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Android Cellphones Handhelds

Samsung Galaxy S III Launched, Hands-On Testing 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the another-day-another-phone dept.
MojoKid writes "One of the most highly anticipated Android phones of the year is the Samsung Galaxy S III, and its official launch is today. This smartphone comes with a number of new features we haven't seen on many Android phones, including improved voice control functionality, new sharing features, and Near Field Communication features. Those include Samsung's new TecTiles, which are programmable NFC tags you can use to control the phone's many features and functions. For example, you can program a TecTile to automatically change phone settings for a particular location, send a text message, open apps, etc. Samsung's S Voice functionality works much the same way as Apple's Siri: you can use plain English to tell the phone what you want it to do. You can set alarms, update your social networks, get navigation instructions and ask basic questions. During tests with the Galaxy S III, the performance and accuracy with S Voice was comparable to Siri on an iPhone 4S. Performance-wise, the Galaxy S III handled well in the benchmarks, with Qualcomm's dual-core SnapDragon S4 offering a very fluid experience across Samsung's 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display."
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Samsung Galaxy S III Launched, Hands-On Testing

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  • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @06:37AM (#40382855) Journal
    Where are the alleged 32GB and 64GB versions? They were announced along with the 16GB versions, but may be no more than attractive vapor to draw in customers (it nearly worked on me, but all the vendors say they only have 16GB models).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I have the 32 GB version in my pocket. But i didn't see the 64GB one here (switzerland)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @06:52AM (#40382941)

        Different phone. You have the international, quad-core Exynos, HSPA GT-I9300. This article is about the US-only, dual-core Krait, LTE SGH-I747 (AT&T), SGH-I535 (Verizon) and SGH-T999 (T-Mobile, only HSPA on this version).

    • by Liambp (1565081)

      Can't you just upgrade the memory with a microSD? You certainly could with the original Galaxy.

      • by master811 (874700)

        Yes you can, but as always I guess onboard memory is always faster than external SD cards.

        • by Nursie (632944)

          While this is likely true, I had thought that SDXC cards were supposed to be pretty quick.

          • by Inda (580031)
            I stumped up the cash for a 32GB Samsung Class 10 for my S2 and haven't been dissapointed.

            There's no real need to save videos and images straight to the card, so I use it as a media store. Through a USB cable, I'm able to stream 1080p XVID to the TV, so it's plenty fast enough.

            The S3 will come and go before my contract runs out. I think I'll wait for the S4....
            • That's not a bad idea. I'm of the opinion that there will always, always be a better phone around the corner and as long as your apps run and your vendor isn't making your phone unusable with software updates there's no need to upgrade out of cycle. Naturally, if you're a developer and require the newest models for what you do, that's a different story.
        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          In many cases, onboard memory is one of the targets of cost savings. Spend money on a class 10 memory card and you'll likely find it performing better then built in memory.

      • by P-niiice (1703362)
        are you asking me to settle for less storage because i will literally kill you
    • How does vaporware draw in customers? Hypnotized apple fans are known for buying every version that comes out, but for the most part the average android customer, buys the one they want when it comes out. I would imagine unobtainable vaporware, delays if not removes the sale. IE the 32 GB version should be out in a month, I'll wait until it comes out before buying.
      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Why the Apple comparison? If there's one company known to be the antithesis of vapourware it's got to be Apple - they simply do not announce products unless they are almost ready to ship, and software is only publicly announced if it has a definite internal release date.

        Other than the white iPhone (which did eventually ship), I can't think of any vapourware products from Apple, so I'm not really seeing the relevance of mentioning them, unless you were going for a cheap dig, but you're above that, right?

        • I wasn't talking about vaporware at all, with apple I was referring to the level of loyalty of their fan-base, and the rapidness of their hardcore to upgrade. IE the quanity of apple fans who will buy (rolling way back in time here), the 1GB Ipod, and then the 4 GB Ipod when it comes out a month later, then the 8GB one 3 months after that. There are a handful of those types with any product, but Apple seems to have the largest quantity of that type of person. While more frugal people, will likely not buy un
          • by iamhassi (659463)
            " I was referring to the level of loyalty of their fan-base, and the rapidness of their hardcore to upgrade."

