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The Galaxy SIII is a “Me Too” Device and a Disappointment [Opinion]

 

When you’re on top, there’s little reason to innovate. Based on the latest numbers, Samsung gained 26% of operating profits so far this year. Some have gone so far as to say that the only real competition between smartphone manufacturers is between Samsung and Apple.

Yesterday Samsung revealed the Galaxy S III, the latest version of the very popular Galaxy line of phones. While the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II have been major devices for the past two years (hence Google’s continued partnership with Samsung on the Nexus line of phones), the Galaxy S III looks like a me too device that doesn’t stand out on its own. Personally, I wasn’t impressed with the Galaxy S II, but I think the Galaxy S III is a joke compared to the competition.

 

The Hardware Design

I won’t bore you with admonitions about how important hardware design is. Simply put, hardware design can make a device really stand out next to the thousands of black slabs released every year.  Samsung did everything it could to make the Galaxy S III stand out in all the wrong ways.

The first thing that bothered me about the Galaxy S III was the home button. I understand the appeal of a physical button, but it still makes it look like Samsung is trying to copy the feel of an iPhone. I thought the same thing when I saw the Galaxy S II and the Droid Incredible. It may not have been intentional, but having a physical home button is very reminiscent of the iPhone. To make matters worse, Samsung decided to add a silver rim around the phone. Instead of using aluminum to copy Apple’s tired design outright, Samsung elected to use plastic. It looks cheap, like a mophie case.

I think the 4.8 inch screen is way too big. At this point I think Samsung is just trying to troll me. The Galaxy Note is way too big, but Samsung tries to market it as a tablet and a phone, so maybe it’s gray area. This size screen just reminds me of the Dell Streak. Maybe the Galaxy S III will sell well, but if it does I don’t think it will be because people think 4.8 inches is the perfect size; it isn’t. I find myself unintentionally switching to use two hands with the Galaxy Nexus, so I’m sure most people will have to use two hands to use the GS3 comfortably. It’s also very disappointing that the screen is PenTile.

The Software

Lately there has been some backlash against the term skin because manufacturers aren’t just skinning Android devices, they’re adding features and apps to customize the software on the phone. Skins can be a wonderful thing. TouchFlo made Windows Mobile almost usable. Sense made early Android appealing to me. The latest version of Sense is much less overwhelming, especially with the redesigned clock widget (finally!). TouchWiz, on the other hand, has always felt cheesy to me. The latest version hasn’t changed those impressions of cheesiness.

The skin looks mostly identical to the Gingerbread release on the GS2. In other words, it looks cartoony and cheap. I could possibly understand using a skin to change the design of the operating system if the stock look was horrible (like WinMo and early Android), but this is inexcusable. Ice Cream Sandwich looks great; TouchWiz is not a visual improvement by any means. It would have been much better if Samsung had just added some enhancements on top of the ICS design like CM9.

Samsung also added some software enhancements on top of ICS. Some of these enhancements are actually useful like Smart Alert and Direct Call. Smart Alert makes the phone vibrate when it’s picked up if a notification has been missed. It’s a subtle way to notify the user physically. Direct Call is even more useful – if you’re sending someone a message, you can bring the phone up to your face and it will call that person. It’s not life changing, but it is nice.

Other features, on the other hand, are absolutely ridiculous. Smart Stay, which tries to track your eye to see if you’re still looking at the screen in order to determine if the screen should be turned off or not, seems like a creepy waste of battery life. S Voice is even more insane. S Voice is clearly Samsung’s attempt to rip off Siri in design, with somewhat improved functionality. From what was seen it doesn’t look like S Voice is nearly as conversational as Siri, but S Voice has access to third party apps and a few actions that Siri can’t do. In the end, it makes Samsung look like they’re trying to copy Apple by slightly improving Google Voice Search.

Conclusions

The internal specs of the Galaxy S III look great, but at this point smartphone competition isn’t about specs as much as it is about the overall experience. The question isn’t whether or not is has a Tegra or Snapdragon processor, but what kind of experience those specs help facilitate. Most top tier phones can handle anything thrown at them, which is great. Android OEMs definitely helped push each other to release incredible internal hardware, but at this stage in the game there are very nuanced differences in terms of performance between top tier phones, which leaves ecosystem, hardware design, and software.

As a whole Android is a strong ecosystem. Most new apps are launching on both iOS and Android, and more iOS-only apps are making their way to Android. That said, making Flipboard a Galaxy SIII exclusive is a shame – it should be released for all phones at the same time. Flipboard is a great app, but that alone doesn’t make the GS3 more appealing, just annoying for another reason.

I usually don’t care for Samsung’s hardware or software design, but the Galaxy S III is just atrocious to me. The claim that the hardware and software are inspired by nature doesn’t make any sense to me. The colors in TouchWiz are over saturated and unnatural. The hardware looks cheap and mismatched with the silver rim. I don’t understand why Samsung waited to release this underwhelming follow up to the Galaxy S II. It would have blended right in with Samsung’s other mediocre announcements at Mobile World Congress.

It’s a real shame that Samsung didn’t really try and innovate with the Galaxy S III. In a lot of ways, it feels like the iPhone 4S – a warmed over version of last year’s phone. It seems as though most manufacturers have plateaued in terms of design and innovative features. I love the design of the One X, but at the end of the day it’s a slightly altered Sensation. Sense 4 looks much better than 3.5, but it’s not a major improvement for Android. TouchWiz is assaulting to my eyes and a step down from the stock ICS launcher and design. The Galaxy S III should have been a device that challenged HTC and Apple, but instead it looks like a “me too” device. The Samsung Galaxy S III is an unexciting refresh of Samsung’s tired hardware design and over saturated skin, nothing more.

  • WickedToby741

    I dream of an HTC built, quad-core Exynos powered, Verizon Nexus device that’s always on the latest release of Android. So sad such dreams will never be realized.

