics?"
    Well for starters newest Gameloft games such as the NOVA 3 tend to be very graphically demanding. Also True Android gamers love to buy emulators from black markets (or after markets if you prefer), such as Nintendo 64 emulator.

    You're obviously iFan so I'm not going into discussion with strength and weaknesses of each OS, but I believe the GS3 uses the same Sony sensor used in iPhone 4s' camera. I seriously doubt that you even own GS3.
  • koyanishi - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    I believe he does own a Galaxy S III.

    that's because he didn't figure out how to take the screen shot by swiping his hand across the screen.

    The thing is, to do this your hand has to touch the screen. Your hand is in the form of a karate chop and you use the knife edge (sort to speak) to touch the screen and swipe across it.

    I don't think he is that stupid for missing this because I after trying different ways of doing it never figured it out either but only learned of how to do it by reading tips on use of this phone in an android forum.

    However on his other points of how the plastic feels cheap and lack of optimization (whatever that means) of the os in GS III I disagree.
  • bigboxes - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Am I wrong? The device doesn't look like it can stand up to much of anything. Better make sure you cover it from top to bottom with some kind of case. Reply
  • ATWindsor - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    You probably are, plastics can be very solid and lightweight. The old Galaxy S2 is as far as one can tell much more solid than for instance the iphone. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Samsung's designs may feel cheap at times but that doesn't necessarily translate to better impact survivability... Plastic weighs less and probably absorbs more force during impact... I've never owned a Samsung phone (I'm on my third EVO and my dumb phones were all Nokias & Sony) but I've seen plenty of them fly from my friend's hands. :p The glossy plastic they use probably does scuff easier than most materials tho. Then again, unlike reviewers who go thru phones like underwear, I think the majority of people end up it using cases anyway. I do it to protect my device's resale value as much a anything else. Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    What resale value? Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    You still see used Droid X (released 23 months ago) selling for $150 on Craigslist. Droid 2, released a month later, often sell for $125. Can recoup what you paid for them (contract prices) after 2 years? Not bad at all.

    I've made a pretty penny buying used phones cheap off Craigslist, using them, then flipping them 6-12 months for profit. Then you get events like the Windows Phone Challenge...
  • steven75 - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link

    Just looked at ebay completed listings for Droid X. Average completed sale price is about $75.

    In comparison looked at iPhone 4 16 GB (released shortly after the X and the average completed sale price is about $250.
  • themossie - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    eBay prices are cheaper than Craigslist. iPhone 4 averages ~$300 here (to the extent I can tell from my Craigslist experience!)

    Certainly not saying Android phones hold the resale value of iPhones! But I can consistently recoup what I paid (on contract) for the device.
  • zorxd - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    I agree. Who cares about how it "feels" anyway? I buy phones for their functionality, not their look.
    Also as you said, plastic is light and shock absorbant. Also it doesn't block RF. Seems like the perfect material for a phone. I honestly which we had less metal and glass and more plastic in phones.
  • shaolin95 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Comments like this make me wonder if people think phones are supposed to be used as hockey pucks....come on now. Reply
  • ProPhotoman - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    No one wanted a 1 pound phone , so they used plastic to keep the weight down. They know that most will put a case on it anyway. Reply
  • metafor - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Battery life seems to lag behind the One X. Which is disappointing considering LTE will only make it worse. But since -- unlike HTC -- Samsung launched this on both T-Mobile and Verizon, that makes it the go-to phone for those who don't want to jump on AT&T. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    HTC really dropped the ball in not getting a decent One variant on VZW. The new Incredible's kind of a joke... Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Meh, they they're not too far behind either... I agree the numbers are slightly disappointing considering it has a larger battery, but it's also a removable battery which makes it a wash IMO. The Wifi vs 3G results are interesting, I thought one of the biggest highlights of AMOLED was how it could potentially save a lot of power over LCDs... I guess that doesn't really pan out unless you visit a lot of sites with black backgrounds tho. :p

    The EVO LTE results are wild tho, they're all over the place (which is why it'd be really nice to have at least one CDMA SGS3 variant reviewed). If you were to look at the 3G results only you'd conclude the CDMA stack is just a battery hog, but then it still trails the US One X (which has a smaller battery) on the Wifi test while demolishing it (and almost everything else) in the hotspot test. Doesn't make any sense!

