The Galaxy S III comes equipped with an 8MP camera with an LED flash and we put it through its paces in a couple of indoor and outdoor tests. An interesting bit is that Samsung is using the same Sony BSI (Backside Illumination) sensor, as the one on the iPhone 4S! We’ll have a separate shootout between those too soon, but for now, here’s how the Samsung S III fared.
Easy to use interface
In outdoor shots, the colours appeared rich on the SGS III. Sometimes the shots were pretty bright as well, but bright isn’t a synonym of natural and some of the images turned out to be slightly over saturated. Nothing the average user would immediately notice, but if you’re using this is as your premier photo snapping device, then you’ll see the difference, eventually. We managed a burst mode test between the One X and the S III that can be viewed here. Also, for more camera samples, please head to the last page.
Manages decent macro shots
On the same topic, it’s worthy to mention that the S III doesn’t automatically activate burst mode when the shutter button on the screen is pressed, a feature we loved using on the One X. Also, some focussing issues prevented us from getting the desired result in burst mode. However, the macro mode on the S III simply wowed us. From being able to capture an ant on a flower, to a wasp just settling on a leaf, the macro mode did bring out that extra bit in every image, as compared to the ho-hum images we captured with the other smartphones. For indoor and low-light shots, the single LED flash does a decent job at capturing the subject, as long as it’s not too far away from the camera. For example, the gold watch in the images was shot in complete darkness with only the single LED flash illuminating the subject. The 2MP front camera is good enough for video calling. Head over to the next page to check out our shots with the S III’s rear camera.
1080p video recording at 30fps is supported and there’s good amount of image stabilization, if you’ve got shaky hands. Slight colour banding was noticed when we moved from darker to lighter backgrounds and vice versa. That’s not really a major concern, though and the Galaxy S III is a worthy device to use to capture life’s special moments.
Removable battery is a big boon and so is the microSD card slot
The Samsung Galaxy S III comes with a 2100mAh battery, which is close to the 2500mAh battery in the Note. Now, we didn’t have enough time to finish our usual fleet of battery tests in time for this review, but during our usage, which included heavy use of music, games, video, Wi-Fi, a couple of calls and a lot of burst mode - the Galaxy S III easily lasted us for a day. Remember that it does have a quad-core CPU and the AMOLED screen eats up battery pretty quickly, if you have a lot of white colour on the display. The phone also tends to get warm after extensive use of the camera, but not as hot as the One X. The battery life was better than the One X hands down.
Samsung has priced their flagship offering at 43,180, however actual retail pricing is closer to 38,900. This is still a little bit more expensive compared to the HTC One X, although the latter has been in the market for a while longer. Once things normalize, it should be on par. Now for the million dollar question, which one do you buy? While this is best left up to a grudge match (also coming up soon), we’d have to put our money on the HTC One X and here’s why - the S III is excellent when it comes to media playback and benchmarks, not forgetting battery life as well, but these are some of the areas where it really excels and leaves the competition behind. In the real world, Tegra 3 is every bit as good as Exynos 4 Quad, as far as app access and overal functionality go. We really doubt you’ll able to tell any difference unless you look real close.
The rest of the features and performance, while high on the scale aren't impressive enough to deviate our choice from the One X over the S III. It doesn't really have anything that would make us run out to a store and buy it. The Nokia PureView has the 41MP camera, the One X has an amazing burst mode, the Xperia S, once again is brilliant at macro shots and here we have the Galaxy S III whose highlight is a bunch of random gesture and voice-based programs and the fact that it's designed for humans. You see our point? There’s no singular feature that’s captivating enough for us to wholeheartedly recommend this phone. We feel Samsung have bitten off a bit more than they they can chew, which could be the undoing for the Galaxy S III.
Updated 19 Jun, 2013, 9:20 pm IST
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