  • DanWazz

    I don’t really have any problem with the specs, they’re going to kill (and say what you want about the screen, I love the screen on the Nexus). However, I’ve never been a fan of Touch Wiz. It look too cartoonish and i*honey, and can say the same thing about this version. Stock ICS looks amazing and don’t think OEMs should be messing around with it. Also, I think the design of the phone is ugly. The color choices are nice, but that’s about it. I hate the rounded corners and plastic “chrome” rim. Also, why do these guys keep putting physical and capactive buttons on phones? I love that the Nexus looks like a monolith when the screen is off. They probably weren’t going for that effect anyway, since they made the front of the phone blue or white, but more manufactures should.

  • socalrailroader


    The Galaxy Note is way too big,” Opinion only my friend.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      The post is labeled opinion for that reason. :)

  • tiptoptommy

    one of these days one.of.these manufacturers will listen to the consumer and actually give us what we want. right now the spectrum of want and need is miles wide if not hundreds of miles. there are so many options and design variables no one manufacturer will ever get it right or make us happy as a whole. its like a crap shoot. one person may like it but theres always someone who will chop ot off at the knees no matter what. my suggestion is to take everything at its worth. keep the discutions valid and have fun with it. there will always be bitching about this and that. im not a samsung user i switched from moto to htc and am happy with my decision. my wife.loves her samsung even though i think it sucks. its all about opinion. she only cares that it does what she wants it to. i guess thats enough for.now.

  • chris125

    Good thing they aren’t to worried about one blog writer. I mean it’s not like the note didn’t sell well or anything so must be a lot of people out there who like bigger phones.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      I’m not the only one disappointed.

      • chris125

        Well that’s what they said about the 4s and it still sold like crazy.

        • http://twitter.com/eatmode4life Ray Mendoza

          There are people who want the latest regardless. There are people willing to pay. That is how it is. I was disappointed with the GS3 as well. Not a phone that I want holding in my hand. Most everything is the same on the inside on most Android top tier phones. If I dont like the design or how it works, then the phone disappoints me.

  • Droid-DoesNOT

    WAKE UP! this phone is a “wanna-be” iPhone on steroids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with cheap parts.

    try reselling this a year from now and get the same value.

    • Bionicman

      troooollll you wish this phone was cheap then it would make your iphone look better. sorry but this will be a super popular phone especially if/when it comes out for verizon.

      • YouknowWho

        Well the iPhone 4/4s being the best selling smartphones on Verizon says otherwise. I’ll PayPal you $50 if this phone ever outsells the iPhone on Verizon. And that’s until October, IPhone 5 will turn the industtry upside down, again.

        • LionStone

          That’s sort of correct…it sells the MOST because people don’t care or even look at anything else, which means it certainly isn’t the best, only that they follow a very aggressive marketing campaign.

    • YouknowWho

      +1, they tried to copy the the 4s design with cheap materials lol. Worst part about, it’s a 2 year old design. Thankfully apple is doing a redesign for the iPhone 5 and setting a new standard to which companies like samsung and the like will shamelessly copy. They better hurry up and rush this thing out, people wouldn’t even choose this over a 4s let alone a redesigned iPhone 5. Keep following the leader. I was once a serious android fan.

  • NoMoreHUGEphones

    I agree with the point that “the 4.8 inch screen is way too big.” I don’t need to be carrying around a tablet – i want to carry a phone that is around 4″.

  • http://twitter.com/spdivr1122 Stephen

    not gonna lie… if verizon were to ever get that blue one, id consider it. i know im weird, but ive always wanted a blue phone, not just the usual gray silver white or black. i loved the idea of direct call, and s voice seemed kinda cool. the turnoffs for me are the not on screen nav buttons and touchwiz.

  • Bionicman

    by the way id also like to say that i loved the presentation. i thought it was beautifully orchestrated and looked amazing. Why not go over the top with the sets and videos. sh*t man we are paying for an expensive, flashy piece of equipment and i like flashy presentations! :P

  • r0lct

    I think your best point is that things are plateauing. There really isn’t too much more hardware wise that can be done. People are expecting this leaps every year that just aren’t going to happen any more. Going forward it’s going to be about design and software much more than the new specs. Same reason for the iPhone 4S.

    Having said that obviously the design is not a huge crowd pleaser based on the press shots. Then you have TW which while may add some useful functionality (I could care less if some of it isn’t useful or mimics others) but just looks out of place.

    However I bet this is their biggest launch and best selling phone ever.

  • E

    I don’t understand why all the harsh criticism about the SIII? Looks good to me although admittedly it would be better without the physical button. Specs seem great with a quadcore processor… but the question is how is the battery life? The only thing that turns me away is the touchwiz software slapped on top of it. At the end of the day it seems like a great phone to me. As for copying Apple, c’mon seriously can you blame any company nowadays? They all copy each other in one way or another.

    • E

      Another thing, for the average person they wouldn’t know the benefit of having an un skinned no touchwiz phone. In my experience these non tech people prefer these ridiculous skins on their phones. Another thing to note although it seems like a great phone nothing about it makes me want to jump on it over my Gnex. I’ll stay with my Gnex.

  • Bionicman

    I admit that its not a huge jump from a GNex but it is an interesting phone nonetheless. I know that the above is just an opinion but maybe we should wait till we see how the phone works with all its features. we may be pleasantly surprised. i dont know what people expected. i think its on par with the HTC One x’s design. and stop comparing to the iphone please. the GNex is above the iphone and this phone takes it even further.

  • drrroooiiidd

    why is everyone bashing this phone? so it has a home button and a silver rim. the reason it has it is because samsung wants apple users to consider getting it

  • John Marion

    So I take it, you don’t like it???? :) Anyone perusing the forums should see a pattern with these phones. Samsung got a lot of notoriety by being the NEXUS phone. That put it in the “holy grail” position. Reviews do not hold up to that stature. I felt the GN was junk and had to return it. Samsung is not getting it right again it appears. If Kmart came out with a phone it would look like the GSIII.

  • Bradley Larcher

    The S3 will sell well, no doubt. I think first time buyers or owners of the original Galaxy or another device will get it. It’s a great device for them. Now, owners of the S2 will deem it not worth it and wait for something better. That’s what separates the Android community from iPhone fans. The 4s sold millions and am sure many who bought it owned an iPhone4, and it was a joke of an upgrade. But, I like some of the features of the S3, not a huge touchwiz fan, so another launcher will replace it immediately that will bring out the true beauty of ICS.

