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REVIEWS / PHONES

First Look: OZ Samsung Galaxy SIII Due This Week

By David Richards | Sunday | 27/05/2012

A battle Royale is set to kick off in Australia this week with Samsung set to take on HTC and Apple with their new 4G Galaxy SIII, which comes with a 4.8 inch Super AMOLED HD display screen. The smartphone which goes on sale shortly has already generated a waiting list with Telstra.

Tipped to be available for $59 a month the new Samsung Smartphone which replaces the highly popular Galaxy SII will be available in two colours: 'Marble White' and 'Pebble Blue'. On the back of the device is a brushed polycarbonate skin which feels good.

The device, which is set to go head to head with the 3g lighter HTC One X, is very comfortable in the hand despite the screen size, and for me, the rounded edges are a big benefit. I first noticed this on the Samsung Google Nexus phone and later on the HTC One X, especially when one is on the phone for a long time.

The new colour blue is also appealing. Another benefit is that unlike the HTC One which comes with 32GB of memory built in, users can add additional memory to the SIII via a slot at the bottom left side of the new smartphone, which comes with a lock button on the right hand side rather than the top as found on the HTC One.

The microSD slot is next to the microSIM port for easy access.

Another big difference to the HTC One X is that the polycarbonate back of the phone can be removed to access the battery.

A new Smart Voice app, that is based on Vlingo, has been built into the device, however we were unable to test it. I am however assured that it won't label the Nokia Lumia 900 as the best phone ever.

The dimensions of 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm are not uncomfortable, but when you compare it with the Galaxy SII the new SIII does deliver a better screen experience as SmartHouse found out this week when we got our hands on one of the new SIII smartphones which will be launched on Thursday in Sydney.

The first thing that I noticed is that the home button is bigger in width. All of the button functions remain the same including the back and application button. The use of a soft key 'Back' and 'Menu' button allows one to easily get to contextual menus. In the past and with most other Android based phones you have to hunt down on screen icons by flicking to different menus.

Another big improvement is in the phone and contact management set up. Unlike the HTC One, the SIII allows for more than 25 favourites, unlike the 10 speed dial favourites in the HTC One, it also allows multiple numbers to be attached to the one favourite whereas on a HTC smartphone one has to take one of the 10 speed dial numbers for each phone number entered.

The big standout with the SIII is the screen it is bright sharp and tough due to the use of Gorilla glass.

Due to us only having access to the phone for a very short while we were unable to conduct a full review but we will do a full review shortly.

The volume up and down button is on the opposite side to the on off button, this makes it easy to reach for left handed people like myself.

A new camera on the Samsung Galaxy SIII delivers 8 mega pixels despite several brands moving to 12 MP models. What has changed is the camera software with a return to simple shooting and management of content.

Samsung claims to have zero shutter lag with the new phone which also comes with facial recognition software. SmartHouse found this software in the new Samsung Smart TV that we reviewed last week.

This software allows you to easily open Skype on a Samsung TV; it also allows the phone to recognise that you are still using the device preventing the screen display from shutting down before you have finished using an application.

Early Verdict
Overall this is a very nice phone it appears to be a superior build quality than the Galaxy SII and if I am right it will prove to be the best smartphone this year. If you are remotely thinking of buying an iPhone 4S, forget it: this device is way ahead. The processor is faster, the screen; bigger and the software under the bonnet is as good as what Apple is dishing up with their OS. What Apple has is better software functionality; this is not down to Samsung but Google and their Ice Cream Sandwich offering.

With Android 5.0 which is due later this year we could see an improvement in functionality. Google has made big changes with their Docs and Chrome offering recently as well with their Play Store so there is every chance that they will do the same in Android 5.0.

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