            They have fans because they make great products and they support those products. A iPhone that runs next year's iOS 6 [theverge.com] is only 99 cents. [gottabemobile.com]

            Cheap and runs next year's OS? Yes please. Oh wait, no 4.8" OMGLOL screen. Nevermind, because, you know, I buy phones for the hardware, not because it runs the all the apps I want now and next year.
    • Yesterday my son got a blue 32 GB device. They are around.
    • by trcooper (18794)

      My 32GB version is scheduled to ship by 7/9. Preordered through Verizon.

      I don't believe there has been anyone touting a 64GB version. 32+SD is what I want though. Don't know if I'd pony up another $50-100 for an extra 32GB on board.

    • by TH3ORY (2035548)
      give it time they will come 9million pre orders thats why sammy hasn't realised the 32gig & 64gig models be patine :)
  • "Official launch"? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ledow (319597) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @06:45AM (#40382911) Homepage

    Funny, I've had four of them in my office for about a week now, with the brief of setting them up with our Google Apps for Educators accounts.

    We didn't do anything special, just rang up our normal mobile supplier and they gave us four business contracts and posted the phones out same day.

    Official launch in the US, maybe?

    • by pinkushun (1467193) * on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:00AM (#40382979) Journal

      ... plus 4 years for African Countries. I just got my upgrade, the S1 promoted as "the phone" to have.

      • Depends on the country, I suppose. In South Africa the S3 has been available for weeks already. Where you you from?

        • I believe we get the 4 core version. :) If it there is nothing better, it will be my next phone when my contract expires in September, though there will no doubt be something better by then...

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Yep. Had mine for a few weeks, already had one update and rooted it. Must say I am quite impressed, it is a nice upgrade from the original Galaxy S in terms of speed. The screen is lovely too.

    • by MojoKid (1002251) *
      That's it exactly actually. Official launch in the US was this morning at 12AM.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      it's the US launch.

      of the shittier specced version.

      so "yeehaa".

      • by Draveed (664730) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @02:38AM (#40395111)
        Is it really all that shitty? The US version gets a 2-core processor but 2 GB of RAM. The international version gets a 4-core processor with only 1 GB of RAM. How many apps will really utilize those 4 cores? Frankly, I suspect having more RAM will end up being more beneficial in real world usage.
    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      Yeah, Slashdot being a little too US-Centric this time.

      This is announcing the launch of the carrier-crippled mutant derpbeasts, not the real I9300.

      • by Dishevel (1105119)

        Slashdot is being to US centric for a US website that is US centric?

        • by ledow (319597)

          Slashdot doesn't say anywhere that it's US-centric. In fact most of the articles for the past few months have been about the Raspberry Pi, PirateBay and UK legislation.

          I have always assumed it is US, but there's no reason to pretend this is the ONLY launch date in the world, especially not when it's one of the LAST countries to get it.

          And when UK-centric sites announce launch dates, even for UK products, they always clarify it if there are other launch dates out there. It's common courtesy. The "Inter" i

          • by Dishevel (1105119)

            Slashdot doesn't say anywhere that it's US-centric

            It used to. Since it was bought by a company though they have removed that bit of knowledge so as not to offend any potential new readers I guess.
            Your UID is low enough to have read many postings pointing this out in the past though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @06:55AM (#40382961)

    ... the Galaxy S3 has been available for a while already. The USA is not the center of the world is this is not an "Official launch" but merely a "local one".
    I know, it must be hard for once, not to be the first on the line.

    Try to bear with it..

    • Same name, different phone. The US model is very different. So, yes, this is an official launch.

      • by jo_ham (604554) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (999mahoj)> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:50AM (#40383319)

        So that's how they're getting around Android fragmentation! Just call everything the same name and model number. No more fragmentation!

        • They learned from Microsoft and Apple. If you just name it the same thing, you can make people think it's the same.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I know right?