  • http://twitter.com/turdbogls Steve rothermel

    its a great phone no doubt….just not enough to get me to even look at one right now. my nexus has been fantastic.

    i agree with what you are saying though…not a fan of the look (do like the colors though) i do like some of the stuff they added on top, i hate touchwiz with a passion, the siri thing was a blatant rip off (like they need more legal battles with apple) disappointed that they didn’t jump for an HD amoled+ display, or a better camera. dont like the physical buttons, and i agree the screen size is slightly too large….anything over the nexus’ size is a little awkward IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/KevinOgilvie2 Kevin Ogilvie

    The phone will be fine, but it doesn’t make me regret my Nexus purchase. Can’t wait for the next Nexus!

  • http://twitter.com/jnewman1991 James Newman

    I actually like the design of the phone. The fact that it has a removable battery and expandable memory is also a plus since a lot of Android devices are moving away from those things for some strange reasons. I’ll definitely be picking it up when it comes to T-Mobile.

    • Paradisimo

      Agreed, I HATE the fact that my Nexus doesn’t take an SD Card.

  • d4owner

    So hyped up and you’d expect some kind of good overall build but the fallback with PenTile screen? Just like the D4 =/

  • http://www.facebook.com/LuisElTiburon Luis Rojas

    I knew I’d see an overblown op-ed from Ron. The problem with the SIII was the hyped. Its everything its supposed to be. In fact its going to be the most powerful phone on the market once its released. Ron hasnt even used it and is calling it a huge disappointment. Its going to sell millions. Its going to be a nice phone, with a huge Dev community. My contract is up in July and I might just pick one up. Depending on what else Verizon offers

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      The S3 was definitely hyped, but I wasn’t really reacting to that. I hadn’t been following the thousands of S3 rumors because I didn’t care about them. I don’t need to try out the device to tell if I like the design or not. I’m sure it will sell well, but that doesn’t mean the hardware or software look good.

      • Tiyjuan

        I guess we can say the same about Apple’s 4S, I didn’t think the hardware or software looked good on that either. Yet these two companies are on top for a reason. Negativity breeds negativity. I’m just saying.

  • Jason

    I have to be honest. I am really tired of hearing people bitch about design. Yes it is important and I do slightly understand peoples disappointment in the S3, but I have yet to hear even ONE person explain what exactly it is they want the design to do or be. No renders of their “perfect phone” or even a half decent explanation of what it should have. Just a load of bitching.

    Also when the author states that “I usually don’t care for Samsung’s hardware or software design”, it is rather hard to view them as objective or take their opinion seriously. Why should the fact that you don;t like the new S3 surprise anyone then? Just my opinion.

    • http://www.techhog.com/ Michael T. Blake

      I think you’re missing the point. The reason it’s being considered a disappointment is not solely because of the design itself, but because of the design elements. Samsung continued to use cheap plastics instead of high-end ceramics or metals, they chose to use a crappy PenTile display, while HTC used a gorgeous SLCD (read the reviews everywhere, even the Verge said it could be the best display on a phone yet), they basically mimicked the design of the first Galaxy S, so when all the negatives are added up, yes, it is a disappoint, especially from a company who is on top and should be innovating.

      • Tommy Thompson

        It uses polycarbonate, just like the One X.

        • http://www.techhog.com/ Michael T. Blake

          Samsung’s plastic is used in a very cheap and flimsy way. The battery cover is like previous Samsung devices, way to flexible and thin. The HTC One X, is a unibody chassis, it feels strong and durable and has been machine and lazer cut for an outstanding design and a quality feel. The GS III does not have that, neither did the GS II.

          • ATBvsBFZ

            Agree about the battery cover. Could never get it to stay on my GNex.

          • PC_Tool

            This blows my mind. What the hell are you people doing to your phones???

            I’ve flashed, zipped and rommed my gnex so many times I’ve lost count. I’ve swapped between the extended and OEM batteries more than I can count…

            The cover has never even *once* felt loose or like it might “accidentally” fall off.

            I repeat: What are you doing to these poor things??

          • ATBvsBFZ

            What did I do? Got a defective cover! The problem existed on day 1: remove battery door, insert battery, TRY to reinstall battery door. Plastic as thin as the GNex battery cover, warps relatively easily. If it’s warped at the factory, it’s not gonna be good for consumer.

          • PC_Tool

            “The problem existed on day 1: remove battery door, insert battery, TRY to reinstall battery door.”

            …walk back into store, have them replace it. Problem solved on day one, no bitching necessary.

            What did you do, keep the damned thing?

            You will get defective parts from *any* manufacturer. Samsung does not have the market on warped parts cornered.

          • ATBvsBFZ

            Whoa – I get you love the GNex. Me – not so much. And that’s why I like Android – choice! So enjoy your GNex while I stick with my DX for a while longer (yes the GNex went back). My next phone? Hint: not a Motorola, not a Samsung and definitely not Apple.

          • PC_Tool

            “I get you love the GNex.”

            Really??

            Where, pray tell, do you “get” that from? I have an LG Spectrum. I *had* a G’Nex. My son does now.

            FWIW: Battery cover was fine. Radio sucked. Can’t take it in and have them swap radios.

            I really don’t care what you or anyone else has.

          • ATBvsBFZ

            pointless discussion really

          • PC_Tool

            All because of one warped battery door. Easily solved, and yet…

          • ATBvsBFZ

            causing great consternation (and posts)

          • PC_Tool

            that just seemed to continue, one after the other…

          • ATBvsBFZ

            until… arghhh. thump.

          • PC_Tool

            Surprise Pirate Zombie attack?

          • piratezombies

            um. jellied brains. good.

          • PC_Tool

            You just ate ATBvsBFZ, didn’t you?

            Bad zombie! No xBox for you!

          • snowblind64

            Did you ever contact Samsung about a replacement cover? I’m sure they would send you one free of charge.

          • Tyler Cameron

            Pictures?…

          • snowblind64

            I agree. Never had an issue with the battery cover on my GNex.

            My OG Droid on the other hand couldn’t keep it’s battery cover in place to save it’s life.

