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5 Things I’d Change About the Samsung Galaxy S III

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Yesterday, Samsung announced the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III, a phone that it hopes will compete against the likes of the HTC One X for AT&T, the HTC EVO 4G LTE for Sprint, the iPhone 4S and the upcoming iPhone 5. Instead of being excited about the launch though, I was disappointed.

And unfortunately, I woke up today feeling the same as I did yesterday. The Galaxy S III was supposed to be the Android device of the year, it was supposed to raise the bar.  However, in my opinion, at least from what I saw, it appears to merely be one of the Android pack.

Read: Why I’m Not Buying the Samsung Galaxy S III.

I touched on the many issues (and things that I liked) that I had with the Samsung Galaxy S III yesterday and today, I am going to outline five changes I’d make to the device if I were able.

The Screen

I think my biggest issue with the Samsung Galaxy S III is its screen. In 2012, it appears that Android manufacturers have it in their heads that bigger displays equals better phones so they are slapping these massive screens on just about every flagship device.

To their surprise, there are people out there, like myself and millions of others, that don’t have any use for a screen that large. In fact, I find that large of a screen to be a detriment to the entire experience.

As I said in my critique of the Galaxy Nexus, the footprint of the Galaxy S III and big screen smartphones like it is just too big. I also have issues using my thumbs on screens that large. I use my thumbs a lot when using my phone so that’s a huge negative.

And it isn’t just the size of the Galaxy S III screen that bothers me either.

Yes, the HD Super AMOLED display looks nice but it’s also PenTile Matrix. PenTile Matrix does mean better battery life but it also means that the color white looks bad. White shows up a lot, just in case you didn’t know.

The screen will do the job, but Samsung could have done better.

The Battery

The Samsung Galaxy S III has a 2100 mAh battery on board which is the same size as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus extended battery. As I’ve said many times, battery life on my Nexus is inadequate.

I wish Samsung had taken the same path Motorola took with the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX and plopped an enormous battery inside the Galaxy S III. It did wonders for the Droid RAZR MAXX, it’s the best selling Android phone on Amazon right now.

It also did wonders for the people that I know who own one. They love the long battery life and are excited about pairing up the battery with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Remember, Samsung is trying to catch Apple here and don’t you think Apple is going to have ridiculous battery life when and if it releases a 4G LTE iPhone?

I shouldn’t have to buy an extended battery to get good battery life and it looks like Samsung is going to force some people into doing that again.

5 Things I'd Change About the Samsung Galaxy S IIIThe Design

Let’s just get this out of the way. The blue version of the Galaxy S III is ugly. It’s terrible. I would never buy it. The white? It’s alright but I’m just not a fan of white-colored smartphones. Never have been, never will be. But the color of the phone isn’t my issue.

It’s the plastic. Already we’ve been hearing about the glossy back. And I am willing to wager that the plastic makes the device feel cheap. Disappointing, especially after all of that talk about a ceramic design.

I’ve said it a million times. When I pay $200-$300 for a phone, I want that phone to feel like $200-300. I don’t see that happening with the Galaxy S III.

The User Interface

Plain and simple. I hate TouchWiz and it’s going to steer me away from any Samsung product that has it on board, Galaxy S III or not. The Galaxy S III has TouchWiz and from the sound of things, Samsung hasn’t done much, if anything, to make it better.

It’s still pretty ugly and it often gets in the way. It also can be laggy and boy is the launcher hideous. I honestly can’t see myself buying another Android device that doesn’t have Vanilla Android on board, plain and simple.

No thanks.

I honestly wonder how many more Samsung Galaxy S III’s Sammy would sell if it came with stock Android.

The Camera

Last but not least, I would change the phone’s camera. Yes, some of the software features looked pretty cool but I think Samsung should have included opted for better optics or a better sensor.

I had a conversation last night with some folks who were asking me which phone I think they should upgrade to. Guess what one of the first two questions was across the board?

“How’s the camera?”

I sincerely doubt that the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S III is going to be better than the camera on the iPhone 4S. Samsung could have made a statement by including an extremely good camera.

It’s very clear that people are moving away from point-and-shoot cameras now that phones have great sensors so this decision, to focus on the social aspect of photography, is perplexing to me.

Hey, there’s always the Samsung Galaxy IV right?

What would you change, if anything, about the Samsung Galaxy S III?

