Dear Internet: I am incredibly sorry for overhyping the disappointment that is the Galaxy S III

gs3

Last night, after several months of rumors and speculation, Samsung finally announced their 2012 flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III. It’s a device that I’ve been telling everyone to wait for, telling everyone that it’s going to be the best Android handset to come out this year, telling everyone that buying any other smartphone would be a huge mistake. Now that the Galaxy S III is official, I have to admit that I was wrong, and I’m deeply sorry.

Let’s start with the screen. The size is alright, 4.8 inches, but it uses PenTile technology, meaning color reproduction is a bit off and text appears fuzzy. Compared to the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy S III is a bit of a disappointment in that regard. Next up is the processor. Sure, it’s fast, it has four cores, it’s built on a 32 nanometer process, but it’s not a huge leap forward compared to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4. The GPU in the Exynos 4 Quad kicks the Adreno 225 in the ass, there’s no denying that, but what exactly is Android going to do with all that graphics horsepower?

Moving to the camera, it looks to be a minor improvement to the 8 megapixel shooter inside the Galaxy S II, which sounds fantastic, but the iPhone 4S, the HTC One S, and HTC One X use better optics and have better camera software compared to this new Galaxy. I was expecting to hear Samsung talk about a larger sensor or a greater aperture, but instead they demoed burst mode.

As for the actual design of the device, it looks incredibly boring. When I showed the Galaxy S III to my girlfriend, she said it looked uglier than her father’s Galaxy S II, and I’m sure many of you share the same sentiment. The shift in design language from the the previous Galaxy S II to the current Galaxy S III reminds of Nokia’s portrait QWERTY Eseries smartphones. The Nokia E71 was arguably the best designed Symbian powered device that the Finnish handset maker ever sold. When it came time to refresh the product, there was a lot of pressure for the company to deliver a worthy update. The E72 failed to meet expectations. The hard edges from the E71 disappeared. The robust build quality was sacrificed to eek out higher margins. Everything about the E72 just left a sour taste in many people’s mouths.

So am I now going to recommend you pick up the HTC One X? No. The international version, which has the quad core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, is inferior to the AT&T 4G LTE variant that has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4. Europeans are stuck with a version of the One X that’s slower, has less battery life, and it even runs hotter. This is the first time in smartphone history where the Americans actually got something better than the rest of the world. But forget about the guts for a second, I simply can not stand Sense UI. To me it looks absolutely hideous, and I know some of you actually like it, but I personally wouldn’t recommend an HTC device to anyone I know.

What else is there to look forward to this year? The next iPhone, the next Nexus, and Windows Phone 8. We should be hearing about all those things during the last 100 days of the year. If you can’t wait that long and are looking for a new handset, then you’re in luck. Now that the Galaxy S III is out, expect the price for the Galaxy S II to drop like a stone. It may be a year old, but it’s still one damn fine device. That and it’s even been upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich!

It pains me to say this, but let the countdown begin to the Galaxy S IV.

Oh and one more thing: The opinions expressed above are my own and don’t really matter in the grander scheme of things. I’m 100% certain that sales of the Galaxy S III will be out of this world. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Samsung will easily double their sales numbers for the Galaxy S II, which I think stands at around 20 million units as of today.

[Image Credit: AnandTech]

  • http://techspalace.blogspot.com Technical Fun

    I’m also extremely disappointed by sgsIII. But your post is senseless, way senseless.

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      What would have made it make more sense?

      • http://techspalace.blogspot.com Technical Fun

        Just read your post again. You’re complaining it doesn’t have high CPU power and again complaining it has too much GPU power. I can’t understand your reasons behing HTC One X. After reading your post I feel like you’re just trying to write negative in whatever possible way. 

        • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

          ok …

          • hippo momo

            yup.. it was too negative.. n about the screen too even though its pentile .. its still HD .. u wont see pixels until u stick up ur nose to the screen

          • Jessesaintz

            I need thos SG 3 now!

          • Marty K

            Dont kid yourself Pentile is a deal breaker. It’s the main reason I wouldn’t get the htc one s

    • Anonymous

      Care to explain?

  • Jhen

    Samsung Galaxy S III: form factor is inspired by Nokia N97, while the ceramic blue and white color variants of the Galaxy S3 were inspired from Nokia N86. And it is designed for Nokia fanatics :D

  • Jhen

    Samsung Galaxy S III: form factor is inspired by Nokia N97, while the ceramic blue and white color variants of the Galaxy S3 were inspired from Nokia N86. And it is designed for Nokia fanatics :D

  • Anonymous

    Word, Stefan. 
    Personally Im hoping the next Sony will save us all.

    • Marty K

      LOL!

      • Anonymous

        !? (Perhaps delusional but its the last hope from someone that likes a well designed non iOS phone)

        • Sam

           You would be right if Sony knew how to design. They lost their way a decade ago.

          • Anonymous

            Xperia S?

