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Samsung Galaxy S III review

8.5/10 AVG.
RATING



8.5/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy S III currently has an Informr score of 8.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 60 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The Samsung Galaxy S III is the third iteration of Samsung’s highly successful Galaxy S and is currently the most popular smartphone available anywhere in terms of sales. After nearly 3 months on store shelves across the world, Samsung has already sold over 10 million units. And no doubt it's going to sell millions more, mainly because of the phone’s outstanding hardware and software features that make it a cut above the vast majority of the handsets offered by the competition.

The III’s highlights in terms of hardware include a 4.8-inch 720p HD Super AMOLED touchscreen display that’s covered with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 2, an 8-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and 1080p video recording capability, plus a 1.4 GHz quad-core Cortex A9 processor with 1GB of RAM. All of this, along with many other hardware niceties such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and HSDPA data, makes it one of the most powerful and feature-rich Android smartphones ever.

Speaking of Android, the Samsung Galaxy S III comes with version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich pre-installed, and a free update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is already in the pipeline. This should make it one of the first handsets on the market to run the latest version of the Android software. It also has a bunch of noteworthy software features like S-Voice, which takes a user’s voice commands then executes the necessary actions, and Dropbox integration, which gives users 50GB of free online storage space for backup. For most people, though, the best feature of the Samsung Galaxy S III software-wise is its built-in support for the world’s most popular social networking sites and Google services.

There’s a 2100mAh battery located underneath the Samsung Galaxy S III’s back over, which is said to be good for up to 12 hours of 3G talk time. That’s an impressive feat considering the fact that the overall thickness of the handset checks in at just 9mm. Whether or not you are a fan of Samsung’s design or manufacturing philosophies, it’s hard to deny that they’ve made a darn good phone with the Galaxy S III.

Need To Know: Samsung Galaxy S III

1. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is pre-installed as standard and a free upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is on the way. (The Good)

2. The 4.8-inch 720x1280 pixel resolution Super AMOLED touchscreen display is among the best in its class and provides excellent picture quality. (The Good)

3. The lack of support for 4G LTE networks is something that users in certain areas will surely miss. (The Bad)

4. An otherwise expansive built-in display is considered by some users as entirely too big and makes the phone somewhat difficult to operate in that it requires both hands to use. (The Bad)


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
4.8"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TelecomTiger

With a large number of excellent features and functions, Samsung Galaxy S3 has set a benchmark for its close competitors - HTC One X and Apple. The only advantage HTC One X has over Galaxy S3 is its better screen resolution. The 1.5 dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 1 GB RAM has worked wel...

- TT Gadget Editor, TelecomTiger
Pocket-lint

For those of us outside the 4G coverage area, there's almost no point getting this phone at all, although it does have a good range of 4G frequencies, so you should see support for other UK networks when they launch 4G services. When they're on top form, in central London or the other cities the 4G...

- Ian Morris, Pocket-lint
Phonedog

There is no questioning the quality of the Galaxy S III. Top to bottom, it is a fantastic device. And while many would rather see Samsung begin to transition away from using an excess of plastic to something a little more classy and of higher quality, the S III holds it own, despite its frail-feelin...

- Taylor Martin, Phonedog
Sprint Users

This phone is definitely one I will keep for a while. I feel very comfortable using it and showing it off. It's just a sweet device. It looks great and behaves professionally. If you're in the market for an Android device, this is the one. It's worth the wait.

- Juan, Sprint Users
IntoMobile

The Samsung Galaxy S III is an impressive phone. The screen is lovely and the phone is full of software features that'll make your head spin. The camera is great and rivals that of the iPhone 4S. From a hardware-only perspective, it is the best Android phone Sprint has to offer at this time. It sur...

- Kelly Hodgkins, IntoMobile


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Samsung released the Galaxy S III on May 31, 2012.


The Galaxy S III price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Samsung Galaxy S III prices from around the web here on The Informr.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Galaxy S III user manual here.