    Same SoC & display as the One X (AFAIK), any theories?
  • metafor - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    A few. The CDMA and WiFi datapath could be far less power hungry than the HSPA+ to WiFi. In fact, it may even be a different WiFi module altogether. Hell, even something unnoticeable -- like signal strength of the WiFi/CDMA antenna and whether they interfere with each or not -- can make a big difference as the radios have to work harder to get a good signal.

    Stuff like this is hard to design, debug and quantify, especially when multiple radio interfaces are at work.
  • OCedHrt - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I wish we would get AWS on AT&T's S3 for WCDMA in addition to LTE. Reply
  • richworks - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Why isn't the International version of SGS3 not included in the benchmark tests? Am I to understand you haven't reviewed it yet? Reply
  • minhajmsd - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    He did mention in the article that his unit hasn't arrived yet. Reply
  • richworks - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Ah.. thank you. I might have overlooked that part. I apologize for that :) Reply
  • antef - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Brian, you mention that by Samsung including a menu button that they don't have to include the full-row on-screen menu button that HTC does, but what you didn't mention is how this is still not ideal because it breaks Google's design goals for ICS completely. Google very plainly stated that the Menu key with its hidden functionalities (and sometimes no functionality) was not good design and encourages all developers to move away from it. Yet Samsung decides to include it on a new device built for ICS (probably because TouchWiz is carried over from Gingerbread).

    This means a few things. First, some app devs might not move to ICS design standards because they think they don't have to with new devices still coming out with Menu keys. Second, even if an app does use the new standards/action bar, the 3-dot overflow button will be HIDDEN because a Menu button is present. This is confusing and hides functionality that should be grouped with the other actions at the top. Finally, it necessitates a long-press of Home for task switching, which is slow and cumbersome compared to a dedicated button.

    All around a bad decision on Samsung's part. The full-row menu key necessary for legacy apps on the One X is not ideal either, which is why on-screen buttons like on the Galaxy Nexus are the way to go.
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I agree with you (and Google) on the menu button overall, it needs to go... I was never particularly bothered by it but it was a pretty sloppy design crutch and it confused new users of the platform... I agree that Samsung's implementation now only makes it worse by encouraging devs to continue using it and by messing with the way current ICS UI layouts are presented.

    I'm not sure I necessarily agree on screen buttons are better tho... IF you can make the device smaller by using them I'd say you have a case, but the Galaxy Nexus is no smaller than the One X so the latter ends up with more screen real estate the majority of the time (only sacrificing space to menu for legacy apps, which seems to be your main argument for on screen buttons).

    I really hope Moto doesn't follow Samsung's lead, cause I believe LG has, and this is worse than the old game of musical chairs that manufacturers played with the four classic buttons. I think we've already had some leaks that showed them going with on screen buttons tho, fortunately.

    It's gonna definitely gonna take longer than Google would like to deprecate menu...

    hat being said, I've always liked Samsung's side power buttons (much easier to reach) so much do that I mod my HTC phones to wake on volume press... And I also kinda dig the physical home button (even tho it's ugly and another point of failure) because it makes it much easier to wake the phone while it's laying flat.

    Most of that is subjective tho, Google moving away from menu is not... Not only was it a design crutch, multi tasking feels so much quicker without long press. I know realistically it's not that much slower to long press home, but subjectively it feels slow. I think Duartesaid in an interview that was one of the reasons they were moving away from long presses and towards the use of more swipes etc.
  • antef - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I definitely agree with you about Menu being a design crutch and long-pressing Home feeling slow. People might think Menu is no big deal, but they have to consider the broader audience. Why do people think an iPhone is so much easier to use for most people - because everything is right there and easy to explain. Try explaining Menu and long-press to a new user: "You press this button to show more actions - sometimes it will show things, sometimes it won't, you just have to press it and see. And there's no indication of whether an app uses it or not, you just have to remember it's there. And then you press and hold this to switch, you didn't press it long enough, try again." versus "Press this button to switch apps. Here at the top of the screen are icons for things you can do. If you there are more things you can do you can access them by pressing the 3-dot button right next to it." It's a night and day difference, and like you said this will stall Google's efforts to deprecate it, now a whole new generation of Android users will get accustomed to a Menu key on the SGS III.

