There’s no such thing as a love or hate relationship with Samsung. They’re in the business of competing with everything from refrigerators to phones, and they’re pretty good at coming out of nowhere with products that will put anybody else’s devices to shame. Such is the case with Samsung’s Galaxy S line of smartphones, which have singlehandedly placed Android at an enviable, and pretty much unbeatable position in the smartphone market.
Those of us who come from the old Samsung BlackJack days remember what it was like to choose between a Samsung device and any other alternative. The BlackJack II was no different if compared to the Motorola Q9h if we compared most of their specs, but Samsung always went the extra mile with their offering. If you wanted decent battery life on the Q9h, you needed to use the insanely huge extra battery that AT&T would ship it with, where as the BlackJack II offered a large battery and didn’t compromise on the size or the design.
The same story happened with their first Galaxy S. People didn’t care much of it in the beginning, and there’s no denying that a lot of us criticized its aesthetic similarity to the iPhone 3GS, but that didn’t last long. Once we got a hold of it for review, it was clear that Samsung was out to beat the crowd. The Hummingbird processor that powered that beautiful design was the cornerstone for the Exynos processor we know today, and which is still the king of speed on any platform we’ve tested. The Galaxy S II, while more than a year old, is still faster than any other Dual-core smartphone in the market.
This year’s Galaxy S III is barely in the market for a little over a month, and it’s already being considered as the device that will dethrone the iPhone as the top selling smartphone of the year by a long shot, and to be honest, we believe the stats. Here’s why:
Less is not always more
As much as the first two Galaxy iterations looked like the iPhone of their generation, the Galaxy S III is a complete contradiction to what the iPhone stands for. iPhones have always set the bar for making less seem like more, and in my personal opinion, Samsung products have always given you more bang for your buck, and the Galaxy S III is the perfect example. The device is the biggest, and yet thinnest smartphone in the market. It makes the rest of the cameras on the Android ecosystem seem like a rip-off, and it’s just a very well designed and thought-out device all around. You get great battery life, great storage options, great performance, and just a great overall experience no matter how you look at it.
The same happens at the software front. Many people may criticize TouchWiz for being either ugly or too convoluted, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s the most complete set of features that have ever come to Android. I do believe that less is always more, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t consider it nice to have some extra features. TouchWiz includes a wide array of automated features that are second to none. Some may still debate their use, need or functionality, but I’d rather have them and disable them than to see others enjoy what I don’t have.
There’s no denying that the Galaxy S III is the culmination of many great ideas. It may not have the RGB sub-pixel matrix that we expected and enjoyed in the Galaxy S II with their Super AMOLED+ technology, but after playing with the device for a couple of days, I know many of you will agree that a PenTile display never looked so good either.
They are killing it with Marketing
I’m still amazed at how many Galaxy S III billboards have flooded my city. I adore my country, but that doesn’t change the fact that I still live in a Third World country where the Galaxy S II barely debuted six months ago, and where I look like an astronaut because I carry the HTC One X they’ve never heard of.
The Galaxy S III launch has been a different story all around. Just as a lot of good movies have done a great job at making their world premiers on the same date, so has Samsung launched their Galaxy S III around the world in the same week. Samsung is showing even the marketing gurus at Apple how it’s done, and they deserve all the praise they can get for their campaign.
A year ago, Samsung had to rebrand their galaxy line-up to fit the carrier’s desires. This year, It’s just one phone on all carriers, as it should be. No longer do you have to compromise on the features that only one carrier decided to adopt. Stores are flooded with units, hands-on demos and Samsung-hired experts that show you how their new baby will make your life better. There’s simply no way to beat such a marketing push.
The bottom line
Marketing and Buzz aside, we know the Galaxy S III is not a perfect device. We didn’t give it a perfect rating in our review because of that, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s the best smartphone we can recommend right now. Samsung has taken the time to build something great and not only when it comes to hardware and software, but in marketing awareness.
I’m not sure they’ll reach the 50 million units in sales as they’ve got planned on their roadmap, but I’m sure everybody will follow in adopting Samsung’s ideal in offering a customized UI that works well, no excuses. If you’ve been considering what your next smartphone should be today, I think you already know which one I’ll personally recommend, and join you in buying very soon. Let’s just hope they follow their own ideas with their next line of tablets though.