Why the Samsung Galaxy S3 fails to deliver
We weren't impressed by Samsung's latest Galaxy S3 smartphone. Read on to find out why
Like many, we were excited last week at the prospect of seeing the successor to Samsung's Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S2 was undoubtedly one of the best handsets of 2011 and we had every reason to believe the next iteration would be a definitive new design.
Admittedly, at the time it wasn't a certainty that we would see the supposed Galaxy S3, there was still a chance for something else bearing the Galaxy brand as all the publicity simply branded the event as ‘the next Galaxy'.
But, it was the Galaxy S3 after all, and we have to say, we were disappointed. Thinking about it over the bank holiday weekend, it's not a feeling we've been able to shake either. In fact, if anything, the more we think about it the more disappointing the new flagship becomes.
Why has the Galaxy S3 failed to live up to our expectations?
Well, first and foremost, the most glaring problem is one of build quality. With the Galaxy S2 a criticism we shared with many other reviewers was that the body-shell felt a bit plasticky. It wasn't too bad, but noticeable enough to be slightly bothersome.
We thought with the Galaxy S3 things could go one of two ways, either we'd get a similarly average-quality plastic which, like the Galaxy S2, would be liveable with. Or, alternatively, Samsung would up its game and offer a more premium feel plastic, ceramic or a lightweight metal such as aluminium.
We never imagined for a second that Samsung would actually go with an even worse quality plastic on the Galaxy S3, but that's exactly what it did.
It's an immediate turn-off in and of itself, but when you consider the quality of materials on the iPhone 4S, HTC One X and One S, the Sony Xperia S and both Nokia's Lumia 800 and Lumia 900, then the Galaxy S3 is tailing very far behind.
We've no doubt Apple's next iPhone, the iPhone 5, which is supposedly set to arrive this year with a curved aluminium or ceramic back panel, will also feel ten times better in the hand.
The Galaxy S3 feels like a toy and that's just not going to cut it on a premium flagship handset.
The Galaxy S3's problems aren't only skin deep, however. There's the rather prickly issue of the TouchWiz interface, the highly questionable added ‘intelligence' features and the overall feeling of Apple imitation we get with the S3.
Such assertions will no doubt trigger accusations of Apple fanboyism, but this needn't be the case for us to make such a criticism. Indeed, although some members of the KYM team happily use Apple products, the company and its devices are not particularly held above any others. But, as always, credit where it's due, there are unquestionably some things Apple does better than most.
The point here is, Samsung isn't playing to its strengths and is spending too much time and resources on copying Apple.
To clarify, in this instance when we say ‘copying Apple', we don't mean that Samsung is infringing any patents or copying features wholesale - that isn't even for us to say.
No, it's the general feeling that Samsung is trying to cater to the same crowd as Apple, to tempt potential iPhone users away, and rather unnecessarily in our view.