    You are correct that the Galaxy Nexus loses some screen real estate with the on-screen buttons, but I don't see that being much of an issue when you have a 1280x720 resolution screen. The thing is, with 3 physical buttons, you are going to have one of these problems either way, and the on-screen button eliminates that. In addition I think the on-screen buttons are just preferable anyway. They are bold, easy to see, give you feedback when you press them, and appear coherently part of the UI. It looks like a complete package. Versus the off-screen, backlight-lit keys, which appear "separate" from the UI and are typically smaller. I never realized this from pictures, but after actually using a Galaxy Nexus, I much prefer the look and feel of the on-screen buttons.

    Definitely also like the side power button, it's practically necessary for large devices like these.
  • themossie - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Yes, it does ignore Google's design goals. It also makes most applications far more usable. Why are contextual menus bad? (I understand the inconsistency problem where the menu button on ICS will not pop up on screen depending on the phone, but still...)

    Seems like many phone manufacturers agree with me here.

    Since I'm complaining anyway... :-)

    Does anyone else find ICS task switching far less useful than 2.x's "Recent Apps"? With "Recent Apps", I never had to scroll to find the app I wanted - and never had to worry about closing applications to keep the Task Switcher bar reasonably short.

    (For reference, I have a Gingerbread phone and a ICS tablet)
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Contextual menus aren't bad per se, forcing people to guess when they exist at all is. Very few applications are better off with a hidden menu than ICS' action bar + overflow menu plainly visible on screen. Many manufacturers = 2 out 5 or so major Android OEMs? Sony, HTC, and Motor have conformed to the new button scheme.

    Not sure why you're complaining about scrolling on ICS, are you using a 7" tablet? On my 10" the recent app menu shows 9 apps in portrait and 5 in landscape. Previous versions of Android showed either 6 or 8 icons depending on manufafturer, and had no preview of the app.

    You couldn't kick apps out of the recent apps pop up either... ICS multi tasking seems like an improvement in every possible way except maybe landscape use or smaller lower res phones, and even then tap + swipe + tap is no slower than long press + tap.
  • themossie - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Re: Contextual menus - I do agree that it's bad to force people to guess when they exist. (That wasn't a problem before ICS, when you could safely assume a program has one!) I don't find the ICS icon to be a useful contextual clue to new users - 3 dots does not a menu suggest.

    Now, for scrolling: (forgive the rant)

    That said, from memory:
    * CM9 on HP Touchpad (1024x768) - shows 1 app in landscape.
    * ICS on Galaxy Nexus - shows only 3 apps in portrait. ( "task switcher galaxy nexus")
    * ICS on HTC Evo 4G - shows only 1 app in landscape. This may be a Sense issue, experienced other landscape issues.

    You have to scroll to do anything!

    Compare this with Gingerbread on my Droid 2 (the not-Motoblur), where "Recent Apps" shows 18 apps. With 18 apps in Recent Apps, I no longer need the homescreen to load applications.

    I'd still find the stock "Recent Apps" (I believe it's 8 in Froyo, 10 in Gingerbread?) more usable than ICS.
  • antef - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I don't believe "context menu" is the right term here. We're not discussing context menus - that would be something related to your *exact* context, such as long-pressing a row in a list and getting some options. What we're discussing is the app's "primary" menu that holds whatever could not fit on the main UI surface. In that sense, both the legacy menu and the action bar "overflow" are going to hold similar things, so what they contain is not really an item of debate. The main problem with the fixed Menu key, as Impulses said, is that it's "hidden" - since it's always present, there is really no indication that an app needs it or not, and it's also off-screen and thus doesn't feel cohesively tied to the rest of the app's UI. Action overflow, meanwhile, only appears when needed and right alongside other related functions.

    HTC switched to the new layout but unfortunately their use of physical buttons necessitates the nasty "full row menu button" for legacy apps. And I bet you that Samsung only stuck with the Menu key because they were too lazy to rethink parts of TouchWiz's UI - it clearly is a carryover from Gingerbread and they've shown before they don't put a lot of polish into their software. In that sense, this device is just stuck with that button because Samsung did not try to design a better user experience, not because they genuinely think this is the better way to go.
  • themossie - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    I understand what you mean, and "primary" menu is definitely a better term! However, the "action overflow" on-screen button which Google wants to replace the older "primary" menu (menu button) is not an improvement.

