This is my current passion :P *Konon*
SAMSUNG GALAXY DESIGN AND BUILD
You might say the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been highly anticipated. You also seemed like quite a nice person
Few products in recent years that haven't had a bitten Apple logo somewhere upon their chassis have garnered as much attention as the Galaxy S3. After the huge success of theGalaxy S2 last year it is this follow up that many people have expected to again be the flag bearer for Android smartphones. But has Samsung succeeded? Is the S3 the pinnacle of Android smartphones, and indeed of mobile phones in general? Lets find out.
Head straight to Page 2 for our thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S3 screen and controls or our video comparison of the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4S.
Design and Build
Anyone that's already familiar with the S3 will know that its design and build has courted controversy. Eschewing the premium feeling materials of the iPhone 4S or HTC One X, it uses a glossy plastic back which, although by no means inherently budget, is a finish more associated with cheaper handsets.
Does this inherently make it undesirable? No, it certainly doesn't go that far, and indeed if you put it next to the Sony Xperia S it really shows just how much Sony slipped up on that design, but next to an iPhone 4S or HTC One X it's these two that give off the stronger whiff of craftsmanship.
In practical terms there are a few genuine issues too. While the polycarbonate that the backplate is made from is very tough due to its pliability, it isn't very scratch resistant, even with an extra scratch resistant coating – either the matt finish of the HTC One X of Xperia S, or glass of the iPhone 4S will standup to more punishment. That said, it should be relatively inexpensive to get replacement backs, and given that it's a single piece that covers the entire back, this will make your phone scratch-free in one fell swoop. Samsung's choice of finishes – glossy white (Marble White) and faux brushed metallic blue (Pebble Blue) should wear any scratches reasonably well too. That said, we're actually not fans of the styling of the blue version – pretend metal just isn't cool – so it's just as well that's the version that has been delayed.
The other potential issue is that, particularly given this is such a large and thin phone, it could succumb to being crushed. Particularly we're thinking in comparison to the iPhone 4S and its tough steel sides here. That phone can take a right squishing and squashing when in a pocket whereas we'd be a little more wary of cracking this phone's screen if crouching down or some such. Then again, this could equally apply to many other large, thin phones and we pretty sure you'd have to be rather unlucky for it to actually happen.
Moving on from the plastic back, we have few complaints about the rest of the design. The smooth glass face with its tapered edges, the tidy silver plastic trim (real metal would again have been nice) and single central home button combine to create a tidy, premium look and feel. The screen is also Gorilla Glass 2 so should be very scratch and impact resistant.
What's more, pop that battery cover off and you're into a whole world of goodness. There's a microSD slot that'll take cards up to 64GB in size, potentially giving you up to 128GB of storage if you opt for the version with 64GB of built in memory.
You also get a large 2100mAh battery that not only can you swap out for a spare when needed but also in the future you may be able to get extended batteries that last longer on a single charge. While the SIM slot may look large, like the iPhone 4S and HTC One X, it actually houses a microSIM. One counterpoint to the removable battery is that you can't hot-swap SIM cards like on the One X.
Also under here, to the left of the battery, are two gold contacts. These are for a future wireless charging backplate and dock that will allow you to simply place your phone on its dock to charge it, without the need to plug in. Its technology we first saw built into a phone on the Palm Pre, and we think it's downright brilliant. Sadly the required accessories are delayed for several months.
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