  • http://www.techendeavour.com/Mobile_Application_Development Mobile application development

    Okay so the bottom line says SIII not impressive. Well, its Samsung and the galaxy series so the sales is not a predictable factor. The public reaction is what that matters the most and thus waiting to see the acceptance or comments from real people.

    • Anonymous

      …have you checked any of the multiple social networks..!?

  • http://mobiledan.com MobileDan

    Thanks! Glad I didn’t look to commit. Getting an upgrade on at&t Might just get the one. Any news on when the US carriers will get it?

  • Ejiro Winifred

    According to benchmarks conducted by the folks at Gsmarena, the Galaxy S III is the fastest Android phone to date. How much CPU and GPU power does one really need? The RAM is more than adequate and so is the 8MP camera. Anything above 8 MP would be ridiculous because no one would use their phone to take pictures for a billboard! Btw it now has a backside-illuminated sensor.

    I was expecting the GS3 to be a boring phone with over the top technical specs but when it was finally launched I was impressed because this new phone pays attention to me as a user and not the worldwide specs war. I hate sharp lines so the curved body is great for me ; the disadvantages of the pentile screen are almost offset by the 306ppi. The new features this phone offers are revolutionary. It’s going to be more than just a phone. Wireless charging ftw!

    The screen is not as good as the SLCD2 on the One X but that’s the only place the One X beats the GS3. Who needs polycarbonate when you’ll just put a case on it?

  • Aloner

    All plastic build is the biggest disappointment for me. (wait, let´s see the battery life…..)
     

  • http://www.rickycadden.com/ Ricky Cadden

    I still think Sense UI gets a bad wrap due to the limited launcher. I would challenge you to get a Sense phone (like a One X or similar), put a new launcher on it, and THEN use it for a few weeks and see how you feel. 

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      The theme in general, plus the multitasking UI = no thanks. If HTC wants to send me a phone, great, but I’m not going to ask for one.

    • Toby

      I too hate sense, and it has nothing to do with the launcher. It has to do with everything about it. It’s bloated, laggy, and old fashioned looking.

      • http://www.rickycadden.com/ Ricky Cadden

        Which version of Sense are you talking about? You don’t have to use all of it. I use very little of HTC’s apps, but it’s a fact that there are several aspects of Sense UI that trump stock Android:

        1. Exchange support – it’s crazy how much better it is. Better support for meetings, syncing profiles (peak/offpeak, etc), etc. 

        2. Camera UI – filters, more settings, etc. The stock camera app blows. 

        3. Lockscreen

        4. Notification bar (quick access to settings, etc

        5. Music Player doesn’t blow (supports Genre, etc)

        6. WiFi hotspot support lets you choose the type/security. I had issues getting my iPad to see the stock WiFi hotspot on my GNex, but no issues with the Sense one.

        I *DON’T* use the Sense launcher, ‘FriendStream’, etc.

        Also, Sense v3.6+ is MILES ahead of where Sense 2.0 was in terms of bloat/lag.

  • Nickaroo87

    Sounds like this reporteris pitching with a b get over yourself

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001982971717 Ronald Luage

    Their presentation was dull,boring and fucked up

  • MVZ

    The SG III is like having birth prince Charles highly disappointed fugly on the outside and no morals on the inside, hopefully Sammy can find it’s Diana and birth a better SG IV but not have to wait 18 years for a better product.

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      The Galaxy S IV will likely be out in May 2013.

  • http://twitter.com/ihbrune Henning

    Blogger said the same on the iPhone 4S: ‘great disappointment’, ‘not innovative’ and so on. But nobody cared…..

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Read the last paragraph again. And again. AND AGAIN.

  • Anonymous

    i love the fact that samsung had to make the s3 way uglier than the s2, just to get away from cloning the iphone’s look yet again. samsung *really* needs some serious design help.

    • http://profiles.google.com/friiduh Fri 13

      Some people thinks iPhone looks ugly and Apple needs serious design help.
      Some people thinks Galaxy series looks ugly and Samsung needs serious design help.
      And some people thinks Lumia series looks ugly and Nokia needs serious design help.

      Do I smell just fans hate here? 

      Why people are not so much saying same things from LG, ZTE, Huawei, HTC, Sony, Motorola etc?

      After all, touch screen smart phones are not so much different from each other. All share same visual design around big screen a buttons at bottom, volume rockers, camera, speaker and microphone etc. 

      There is no game changer anymore. At least before iPhone we had lots of different kind phones from what to discuss. Now all are just same looking blocks with bright colors or dim colors. There is no huge difference between display technologies like was when resolution was either 240×320 or 480×640.

      A camera to produce 5Mpix or 50Mpix when everyone post it to facebook in size of 640×480 and it is anyway motion blurry or over-focused picture with somekind idiotic LoMo effect applied to them. 

      Seriously, the phone physical design does not matter anymore so much. It isn’t about hardware, it is about what you get with software. After few days using a new phone, most users don’t anymore care about the case design and they start hating the over bright color casings sooner than ever. 

      But there always will be some tech or design jambos who like to compare everything to apples and oranges, even when they don’t understand at all they don’t even itself care about that stuff. 