    "Action Overflow" is not intended to be an actual settings menu. With "Action Overflow", Google basically says "Hey guys, you don't need 'settings' any more - just 'buttons you won't press that often." They then allow developers to put the action bar in 3 different places ( so there's no longer consistent button placement.

    The biggest problem with the menu button (for new users) was the lack of contextual cues. ICS ironically manages to fix this even as it deprecates the menu.

    At this point, I'm way outside the scope of a phone review's comment sections, so I'll leave some food for though (discussion, not favoring a particular approach)
  • antef - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    Action Overflow is not intended to be an actual settings menu, but neither is legacy menu! it was never intended as a "settings" or "options" menu...literally just a menu to put anything you want. In this sense Action Overflow is exactly the same, only commonly used items don't have to be in the menu and instead can be directly on the action bar. It completely fixes the discoverability issue since the 3-dots are right there next to other icons you're already using. It leads you to it and it appears part of the app's UI.

    Thanks for the links. :)
  • synaesthetic - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Google was smoking crack when they got rid of the menu button. I installed a custom ROM onto my Nexus to make the menu button come back.

    I have never used a real serious app that didn't have a contextual menu. Never. And the "ICS friendly" apps that use the dotdotdot in-app menu like to put them in really obnoxious places... like the TOP OF THE SCREEN.

    Holy carp Google, this phone is already huge, you want me to drop it trying to hit that menu key with my thumb?

    The SGS3 having a menu button makes me want it EVEN MORE.
  • antef - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    I do have to tilt my Nexus forward a bit to reach up there with my thumb, but this is no different than having to reach up there for anything else, including the main action icons which are going to be up there no matter what.

    It is true that most apps used legacy menu, but still, nothing has to. That makes the very idea of an always present button silly. The nav bar should stick to system-wide navigation as it does on the Nexus and leave things pertaining to an app to be on the app's UI surface. The OP of the Stack Overflow link said it best:

    "This [the overflow button] seems much more intuitive for users than throwing them into a separate menu list that requires the user to jump from a touch(screen) interaction to a button based interaction simply because the layout of the ActionBar can't fit them on the bar."

    What he's saying is the on-screen controls and off-screen controls are different UI "sections" that shouldn't intermingle during the course of using an app. An app's controls should all be available within the app's UI. It's more cohesive and straightforward. In practice, it only ever really appears in the top right or bottom right, and most of the time the top right. It's not jumping all over from app to app like some people like to suggest.
  • 8er - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link

    Menu button is good.

    Physical home button, even better. It is huge selling point for me.

    Side bar. I do not comprehend how anyone can say 'insert button name here' is bad. It looks like a search button and it searches or a menu buttons bring up menus, or a home buttons brings you home, and someone is confused?

    If the above is true then that person is helpless. I will not apologize for sounding crass, but that person gets left behind. You are not left starving on an island kind of crass. If you do not understand what selecting an icon might do then a smart phone is too much for you.
  • robinthakur - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link

