The Samsung Galaxy S III is the flagship Android smartphone of Samsung Electronics released in 2012. Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S II, the S III is a touchscreen-based, slate-sized smartphone, with a significant addition of software features, expanded hardware, and a redesigned physique.
There's also the question of diagnostic speeds versus real-word tests. Throughout my testing in various San Francisco locations, I used the Speedtest.net app to measure the download and upload speeds for each phone. As real-world tests, I would also visit Web sites and download a common game.
My time tests certainly won't match up with any you conduct in your own cities and neighborhoods, and I'm not suggesting that the outcome of my test is true every time in San Francisco. Carriers continuously build out and upgrade their networks across an urban or rural market, which means that the data speed landscape is very much in flux.
Riptide GP downloaded and installed in 33 and 32 seconds from CNET's office. CNET's desktop site loaded in 6.6 seconds.
Sprint's 3G network hobbled along in San Francisco. Out of 31 tests, speeds never broke 1Mbps downlink. The highest uplink speed was 1.04Mbps. Sprint's speeds won't stay sluggish in all corners as the carrier is beginning to switch on its 4G LTE network in 15 cities, starting with cities in Texas, Georgia, and Kansas.
The Galaxy S3 does not support Sprint's 4G WiMax network, so until LTE comes to your town, you'll be surfing on 3G.
The phone's specs and features are exactly the same as other U.S Galaxy S3 models and has the same price tag, with the 16GB model at $199 on a two-year contract, and $249 for the 32GB model.
'With an exclusive red color this summer and the power of the nation's largest 4G network, AT&T delivers the best wireless experience for Galaxy S III fans.' said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility.
Samsung is expected to release more color variants of the phone in the U.K. The Samsung UK spokesperson said the different variants would be announced in due course, according to Mobile Apps.
Pick up the Samsung Galaxy S3 and I can't help feeling a little deflated. Despite being about the same weight as the iPhone 4S its light polycarbonate shell and smoothly curved edges transpire to make it feel rather light and plasticy.
Sat next to the 4S with its metal edges and Gorilla Glass front and rear the Galaxy S3 looks a bit Fisher-Price, available from Mothercare, supervise young children when playing with toy smartphones. The shape is sleek and actually quite slippery. Whether the 'Pebble Blue' colour version, that I had, was suffering from a touch of moss is unclear, but within five minutes of getting it out of the box I found myself doing the comedy soap juggling act around the living room.
This means that not only can switch the battery in and out - a key consideration for many people - there's also a cheeky surprise in the shape of a microSD slot next to the microSIM port. Expandable memory? This just gets better and better.
This means that theoretically you'll be able to have a 128GB-capacity Samsung Galaxy S3 if you combine the top spec of internal memory (64GB) with the largest microSD card around at the moment (64GB)... making it a mouth-watering prospect for those that love a spot of media.
Do we choose the blazingly-fast core that is almost infallible when it comes to navigation? The bright and clear Super AMOLED HD screen which never fails to raise a small smile when watching video (especially HD stuff)?
We could move onto the fact that despite packing a similar sensor to the S2, the camera is still a cracking effort that will please most. Or we could point out how mind-blowingly fast the internet browser is.
Oh, and lest we forget the storage: up to 128GB onboard the phone and a further 50GB from Dropbox. The design is also very sleek and the weight is minimal too - and battery life borders on the stellar at times.
S Voice and Smart Stay currently don't seem like much more than gimmicks at the moment, with the former especially quickly getting (metaphorically) dusty within the phone. Voice accuracy is just too poor for general use, and some of the responses border on the weird.
That's not necessarily a slight on Samsung, more on the crazy culture Apple has created by telling us that voice control is important. It really isn't until it's unerringly accurate.
The design is probably the biggest bone of contention for most, and that's where the subjectivity lies: it's not got the most premium of feeling behind it, and the rounded edges don't feel overly 'fashionable' at the moment.
That said, within a few days of use we found the build and design, especially when being fished out of the pocket, really grew on us. The slippery feeling might worry some that think they'll drop it, but it really feels like a polished device when being fondled.
Would we recommend you buy one? Yes, without hesitation. If you're torn between this and an HTC One X, it's a very difficult one to call - the camera on the One X is much better and the overall feel might appeal. But in terms of pure usability and power, we really like what Samsung has put on the table.
And if you're thinking about picking up an iPhone 4S: forget it. You'll need to wait to see what response Apple is Cooking up with the iPhone 5 as a 3.5-inch screen and the same high price tag it launched with are no longer acceptable.
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