Samsung Galaxy S3 in the flesh, first impressions

We’ve got some hands-on time with the newly announced Samsung Galaxy S3 and so far we’re impressed with the design, construction, performance and the capabilities of the camera. The Galaxy S3 also features the new Exynos 4 Quad processor and an optional LTE chip for super fast connectivity.

Samsung did not disappoint us when they revealed the successor to the popular Galaxy S2. While expectations were very high, the Galaxy S3 i9300 managed to introduce more features on top of the upgraded hardware configuration.

Powering the Galaxy S3 is the Exynos 4 Quad processor which offers at least twice the processing power yet running on lower power consumption.

On paper, the hardware specifications of the Galaxy S3 looks impressive. Samsung did not say if they will release different variants in other regions but all indication says it might be the same model globally (except perhaps for the ones with LTE).

Samsung Galaxy S3 i9300 specs:
4.8-inch Super HD AMOLED screen @ 1280×720 pixels (306ppi)
1.4GHz Samsung Exynos 4 Quad processor
Mali-400MP GPU
16GB, 32GB, 64GB internal storage
HSPA+ up to 21Mbps
LTE (optional)
8MP rear camera with LED flash
1080p @ 30fps video recording
1.9MP front-facing camera with HD video recording
Bluetooth 4.0
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with WiFi Bonding
2,100mAh Li-Ion battery
Android 4.0 ICS with TouchWiz UX
8.6mm thickness, 133gram weight

The Exynos 4 Quad has 4 cores running at a peak speed of 1.4GHz each. That’s twice the computing power of the Galaxy Note.

Samsung gave the Galaxy S3 a large-capacity battery to make up for the possibly juice-guzzling handset. The 2,100mAh Li-Ion battery is so far among the highest we’ve seen in any Samsung handset, closing in on the 2,500mAh on the Galaxy Note.

[uds-billboard name=”galaxys3board”]

The size of the S3 is almost similar to that of the Galaxy Nexus despite the former having a slightly bigger screen. This is because if you look at the bezel of the S3, it is narrower making more room for a bigger display on the same frame.

The body has that brushed-metal finish (Samsung calls it hyper-glazed) which gives it that metallic look and feel despite being actually made of polycarbonate material (the white variant has a glossy finish though). At 8.6mm, you can really feel the slim profile of the body.

The 4.8-inch screen uses a Super AMOLED display with HD resolution (that’s why they refer to it as Super HD AMOLED) of 1280×720 pixels giving the S3 a 306ppi pixel density which is already within the realms of Retina Display.

The 8MP camera of the S3 might not be any bigger than the one on the Galaxy Note but the photos and videos it took are impressive, even in low light conditions. We’re still curious how it will fare in the outdoors with natural light.

What is noteworthy is that the shooter can take really fast photos at 3.3 frames per second (20fps on burst). Our initial tests so far left us impressed (feels like entry-level dSLR speeds).

The internal storage of the S3 will go up to 64GB but with the microSD card, you can still add another 64GB for a total of 128GB. Also, we noticed that the SIM card slot at the back indicates the S3 wil be using a micro-SIM.

We did a number of synthetic benchmarks (Quadrant, Antutu, Nenamark 2) and the results were thru the roof for the Exynos 4 Quad processor. Check out the initial results here.

Integrated features such as eye recognition, face and voice recognition looks impressive during the presentation but we were unable to test it ourselves because of the noise of the crowd in the exhibition hall.

Samsung Philippines has told us that the Philippine launch of the Galaxy S3 is slated on either May 22 or May 24. They did not share any pricing information but we speculated that the 16GB might go for Php29,990 while the 64GB could go for Php35,990. Of course, our telcos (Smart and Globe) might also be fighting to get first dibs on the handset and offer it with a plan.

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Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is one of the pioneers of blogging in the country and considered by many as the Father of Tech Blogging in the Philippines. He is also a technology consultant, a tech columnist with several national publications, resource speaker and mentor/advisor to several start-up companies.

26 Responses

  1. Avatar for Ruel Ruel says:

    so, LTE capable po ba ang lumabas na Galaxy S3 dito sa pinas? I had one already with Smart Unli Dataplan 2000. I noticed na instead na 3G ang nakalagay sa display ay H+. I assume H+ means HSDPA. Is it similar to LTE?