    Yes, this totallyl! Coming from an iPhone, the long press to access multitasking is really slow and rubbish, I wasn't sure whether this is the same across all Android handsets. It doesn't help that on iOS, the commands are flipped and long press is Siri with double tap or four finger upwards swipe being multitask! The use of the Menu button seems haphazard as it isn't obvious which apps use it (or even which parts of the apps) and which ones don't. Reply
  • THX - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Folks on Head Fi are worried that the S4 chipset will strip out the Wolfson DAC. Any word what sound chip is inside the US Galaxy S3? Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Does the international version still have a Wolfson DAC? I know the SGS2 and many Tegra 2 devices did, haven't really kept up with that aspect of phones but I know a lot of people really liked that DAC because of the untapped potential in it (and the Voodoo app that it). Have they found anything particularly alarming about the One X's DAC or sound tho? (gimmicky Beats EQ aside) HF to ride their FOtM choices pretty hard and in the process anything else is deemed simply incomparable. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    that should've read "HF tends to ride" Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Did the CDMA variants get skipped because Anand usually reviews those (I think?) And he's been traveling or just luck of the draw? Is the review of the EVO LTE and other One variants still coming? Just curious really, I know sometimes battery life results vary wildly between GSM and CDMA versions of the same basic design, throw LTE in there and still-growing networks and it's something worth looking at. Reply
  • alik - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Visit to get best price and deals for Samsung Galaxy S III Reply
  • Torrijos - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    In a recent article (HTC One X) you plotted a graph of the battery life (time) divided by the battery capacity (Watt-hours), it would be interesting to get it at each review or at least with reviews marking the arrival of a new version of an OS, in order to check whether their energy efficiency is going in the right direction. Reply
  • falc0ne - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Packed with all the latest technology but in a soap-bar shape. Galaxy SII looks much better.
    Someone said here shame doesn't have "pentaband support". You don't need that. What you need is that the phone you purchase to support the band of your operator. That's all. More than that, lately people usually purchase the phone straight from the operator
  • Zoomer - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    That doesn't help if you switch operators often. Reply
  • - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    nice post... Reply
  • jjj - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    still a very poor selection for battery tests (just web and talk time,what are you testing dumbphones?) ,no storage perf tests,at this point i'm about to give up on hoping you guys can do better. Reply
  • bmgoodman - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Can you start doing some tests of Bluetooth, both for voice and music? With my Galaxy SII, I've almost quit using my car's integrated hands-free system. Five years in my car using a Sony Ericsson with the handsfree and I almost NEVER had a complaint. Now people are almost always asking me to call back later! Reply
  • BabelHuber - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I had the same problem regarding Bluetooth. My good old Nokia Symbian phones supported rSAP. Android, iOS and Windows Phone do not.

    That's why I bought the SGS2, it was the only Android phone supporting rSAP.

    In its wisdom, Samsung has removed the rSAP capability with ICS, though.

    Fortunately Android is an open system, so I could root it and install an rSAP app.

    This was a Sunday afternoon of work, though.

    The app is here:
  • Angry AtAndroid - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Not Samsung removed it, but that big bully google. It is not supported by android.

    Complaints going on about this for YEARS. See the google code site.
    Issue 4402: rSAP / Sim access bluetooth profile
    1829 people starred this issue.
  • shaolin95 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    As much as I loved my Captivate and thought the GS2 was a nice upgrade , the GS3 is a let down (the USA version that is).
    Say what you want about the dual core being close to the quad but I can score higher Browsermark with my Galaxy Note international (@1.6ghz) than the GS3 USA version. And the real killer is the older GPU.
    I am going to wait for Note 2...likely international version as well if they keep messing things up.
  • BioHazardous - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    It seems like it fails to impress in almost all tests, particularly battery life and WiFi performance. I wish the article was a little more critical of its shortcomings. The battery life is even less impressive when you consider it has a larger battery than the HTC One X.

    The only thing it really seems to have going for it vs the HTC One X is the microSD slot and removable battery.

    When will the test results be added to the Bench?
  • IKeelU - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    ...for HTC. The SGS3 looks like a fantastic phone, but the benchmarks, camera, and battery tests all show one or more "One" variants slightly besting the SGS3.

    Both companies have done a great job, but I think my money will go towards HTC this time around. Specifically the One S. Thanks to its lower (but still great) resolution it's really killing those games benchmarks.
  • Mbonus - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I am very surprised that the SGIII was lagging in almost every benchmark to the HTC variants. My speculation is that Touchwiz must be incredibly invasive over the current version of Sense.

    One thing that needs to be tested is the multitasking. The HTC units have been reported to be very aggressive with killing background apps and some have speculated that this is how they are saving battery. It would be interesting to see how GSIII is handling multitasking.
  • redeemer777 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Why are you so suprised? Both have the same chipsets which mean HTC has imposed better optimizations. This is Android guys root your phone, if you're not happy. Reply
  • Mbonus - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I'm most surprised in the battery department because of the physically larger battery of the SGS3. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    People shouldn't have to root their devices to fix some of the silly memory tweaks HTC did, and yes, their memory optimizations are currently too aggressive. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I doubt dumping apps off memory to make more breathing room for Sense or whatever would help much with idle battery, it's not like you stop powering the memory either way. Reply
  • metafor - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    One thing to keep in mind is that Samsung likely spends a lot more time tuning their software stack for their Exynos processors than they do for others. Whereas HTC pretty much starts out with Qualcomm chips.