          I was at a phone store the other day. This sales guy was showing some lady these Android phones, pointing out how one had a 4.5 in screen and keyboard, one had a 3.9 in screen and 3D, one had a 5 in screen and stylus, and so on. I went up, grabbed her away, and yelled 'FFFFFFFRAGMENTATION!' at the top of my lungs, and shoved her to the iPhone section. She ended up buying 500 iPhones for her small business.

          Another victory for Apple. Thank god for iPhone.

          • by jo_ham (604554)

            Cool story bro.

            Also, you fell for it. ;)

            Ah, you can tell the real problems with a platform by how touchy the extremely brave anonymous fans are who take the bait when you post a joke about it.

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            One size fits all. Also true for shoes. Don't want to fragment them toes, do we?

      • > The US model is very different.

        I've read lots of posts that said they "had" to use dualcore "because of LTE", but why, exactly, did the LTE-equipped US models non-negotiably *HAVE* to be dualcore? Is there some insurmountable engineering reason why they couldn't have just slapped a separate LTE radio module onto them, like Sprint has done with all of their high-end phones for the past 3 years to add wimax to them? I mean, did they make prototype SGS3 phone with Exynos, MDM6600, and Beceem LTE chip, the

        • Power, size, an cost. Like all engineering, it was a compromise. They chose to optimize those 3 rather than use a separate LTE chipset.

  • How can something that "works much the same way as Apple's Siri" be an improvement, when Siri is supposedly just a lame copy of Android voice control?
  • by F'Nok (226987) * on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:09AM (#40383019)

    This smartphone comes with a number of new features we haven't seen on many Android phones, including improved voice control functionality, new sharing features, and Near Field Communication features. Those include Samsung's new TecTiles, which are programmable NFC tags you can use to control the phone's many features and functions.

    I have a Sony Xperia S, released in January, that does these things already and came with several NFC tags.
    Not exactly new really...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      It says 'haven't seen on many', not 'any'. As, in only a few phones have already had it which is true.

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:12AM (#40383031) Journal

    Disclaimer: I'm an ex iphone user who switch to Android 18 months ago.

    I love it, I goddamn love this thing, I upgraded from a Galaxy S2 - knowing it was kind of a very unecessary upgrade but I can't help it, I guess I got "must have latest" from being an ex Apple person.

    So at first I thought, ok it's prettier and bigger but it seems quite similar to my Galaxy S2 - but the subtleties have grown on me.
    I specifically like the motion based silence mode, if I see a call I don't like, just upturn the phone face down, put it on the desk - silenced, love that.
    Battery life is really bloody good, better than I expected.
    Pentile screen, I was shitting myself, worried I'd hate it - don't notice a thing, it's great.

    People claim there's some high end audio chip and music is better in the thing, it SEEMS better but that could be a placebo.
    I have tiny tiny little hands and found the S2 I could only just hold - however the S3 despite being larger, is about the same due to the curved corners, it's still one hand-able - not easy but possible. I also figured before hand, we're going to 2 hand if we like it or not as the 'all in one' tricorder, tablet, phone, portable tv player, electronic wallet merges - so I have to deal with bigger eventually.

    It's fast (duh) - and even on 3G on a good network (Telstra Australia) - surprisingly damned fast.
    Only "con" I know of is that there's some issues installing swype to it but that can be gotten around. (it FASCINATES me that Apple users don't know what this is, as far as I'm concerned there is no other alternative on a touchscreen, PERIOD - swype is without question leaps and bounds ahead of other keyboards - hunt and peck keyboards to me are like watching newbies type, it's ghastly!)

    I seriously can't think of a thing wrong with it. I was enamoured with my iphone 3G when I got my first smartphone, my 3GS was incremental as an upgrade, my Iphone 4 was bloody pretty in style and the screen - but then my switch to a HTC HD2 was also quite impressive and my Galaxy S2 - but none of them have impressed and continue to impress me like this. I love the weight and size, it feels completely right. Complaints about "plastic phones" being awful are ludicrous, the S2 pulled it off as does the S3 - it weighs less, less inertia, lighter in the pocket - less chance of damage when dropped. Nope it's just great.

