Android fans, rejoice! The Samsung Galaxy S3 hit shelves in the U.S. on Thursday. Well, it was supposed to.
Both AT&T and Verizon have yet to release the device, which is currently on pre-order according to the companies' websites. Sprint has released a notice saying the Galaxy S3 is out of stock. According to T-Mobile's website, the carrier still has units in stock and isn't delaying orders; however, T-Mo's selling base unit S3 devices for $279 after a $50 mail-in rebate, while the three carriers will sell the device for $199.
Reviews for the device have been largely positive, with some of the biggest praise rolling in for battery life and download speed.
Engadget found the S3 to be a strong competitor to other mobile devices, such as the iPhone and Galaxy S2. "The power- and storage-hungry Android user simply cannot go wrong with this purchase," the review reads.
Our own Jason Gilbert raved about the S3 in his recent review of the handset. "…The Galaxy S3 is an attractive phone with whip-quick speeds, a large, hypnotically beautiful screen and superior battery life," he wrote. "I can, with all of my human heart, endorse the Galaxy S3."
He was, however, disappointed by the S3's camera quality when compared to the iPhone 4S and the HTC One X. Engadget found the phone's design underwhelming.
If you're on the fence about picking up a new smartphone and you're wondering whether Samsung's new "superphone" is right for you, check out our handy chart (below) to see how the Galaxy S3's specs stack up against the iPhone, the HTC One X and the Galaxy Nexus.
|APPLE IPHONE 4S||SAMSUNG GALAXY S III||GOOGLE GALAXY NEXUS||HTC ONE X|
|Network||3G (HSPA+)||4G LTE||4G LTE||4G LTE|
|Display||3.5 inch Retina display, 960-by-640 pixels||4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED, 1280x720||4.65-inch Super AMOLED, 1280x720||4.7 inch, Super LCD2, 1280x720|
|Weight||140 grams||133 grams||135 grams||130 grams|
|Operating System||iOS 5||Android 4.0 with TouchWiz||Android 4.0||Android 4.0 with HTC Sense|
|Front Camera||VGA (less than 1 megapixel)||2 megapixels||1.3 megapixels||1.3 megapixels|
|Rear Camera||8 megapixels with LED flash||8 megapixels with LED flash||5 megapixels, LED flash||8 megapixels, LED Flash|
|Camera Features||Touch-to-focus, geo-tagging, face detection, HDR||Touch-to-focus, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, burst photography with best photo selection, share with friends via face recognition||Touch-to-focus-geo-tagging, face detection, zero shutter lag||Simultaneous video and still, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, burst photography with best photo selection|
|Storage/Memory||16/32/64GB, 512MB RAM||16/32/62GB, 1GB RAM||16/32GB, 1GB RAM||16GB, 1GB RAM|
|Talk Time*||7 hours, 41 minutes||10 hours, 20 minutes||8 hours, 23 minutes||9 hours, 57 minutes|
|Web Browsing Time*||6 hours, 56 minutes||5 hours, 17 minutes||3 hours, 1 minute||4 hours, 18 minutes|
|SD Card Slot||No||Yes (up to 64GB)||No||No|
|Killer Feature||Siri, natural language voice assistant||S Voice voice commands, eye recognition||Face Unlock||Beats Audio integration|
|Price||9 on contract (16GB storage)||9 on contract (16GB), 9 from T-Mobile||9 on contract (16GB)||9 on contract (16GB)|
|Carriers||AT&T, Verizon, Sprint||AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular||Verizon/Sprint||AT&T|
- Talk time and web browsing time for the Galaxy S3 were taken from this chart by Gsmarena. All other phones speeds were taken from this Gsmarena chart.
The screen is huge, up from 4.3 inches on the Galaxy S II. A 4.8 inch screen makes it one of the largest displays on a flagship phone there is. Compare with HTC's One X (4.7 inches), the Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx (4.3 inches), and Apple's iPhone 4S (3.5 inches). The resolution is 1280x720.
Samsung introduces 'S Voice' on the Galaxy S III. To wake the phone up and activate the voice sensor, you simply say "Hi Galaxy!" and the phone wakes up; no need to push a button. Other voice commands, in addition to the stock ones in the Google Voice Actions catalogue: Using your voice, you can launch the camera and take a photo, turn the volume up and down, snooze the alarm (say "Snooze" as your alarm is going off -- dangerous!), and send texts and emails.
If you're writing a text to someone, and then you raise the phone to your ear, the GS3 launches the telephone app and automatically calls the person you were texting.
The Galaxy S III comes with an NFC chip that allows you to "bump" information like photos or video to other Galaxy S III owners by touching phones together, using a combination of the NFC technology and Wi-Fi Direct. With All-Share Cast, you can beam your screen to any DLNA-compatible television; All-Share Cast also allows you to share your screen onto anyone else's smartphone for document collaboration.
"Pop up play" will allow you to play a video anywhere on the screen while also performing other tasks, like checking your email or responding to texts. You can make the video window as large or small as you want. Here, you can see a YouTube video playing toward the bottom of the screen while a demonstrator prepares to search Google.
The Galaxy S III's 8 megapixel camera comes with burst photography: Holding down the shutter will take twenty photos in a row; you can then choose the best photo and the phone will automatically erase the other 19. A similar function exists on the HTC One line of phones. An alternate function: The Burst camera can take 8 photos in a row and then automatically choose the best one, if you're too indecisive to choose on your own.
The photography software comes with smart facial recognition: When you take a picture of a friend, it can recognize their face and will prompt you to send that photo to that person's phone or email address.
Essentially an eye recognition technology, the GS3 can sense when you are and are not looking it: When you are looking at your screen, the display will stay illuminated; when you stop looking at your phone, the display goes dark to save power. The feature can be toggled on and off, if you prefer to just let your screen time out.
Here's the first commercial for the Galaxy S III. At least, we think it's advertising the Galaxy S III. It might also be advertising a soap opera or Zach Braff film of some kind.