Samsung backs up the Galaxy S III with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Galaxy S III has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Screen Size
4.8"

The Samsung Galaxy S III's screen size is 4.8 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (Update Available: 4.4.4 KitKat) operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16/32 GB

Internal memory is 16/32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2100mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2100 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 1300 minutes, 387 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy S III Specs

Overview
Release date May 31, 2012
Regions available USA, Canada, UK, India
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/1700/1900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+ 21.1
variations
SIM card Micro-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (Update Available: 4.4.4 KitKat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.55 W/kg
Body: 1.49 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2100 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 567 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 387 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1300 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 12.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Pebble Blue, Marble White, Garnet Red, Amber Brown, Sapphire Black, Titanium Gray
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.7 x 7.1 x 0.9 cm (5.4 x 2.8 x 0.4 in)
Weight 133 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Pixel density 306 pixels
Size 4.8 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Swype
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out HDMI
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, ISO, Panorama, Self-timer, Smile detection, White balance
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, DivX
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MP3, OGG, WMA
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, DivX, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (YouTube, Google+, Dropbox)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung Galaxy S3, SGH-T999

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy S III Reviews
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Critic Reviews


TelecomTiger

An amazing phone with creative software advancements

from TelecomTiger

With a large number of excellent features and functions, Samsung Galaxy S3 has set a benchmark for its close competitors - HTC One X and Apple. The only advantage HTC One X has over Galaxy S3 is its better screen resolution. The 1.5 dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 1 GB RAM has worked...More

With a large number of excellent features and functions, Samsung Galaxy S3 has set a benchmark for its close competitors - HTC One X and Apple. The only advantage HTC One X has over Galaxy S3 is its better screen resolution. The 1.5 dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 1 GB RAM has worked well with GS3. With its forceful promotion strategy, Samsung has an advantage over HTC One X and Apple. We consider it one of the best high end phones.

Read full review

Less

Pocket-lint

Same great formula from the original, fast mobile data, slightly improved hardware

from Pocket-lint

For those of us outside the 4G coverage area, there's almost no point getting this phone at all, although it does have a good range of 4G frequencies, so you should see support for other UK networks when they launch 4G services.

When they're on top form, in central London or the other cit...More

For those of us outside the 4G coverage area, there's almost no point getting this phone at all, although it does have a good range of 4G frequencies, so you should see support for other UK networks when they launch 4G services.

When they're on top form, in central London or the other cities the 4G service is available, it's a brilliant thing to behold, but the price in terms of line rental and the drop in battery life seem too steep to be worth paying right now. This is a device for those who must have the newest, the best and the most expensive. Leave this phone to the Chelsea footballers then, and get yourself the 3G one, it will do just fine for the foreseeable future, and you'll save yourself a fortune in line rental.

Read full review

Less

Phonedog

Unquestionably one of the most well-rounded smartphones on the market

from Phonedog

There is no questioning the quality of the Galaxy S III. Top to bottom, it is a fantastic device. And while many would rather see Samsung begin to transition away from using an excess of plastic to something a little more classy and of higher quality, the S III holds it own, despite its frail-feeling frame. Still, they've greatly improved the Galaxy S III from last year's variants and have refined their flagship, in almost every way, to create a truly stellar handset....

More

There is no questioning the quality of the Galaxy S III. Top to bottom, it is a fantastic device. And while many would rather see Samsung begin to transition away from using an excess of plastic to something a little more classy and of higher quality, the S III holds it own, despite its frail-feeling frame. Still, they've greatly improved the Galaxy S III from last year's variants and have refined their flagship, in almost every way, to create a truly stellar handset.

The 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED panel may not be the most dense of any smartphone display, but it is bright and full of color. The camera is also a surprising high point, as well as LTE speeds (depending on carrier and location). Battery life has proven to be on par with the competition, but with the ability to remove the battery, there is an additional bit that speaks straight to the hearts of some folks.

The fact that the Samsung Galaxy S III dominated the People's Choice Chart and Mobile Tech Expert's Chart in our Official Smartphone Rankings™ for two months (only to be bested by Apple's iPhone 5 last week) should serve a testament to the caliber device Samsung created. Starting at $199 on all four major nationwide carriers, the Samsung Galaxy S III is an excellent choice for your next phone, whether you're a smartphone newcomer or long-time power user.

Read full review

Less

Sprint Users

Full of features and definitely has the "wow" factor

from Sprint Users

This phone is definitely one I will keep for a while. I feel very comfortable using it and showing it off. It's just a sweet device. It looks great and behaves professionally. If you're in the market for an Android device, this is the one. It's worth the wait.

Read full review

This phone is definitely one I will keep for a while. I feel very comfortable using it and showing it off. It's just a sweet device. It looks great and behaves professionally. If you're in the market for an Android device, this is the one. It's worth the wait.

