Samsung Galaxy S III: Review roundup

Samsung released its Galaxy S III in 28 countries Tuesday, though not in the United States.

The phone is notable for its 4.8-inch screen, as well as bells and whistles such as the 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera and the latest Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich.

European reviewers are sweet on the phone, which is expected to hit the U.S. market in June. Here’s a quick look at what reviewers have had to say about the European version.

Telegraph reviewer Matt Warman was impressed with the phone’s screen size and it’s not-so-terrible battery life. “The two most striking things about the S3 are its enormous, gorgeous screen and its surprising — by which I mean adequate — battery life,” he wrote. “Performance that, to be honest, feels like it does not yet have the software to properly test it, a gorgeous, huge screen and good, clever additions make the S3 feel, to me, like the best Android phone on the market.”

Warman added that the phone “is probably the first I’ve used where you almost forget that you’re using a phone rather than a fully fledged computer.”

Stuff UK’s Esat Dedezade offered an equally glowing review and also found that Samsung’s S-Voice feature was about as accurate as Apple’s Siri.

“Although voice recognition is a bit sketchy at times, the S Voice assistant managed to set alarms, search the web and send messages with around the same success rate as Apple’s voice assistant,” Dedezade wrote.

So is there anything bad about this phone? SlashGear’s Chris Davies noted that while he likes the phone overall, he thinks that Samsung’s decision to make the handset out of plastic could “prove a tactile disappointment.”

“Does it feel cheap? That probably depends on what you’re coming from: if it’s an iPhone 4S or an HTC One X, then yes,” he wrote. “Those stepping up from the Galaxy S II, however, will find a more cohesive design in the hand, with fewer contrasting textures.”

And how does the phone stack up against the competition? Most reviewers agreed that the new Galaxy S III edges out the HTC One X as the best Android smartphone on the market. Most also said that the phone could give Apple’s iPhone 4S a run for its money.

But, reluctant to reward Samsung with the smartphone crown just yet, TechRadar reviewer Gareth Beavis said that the phone does set a new bar for Apple to beat with its next model.

“[If] you’re thinking about picking up an iPhone 4S: forget it. You’ll need to wait to see what response Apple is cooking up with the iPhone 5 as a 3.5-inch screen and the same high price tag it launched with are no longer acceptable.”

Related stories:

The Verge: Samsung Galaxy S III is a technological triumph

Galaxy S III: how the smartphone stacks up

Galaxy S III: Samsung introduces its latest phone

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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