The next iPhone will be amazing. It will have to be. Samsungâ€™s new flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S III â€” starting at $200 with a two-year contract with any of the major U.S. carriers â€” sets a new standard for what a modern smartphone should be: big.
The Samsung Galaxy S III has a screen almost as big as its name. Itâ€™s 4.8-inches. The active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display is beautiful. AndÂ the sheer size of the display on the Galaxy S makes it the phoneâ€™s most striking feature.
Otherwise, this is a phone that tries itsÂ damnedestÂ to be invisible. Rather than making a design statement,Â Samsung chose to build a big, bright window onto the wireless Web. Sculpted fromCorningÂ Gorilla glass and glossy plastic, the phoneâ€™s case is gently tapered to minimize an already thin 0.34 inch-thick body.
What will get attention is how the phoneâ€™s best features work to pump text, images, and video through that big screen smoothly.Â The phoneâ€™s support for the latest Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks fromÂ AT&T, Verizon, US Cellular, and Sprint (when launched) keep the content coming more quickly than manyÂ wiredÂ networks. In my tests, using Speedtest.net, I found download speeds were consistently more than 12 mbps.
A dual-coreÂ QualcommÂ Snapdragon processor, aided by a big helping of random-access memory â€” 2 GB â€” gives the phoneâ€™s apps a snappy feel.
And somehow Samsung managed to smoosh a removeable 2100 milliampere-hour (mAh) battery into the Galaxy S IIIâ€™s wide, flat case. In my experience, that means you can take the phone to work for the day or use it to navigate through a daylong road trip without worrying about plugging in.
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