Read full review

Less

IntoMobile

The screen is lovely and the phone is full of software features that'll make your head spin

from IntoMobile

The Samsung Galaxy S III is an impressive phone. The screen is lovely and the phone is full of software features that'll make your head spin. The camera is great and rivals that of the iPhone 4S. From a hardware-only perspective, it is the best Android phone Sprint has to offer at this time.

It surpasses the Galaxy Nexus with a significantly better camera, improved battery life and 4G LTE connectivity. Its closest rivals are the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE and the HTC EVO 4G LTE. The Galaxy SIII has a bigger screen, larger battery and more RAM than the Photon Q. The EVO 4G LTE rivals the S III in battery life, but it has an integrated battery that cannot be removed it. It also has 1GB of RAM, compared to the 2GB that's available in the S III....

More

The Samsung Galaxy S III is an impressive phone. The screen is lovely and the phone is full of software features that'll make your head spin. The camera is great and rivals that of the iPhone 4S. From a hardware-only perspective, it is the best Android phone Sprint has to offer at this time.

It surpasses the Galaxy Nexus with a significantly better camera, improved battery life and 4G LTE connectivity. Its closest rivals are the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE and the HTC EVO 4G LTE. The Galaxy SIII has a bigger screen, larger battery and more RAM than the Photon Q. The EVO 4G LTE rivals the S III in battery life, but it has an integrated battery that cannot be removed it. It also has 1GB of RAM, compared to the 2GB that's available in the S III.

On the software-side, the Galaxy S III is a fantastic. The average consumer will be happy with all the features Samsung managed to cram into its TouchWiz enhanced version of Android 4.0 ICS. Samsung hasn't announced a date, but rumors suggest the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update should be available soon. If you don't want to wait, you can always install a custom ROM with Jelly Bean.

If you're not afraid of a big phone, then you can't go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy S III from Sprint. It's a solid handset with a great camera and the performance is top-notch. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is comfortable with that size phone. If you're not sure about the size, then travel down to a Sprint store and check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Read full review

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Android Guys

Heavy on hardware, but even heavier on experience

from Android Guys

Hype confirmed. This handset is everything we’d expect out of Samsung’s flagship device on just about every front imaginable. Thanks to a unified branding and singular form factor, across multiple providers, there will be no mistaking one of these as better than the other. And, since...More

Hype confirmed. This handset is everything we’d expect out of Samsung’s flagship device on just about every front imaginable. Thanks to a unified branding and singular form factor, across multiple providers, there will be no mistaking one of these as better than the other. And, since it’s so widely available, the Galaxy S III stands as good a chance as any to knock the iPhone down another notch. With Samsung’s new smartphone you’ll come for the gorgeous and stay for the experience. Yes, some of the features can be found in third party apps or on other devices, however it’s presented in a total package with which we’ve fallen fast in love.

Read full review

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GottaBeMobile

Provides excellent value and is a device that will offer a lot of bang

from GottaBeMobile

There’s been a lot of talk about Sprint’s network. Pundits are quick to criticize the Now Network for not having a widely deployed 4G LTE network and supporters are fast to point out that Sprint remains the only carrier right now to offer unthrottled, unlimited mobile broadband data....More

There’s been a lot of talk about Sprint’s network. Pundits are quick to criticize the Now Network for not having a widely deployed 4G LTE network and supporters are fast to point out that Sprint remains the only carrier right now to offer unthrottled, unlimited mobile broadband data. If you’re a loyal Sprint customer considering an upgrade, the Sprint Galaxy S III provides excellent value and is a device that will offer a lot of bang. On the other hand, if you’re currently on a carrier with 4G LTE or 4G HSPA+ service in your area, the value proposition is a bit harder to make. At the end of the day, if you can live with 3G speeds for now and are in need of unlimited data, you cannot beat Sprint’s value. That said, 4G LTE may not arrive in your major city until 2013 and that’s quite a bit of a wait. In the meantime, if you’re debating Sprint’s value proposition, go to a Sprint store and test out the phone by loading a few webpages. If the web speeds are sufficient, then don’t let the speedtest numbers fool you.

