The Samsung Galaxy S3 is faster, larger and a little heavier than its successful predecessor, the Galaxy S2. The HD Super AMOLED screen with 1280x720 resolution looks fantastic and we like the phone’s rounded corners as well. The shiny plastic at the back of the handset we are less enthusiastic about; we prefer the more luxurious finishing of HTC’s new One X and One S.
Under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy S III is completely up to date. The new Exynos 4412 processor is one of the fastest available. Looking at the total score of all-round benchmark Antutu, the Galaxy S III even is the fastest phone of the moment. In practice the differences with the other two top smartphones, the One X and One S by HTC, are so small we would not base a choice between these three on benchmark scores.
So the question is whether Samsung’s 'human phone' sufficiently impresses with its software to make it the best choice at this time. We tend towards a ‘yes’ to that question. HTC’s handsets, which we will review in the near future, use HTC’s newest version of Sense UI, which has different stronger and weaker points than Samsung’s Touchwiz. The choice between these two is more a matter of personal preference. If we ignore that aspect, we still think Samsung is the more innovative one with the Galaxy S3. Not all new features are equally useful in day-to-day use, but having used them for a bit, we are inclined to say Smart stay, Smart alert and Tap to top really offer added value.
Still, we cannot unequivocally call the Galaxy S3 the best choice in any circumstance if you are in the market for a new high-end smartphone. As stated, the differences with HTC’s top models are small indeed and at the time of writing the lowest price for the Galaxy S3 is about £65 higher than that of the HTC One X, even over £100 more than the One S. Additionally, the Galaxy S3 is the largest of the three. Even though that is caused by its larger screen, not everyone will view this as an advantage. The choice between the three high-end phones of the moment is not clear cut as far as we are concerned. However if you are looking for a successor to the Galaxy S or S2, then the S3 is the most logical choice. Now matter how you look at it, it is a very nice, lightning fast and very complete handset.