THE soon-to-be world's best selling smartphone, Samsung's Galaxy S3, is on target to hit 10 million in sales after being launched for just two months.
The hype for Samsung's latest flagship phone has been insane, definitely more popular than I thought it would be.
In fact, most recent news reports stated that Samsung is struggling to keep pace with high demand of the Galaxy S3 and may cost them two million units of sales in just a month.
Below are some of the things that I don't and do like about Samsung's latest phone:
The S3 just looks ugly to me. It has a protruding semi-circular lower part with a weird trapezoid-like home button that isn't as easy to press, it's better than the iPhone, but it's not as good as the S2.
It confuses me as to why there's still a physical button as with Android's Ice Cream Sandwich, all physical buttons were supposed to be eliminated in favour of a nicer touch button which can adapt to different applications.
Samsung's Galaxy Nexus best displays this, with three allocated areas at the bottom of the screen, the buttons can change in accordance to what the current running application is.
The only plus side is for those upgrading from the S and S2, as they would already be familiar with this set up.
Besides that, the plastic-y S3 back panel is something that I can't bear to pay premium price for.
Sure a casing will solve all that, but casings are just adding to the bulk of our supposed-to-be sleek phones.
And the phone's external shape itself, it's a marriage between the original outdated Galaxy S and the Galaxy Nexus.
Sadly, the Nexus' back cover is much more classy than the glossy plastic of the S3.
It's an 8-megapixel camera on the S3, but seems like HTC's ImageSense processor does better. The One X also has an 8-mp lens, but when two exact shots were taken side-by-side, the One X picture turned out with more detail, and it was under bright sunlight.
The application itself on the One X is much more friendly to use, with most functions being just one-touch away compared to the S3.
Super AMOLED versus Super IPS LCD 2. The Galaxy S3 has deeper blacks, but One X is more precise in every other colour.
Both have a 720p screen, and while the One X is 0.1-inch smaller than the S3, HTC has 312 pixels per inch (ppi) as compared to Samsung's 306.
Though ppi is hardly noticeable by the naked eye, the One X screen still performs better than the S3, especially under direct sunlight, probably because of the IPS (In-Plane Switching technology).
If you're constantly watching movies, the AMOLED will turn out to be the better choice though.
In Brunei, I'm not sure if we watch that much movies due to lack of commuters.
As mentioned in last week's column, Samsung's customised skin for its phones is often cartoon-y. No exception here. Though there is close to zero lag during use, TouchWiz is still very noticeable on this handset. The app drawer, the home screens and the fonts, they're all still TouchWiz-y.
It's a skin that needs some serious re-working.
It's not all bad though:
I don't buy Samsung's marketing gimmick of being "designed for humans, inspired by nature", but some of the built-in technology is pretty good.
First is when you're scrolling through lists, for example your e-mails, you've reached the bottom and want to go to the top, then you've got to scroll all the way up.
With the S3, you simply double tap the top of the handset, and voila, you've reached the top of your e-mails. A nice touch.
Second is the Smart Stay, where the front-facing camera detects your face to tell the phone that you're looking at the screen so not to switch it off when reading an article, or reading an e-mail.
Third is the use of motion sensors. When I was fake-texting someone and decided I might as well call him, I simply move the phone to my ear, the phone detects that motion and will call said person. I also tried out the motion sensor to launch the camera by pressing and holding the screen, then moving it into a horizontal position. That's pretty nifty.
Fourth, of course is S-Voice, which is Samsung's Siri rival. It understands me pretty well, but you still have to talk to it in precise English. I gave it simple tasks like Google searches, set alarms, find locations, and it worked out pretty seamlessly.
Samsung has a pretty large battery on this thing, a 2,100 mAh capacity, which is better than average these days. The battery is good enough to last you throughout the day with sparing use. This will be a major selling point for heavier than average users, especially when the One X only has a 1,800 or so mAh battery.
The latest Exynos 1.4 GHz quad-core in the S3 has shown amazingly fast benchmarks, and it does translate onto the phone. I had a close to no-lag experience with the S3. Unofficial benchmarks show that the new graphics processing unit would be 65 per cent faster than its predecessor.
If you're a real fan of having new technology to mess around with, the S3 is definitely one to look at, especially with its decent battery life.
If the camera or screen is your main concern, HTC's One X will be the better choice as it also has a far superior body.
Pricing will also play a big factor for most, and the One X has a very big advantage over the newly launched S3.
If given the choice, I would still go for HTC's One X over the S3.
The views expressed by the author are his own and do not reflect those of The Brunei Times.
The Brunei Times
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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