The Samsung Galaxy S3 is no longer Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S3 smartphone but it remains on shelves at American carriers and through third-party retailers. While old, the device remains an option for smartphone shoppers though it’s one that should be avoided, at least for the time being.
Back in May of 2012, Samsung announced the Galaxy S3, a new flagship that replaced the Galaxy S2 as the company’s go-to Android smartphone. The device transformed the look of the Galaxy S series and delivered a host of brand new features including a large 720p display, speedy dual-core processor, a solid rear camera, and software that not only looked but performed differently than any other previous version of Samsung mobile software.
Unsurprisingly, the changes paid off. The Galaxy S3, backed by a massive marketing campaign, sold millions of times over in regions around the world, including here in the United States. And thanks to its hardware features and Samsung’s consistent software report, the device remains an option to those in the hunt for a brand new smartphone.
The Galaxy S3 is no longer the company’s flagship, that torch is now carried by the Samsung Galaxy S4. However, the Galaxy S3, at its dirt cheap price point, is a device that is likely on the radar of many consumers who don’t want to spend a lot of money or simply aren’t interested in the high-powered specifications of devices like the Galaxy S4, HTC One or even the iPhone 5s.
Samsung’s Galaxy S3 is still available new through Samsung, retailers and through carriers like T-Mobile. It’s also available as a refurbished option at most carriers. However, as we get closer to the end of February, the Galaxy S3 is an extremely difficult device to recommend. In fact, for the moment, we only recommend it to those that need a phone right this second. Everyone else is better off waiting a few weeks, at least.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Launch Imminent
We consider these next few weeks to be the calm before the storm. While Samsung isn’t confirming anything just yet, it’s pretty clear that the company has a brand new Samsung Galaxy S up its sleeve, something that should not only present prospective Galaxy S3 buyers with another high-quality option but should off an extremely enticing chain of events.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is shaping up to be one of the biggest smartphone launches of the year. And while we don’t know what will be on board the Galaxy S5 exactly, we can tell you this. Rumors point to a device that could deliver upgrades in just about every key area that a smartphone shopper will be looking at.
We should see a large high-resolution display. Rumors suggest that it could be a bezel-less display though that remains unclear. It should come equipped with a ton of RAM, possibly 2-3 GB worth and a processor that at the very least will be a quad-core Snapdragon 800. That means high performance gaming, multitasking and an extremely fast moving interface.
Rumors point to a camera upgrade over the Galaxy S4. We should point out that the Galaxy S4’s camera was, and is, better than the Galaxy S3’s. There are also rumors that suggest a battery boost which could lead to better battery life. And let’s not forget that the Galaxy S5 design remains in flux with rumors pointing to both plastic and metal. Yes, the Galaxy S5 could be Samsung’s first metal flagship Galaxy S.
There are certainly a lot of what ifs but the point is this. It’s worth waiting a few weeks to see if the Samsung Galaxy S5 is as good as rumors have made it out to be. At the very worst, those who have been thinking about pulling the trigger on a Galaxy S3 will have another option to look at before deciding on a new device.
Galaxy S4 Price Drop
We mentioned that there would be a chain reaction. Indeed, we should see some reactionary price drops as carriers look to push the Galaxy S5 and get rid of their aging smartphone crop. Devices like the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S3 should see their price reduced even further once the Galaxy S5 arrives.
Signs point to a launch on February 24th at Mobile World Congress which means that shoppers only need to wait a few days for these price cuts to arrive. The Samsung Galaxy S4, in our opinion, is a better smartphone than the Galaxy S3, and it’s possible that we could see carriers basically start giving it away once the new model arrives.
To us, passing on the Galaxy S3 for a few weeks is a win-win. Not only does the Galaxy S5 emerge as another potential option but the price of the Galaxy S4 should dip to more affordable levels. Even the Galaxy S3 should see some price cuts at the places where it’s still sold.
This is assuming that buyers are looking to buy a Galaxy S and not something else. We should point out that HTC is expected to release a Galaxy S5 rival in the HTC M8 in just a few weeks, a release that should push the HTC One price down even further than it already is. The HTC One is arguably one of the best smartphones of all time and is undeniably one of the best Android smartphones on the market right now.
Showing Its Age
The Samsung Galaxy S3 might still be on shelves and it still might make a good smartphone for some, but the device is almost two years old and that means prospective buyers absolutely must proceed with caution.
Maybe the biggest point that we can make here is that the Galaxy S3 is on its last legs in terms of software updates. Google does not recommend software support beyond 18 months and the Galaxy S3 is closing in on its second birthday, aka, 24 months of shelf life. It’s lucky that it’s rumored to be getting Android 4.4 KitKat.
Android 4.4 KitKat will more than likely be the last update that the Galaxy S3 gets, and that’s something that prospective buyers need to consider before buying the Galaxy S3 right now or at any point moving forward. The Galaxy S4, which should see its price drop soon, is a year younger than the Galaxy S3 and still has some life ahead of it.
Older devices also tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to the speed of update roll outs. Bugs typically stick around for a lot longer on older devices as companies divert resources into cooking up updates for their newer smartphones.