The Samsung Galaxy S III arrives this week in Europe, and the first reviews are in to give you an idea of what to expect from the smartphone when it hits the U.S. shores ... whenever it hits: Samsung and the cellular carriers have yet to announce when the Galaxy S III will be availabl in the U.S.
The delay is likely due to customizations, on the inside and outside, that the carriers are requesting. But if you must have Samsung's latest hot phone now, you can get one unlocked from Amazon.com starting Friday for $800. But if you're patient, you'll be able to get one for much less on a contract when it arrived stateside.
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(See Related: Samsung Galaxy S III: Hands-On With a Smartphone Sensation)
First, a quick S III refresher: The Android 4.0 smartphone features a huge 4.8-inch display, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera, and a quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor. Note that the U.S. version will likely to feature a different, dual-core processor accommodate 4G LTE connectivity.
Reviewing for The Verge, Vlad Savov says the Samsung Galaxy S III is "a technological triumph." He praised the camera, saying it's "easily the best I've used on an Android device," but he noted that "the extra-large size of this phone, even with its great ergonomics, may prove to be a stumbling block for those who can't comfortably fit a 4.8-inch handset into their daily routine."
A PhoneArena review also mentions the S III's bulkiness, despite its thin profile. "You'll definitely have to forget about the comfort of using it with one hand only. But that's the way it is with this new breed of Android superphones. If you want to have a giant touchscreen, then you'll have to put up with having a giant phone."
Sharif Sakr at Engadget also gave top marks to the S III's camera, but he notes that the HTC One X might be a better choice because of "a much better user interface that sticks more closely to the guiding ethos of Android 4.0." As with previous iterations of the Galaxy smartphone line, Samsung uses its TouchWiz UI on the S III, and has added some useful features such as swiping contacts to call or message them, as well as less useful gimmicks like S Voice -- an iPhone 4S Siri look-alike that Sakr said "doesn't work as quickly or as intelligently, and it often cuts you off mid-sentence, thereby wasting time interpreting meaningless fragments of requests."