Samsung Galaxy S III review: The Superphone has arrived*

Someone told me that the Year of the Dragon would be a lucky year for me. I didn’t believe it, until the other Friday when I was chosen to be one of the three lucky winners of a Samsung Galaxy S III at its product launch by SMART Communications.

Having used smartphones even before they were called smartphones, I know I have to do a review of the Samsung Galaxy S III because this is not just like any other smartphone in the market today.


OS: Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Processor: 1.4 GHz Quad-Core Exynos
Display: 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.8” (Gorilla Glass) HD Super AMOLED
Wireless Connections: HSDPA+, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, FM Radio, NFC
Memory: 16GB Internal Storage, MicroSD up to 64GB, 1GB RAM
Connectors: Micro USB port
Camera: 8.0MP with 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second with LED flash (Main), 1.9MP with 720p video recording at 30 frames per second (Secondary)
SIM Card Slot: Micro SIM required

Inside the box: Samsung Galaxy S III, Battery, Charger, Micro USB Cable, Quick Start Guide, In-Ear Headphones, Earbuds

S3 = Sleekishly Stylish & Sexy

I have used large phones with large screens before, and when I’ve heard the news about the screen size of the Samsung Galaxy S3, I thought it’s way oversized for people’s hands. But holding the Samsung Galaxy S III for the first time changed my negative perception about supersized phones. For one, I found the Galaxy S3’s Super HD AMOLED screen absolutely gorgeous! Photos and Videos are much livelier and enjoyable to view thanks to its large 4.8” display. Combining the large screen of the Galaxy S III with a bumped up resolution of 720×1280 pixels means that a lot more information can be displayed on screen compared to other smartphones with lower screen resolutions.

Despite its size, the Galaxy S3 is lightweight and can easily fit into a jeans pocket. The back cover may feel like it’s made of plastic, but it is actually made of a polycarbonate material that’s quite durable compared to the usual plastic material we find in cheaper feature phones. Speaking of durability, I didn’t bother looking for a screen protector for the Galaxy S3 since its screen is already made of Gorilla Glass 2. You should not get worried about scratching its screen with your coins or car keys if you place the phone in your pocket.

Style-wise, I find this a lot more appealing than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S II. The corners of the Galaxy S3 are more rounded, and the chrome lining on the side is curved, making it look even sexier. As you can see in the pictures, what I got is the Marble-White version of the Galaxy S3 but it will also be available in Pebble Blue.


The Galaxy S III is Samsung’s first smartphone to use a 1.4 GHz Quad-Core Exynos processor. The thought of having a smartphone that’s powered by  a Quad-Core processor is just completely mindblowing and I immediately put the Galaxy S3 to task by opening a bunch of apps to see if it can smoothly handle a whole lot of background tasks. Guess what? No lag at all! Operation and GUI navigation was smooth and seamless all throughout!

A neat feature that the Galaxy S III has is the Pop-Up Video. This lets you play videos while doing other tasks on the phone. I have finished watching a few episodes of NCIS & Modern Family while tweeting, browsing, and texting on the Galaxy S3. Again, no lags on the video while multi-tasking and I’d like to think that this was all made possible by the Quad-core processor. That’s what you call true multi-tasking!

Here’s what the pop-up video feature looks like on the Samsung Galaxy S III

the newest point-and-shoot camera?

My current digital camera is my iPhone 4S. Yes, it’s a smartphone, but it takes pictures with quality that’s comparable to a mid range point & shoot. So how does the Samsung Galaxy S III stack up against the reigning king of Smartphone cameras? Like the iPhone 4S, the Galaxy S3 sports an 8 Megapixel camera with flash, and based on the pictures I took using both smartphones, the Galaxy S3 has a slightly brighter hue in all of the photos.

Photo comparison: A photo taken by the Galaxy S III on the left and a photo taken by the iPhone 4S on the right

Photo comparison: A photo taken by the Galaxy S III on the left and a photo taken by the iPhone 4S on the right

storage and battery life

A smartphone may have all of the best features crammed into it, but all of that would be useless if it wasn’t complemented with sufficient battery life and storage capacity. The Samsung Galaxy S III has both of those in spades. Equipped with a hefty 2,100 mAH rated battery, the Galaxy S III was able to last me almost a full day of use. This is the first time the Galaxy line of smartphones has been equipped with a 2,100 rated battery and Samsung most definitely be commended for this. To make things even more awesome, the battery is user replaceable!

As for the memory, I’m quite satisfied with what the S3 has: 16 GB of internal storage plus the availability of a micro SD slot that is compatible with micro SD cards up to 64 GB.

and a few smart touches

Let’s face it: a smartphone can also be used to impress your friends. And the S3 delivers lots to talk about here. First, there’s S-Voice which is Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 4S’ Siri. There’s also Smart Stay that lets the Galaxy S3’s screen display stay on as long as it detects the user’s eyes. And if you want to take screenshots on your phone, simply swipe the side of your hand on the screen and it will do just that!

The huge screen of the Samsung Galaxy S III literally dwarfs that of the competition


After jumping ship from Android to the iPhone camp last December, I told myself I would never be impressed with any Android phone that would come to my hands. Looks like I’m going to eat my words. There is so much to like about the Samsung Galaxy S III that I’m willing to use it as my daily driver and put the iPhone 4S back to its box. (No friends, I’m not going to sell it thank you very much!)

To end this review, I have to agree with the marketing spin-doctors that these kinds of phones should be called Superphones. Now that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is already out in the market, the Superphone has already arrived!

SRP: Php 32,990.00 (unlocked)
Globe: Free at Plan 2499 with Unlimited Internet
Smart: Free at Plan 2000 Unlimited Data Plan

* Reprinted from June 11, 2012 

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