    That being said, considering they are launching all of their US GS3's based on the S4, I'm surprised it didn't get their ultra-fast browser that we saw in the international GS3 preview.
  • patycake57 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    I,too, would appreciate knowing about the multitasking and how it compares with the One X. I bought the HOX (ATT) based on excellent reviews from many sites including this one, and have become more and more frustrated with the poor multitasking. Depending on your apps and pattern of usage, this may not bother you, but I cannot recommend the HOX to most that read AT (e.g. power users).

    I would very much like to see a first rate technical site like AT address multitasking, because for some, it can really alter the user experience beyond the technical specs/testing. Also, I think changes like this should be clearly disclosed by phone manufacturers, because if I would have known about this, I would not have purchased the HOX and waited for the SG3 or next Nexus phone. At this time, I'm not aware of a non-root fix, and HTC has not acknowledged it as a bug.
  • geniekid - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the review. Anandtech does it the most thoroughly, probably because you guys are engineers instead of just enthusiasts (not hating on enthusiasts, just loving the engis).

    Can't wait for the LTE and sound tests. Hopefully this article will get a bump on the front page when those results come in.
  • sitharien - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I see you have numbers from Sprint's One X, and that phone has been out for a couple of weeks. Did the review get side tracked? Reply
  • BSMonitor - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I thought all the trolls said this phone would DOMINATE the iPhone 4S.. Yet... Reply
  • shaolin95 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Are you retarded or something? There are many Android phones that totally humiliate that over priced piece of junk...grow up apple zombie. Reply
  • steven75 - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link

    Charts don't lie, son. Reply
  • behindthepen - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    "We’ve already seen dual core Krait (MSM8960) performance before and talked about it in the HTC One X (AT&T) review. "

    can you confirm that, I was under the impression the One X at AT&T ran a Tegra 3.

    It would be super helpful if you could list the processors somewhere near all of the performance data.
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    All US One variants run S4, its nit exactly a secret.... Reply
  • Skiddywinks - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    International One X's are Tegra, US ones are S4. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Great article. Quite disappointed with the battery life when compared to the One X (att), though I suppose that is mostly due to the differences in screen tech.
    A nice addition to the battery life section would be to add an efficiency chart so we can see past the varying battery sizes.

  • dijimoto - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    What version of ICS does the Galaxy SIII have on it's phone? Also, is the Galaxy Nexus phones tested with 4.0.4 version or the 4.01 / 4.02 version? I read and heard from many Galaxy Nexus phone users that their was a lot of improvements in battery life. I'm just wondering how much, and if the Galaxy Nexus phone would move up in the list of all the other phones. Reply
  • dijimoto - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I just realized it was in the title ICS version 4.0.4, ugh... Reply
  • EJ257 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    So does it use both GPS & GLONASS simultaneously? Or can you set a default and it'll switch over to the other system whenever signal from one of them gets to be too weak? Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I enjoyed it a lot. I like the fact that 1080p video isn't cropped anymore. My cropped SGS2 1080p doesn't look that good and I use 720p as a result.
    The screen looks good too and mostly I think the SGS3 looks pretty good. But for me, it's not enough to make the upgrade from my SGS2. I just bought a nice chinese tablet (Cube U30GT if anyone wonders) which will keep me happy for some time to come. I won't upgrade this generation. WVGA resolution, SAMOLED+, Mali GPU and good custom ROM support are all enough for me, for now. Maybe next year Intel will bring something new or Android 5/6 will change things. But right now, my SGS2 does everything I need it to do.
    Maybe I didn't notice it, but I didn't see any references to bootloader/custom ROMs. For me, whether or not a phone is easily rooted, hacked etc. is an important part of my purchase decision. Maybe you can include a short discussion of that in the future? If you did mention it, I apologize. :-)
  • chiza69 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I usually love your reviews Brian as they are often unique and give a different perspective compared to other tech sites. However, one thing that frustrates me, and is consistent in all your reviews is the performance category.

    All you do in this category is run benchmarks. Yes, benchmarks are always fun, but both the iPhone and most Windows Phones have proven that benchmarks do not make a system run smoothly. I mean look at the latest android phone, the Galaxy S3, with it's quadcore processor and top of the line GPU. Yes it is fast in benchmarks, but honestly it still cannot make Android as smooth as iOS.