  2. Avatar for supertoblerone supertoblerone says:

    I went to official launching for S3 in Somerset, SIngapore. Ang haba ng pila.. first 1000 will get freebies like smart cover, stand and etc.. worth SGD240. I went late so I didnt get it. Sayang… I am using it now and so far am happy! sobrang bilis at sobrang ganda ng phone na to… :) I prefer pebble blue pero di pa sya available kasi may issue daw ang back cover ng pebble blue so its gonna be delayed for 2 weeks.. arrgg.. but am still happy with the white kasi kamatch nya ang iPad 3 ko. First time ko mag android, ang ganda pala! lol!

  3. Avatar for lito lito says:

    Tignan kung ano ang nadagdag sa os nya, baka wala pa sinabi sa iphone 4S o kaya maski iphone 4 lang. wait nalang ako pag labas iphone 5 mas sigurado pagkakaguluhan sa boong mundo ang iphone 5. Good luck to those who purchase this samsung s3

  4. Avatar for rich rich says:

    sobrang halimaw at bilis nang phone na ito. ang prob lng tlaga sa galaxy un example modetncombat 3 pag compare mo un sa kahit sa iphone 4 with online play ang parang late un hardware nya.. sana un mga developer like gameloft i optimize din nila un software nila exclusive sa mga highend android nakakadala kasi bumili ng nadroid kung games ang target mo even un mga simpleng apps like fb skype mas oki sya sa ios.

  5. Avatar for Wendell Wendell says:

    If there will be a next Samsung galaxy S , will it have 8 cores?

  6. Avatar for son son says:

    In overall specifications. I would say SONY XPERIA S pa rin ,kasi i had saw many videos na talo nya ang HTC one X sa browser speed renedering, I dont know why,because one x is quad then the XS is dual core. Tingnan ninyo sa youtube HTC one X vs Xperia s.

    • Avatar for John John says:

      You and your pathetic posts on EVERY article. Can you like scram ? You’re obviously one attention seeking turd.

  7. Avatar for Marco Marco says:

    Well designed? I’m sorry but I can’t see it in pictures. I just hope that it indeed looks good when seen live.

  8. Avatar for Alvin Alvin says:

    This phone is a beast! A beastly performance with a beastly features and a GODLY design! Galaxy S III is rocks!

  9. Avatar for John John says:

    Sorry sammy, your phone is an atrocity in all abyss. This is a huge disappointment.

    • Avatar for Tyriel Tyriel says:

      “in all abyss”? “huge disappointment”?
      I’m sorry, but even scholarly words won’t mask the stench of your pretentiousness. I can smell it all the way from here. I’m not even gonna waste spit scolding you on your grammar, since your poor grasp of it is already apparent. Now, on to your rash disregard of Samsung’s tech. You call it an “atrocity”? clearly you haven’t read ample previews of the phone, many of which praise it. Next time, don’t even try using fancy words to coat your stupidity.

  10. Avatar for Dj Dj says:

    People laugh at the design, but i prioritize specs not looks. The GS2 proved that (best phone of 2011 imho). Touchwiz is a deep software not just a launcher you can download from google play. the enhancements that it has will make this phone stand out. Plus to the removeable 2100 mah battery and 16gb minimum internal storage and microsd slot. Boo for the micro sim implementation.

  11. Avatar for H H says:

    yey! micro-sim.

  12. Avatar for Paulito Paulito says:

    33k? that would be suicide lol. But it looks like it. It already got a 600 euro tag price, converted to peso thats roughly 33k

    I hope they price it lower, like taking the old price of the SII, 29,999 plus throw in the flip cover since there are no cases yet lmao.

    Wishful thinking but i am looking forward to May 22 or 24 when they say it will be released locally.

    I just hate it when other bash this phone due to its design, wala na sila malait siguro ahaha. But kanya kanya naman taste yan. and besides the phone wont be bare all the time for sure since we get protective, so armado ng casing yan na sisira din lang sa figure niya ahahaha

    lets just let the benchmarks speak for the SIII, maganda nga design pero kung wala din ibubuga di wala din lang IMO

  13. Avatar for showbiz showbiz says:

    I hope it will not be priced higher than 33K.

  14. Avatar for garz garz says:

    Where’s the ceramic part??

    • Avatar for waku waku says:

      The ceramic part is ditched in favor of the use of polycarbonate plastic. In simpler words, polycarbonate plastic is the new and best choice of material for smartphones given its physical properties. It’s a good move that Samsung has used a pretty durable material for their new flagship phone just like what HTC and Nokia did for their flagship phones.

  15. Avatar for wally wally says:

    Galaxy Note = 2,500mAh not 2,500mAh ;)

  16. Avatar for 13thAngel 13thAngel says:

    Hi Yugs, did they gave the srp for s3?

  17. Avatar for Roki Roki says:

    Yuga, is the galaxy player 70 plus also introduced at the event?

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