After the display, the second most impressive feature of the Samsung Galaxy S III is its speed, which Samsung’s Exynos 4 Quad core processor is credited for, along with the Mali-400M graphic processor. Unlike the Tegra 3, which NVIDIA optimized for Ice Cream Sandwich, the slightly newer Exynos 4 Quad has been optimized for HD displays, large batteries and the TouchWiz UI that craves power. This is how Samsung has managed to top the competition in this regard, thanks to the fact that it manufactures all of the above elements themselves.
The Galaxy S III is almost miraculously fast. While the quad-core HTC One X is just as fast, as is the dual-core HTC One S, there are situations when these device start glitching and ‘choking’ (scrolling and zooming in on Flash-heavy web sites). This is not the case with Samsung’s latest flagship model.
Samsung’s Galaxy S III is the first smartphone with Android OS which does not lag while performing these functions and is perfectly smooth, fast and precise, scrolling along the site, zooming in or out as much as the user desires. This is the case only on the iPhone as well. However, the iPhone does not include Flash support, which makes a drastic difference.
This is not where the demonstration of Samsung’s chipset ends. In a true multitasking process, it is possible to open a special window which will play video, while still using the device to perform any other task below this window, without it glitching and lagging behind. The second, parallel task can be zooming in and scrolling web sites which include demanding objects for the processor, like Flash animations.
Everything is fast — loading large games, playing videos, flipping forward while watching videos, loading demanding applications, applying filters in photo-editing applications, and booting the device.
All this is confirmed by benchmarks: SunSpider gave Samsung Galaxy S III 1441, HTC One X (quad-core with Tegra 3) 1752 and HTC One S 1729 (less is better). BrowserMark showed that Galaxy S III is almost unbeatable with the score of 169680. According to this test, HTC One X (quad-core) had the score 96912, HTC One S 98522 and Samsung Galaxy S II 104439 (more is better). Finally, AnTuTu Benchmark gave Galaxy S III 11262, while HTC One X (quad-core) had 10850, HTC One S 7201 and Galaxy S II 5903 (more is better).
It seems that Samsung put a great deal of effort into creating a more friendly user interface, in order to bring the smartphone closer to those who have not used it yet. S Voice draws the most attention; this is a system for intelligent speech recognition which is almost an identical copy of Apple’s Siri.
When comparing S Voice or Siri, depending on the question you ask, sometimes the answer comes more quickly on one device than the other. Still, the answers are the same in 90% of the cases because both systems rely on the same or similar engines (Wolfram Alpha, Wikipedia etc.). There is one difference between S Voice and Siri — S Voice understands several languages, while Siri works only in English.
As far as your Contacts, it is possible to set up the phone to vibrate differently for certain ones in the address book, and the Direct Call option automatically dials an open contact when the phone is brought close to the ear. The same is true when reading a text message or a MMS – just put the phone to your ear to start a call to the sender of the text. Furthermore, when the inbox is being viewed, a finger movement to the left will start a new message to the selected contact.
Four icons can be set up on the lock screen with the matching applications being automatically started when the phone is turned on or if they are pulled towards the centre of the display.
Many other practical features have been added in most of the applications that come with the device, from those intended for viewing the photo gallery and videos, the music player, the status panel and working with home and lock screens to the camera application.
Although the rear-facing camera is technically identical to the one on its predecessor, the Galaxy S II, the camera application has had many alterations and, in the end, the Galaxy S III creates evidently better images and especially better videos that can be recorded in Full HD resolution.
The camera is turned on in approximately 0.9 seconds, which is fast, but not the fastest (it takes 0.7 seconds on HTC One X), enabling the user to take photographs and record videos at the same time. The photographs are very sharp, vivid, realistic and, above all, have correctly saturated colors, unlike HTC One X’s which seem too artificial. The same thing goes for recording videos; Samsung has surpassed the best competitors in this segment as well.
The 2100 mAh battery solidly deals with the demanding display, demanding chipset and the demanding software. After just several charges, once it reaches its full capacity, it enables two days of common performance, or a day and a half of above average usage with Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS antennas on.
Even though the battery capacity is significantly greater than what is average for top models, in real-world use, it is just slightly better than average. It could be worse though; after the device was launched in London, it was expected that its battery life would be a problem, just like with iPhone 4S.