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Samsung Galaxy S III review: Your next Android phone

Ginny Mies | June 21, 2012
The Samsung Galaxy S III ($200 with a new two-year AT&T contract, price as of June 20, 2012) is one of the most hyped phones this year

Image quality was very good on the Galaxy S III. My outdoor photos looked gorgeous, and my indoor photos appeared sharp, though colors seemed a bit washed out. Details weren't as clear as I would have liked, either. The macro mode worked well, but HDR looked strange and blurry. In my opinion, the iPhone 4S is currently the only phone that can get HDR mode to work well.

The TouchWiz camera interface is clean and simple. You get a nice variety of shooting modes, such as HDR, macro, and burst shot, the last of which lets you take up to 20 photos in succession. According to Samsung, the rate is almost three photos per second. Unlike HTC's burst-shot feature, the mode on the Galaxy S III does not automatically choose the best photos for you.

Buddy Photo Share is a neat idea, but it didn't work all that well for me. Theoretically, Buddy Photo Share can use facial recognition to match your photos with your contacts. It was able to match up a few of my friends, but most of the time it failed. I suspect that the more you use Buddy Photo Share, the smarter it will become.

Bottom Line

Is the Samsung Galaxy S III worth all of the hype? I think it is. The Galaxy S III has a certain appeal that makes you want to keep using it. A friend of mine noticed it on my desk, started playing with it, and couldn't put it down. "I need this phone," my friend declared after 5 minutes. The display is irresistible, and the quickness of the phone can't be beat.

The problem with Samsung phones is that sometimes the company goes too far in trying to stand out from the rest of the pack. Some of the Galaxy S III's features feel like gimmicks, especially the sharing ones that let you share only with other Galaxy S III phones. S Voice sort of seems like a me-too feature to compete with Apple's Siri. Really, though, these are just extra frills. At its core, the Galaxy S III is an excellent phone, and Samsung did the right thing in making it uniform across the multiple carriers. And who knows--maybe your whole family and your entire circle of friends will buy the Galaxy S III, so those sharing features will actually be useful.

 

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