          • Tommy Thompson

            How is flexible a bad thing? That just means you can’t break it easily. Sounds good to me. Unibody or not, HTC is using polycarbonate just like Samsung. Also, you haven’t held the GSIII in your hand so you can’t really comment on how it feels.

          • http://www.techhog.com/ Michael T. Blake

            Flexible is a bad thing when it compromises the quality of the device. HTC and Nokia both used a Polycarbonate block, which was refined to make the shape, it’s rigid, firm and yet smooth and looks great.

            As for “not holding it,” I run two tech sites, I have sources and colleagues, all who’ve held the device, so I’ll take their word for it. Not to mention, I’ve held and used the One X.

          • Tommy Thompson

            But YOU haven’t actually held it. Just saying.

          • http://www.techhog.com/ Michael T. Blake

            I’ve held and reviewed a Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Nexus, so unless Samsung has all of a sudden changed their materials, then I have a pretty good idea what it feels like, especially when people I know have handled the GS III, say it’s just like the Galaxy S II, then I think my assumption is pretty dead on.

          • Tyler Cameron

            The Galaxy Nexus is much more solid built than most of HTC’s devices. Every HTC phone I’ve had, the PHONE itself could be slightly flexible. And the battery door starts creaking after a week of use. How is that not cheap? On the other hand, my Nexus cannot flex. Period. It’s EXTREMELY solid, and the battery door has yet to creak.

          • http://www.techhog.com/ Michael T. Blake

            You’ve completely glossed over my point. I didn’t bring up “other” HTC
            phones, I brought up the One X, which reinforces my statement. HTC moved
            on and took their phones to the next level, the One X is made from a
            solid block of Polycarbonate, it’s unlike anything HTC’s built before.
            It’s strong, sturdy and beautifully designed. Unlike Samsung, who not
            only used the same dreaded, thin cheap feeling plastic, but more or less
            recycled the design of the first Galaxy S.

          • Tommy Thompson

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          • Jason

            No I didn’t miss the point me thinks. So many Andy fans (and I am a hardcore one at that) have started to believe their own hype just like the produce company fans. Samsung spent god knows how much money on all that BS marketing crap, uses terms like design inspired by nature and people are mad when it doesn’t invoke a conifer or something. The simple fact is that technology drives design. They have 8mm thickness to work with. Any thicker and people go nuts. It is the same reason that Honda’s, Toyota’s, Chevy’s and Fords all look the same too. Technology and the science in engineering is driving everything these days with regards to design.

            I get the materials argument, and I think they should have manned up and put better stuff in it and on it. The HTC’s quality feel is great but they are also having ceramic chipping issues. When I hear someone go off about design they aren’t saying quality of materials (to me that is). They are saying the look of the phone itself. I guess also how close it brings you to nature too ;) The marketing crap these days makes me sick, and if people believe it they have issues. Android fans are dangerously close to turning into a new fruit company,

          • Harbo99

            I went from a fascinate to a charge and my wife has a GNex. I’ve never thought the back casing felt too flexible when it is ON THE PHONE. You rave about the unibody of the One X (back case attached to the phone) but complain that samsung is too flexible when off the phone?

          • Tyler Cameron

            No it’s not. The plastic Samsung uses definately has a better grip to it than slippery-er than hell aluminum. And what other material would Samsung use? Glass? EVERY person I know with an iPhone 4/4S has had the front or back shatter. Glass is a terrible material for the back. Ceramic is just as bad. Metal is impossible to use without making it a unibody because antennas don’t pass through metal well, and a unibody construction isn’t very functional. With unibody, you lose a removable battery or extended batteries become out of the question. The Galaxy Nexus is the most well-built smartphone I’ve ever owned.

          • http://www.techhog.com/ Michael T. Blake

            Listen, I’ve got two tech sites of my own to run, so I don’t have any more time to sit here and debate “opinions” with you. You believe what you want, but I just find it funny that some (not all) of you hardcore Android loyalists (the ones who can’t appreciate all platforms, ie iOS, Android Windows Phone…) will call out iPhone owners for being sheep, but will sit here and defend Samsung till your dying breath, despite the fact that just about every tech site has said the Galaxy S III feels cheap like the GS II and that it’s step backwards and disappointment, you still defend them and are blind to your own ignorance, sort of like the so called iSheep you love to trash.

            In the end, I’d just like to clarify that I never said this phone was junk or that it won’t sell or that it has terrible hardware. Quite the opposite, the Galaxy S III has impressive specs, some interesting software and will most likely sell millions, my original point was that Samsung failed to match current competitors like HTC when it comes to build quality, the display and even sound. Whether you like the design or not, that is opinion, but saying its build material feels cheap, its display is falls short of the One X and that it has fewer pixels per inch than the Galaxy Nexus and iPhone, that’s all FACT. You can’t argue that.

            Anyway have fun, it’s been interesting debating with a few of you, it gives me great fodder to write my editorials and because I’m not a self promoting whore, I’m not going to pimp my websites…you want to find me, you’ll find me. Later.

    • Butters619

      Matte plastic, or better yet a soft touch coating, would be a good start. I had a Treo years ago that has this great feeling soft touch coating on it. It was wonderful. And it took a beating and hid scratches so well.

      I like where Samsung puts the volume rocker and lock screen button so keep that.

      A little more glass on the front and make the front black under the glass like the HTC One X or Galaxy Nexus. (A white border on a screen will always make it look not quite as good because of the way your brain functions).

      Either a metal rim around the edge or just wrap the soft touch plastic up to the edge of the glass. Glossy silver plastic will always look cheap.

      Personally I think manufacturers need to pull the screen size down just a little to around 4.5″ It would make for a big screen, but would also make one handed use a bit more comfortable.

      Physical camera buttons are always a cool choice, but only if it fits with the aesthetics.

      • Aaron

        I’m with you on the coating. The one thing I miss most on Gnex is the coating from my Droid X. Even with it’s problems I loved that phone, it was a beast.

    • Brian K.

      Thank you! I felt like I was reading a Macbook Pro review on a PC blog….

