The conservative Samsung Galaxy S3
Evolution, not a revolution.
The anticipation for Samsung’s revelation of their new flagship device, the Galaxy S3, had reached Apple-levels of hype, and last night the rumors and speculations were finally answered. On the specifications side of things the device certainly delivers on most areas, but yet I think it comes across as a rather conservative evolution of the Galaxy line.
Firsty let it be said. The Galaxy SIII is a very impressive device. It packs top of the line specifications and delivers performance which certainly meets anything Android can throw at it. However, Samsung has in my opinion failed to exceed at areas where others have not done so already.
The problem with creating such a hype for a product is that with it comes great expectations and it might take quite a lot to live up to that. So while the specifications are certainly up to par with the high-end Android pack, many would probably feel that Samsung failed to deliver the full potential here. Pentile Super AMOLED (not plus) display is sure to be a letdown for some, even though most of us probably cant tell much of a difference anyway. What matters is that the HTC One X sports a better display, so why Samsung didnt capitalize on coming later to the party, nobody knows.
To me, the most evident letdown with the S3 is the design and build quality. Let it be known that I have not held it in my hands personally, so I am only relying on what I see and hear. The S3 is made out of plastic. Seemingly the same kind that the predecessors use. Its been the subject of criticism before and it will be for this device as well. It feels cheap. Really cheap. Compare it to the HTC One S or even the HTC One X, which is also made out of plastic and it quickly falls short. It comes off as an extremely conservative and boring design in my opinion. And let it be said, while plastic do tackle drops and other accidents better than glass and metal (glass tends to shatter, metal tends to dent), the kind of glossy cheap plastic the Galaxy phones are encased with are much more prone to scratches than their more exclusive counterparts. And I must admit I have never shattered an iPhone or seriously dented a metal casing device either, so I feel scratch-resistance is more important. Those who either dont really care how a phone looks or quickly gets a big and flashy case wont find this to be an issue at all Im sure. But personally, I do care. I stare at my phone quite a lot every day and if the phone looks bland, boring and scratched, it does get to me.
I followed the event yesterday and I noticed how Samsung tried to get all sorts of messages across regarding the design of the device. They stressed how organic the whole thing is and that its modeled to resemble a pebble. Arrest me if I am wrong, but a pebble isnt exactly organic is it?
To my next complaint, the use of buttons. Android ICS is designed to be used on devices without navigation buttons. However, neither HTC or Samsung seems to be willing to abide by those guidelines just yet. The result is redundancy. ICS will hide the navigation menus when physical buttons on the device are present which is a shame. Considering Samsung made the Galaxy Nexus, Im surprised to see that they go back to the old days with the S3.
Furthermore, the TouchWiz interface does it best to make us think the phone is actually running the Gingerbread flavour of Android. It seems Android has matured a lot faster than TouchWiz has, and the result is an old-looking interface which certainly does not do the beauty of ICS justice.
All this said though, the Samsung Galaxy S3 actually fits in quite nicely with the competition. If you want superior build quality and a smaller form factor, get the HTC One S. The HTC One X is probably the closest competitor to the S3 and while I would certainly pick HTC’s offering any day, Im sure the S3 will be immensely popular as well.