      When person wants something stylish for their used cloths or devices, they don’t go to global store to buy something what everyone else is buying. No, they go to tailor or workshop who will tailor their cloths and devices especially for them. And they become unique.

      It is like buying an wedding ring or new pair of shoes or suite. You are ready to pay a lot from that being unique. Thats why there are more cases and skins for iPhone than any other phone. That was something what Nokia tried to do with Vertu series that you had phone what had 16 diamonds and 18 carat gold base with silver letters. 

      No one admire their phone design just by holding it in their hand and touching it all day long when waiting something. They will use it. The software matters in the end and on it you can separate yourself from anyone other with tailored GUI style with Android. 

  • http://twitter.com/NoPCZone1 David Gregory

    Same-song couldn’t deliver anything new because Apple hasn’t released anything for them to copy and then deny they copied.

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  • WC

    I love how everyone is hating on Samsung and the S3 and harping on about disappointment when Samsung specifically said that the S3 was just going to be a minor upgrade to the S2. I don’t tihnk one of the largest and most profitable electronics brands in the world is just playing a guessing game everyday. They told us flat out that ithe S3 was not going to be some quad core, 2GB RAM, 1080p screen weilding beast. they pretty much said to not expect such a huge jump in technicality as the S2 was to the original S.

    They were as good as their word and while we all want some dream phone that will shoot pics like a DSLR, run as fast as some Falcon Northwest custom PC and be as pretty as a naked Kate Beckinsale – it’s never giong to happen.

    We hyped the S3 ourselves to ridiculous proportions, not Samsung, with our checklist of what we want and not what is.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know what author talking about.. anyway I can’t wait to pick up SGIII by this year!  CAN’T WAIT! 

  • zierka

    “This is the first time in smartphone history where the Americans actually got something better than the rest of the world.” 

    bullshit

  • Anonymous

    Stefan…I love you…in a strictly not gay way…you said everything I was thinking when I saw this phone.

  • http://www.tatvasoft.co.uk/iphone-application-development.php Scott Shaffer

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  • Doomleika

    Well said Stefan. You are an honest writer. A rare breed on internet those days.

  • http://profiles.google.com/friiduh Fri 13


    there’s no denying that, but what exactly is Android going to do with all that graphics horsepower?”

    Android does not benefit from anything over 320Mhz CPU, but user does benefit a lot from higher raw processing speed because developers can make much better applications to use that processing speed. Like do some 1080p video effects at realtime (digital stabilization anyone?) or make some very complex calculations (engineering applications anyone?) based user typed mathematical formulas etc etc.

    Why it feels that Android journalists have not studied Android technology in the pure technical level and try out how perfectly it works at low end hardware (like ARM6 CPU at 128-254Mhz without GPU acceleration?) and separate it from what applications can do?

    When we get more processing power, we can do much more than just a nice GUI with animations. The addressbook, facebook client or photogallery does not get improved because that.

    Does most people use their smart phones basicly only for browsing web, using twitter and facebook and talking?
    For those reasons, no one needs latest and greatest smart phone hardware. Even Windows Phone limitations is enough for them. 
    As it is like using quad core, three Nvidia card in SLI system with 16GB RAM to use MS Office to type some letters for mom. Way too overpowered. 
    Gamers of course will benefit a lot, but how about using complex applications then?

    No, most people does not need greatest hardware, best GUI or anything. 

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. Major disappointment.

    At it’s intro price level, I don’t expect S3 to sell *anywhere near* the volume that S2 did.

    It’s just too “meh”. HC users will take a pass, iPhone users won’t switch over and the average Android user thing it’s not too hot and too expensive.

    A heavy disappointment, esp. considering the rumors.

    Just upping the screen, cam and SoC would have done wonders, along with a few really worthwhile software features, instead of the useless features they now demoed.

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Disagree regarding your sales number estimates. Like I said in my article, I’m pretty sure GS3 sales will easily be double that of GS2 sales.

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  • http://twitter.com/bigbair45 AUSTIN BAIR

    I’m buying the EVO 4G LTE!  GSIII is going to have the same amount of RAM & S4 processor when it gets to the US.  So why not buy a better phone than the GSIII?  With Beats Audio, Better Camera. CNC aluminum unibody design (not plastic), Kickstand, DEDICATED CAMERA BUTTON…..and so on.  Nay Say Sprint & HTC all you want, but i bet the EVO LTE sells close to or more on The Now Network than the GSIII. 

  • Reinold

    I saw the online event and I liked it more (or disliked less perhaps) but for the constant reminder of water sounds and images and the strange shape of the Galaxy that i wasn’t very sure to see a new cell phone or a promotion of a new soap…
    I don’t know, i feel the same I felt with the Iphone 4, I still prefer the Iphone 3gs shape design. I am sure that this phone is going to be succesful too because this is no more technology but fashion.

  • Mahsoom Moosa42

    i can’t understand why you hate htc sense. 

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  • Anonymous

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