Evolution, not revolution

twitter-logoNidhi Singal | Print Edition: July 2012

Price: Rs 38,900
Specs: Android v4.0; 4.8-inch Super AMOLED; 1.4GHz quad core processor; 16GB internal, expandable; Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, A-GPS; 8 MP camera; SVoice; 133 gm; 2100 mAh battery.

Great designing has never been Samsung's forte. The prominent use of plastic has proved a put-off for many, especially those who were hoping the SIII would have a ceramic back. A 4.8-inch super AMOLED display is emblematic of all things big with the phone. Just below the display is the physical home button with two touch keys that illuminate when needed. While the Galaxy SIII sports acceptable looks, it comes nowhere near the HTC One X's strong build and unibody design. Unlike the One X, SIII's back panel is removable and this makes it feel a bit flimsy.

While many count the Galaxy SIII as another iPhone killer, to us it competes more with the much powerful HTC One X. For this, the Galaxy SIII is armed with Exynos quad-core chipset clocked at 1.4GHz paired with a 1GB RAM. Calling it a powerhouse wouldn't be wrong as there is a significant boost in launching and switching apps, browsing the web and handling heavy applications. Giving a tough competition to the One X, it clearly stands out as a clear winner in the benchmark tests.

Instead of joining the megapixel war, Samsung has worked on the camera optics. We think the company has managed to do an excellent job. The iPhone's popular HDR mode has now made its way to the Galaxy SIII. When turned on, the camera captures two images-one to take the dark tones into account, the other the lighter areas and combines them into a better photo then either. The zero shutter lag, burst shot with best photo and still image capture while shooting videos-features made popular by the HTC One X-are also here. Then there is the face tag feature, which recognises photos from the contact list and is further linked to 'buddy share' that makes sharing photos much easier. Wish the phone had a dedicated camera key and we could use the camera while taking calls.

We managed to get close to 12 hours on the first day itself. But if used carefully, it can easily last a full day.

Running the latest Android Ice-Cream Sandwich, the Galaxy SIII tries to please all. However, we personally like the HTC's Sense UI over the TouchWiz user interface in the SIII. The only good thing is the expanded notification bar that gives access to regular shortcuts along with a few unusual ones like notification, sync an driving mode.

Much work has gone into the software of the SIII. Call it an app, service or software, this smartphone features 'S Voice', a voice assistant similar to Apple's Siri. Pressing the home key twice activates S Voice, but it came across as a gimmick as it did not work well with our thick Indian accent and was slower then Siri. The 'smart stay' feature uses the front camera to prevent the screen from dimming or going into auto-lock while the phone is being used for reading or browsing. This worked well. So did the 'direct call' feature that tracked the human action of calling a person in between a message conversation. There is also 'pop up play' that can be used for watching video in a small part of the screen while using the phone for any other work like messaging. The SIII also offers 50GB free storage of Dropbox to its users.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT? Up against the HTC One X, the Galaxy SIII has some good innovations, but at a steep price.

Courtesy:Gadgets and Gizmos

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