Can Samsung score a hat trick with the SIII?

With the tremendous success of Galaxy S and SII, Samsung has more than announced itself loud and clear in the global smartphone market. Samsung became the only player that could seriously challenge the likes of Apple in the smartphone industry and catapulted android OS into a market leader. So, can Samsung continue its reign with the third iteration of its flagship smartphone? Is it as huge an upgrade as SII was for the original S. Let’s see!

There were huge expectations on the third version. Some of those expectations came true and some didn’t. The 4.8-inch screen, 720p screen resolution, higher pixel density, and quad-core processors fulfilled the rumor index. However, quite a few were disappointed with the somewhat outdated 8-megapixel-camera sensor, 1 GB RAM, simple and outdated hardware design, Nature UI on Touchwiz and other software features.

The screen is sharp, vibrant and lovely to look at especially considering the high 720p resolution. The pixel density has gone up considerably to the last version. Performance wise, SIII is a scorcher and scores heavily on many tests. Battery life is also better than the other quad-core competitor (One X) and things like removable battery and micro-SD slot will only tip the scale further in favor of the SIII.

Some of the disappointments are uncalled for since I personally feel a faster and higher aperture (read better low-light pictures) camera is better than a higher megapixel one. Also, I don’t see any need for higher RAM in a smartphone since the percentage of people who would really need more than 1GB is very small. In fact, a quad-core processor also seems over the board for normal users but if applied well, one can enjoy excellent gaming on a smartphone.

On the design front, I was very disappointed that Samsung stuck to their plastic heritage unlike what HTC has done with the One series. The SIII doesn’t feel cheap by any means but it’s more of a Civic than a Camaro of smartphones. Also, Nature UI on Touchwiz 4.0 is such a disappointment that a past galaxy S customer would be bored in minutes. Touchwiz is also quite heavy on the stock Ice Cream Sandwich that one might wonder the need for it in the first place. Google has done so much with the UI on android OS that time has come for manufacturers to ditch their custom skins, if not completely, partially. The customizations don’t amplify the user experience any more and in this aspect I appreciate HTC for listening to its customers. S-Voice on SIII seems more like a beta version of Siri. Features likes smart alert, social tags, annoying pop-up play, direct call and smart stay are more gimmicky and battery draining than useful.

Samsung could have done so much with the SIII but it still went Apple’s way in rolling out incremental updates as seen with the iPhone 4S. I’m more than confident that SIII would do great numbers in comparison to the One X, especially in markets like US and Europe, considering better brand reputation. However, if you ask me which phone is better between the One X and SIII, I would be slightly inclined towards the One X considering the effort HTC has put in. Can SIII outsell its predecessor, the SII? That question can be answered only with time since upfront costs have gone up considerably in Asian markets, which include some of the largest smartphone markets in the world. Apple! It’s your turn now…

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