20 Comments

  1. Brian Rocket

    05/04/2012 at 1:35 pm

    I got the Galaxy Nexus because I liked the screen size so the slight jump in size to the SGSIII doesn’t bother me. An iPhone 5 with a 4 inch display is still to small in my estimation. I would be willing to bet you will buy the iPhone 5. If that phone turns out to be waaaay too cool, I may have to get one despite the screen size. I won’t be getting the SGSIII though as its not a big enough leap in technology over my GNex. In fact, I think my GNex is cooler as black is better and the design is better as well not to mention no hard wired buttons or branding on the front of it.

  2. Jann

    05/04/2012 at 2:59 pm

    They give us the most powerful phone to date and these kids are still complaning. The phone is beautiful and sleek.

  3. steve1010

    05/04/2012 at 9:14 pm

    I am sorry, but this is one ugly beast since an invention of smart phones. Whoever approved this design must be smoking God knows what.

  4. Adey

    05/06/2012 at 4:22 am

    feels plastic, too bag for a phone and why can’t they just leave Android as it was intended? I put it next to my iPhone 4 and there was nothing to make me buy this Samsung. I can imagine if you are an Apple Hater you’d think wow this is super… i just thought it was super shite

  5. Alexander Garcia

    05/06/2012 at 5:12 am

    I wouldn’t change any part of this phone. This phone was designed the way it was meant to be. With that being said, I wouldn’t get this phone nor would I recommend it. There is a flagship Android device already out there that’s far better designed and better sorted. That phone is the HTC One X. If you want an Android King and do not mind having a skinned ICS, then the One X (or the One S even) is the phone to get. Hands. Down.

    • Alexander Garcia

      05/06/2012 at 5:15 am

      …In addition, if you’re on Verizon, get the Droid RAZR Maxx!!! I currently own one and it is a beastly device… for a Verizon Droid =) Cheers.

  6. James M

    05/06/2012 at 10:46 pm

    I have the Gnexus myself on Verizon, The perfect size screen I like is the 4.3″ type, or even he 4″ on the Inc2. After comparing the Gnexus to my Droid X the overall phone size is almost the same. the 4.65″ screen on the Gnexus is essentially the same as a 4.3″ because of the software nav buttons. Plus I love to load custom roms, since Verizon finally got a nexus device is the main plus to me. It’s not hard to use the right apps and mods to get the look and feel of Sense. I really like the 320 ppi of the Gnexus as well. But honestly after testing out the HTC One X, it is almost identical to the Gnexus in overall design with it’s curved screen but it has a non-removable battery that is only 2050 mah, slightly less than the extended battery on the Gnexus. So you are going to be stuck with mediocre battery life with the HTC One X, where as the HTC One S on the other hand won’t be so constrained.

    but i would have to agree with the article that screen sizes are starting to get out of hand for phones. keep it to the 4″ to 4.6″ size.

  7. Noel

    05/07/2012 at 10:44 am

    I don’t mind the 4.8″ screen..my problem is the overall size of the device at more than 136mm. The non screen space at the top and bottom could have been shrunk by half..mostly the bottom section the home, back and menu buttons could have been moved closer to the edge of the screen or just utilize on screen buttons and all that bottom space wouldn’t be necessary. I was expecting a device of about 130 to 132mm tall with less curvature at the top n bottom as the GNex but more like the Tmobile GS2. 2)the back cover should have been designed differently mostly around the camera region. 3) TouchWiz sucks why not just use vanilla ICS. 4) they should have used a 10 or 12Mpx camera cuz the iPhone5 might come with more than 8Mpx cam and will use that as a selling point against the GS3. I AM HOPING TMOBILE WILL ASK SAMSUNG TO INCORPORATE THESE CHANGES ON THEIR VERSION OF GS3. If the rumor of the One X coming to Tmo with vanilla ICS is true…it will be tough decision deciding between the two mostly if they incorporate a micro SD expansion on the Tmo version. It is doable if they alter the thickness a little…add a bigger battery while u r at it.

  8. scottswp

    05/07/2012 at 11:08 am

    Maybe its me but I am getting tired of all the secrecy by all the mfg’s on the release dates, I actually think Apple is loosing sales to android because I am a fan of Apple (ipad and macs) but want and need to upgrade yearly and am about to pre-order a new EVO because I dont want to keep waiting for the next BIG thing.
    I think Apple needs to add a bigger screen up to 4.3 but 4 would be a huge improvement for those of us who wear glasses, flash would be nice, I love google maps so iphone needs a nav that speaks the directions like google maps so I dont have to buy a garmin.
    Im curios if anyone likes the galaxy 3 better then the evo 4g lte?