    All I would like to see is that you add a video of typical performance on the phone, especially with the browser.
  • name99 - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    "Clearly there is 380 MB absorbed for both preallocated GPU memory, and possibly DRM / baseband, and after that subtraction the only way to get dual channel (2x32b) LPDDR2 is to make the jump to two 1 GB LPDDR2 devices."

    I don't get this. Why can't you have a 1GiB and a 512MiB package? Are ARM memory controllers less sophisticated than Intel ones and unable to handle such a config? After all this sort of config is standard on Windows --- 3GiB back in the day when that was all Windows could handle, now 6GiB on your mid-range laptops that are too cheap to spring for 8GiB.
  • antony22 - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    well been waiting for some reviews of the GS3 I was going to get this or the EVO 4G lte on sprint but after a read the whole article I think I made my choice now
    I cant believe that Samsung chose not to use the on board Wi-Fi and went with another chip when the on board is 28 nm while the BCM4334 is 45nm
    when i was reading the battery life test I thought hmm that is odd that the HTC EVO has better life on wi- fi than the GS3 even when they use the same SOC now everything makes sense and also the GS3 is slower too on wi-fi
  • SanX - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    In the section about display pixel angular dimensions (0.933 arcmin) you have used word "pixel" while it is actually just the green subpixel angular size. BUT THAT IS WRONG! The largest problem is the red subpixels angular distance (and contrary to laws of physics much less blue). This gives dirty feel of solid colors of red part of spectrum and jagg of lines. THAT IS EXACTLY the main problem of the pentile displays. And that's red and blue distance TWO time larger the green one and of course IS visible very well - just place the screen of LG Nitro nearby.

    Another problem is your 12 inch distance. Formally and practically the the optimal distance for reading is usually 10 inch (25 cm). This is also why in magnification of lens in physics 25cm is used. I typically take phone even closer - to 9". You barely stand pentile screens in this case.

    We always forget, but ideally for proper scaling of small fonts, because we have digital, not analog screens, it's not a one pixel angular size must be unresolved by our eyes but around TWO stacked ones. That gives 600ppi requirement. Only after that we will not see visible difference (jumps) in line thickness when scale fonts.
  • Belard - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    So... with these current "smart" phones... do anyone of them have good enough speakers to actually wake a person up?

    That would be a NICE little added benchmark. How loud can the phone get.

    I'm about to retire my SGS1... its speakerphone mode has always been garbage (being that it faced away from you) and the alarm itself has been pathetic. So bad, that I still us a 4 year old Sony dumb phone as wakeup alarm. Even when this stupid phone "rings", I miss half the calls because the speaker and its vibration are weak.

    How about this... make phones that actually FEEL good in the hand, not some danty tablet-size thingy that you can barely hold onto with your finger tips that doesn't FIT in a pocket. Sure, its fine for those who wear a purse and it seems some guys are wearing purses or bags... that's fine.

    But many of us guys put the phones in OUR pockets where there is money, wallets, keys and whatever.

    The SGS1 was already too damn big to comfortly fit into a pocket... the S3 and now bigger S3 should just make it much worse.
  • Eridanus - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    SD card slot? So they screwed up only customers of their Nexus crap? Reply
  • apoorvnaik - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    As seen in your post, you say that a T-Mobile SGS3 will work on AT&T's network also but the specs on the T-Mobile's page say something else.

    Here's the link to the T-Mobile page

    I'm looking forward to buy this phone and just wanted to make sure that it could be used worldwide.
  • apoorvnaik - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    This link says that the phone supports Band I, V, II and AWS.
    Does that mean it is a pentaband ?

    I'm totally confused by looking at so many different specs. :(
  • Mnalley95 - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    I am currently deciding between the one x and the sgs3, and the two most important factors to me are the battery life and the RAM differences. Nearly every other site has the one x with pretty awfu battery life in their tests, usually with the galaxy nearly doubling the results, but on all of your tests the one x appears fantastic, which is great. All I want is to be able to use my phone at least 12 hours with moderate to heavy use on LTE, so the differing battery results on different sites concerns me. Is there any explanation for this, anyone? Also, the RAM difference could be big in future OS updates, does anyone agree? Which device would be the most future proof? The sgs3 is also easier to hack and will probably have a larger community behind it, which is important. I think I personally like the one X better overall, but if the galaxy beats it in the categories I mentioned I would definitely be happy with it instead. Anyone that cares to share their opinions and answer my questions would be appreciated. Reply
  • Eridanus - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    It's a good thing the S3 has an SD card reader, unlike the Nexus.