    • I don't know whether the audio is better than the S3 but it is almost certainly better than the Note. In fact my (positively prehistoric) HTC Desire's audio was significantly better than the Note.
    • if I see a call I don't like, just upturn the phone face down, put it on the desk

      /me tries that with wife's S2... yep, works just like that!

      • by AbRASiON (589899) *

        Interesting, I was under the impression that was one of the new motion controls! Well ok the notification light is awesome and the little tiny vibrate when you pick it up with a message you haven't checked is just adorable. It just feels /smart/

    • by jo_ham (604554) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (999mahoj)> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:53AM (#40383337)

      Who says Apple users don't know what Swype is? I have been pretty vocal about how much I wish it could be included on the iPhone. I thought it was great.

    • I seriously can't think of a thing wrong with it.

      An Android phone that you don't want to root? There must be something wrong there. Seriously, I'm green with envy. Just one question. How's the face "lock" feature?

    • by cdp0 (1979036)

      I specifically like the motion based silence mode, if I see a call I don't like, just upturn the phone face down, put it on the desk - silenced, love that.

      My Nokia N9 has that. It works for calls and alarms of any kind (clock, calendar).

      Only "con" I know of is that there's some issues installing swype to it but that can be gotten around.

      Nokia N9 has Swype by default and it works extremely well. Although I thought I would never use it, now I use it for everything.

    • by gutnor (872759)
      You got a iPhone 3G then 3GS then 4. You switch to HTC, then the S2 and now the S3 ? That is like 6 phones in 4 years - thank you for doing your bit to save the economy !
    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      One over rated moderation, I love it. Someone is crying in their turtle neck. Post more pictures on instragram fucktard!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Apple havent applied for an injunction to stop it being sold!

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Apple havent applied for an injunction to stop it being sold!

      Maybe they haven't released it in East Texas

  • A proper, unlocked Linux. Probably still as slow as Dalvik but with enough horsepower to be a worthy upgrade to my N900. And hey, maybe someone will port Qt.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gl4ss (559668)

      you high or not been keeping up? tizen isn't meant to be proper unlocked linux for the user. it's meant to be html5 shitapps. even android is more real and open linux than their plans for tizen(even bada is).

      • by UpnAtom (551727)

        I must be high. I'm hallucinating you can download the whole codebase here:
        https://source.tizen.org/ [tizen.org]

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          *tizen isn't meant to be proper unlocked linux for the user.*

          For the user, as someone who downloads and tinkers with the source you're in the manufacturer/developer role, not end user! you can get the entire codebase and install it on your device, yes. but the end result is meant to be something hw vendors can bake into their phones and have the user totally unable to install anything, like, a program that would share the 3g connection via wifi.

    • by Dog-Cow (21281)

      I hope your brain explodes messily.

    • The predecessor, the S2 is used by developers of boot to gecko.

      If you want Qt, wait for the new BlackBerry.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My Galaxy Tab 10.1 is still sitting with Android 3, with nothing but rumors of a 4.0 update for more than 6 months. I'd only buy an S III if I was 100% happy with the way it is today, not how it might be with Androi 5, etc. (which may never come to this device).

  • by dmt0 (1295725)
    In terms of CPU this phone is not that much faster than the previous ones. I wonder if it would be any way to install some of it's apps like the S Voice on the older phones - like S2 or Galaxy Nexus.
    • by iampiti (1059688)
      Some time ago the .apk of the S Voice app was actually leaked and it worked perfectly on other Android phones, the problem is that, like Siri, it requires a server on the Internet to work so when Samsung detected it was being used on other phones they blocked it server-side.
      So no, there appears to be no technical reason why it can't work on other phones just business ones.
      • by dmt0 (1295725)
        Yeah, but how about some features that don't require server connection? E.g. The camera detects your face position and screen rotation doesn't change when you lay down. I don't see how these things become selling features of a hardware piece...
    • by marsu_k (701360)
      No, it's here [arstechnica.com]. That's just a "first impressions" kind of article. But using Ars as a reference for Android reviews is nuts, try Anandtech for example.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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