  9. scottswp

    05/07/2012 at 11:10 am

    Meant to add bet we will soon see Apple be the new cell phone provider and offer the new iphones 1st if you buy the cell service direct from them instead of att, verizon or sprint.

  10. Fatih

    05/07/2012 at 11:17 am

    Clearly, author of this article has no future in phone marketing; when apple releases the new iphone (5), we will see that the trend is in favor of larger screens. Better phones require not only better processors/RAM but bigger screens for movies/games/and everything else. 3.5 inch screens are already outdated.

    • Adam Mills

      05/07/2012 at 11:58 am

      Clearly.

      • scottwyp

        05/07/2012 at 12:09 pm

        funny thing while I personally like a screen somewhat bigger I believe you are correct and your point is that biggest isnt always best. My 19 yr old college daughter could care less about the biggest screen and she and ALL of her classmates in college buy iphone period. And they love it.

  11. Myardor

    05/07/2012 at 2:18 pm

    Screen size too big? Are you crazy? Screen size is too small. I want a screen size of about 7 to 9 inches, yes on a smartphone not a tablet.
    Can you say a 20 incher? wowo that would be great, just how do I put it in my pocket? foldable?

  12. watch_mania

    05/23/2012 at 4:41 am

    Good article. I have a Note right now, but I’ll take beefed up screen res and processor Galaxy SII any day over SIII. The design is just wrong.

  13. Michael Tuscany

    05/31/2012 at 12:56 am

    I think this Adam guy is very short sighted. He keeps talking about what he likes or dislikes, with no regards to what consumers want. I like to remind him that the consumers want larger screens; more screen room, more room to play their games or see the contacts; bigger screen means more realistic web browsing, or reading emails. There are hundreds or reasons why larger screen is preferred to smaller screen. And last but not not the least, just wait until you are 40 plus and use glasses; or you are overweight like 60% of Americans with larger than ideal finger; then you will demand to have larger screen. So for now, stop these stupid writing articles. I wonder why any publisher even allows such stupid articles to be published.

  14. Adam

    06/07/2012 at 3:55 am

    Seriously, the writer of this article OBVIOUSLY just loves EVERYTHING Apple, and that’s fine. Just don’t write an article and pretend to be subjective and weigh the pros and cons when you ALREADY know you love Apple, and EVERYTHING Apple, and will ONLY love everything Apple, and nothing else till the end of time. You’re a fanboy, and there’s lots of them, and Android ones and that’s OK. Just stop pretending to do an impartial editorial

  15. oscar

    07/07/2012 at 2:58 pm

    I have a big Android screen. I get it now. Its a must have feature for the heavy user. I have. A Samsung tablet and i find myself using it less and less due to the large screen on my smartphone. Typically iPhone users complain about big screens because they tote ipads. Apple are brilliant that way.. keep the iPhone screen too tiny to do many things and sell them a second device. The lacklustre Android tablet sales seems less mysterious when you take a closer look at how much more use Android phone users make from their phones. Android has pioneered the phablet long before the Samsung Note made it officially a device category.

  16. davidm

    08/01/2012 at 12:10 pm

    I agree the screen is just a bit too big, so it can’t be used while walking or in general with one hand. It’s also too glossy.

    The design of the device is too symmetrical, it’s not easy as it should be to see or feel your way to a right-side-up phone.

    The auto brightness is useless. Too dim, with no option to adjust relative brightness.

    There are numerous poorly thought out elements in the UI.

    Am thinking of returning mine.

  17. Bert

    08/27/2012 at 6:41 pm

    AS an existing HTC EVO 4G owner (Sprint), I’ve been looking at the Galaxy S III 32GB as a replacement device. Some of the aspects you find as a negative are IMHO positives. An example is the screen resolution, as my wife put it in computers RAM, hard disk space, screen size,etc are like closet space . . . you can never have enough of it. I can accept your point, as my Son finds a small screen (e.g. 15 inch) to be acceptable, while I prefer my desktop two screen workstation (30 inch 2560×1600 & 24 inch 1920×1080).

    I agree 100% with you on the battery. While the 2100 mAh is an improvement over the HTC EVO 4G battery, it really isn’t big compared to what people need.

    On the design, ah, this is obviously a person opinion, as I find the Blue version to be handsome and great.

    I haven’t decided on the user interface or camera, yet. Time will tell the tale.

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