    (Am I going to get censured again?)
  • ItsaRaid - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    Brian, both reviews were awesome- how do you cut through the chase and garbage.? Which is the better of the 2? Lets throw away all the crazy stuff, preferences, UI's bells and whistles. I HAVE A Nightmare with a Atrix2 and AT&T. I don't want to duplicate it.
    Wifi connectivity, receive signal functionality, browser use....lag, forced closes, move up or down on a page, my A2 will freeze and won't flick IP or down on a page. It took over a.Monte to load Annand tech on this phone! Audio output is critical to me, I have a sensory hearing deficit. How does the amount of volume compare to the Atrix2. That's all the good the A2 has...lots of volume and a bright crisp display.
    I hope you will respond to this.
    Thank you!
  • Narcopolypse - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    The reason S Voice responds so much like Siri is because they both query Worlfram Alpha (an independent system owned by neither company) for their answers. SRI (the company that made Siri) just added in a fake conversation system (20 year old tech) to tell you lame jokes and act like a back talking bitc# when it can't find an answer for you. None of this is new. And yes, Apple has already sued over it and tried to have sales of the GS3 banned in the US. Reply
  • steven75 - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link

    Or it could be that S Voice is pretty much a complete clone of Siri from the interface to the functionality. Voice control isn't new, but the complete cloning should be obvious to even the most egregious Android/Samsung fanboy.

    If we can't agree on that, then we'll probably disagree on other things such as whether 2+2=4.
  • iCrunch - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Oh come on, I've read multiple reviews and they are 100% consistent in concluding that Samsung's S-Voice doesn't come anywhere close to being as good or accurate or whatever as Apple's Siri. Is my troll/BS detector set to too sensitive or am I picking up some actual trolling here? Reply
  • uhuznaa - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Some people seem to think that this needs just voice recognition and a web service to turn to. In fact the real problem here is actually making sense out of what the user said and this is not just a technical problem.

    I have no idea where Samsung got/bought/licensed the AI here, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the SRI stuff Apple got its hands on were better.
  • ProPhotoman - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    I bought a GS3, and the total ram is only 1.6GB .I checked two more in the store, and they are the same. Why is Samsung publishing it as 2gb? Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Thursday, July 05, 2012 - link

    A portion is reserved for system usage. Reply
  • duffman55 - Sunday, July 08, 2012 - link

    Does the AT&T model have the option to change color profiles so we can choose to have less oversaturated colors? For example, the international version has the option to switch between dynamic, standard, natural, and movie "screen modes". I thought I remembered reading that these would be available this time around unlike the AT&T version of the S2. Reply
  • stargate125645 - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    Why is there no mention of the anti-aliasing unfairly penalizing the Adreno 225? Was it turned off?

    For reference, see this article:
  • stargate125645 - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    I see that the AA issue was only for the Basemark ES, but I still don't understand how the Mali-400 (not the new MP4 version) is better than the Adreno 225. Reply
  • soofdawg - Sunday, July 15, 2012 - link

    Wouldn't it be more appropriate to test battery life straight out of the box, without changing any settings, such as turning off battery saving features? Samsung obviously allows user control of such features, but Apple also uses measures for the iOS to maximize battery life without the option to turn off said software control. Even maximizing screen brightness does not equalize the testing, as you're dealing with varying screen sizes. I may be wrong, but I would think that simply testing any phone straight from the box is what majority of users will experience and provide more 'real world' results. Please correct me if I missed any details on your testing methods or completely off base. Reply
  • hurrakan - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Are you able to report anything about the sound in this phone yet?

    4 weeks ago you said:

    "However, I will be able to get that data in the coming week and update with my findings."

  • packstrap - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    I like the Samsung Galaxy S III because of its elegant form factor. Especially when you look at it from all sides you see the perfection. In this video you can see it from all sides:

    How about that? Thanks Samsung for making SGS III a super phone!
  • fixxxer0 - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    The phone has been out a couple of months now... any news on the Verizon LTE version battery life numbers? Reply

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