      • Xeneize480

        yep this site has become negative than any other android blog. I am reading more from android police bc DL all I read its bitching negative about vz n now stuff about att or sprint when before it was all about droid vzw

    • Tiyjuan

      Thank you for saying what I was thinking. I keep hearing all these complaints, but no one ever goes into what they actually want as the next killer phone. And the truth of the matter is there has to be a balance some where. You can’t have an waterproof, dust-proof, drop-proof, 6 processor, 20MP camera, 3D screen, “self-destructing if lost”, etc. phone without some level of trade of, whether it be a battery that sucks or phone that weights a brick. Something has to give. I’m much more impressed with Samsumg’s release over Apple’s 4S. It would be nice if people gave credit where credit is due. These devices aren’t easy to put together and I don’t think consumers appreciate the hard work that goes into stuff like this. If you want the ultimate phone, go out and build it, let me know how smooth the process was.

      • Jason

        THIS!

      • nwd1911

        The problem with defining what you want from design is that most people cannot describe, let alone have the tools to render, what a great design is. The One X is a great design. The GNex is a great design. If everyone could render great designs themselves we wouldn’t have ugly phones. A phone is either beautiful or not and sometimes downright ugly. I could never in a million years craft a design for a phone that I like because I don’t have the skills or artistic talent. You just know it when you see it and the SGS3 is not it.

        • Jason

          Really? The GNEX is a great design? Sigh…It has a slight curve on the back and some bumps around the camera. People went orgasmic for the “design” of that thing and all it is to me is another bar phone. Looks an awful lot like the S3 but whatever. Fine by me, I am not looking for cerebral moments to come from my f-ing phone personally.

      • rabies

        i for one have an HTC device on vw and cant wait to trade it in..really liking what the sgs’s are offering up to and the only real thing i saw HTC change was their case

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like OEMs are essentially treating Android on their mobile devices the way they treat Windows on their computers.

    They load the device with bloat, add software that makes things worse, not better (ever used an HP machine with their crappy CD burning software, finnicky wifi detector, etc?), develop a TOS that says you void your warranty if you install your own OS, and then don’t provide timely updates to their software that’s crappy in the first place.

    The thing that’s so frustrating is that none of the “enhancements” actually enhance anything, you can’t get rid of many of them without voiding the manufacturer warranty, and the OS is fully capable of doing what you need it to do without all that crap in the first place! (at least if you’re on Windows 7 or newer)

    I understand that OEMs want to differentiate themselves. They feel the need to do so, and that kind of competition is good. But yikes, the way they’re trying to do it is wrong in almost every way.

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

      Or in other words, both Windows and Android are nothing more than a platform to peddle their proprietary garbage.

    • Bionicman

      but your a power user so you would prefer to format a Windows machines purchased from best buy and run clean windows. some people may prefer the bloat that a Windows computer comes with (i.e. office, antivirus, photo tools).

    • RedPandaAlex

      But in a Windows machine, at least you can reformat it with the boot disk and get a clean install.

  • dunndada

    im hoping the design on the american version is different. samsung has done 1 innovative thing since it began making smartphones and it just happened. the creation of on screen buttons gave sammy something to call their own. the gnex looks great with the screen off having an all black look, and the ability to customize your buttons is a must for me. It seems to me that most gnex owners are happy with the dismissal of capacitive buttons. Why bring them back. Sometimes i wonder where these guys get their design and marketing people.

    • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

      Samsung had nothing to do with on screen buttons… The Galaxy nexus was Google’s reference design.

      • dunndada

        maybe google owns the rights to use on screen buttons and samsung is not allowed to use them on a device other than the nexus.

    • LionStone

      I agree the GN looks great with the screen off…however when you turn it on…BAM, bezel!

  • AndroidUser00110001

    Pretty harsh opinion for not even using the phone yet. This is more than a warmed over version. Everything about the phone has changed. Internals, shell and software while Apple just did the internals and polished up some software.

    I personally think the phone is beautiful and not a me too phone. Beside Samsung devices there are no other phones that look like it.

    The screen size is only .15 inches bigger than the GNex so I do not get your gripe about that.

    Smartstay sounds like a nice feature if it works right. I hate it when I am reading something and the phone goes to sleep. Would be nice for it to know I am still reading so it will not go into sleep mode.

    • RedPandaAlex

      The screen size is only .15 inches bigger than the GNex, but it also has physical navigation buttons, so the full size of the interface will be significantly bigger.

      • Butters619

        When interface do you mean the area you will be needing to hit with your finger?

        Because if you look at the size of the bottom bezel on the G-Nex and compare that with the S3, the home button did not make it bigger.

        • BSweetness

          He’s referring to usable screen area. The Galaxy Nexus has a 4.65″ screen, but due to the on-screen navigation buttons, 99% of the time the actual usable screen area is only about 4.3″. On the GSIII, because it has physical navigation buttons, the entire 4.8″ screen is usable. That makes the usable size of the GSIII a half inch larger than the Galaxy Nexus.

        • RedPandaAlex

          Right, there’s two different issues. They might not have increased the device size that much or at all (I haven’t seen a side-by-side comparison yet), but the more surface area you have to be able to touch to use the device, the harder it’s going to be to operate with one hand.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      Pretty positive opinion for someone who hasn’t used the phone. ;-)

      • http://www.facebook.com/LuisElTiburon Luis Rojas

        once again ron doesnt know how to take critism on his writting.

      • AndroidUser00110001

        I can tell a phone is beautiful or not by the pictures, just like when you see a hot girl doing porn…you know she is hot ;) Everyone has their own opinions…

  • Butters619

    Thank you! This is exactly how I feel about this phone.

    It’s not that plastic necessarily makes a phone look cheap, it’s that Samsung went with flimsy glossy plastic and a glossy plastic silver rim. It looks like a cheap toy.

  • Knlegend1

    Never owning a samsung galaxy phone, but always wanting one, I don’t care if its a me too phone. Plus i’m on verizon so this is particular good to actually have a good samsung phone other than the google branded nexus. So I’m excited and going to try my best to own a GSIII.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.turnley Jeremy Turnley

      Won’t worry, your desire to want a Samsung phone will continue after Verizon neuters the SIII on their network, like they always do.

  • http://twitter.com/moeshahazman moe6

    This new “nature inspired” TouchWiz is a complete abomination.

    • Butters619

      “Nature Inspired” = Gingerbread TounchWiz with a new lock screen.

