Samsung is set to launch its newest, and most hyped, smartphone on the Canadian market next week, and in early June Hardware Canucks was given the opportunity to have a hands on session with the phone.
“The Samsung Galaxy S3 is Samsung’s 3rd generation phone and in every way its improved: the hardware, the design, the screen,” said Ken Price, Samsung Canada’s Director of Mobile Marketing, who hosted the event Hardware Canucks attended.
Upon a cursory glance of the phone, which weighs 133g and comes in at 8.6mm, the first thing one will notice is the screen: At 4.8 inches, it’s vividly bright and rich in a captivating way.
“The screen is a hallmark. It’s something we’ve established. It harkens to our other consumer electronic products like our TVs. The OLED technology has the best blend of brightness, contrast, usability in outdoor conditions.”
Part of the reason this screen leaves such an impressive first impression is because Samsung has opted for enhanced PenTile technology. PenTile AMOLED displays use green pixels (the colour that the human eye is most sensitive to) interleaved with alternating red and blue pixels.
Samsung promises that time won’t have the same ravaging effects on PenTile screens as it does traditional AMOLED screens.
Pentile does, however, have a downside – due to the nature of subpixel layouts white colours will have a slight blue or yellow tinge to them.
The Galaxy S3 is equipped with an 8MP camera on the front that can do 3.3fps burst photography, and a 1.9MP front-facing camera.
Taking the phone through a quick hands on it is apparent that the Android OS has matured nicely: the UI is quick, responsive, and stable. Ice Cream Sandwich allows the user to do some cool things, such as the ability to watch a 1080p HD video picture-in-picture while multitasking across other apps, that aren’t particularly useful so much as they are a tour-de-force of a processor running slick code.
Part of the reason the phone has a particular zip to it is because of the 1.5Ghz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4. This processor isn’t particularly revolutionary, but considering the synergy present between hardware and software on this phone it certainly is evolutionary.
“It’s become easier to use,” said Mr. Price, referring to the platform reaching a zenith of stability in its maturity. “The platform has become more mature and stable in terms of the developers point of view. Google has slowed down the introduction of these platforms a little more to let the market catch up.”
“Not all Android is the same. I think the reason Samsung has been successful is because we recognize that and we take the best parts of an open OS.”
Samsung’s success means it will be introducing this phone while holding the title of the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones. This success, however, has caused Apple — which held the title for a number of years post iPhone launch — to come at the company with a particular tenacity in the courtroom over allegations of intellectual property and trade dress infringement.
As these lawsuits are ongoing, and occurring on multiple fronts, Samsung has taken particular care with the launch of the Galaxy S3. So much care, in fact, that blogger Ron Amadeo of Android Police has alleged that the S3 is the first phone “designed by lawyers”.
Mr. Amadeo points out that the phone lacks, for instance, “a display of a grid of colorful square icons with uniformly rounded corners,” and an app springboard that is found on iOS devices and older Samsung Galaxy phones.
Mr. Price remains unphased.
“I think that’s a little paranoid,” said Mr. Price. “We would say that it’s a phone that’s been designed with a couple of inspirations.”
“[The designers] have great pride in the way the device is nice and rounded. Their inspiration was picking a stone out of the river and seeing how it was naturally rounded over time and how it felt in their hand the size of it,” he continued.
“If there was any inspiration from the industrial design team it was nature.”
Check back soon for Hardware Canucks’ in-depth review of the Samsung Galaxy S3.