Read full review

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BitBitByte

A top of the line smartphone to power you through the day

from BitBitByte

If you are in the market for a new Android device, the S3 will not disappoint. Compared to the other big hitter in the Android world at the moment, the HTC One X, Samsung narrowly edges out HTC once again. The design isn’t up to my 2012 standards (the HTC One X is a sexy device) but what is...More

If you are in the market for a new Android device, the S3 will not disappoint. Compared to the other big hitter in the Android world at the moment, the HTC One X, Samsung narrowly edges out HTC once again. The design isn’t up to my 2012 standards (the HTC One X is a sexy device) but what is packed inside is really worth the $200 price tag (with a new 2-year contract). Great battery life and a gorgeous screen really put this in the front of the line for a smart phone purchase. TouchWiz has always been an issue for me, and other users, but it isn’t as noticeable on the S3 as previous devices. A great camera and an insanely powerful processor, the Galaxy S3 is great for anyone (even some iOS users) that are looking for a beast of a device. It comes down to this: if you’re a light to moderate data user and aren’t all that worried about widgets, apps updating in the background and shudder at the words “social butterfly”, the One X and it’s gorgeous styling are for you. If, however, you need a top of the line smartphone to power you through (most) of the day while belting out update after update and game after game, the S III and it’s larger 2,100 mAh battery (and ability to have additional batteries swapped in) get the nod for true power users. In the end, the nerds came calling and Samsung answered, better.

Read full review

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Phone Scoop

A good phone that excels at nearly every feature

from Phone Scoop

Sprint's version of the Samsung Galaxy S III carries forward most of the strengths of its counterparts for other carriers. Samsung went for broke and packed the device with features that may lead to mass adoption of burgeoning technologies such as NFC.

Beyond the bells and whistles, the Galaxy S III is a good phone. It excels at nearly every feature. The hardware is excellent and the performance backs it up. The camera and video camera are good enough to record the birth of your child, (though you may want to watch that one in private thanks to the wide viewing angle of the bright display.)...

More

Sprint's version of the Samsung Galaxy S III carries forward most of the strengths of its counterparts for other carriers. Samsung went for broke and packed the device with features that may lead to mass adoption of burgeoning technologies such as NFC.

Beyond the bells and whistles, the Galaxy S III is a good phone. It excels at nearly every feature. The hardware is excellent and the performance backs it up. The camera and video camera are good enough to record the birth of your child, (though you may want to watch that one in private thanks to the wide viewing angle of the bright display.)

Looking at Sprint's current stable of LTE devices, there are few that can compete with the GS3. The EVO 4G LTE is about the only device that's in the same class as the GS3. Which one is better for you? I am afraid that will fall to your own brand preference. EVO fans should probably stick with the EVO 4G LTE, while those upgrading from the GS2 or original Epic 4G Touch might feel more comfortable sticking with Samsung.

For Android fans, the Galaxy S III is pretty much the best option available. With support for Sprint's LTE network, it's hard to recommend any other device from Sprint's lineup.

Read full review

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Pocketnow

Samsung Galaxy S III Review (Verizon)

from Pocketnow

If you don’t have a smartphone, or your contract is up, or you’re wondering what phone to get, we’ll make things simple for you: get this phone. You might be also considering the Galaxy Nexus, which is also a great phone, but the Galaxy S III is better in almost every way.

...More

If you don’t have a smartphone, or your contract is up, or you’re wondering what phone to get, we’ll make things simple for you: get this phone. You might be also considering the Galaxy Nexus, which is also a great phone, but the Galaxy S III is better in almost every way.

Even though we found some faults with the phone (both the case and the software), they’re our honest observations — but none of them should prevent you from buying this phone. The Galaxy S III isn’t just a stand-out product, it’s probably the best smartphone available right now — on any carrier. Combined with the LTE speeds we experienced, this phone is reason enough to switch to Verizon today.

Read full review

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User Reviews


kari c

I like my phone but....

it stopped charging shortly after i got it take it back to saskatel and they tell me its not covered under warranty because apparently its damage caused by me i take it to a repair store and they told me its very common for that to happen with the s3 and that the only way to truly fix it is to get a ne...More
it stopped charging shortly after i got it take it back to saskatel and they tell me its not covered under warranty because apparently its damage caused by me i take it to a repair store and they told me its very common for that to happen with the s3 and that the only way to truly fix it is to get a new motherboard for it. it was way less then a year old when this happened. other than that i do like the phone. Less
donhare

Poor/Weak radio antenna

We tried two of these phones and neither one worked in our area. Odd....our other Samsung phones (Droid Razor, i200 & Note III) work just fine.

Galaxy S III Videos