  • e_droid

    I feel letdown in some ways (due to the over-hype), this phone is still most likely better than my DX and anything out now would be worth the upgrade (I think)…

  • kwubba

    He lost me when he said he wasn’t impressed with the SII…considering it was the most sought after device of 2011. The device was a game changer.

    • Butters619

      iPhone 4S was the fastest selling and most popular iPhone ever released….who in their right mind can say they were impressed by it?

      • Fattie McDoogles

        well said…

      • BSweetness

        It’s easy to say you weren’t impressed with the 4S considering it was really a minor upgrade over the 4. Just because something sells well doesn’t make it impressive. Just look at how many albums Nickleback has sold.

        • http://www.facebook.com/SunroofBandit Richard Flores

          lol Good point.

        • Butters619

          “Just because something sells well doesn’t make it impressive”

          (that was my point)

          • BSweetness

            Yes, but my point was that the GSII was much more than a marginal upgrade over the GS. It was quite a major overhaul in many ways, unlike the 4S. The GSII was impressive not because of how well it sold, but because of those upgrades.

      • EdubE24

        Butters the iPhone kept the same design, but the internals in the phone were a major upgrade. I think the disappointment came that it wasn’t at least a four inch screen and didn’t sport LTE. But the inside was upgraded nicely.

        • angermeans

          and still is. The a5 is still one of the top processors on the market and the a4 led the pack with only the Exynos even coming close. The A5X in the new iPad will continue this trend. You are absolutely right the 4s holds its own with phones that are just coming out now especially considering the ones that are out have either the disappointing Tegra 3 or the S4 (which is surprisingly really nice). People may write off the iPhone 4S as like you said it doesnt have 4G and a smaller screen (and maybe iOS in general) , but the hardware is still one of the best on the market and the only company so far that has come close is HTCs One series.

    • James_Kernicky

      My wife has it for Sprint and has had nothing but problems with it. Is it that much better on other carriers? We are about ready to bring her to Verizon

    • Fattie McDoogles

      the device was a game changer but it really wasn’t a stretch is what they are saying. It falls right in line with the other Samsung devices that were already out. The reason everyone loves the One X so much is because its an extremely different design for HTC. If Samsung had made it it wouldn’t feel like as big of a difference as it does from HTC. Notice how no one is really talking about the One S or the One V. They fall in line with all the other HTC devices. The SG2 was just a bigger SG1 without the button. And the Note is a 5″ SG2.

      • angermeans

        The One S is arguably the one I hear the most. I would totally grab the One S over the X if just two things fell in line. 1. I was on ATT (fat chance of that happening again) or better yet it was on Verizon and 2. It had the same screen as the One X. The One series is by far better than anything Samsung has ever made hardware wise. The only one that comes close is the Galaxy Nexus. I think your logic is wrong. People have dealt with Samsungs plastic hardware because the specs including the processor and screens have been so great and different than anything else on the market. I dont know where you have been, but I hardly ever hear anyone praising Samsung for their hardware design. There is nothing to praise. I think if Samsung could have released the GS3 with a Super AMOLED plus display the quad core Exynos and the hardware of the One X then this phone would be praised left and right.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

      No Android manufacturer has a *huge* edge on any other, so no matter what device you choose now, within a month or so there will be a handful of devices touting the same specs or better. No Android phone is going to stay in the spotlight for long these days.
      The issue here is that with all the hype surrounding it, the SGSIII didn’t even come out of the gates at the head of the pack.

      • jiggaman508

        Well put, I think Samsung is trying to ride on last year’s success, and that just doesn’t work nowadays. They needed to wow people yesterday, and they failed. The S3 will undoubtedly still sell well, but it’s still a disappointment in my book.

        • http://profiles.google.com/daddy.holmes Tom Holmes

          Or… perhaps they did their best and they came up short. The SGSII was a very successful device because it had the right spec and the right design at the right time with no major flaws. So much of success is catching the wave. You still have to work hard and smart, but you can’t brute force the wave.

      • amosk

        You speak the truth

    • angermeans

      What was so groundbreaking? Maybe overseas it was, but by the time it came to the states the 4.65 inch screen with a dismal 480×800 resolution is just sad. I don’t see why people praised the GS2 it was a nice looking plastic phones (by far better looking than the new GS3), with a nice to low pixel density screen, launched with out dated software and didnt get an update until way late, horrible software, and a nice processor and camera. I dont see the “most sought after device” that you and others are talking about. There is a reason Samsung has not came out and said how many Galaxy S2 phones were sold in the US. When the S2 overseas was released it was groundbreaking, and people wanted it, but by the time we got it then it was just old tech. Def not a game changer. With that said no phone last year stood out why do you think by the time the Nexus S came to Sprint months after release it was being scooped up left and right? People are sick of skins and mulitple phones coming out per month. There is a reason companies like HTC is trying to recreate themselves and companies like Motorola are finding themselves sold off and now in danger of being sold to a chinese company. Yes, I agree Samsung is the top of Android, but will all I just said and the dismal year we saw with Android it is no wonder. I

    • Swankieltd

      What features of SII was game changing?

      I own a Galaxy Nexus and that’s the only game changing smartphone that was released by Samsung.

  • http://twitter.com/Defenestratus Defenestratus

    HEY LOOK ITS RON WITH ANOTHER DOWNER ARTICLE.

    FIRE RON D-L.

    He’s a horrible, horrible writer with horrible, horrible opinions.

    • scooter1265

      It’s an opinion. He’s entitled to it.

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

      Pot, meet kettle.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

    As a galaxy nexus owner running AOKP Milestone 5 I’m really not tempted to buy the SGS3.
    Chances of Verizon getting the One X? Slim.
    Not going to lie this huge hype for the SGS3 is kind of a letdown. Not much hardware wise so they try to throw us 8 million new software pieces to win us over. Not gonna work just give me stock.

  • Tommy Thompson

    According to Anandtech the screen is a bit different, doesn’t seem to have the mura or luminance inconsistency/grain the Nexus has. The FFC is now BSI whereas the GSII’s FFC was FSI. The Back 8MP is a new sensor that hasn’t even been announced or made available publicly. The plastic is polycarbonate, like the One X. It’s quad-core. Not really seeing where its a disappointment to me..

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

      I recently swapped out my Galaxy Nexus due to dissatisfaction with the screen’s graininess and vertical banding (got that one on release day).

      The refurb I received as a replacement is gorgeous. I can’t believe I waited so long.

      If you have a GNex, and you’re dissatisfied with the screen, go to the local store and make a fuss. You’ll likely get an improvement.

      • http://twitter.com/jcardona1 Jose Cardona

        I know what you mean. My 2nd replacement Gnex had a terrible display. Horrible grain and very muddy colors, much worse than my 1st phone. I don’t see how these can pass through final inspection and testing, if they even go through that at all.

      • Pat Hamilton

        Yeah man, I was always wondering what the heck everyone was talking about as the screen on my Gnex is amazing. Then I saw my friend’s and was just like what the hell.

  • http://boardsandbrews.wordpress.com Enzy

    Once the dev community gets rid of TouchWiz, this’ll be a nice phone. Until then, it’s whatever.

  • http://twitter.com/Vosko33 Jon Vosko

    It is UNDERWHELMING…..

  • jp

    First phone to take AOKP and make a commercial version as their skin wins.

  • fixxmyhead

    everything about this phone is perfect for me NOT for u but FOR ME. i dont bitch about every little meniscule thing like everyone else.

  • notsure

    i hate touchwiz

  • http://www.thinkgeeks4u.com Hiral Patel

    Sadly 2100mAh is weak and a fail once again overlooked by Samsung. Expect less than 6 hours of use with 4G LTE

    • Tommy Thompson

      It has a larger battery than most LTE phones on the market..

      • http://twitter.com/turdbogls Steve rothermel

        It also has a larger screen than most phones…which is the biggest battery eater out there. i expect it to be something similar to the nexus with stock battery.

        • AndroidUser00110001

          Radio consumes more battery that the screen ;)

        • http://www.thinkgeeks4u.com Hiral Patel

          Agree the screen is gonna be a big drain along with the LTE and it will be as bad as the Gnex.

        • Tommy Thompson

          A larger screen by .15″ I really don’t see that making a huge difference. It will also have a processor that’s made with the 32nm process, whereas the 4460 is build on 45nm process. So there will be power savings in that as well.

    • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

      It’s definitely not weak. Compare it to the One X.

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      2100 is bigger than the One X…. the One X lasts longer than 24 hours. Blame Verizon and CDMA for your woes.

      • http://www.thinkgeeks4u.com Hiral Patel

        Understandably this is the main reason One X wants nothing to do with VZW it would not last on LTE thus getting flamed like the ThunderBolt. Arguably contracts don’t quite allow us to randomly switch carriers either.

        • BulletTooth_Tony

          Contracts may prevent switching, but also prevent upgrading…. so if you’re under a contract I guess the size of the GS3 battery matters not, to you. But if paying retail for a new phone is an option, then the cancellation fee and subsidized phone price result in a lower overall cost, and AT&Ts circuit switched fallback LTE deployment gives better battery life.

  • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

    Are you joking the home button is for europe thats how theg do it…it will be changed like the gs2…this is internatiobal version

    • Captain_Doug

      Hopefully, just like the note. That’d be worth a couple points of redemption. Still a long way to go.

  • http://twitter.com/TheMuffStuff Danny B

    Couldnt have said it better ron

  • MrEnglish

    Was so looking forward to the event and couldn’t stomach sitting through it. Horrible communication skills, worn out looking presenters; a hack job that looked like a high school media group trying to emulate an Apple event. Fail on all counts for me personally. The phone also made me say “just like the iPhone” far too many times to be coincidental. I love my Galaxy Nexus and I WILL look at the SIII just to say I did, but I hardly have the anticipation that was present prior to watching the watered down, yet overhyped, event. Just damn. The specs, oh man, not enough characters allowed to get into that. Totally agree with the opinion post.

  • http://twitter.com/TheMuffStuff Danny B

    Agreed!

  • Brandon Hagey

    Its weird because this is the only reason i would consider staying with android.

    : /

  • DSaif

    Samsung should stick to Stock ICS instead of customizing it with sh*t

    • Dr_Buttballs

      I’m not defending TouchWiz, or any other skin for that matter, but there is more to it then just the look. Yes, it looks tacky and cartoonish, but TouchWiz does have some decent features to it. I’m sure you’ll be able to root and ROM this phone easily once the devs jump on it, and when that happens you’ll get all the nice features of TouchWiz and none of the look.

      • DSaif

        Google wants a unified experience across the platform, TouchWiz & Sense causing more problems tha solving it for the devs.

        • Dr_Buttballs

          Yeah, nowhere in my comment did I state otherwise. I was just saying that saying a phone sucks because it has a skin is asinine.

          • http://twitter.com/jcardona1 Jose Cardona

            ^ that.

      • Paradisimo

        Not to mention that you can install Nova or Apex Launcher on day one. I haven’t used the stock launcher on my Nexus since Nova was released so to bag on Touchwiz as the reason this phone sucks seems like such a waste of time.

    • http://twitter.com/turdbogls Steve rothermel

      agreed, while I dont mind the customization they implemented (some nice stuff there) i wish they would just leave the launcher, and included apps (dialer,sms, browser ect) stock ICS as well as the stock “holo” theme.

      • DSaif

        Google says you must have launchers for the Holo Theme in every ICS Phone on their Android Dev blog. Manufacturers aren’t listening. It’s causing problems for software upgrades, devs and everyone!

        • Dr_Buttballs

          How do you know this phone doesn’t have the Holo theme?

          • DSaif

            They didn’t mention of it.

          • Dr_Buttballs

            Why would they mention it? It’s not a feature, it’s not something that would sell the phone, it is a standard thing that will be implemented in all other Android phones from here on out.

          • DSaif

            TouchWiz Customized Holo Theme?

        • Droidzilla

          The Holo font must be present; they never said it must be used. In fact, the regulations Google put out sounded to me more like a way to allow devs/manufacturers to add greater OS consistency to their skins/themes than a way to homogenise all ICS phones.

  • Leroy1983

    Is Siri still a gimmick seeing that’s it’s in Samsung. Also if Samsung help supply iPhone screens why can’t they make a better screen or as good

    • Dc

      The GSIII has a higher resolution and higher PPI. So it actually is a much better screen.

      • Leroy1983

        From what I heard from tech sites that saw the phone said its not.

      • http://twitter.com/havens1515 Randroid

        Actually, the iPhone 4s has a higher ppi. It has 326, SGS3 has 309. (Not a huge difference, but iPhone still wins that category)

        Plus SGS3 is a PenTile screen, which means it’s not better that the iPhone

        http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/03/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-vs-iphone-4s-htc-one-x-lumia-900/

      • http://twitter.com/turdbogls Steve rothermel

        while the resolution is higher, the PPI is still a win for the iPhone4/s PPI is 306 for the SIII and 329 for the iPhone. i would still take the display on the SIII though.

      • http://www.techhog.com/ Michael T. Blake

        DC, you’re wrong. While the GS III has a higher resolution, its actual PPI (306ppi) is not higher than the iPhone 4/4S’s (326ppi), in fact, it’s actually lower than the Galaxy Nexus (316ppi). The GNex and GS III both share the same resolution, but the GNex has a smaller screen size (4.65″) compared to the GS III’s 4.8″, which means the pixels are actually spread out further than they are on the GNex. Sorry to burst your bubble. Its size, resolution and ppi still don’t negate the fact that it still uses a PenTile layout.

    • http://boardsandbrews.wordpress.com Enzy

      No one I know with an iPhone actually uses Siri beyond the first couple days. Just like no one I know actually uses face unlock on their Nexus. Booth cool features, but definitely gimmicks more for show during the intro event than real life use. S-Voice will see the same thing happen.

      • Leroy1983

        I actually use Siri a lot. I use it for setting alarms, texting, directions to people house, when I’m out of town because of my job I ask it for chipotle in my area (I’m addicted to chipotle) I’m in the car alot & my job for the past 3 months have me travel alot. So it works good for me

        • MKader17

          x2, I don’t have an iphone, but if I did I would expect I would use it in the same way. I use my GNex for all of those features as well, but I would be lying if I said it wouldn’t be cooler to do it in a more conversational manner.

        • http://boardsandbrews.wordpress.com Enzy

          You must be one of the lucky ones. Every time one of my friends brings up Siri it never works. I get a good laugh out of it though.

      • AnotherAndroidKid

        All face unlock did was cause a delay before you’d use your pin anyway.
        so i agree. cool, but no longer used.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jonathanf Jonathan Fingas

        I do, but it’s true that the best use cases for Siri are fairly limited: reminders, timers, appointments. The annoying bit is that Samsung not only copied Apple, it did so without considering whether or not it’d really help — it was just a “must act as much like iPhone as possible” mandate.

  • ice456789

    Of course specs don’t matter now; software developers write with phones a year or so old in mind so they can sell to the masses, not just people who bought a phone in the last 3 months. In 15 months when you’re not eligible for an upgrade and can’t run all the new games that have come out (at least not run them smoothly) you’ll be wishing your specs were better. I’ll take all the specs I can get when purchasing a phone.

  • EC8CH

    Thought the GSIII was going to make my G-Nex jealous. It does not.

    I’m more intrigued by the HTC One X, but since that’s never coming to VZW…. meh

    • Butters619

      The One X really upped the bar on Android phone design. Samsung got it right with more storage capacity and a bigger battery, but their design (both hardware and software) takes us back a few years and looks like the just made a bigger Galaxy S.

      If the One X wasn’t coming to AT&T, I’d just get the unlocked Galaxy Nexus for $400 over the Galaxy S3.

      • WickedToby741

        The Galaxy SII showed us that specs are important, and shortly thereafter, pretty much every other manufacturer got the picture and stepped up their game. Now most all Android phones, even low end ones, have good specs. The One X has shown us that design and materials are important. Clearly, Samsung didn’t get the memo, but hopefully other manufacturers get the picture and Samsung can step up their design game for some SIII variants. Now, if only someone would come along and show other manufacturers that skins aren’t necessary, life would be golden.

        • http://twitter.com/shawnwill16 shawn williams

          Materials ?? The one x is the same plastic as the sgs3

    • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

      The only thing that will impress me would be something head and shoulders above the nexus (every spec improved). This just isn’t. I would still take my nexus over this… although I do like the quad exynos.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

      They failed with not making this a quad-core in North America. That would have really changed the story. I’m so glad I went with the Rezound recently. Even with this thing launching, I’d still go with the Rezound right now. Removable battery + manufacturer dev support = win.

      This became just another Bionic.

      • Mike

        Their manufacturer dev support is still a joke. The tool still doesn’t fully unlock the device. Not to mention with the work arounds in place on Motorola devices, it’s not even -that- big of a deal anymore.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

          Coming from a Droid X, Droid X2 and Droid 3, I will disagree. That locked bootloader is a pain in the ass. I also had no problems unlocking my Rezound when I picked it up a few weeks ago and am in fully unlocked bliss running a self-modded kernel. That includes S-OFF.

      • Aaron

        The GSIII also has a removable battery.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

          The shots I’ve seen so far didn’t elude to it. If that’s the case, then I’m mistaken in that regard but it still doesn’t change much on the general opinions of the phone.

      • angermeans

        Not to be rude, but in light of the One series isn’t the Rezound just another Bionic?

    • possomcrast1

      It’s really the same phone with a slightly larger display better camera and more buttons.

  • Leroy1983

    I just watched the keynote. HORRIBLE it was all over the place. I don’t like android but I think the sII looks nice but this thing doesn’t look better then the SII at all. If I was a android fan I’ll definitely get the one x instead

  • sc0rch3d

    c’mon sammy, don’t tarnish the galaxy line…you have (had? :( ) a good thing going

  • LiterofCola

    I would have to agree. Although, I’m not saying that this isn’t a good phone for someone who’s in the market for a new smartphone, but it leaves me wanting more out of the physical design and then some.

    • Dr_Buttballs

      I think so many people get let down so easily because they get hyped up too much over rumors. They could of done more with the SIII, but I personally think it’ll be a decent phone. The only thing that bothers me about the design is the chrome rim they slapped on it.