#SamsungGalaxyS3 Analysis: #Hardware

[GadgetTalk]

Source: http://cdn1.mos.techradar.com//art/ mobile_phones/Samsung/GalaxyS3/ Galaxy%20Fire/Samsung_Galaxy_S3_crop2-900-100.jpg

So you’ve seen the nitty gritty overview of the device. Time to take a look at this device from a detailed view and step away from all the consumer hype.

There are a few things I’d like to point out here before anything else. People seriously need to stop comparing Samsung with Apple devices, why? They are both different eco-systems running on different software architectures, but are only similar due to app functionality internally and hardware parts externally. If one was to really compare w/ benchmarks, I’d compare an iPhone from Apple to an iPhone from Sony (if there was one) – that would be the real hardware/software test. Deep inside the operating system code, we don’t really know what deficiencies might exist that might hinder or degrade quality in a phone. So in order to really have a solid opinion on a device when compared with other eco-systems, the environment has to be similar. In my view, a good benchmark comparison of hardware/software would be Android vs Android devices. Apple vs Apple is sadly not possible because they don’t license the damn OS so that people can actually compete in the market by including other features. And giving Apple the king crown is also illogical, because there really isn’t any “right” phone to compare it with. Since business numbers are presented on the floor of weak arguments, the numbers end up declaring a winner, which is unfair and completely wrong.

Anyway, my point in this little section is doing a benchmark comparison of these devices does not make sense (which is why ill try to steer clear), unless the same ecosystem is being compared. This analysis will only focus on the hardware/software labelled and presented in the ecosystems. When these “wares” are combined making an environment – the benchmarks and the results can vary from device to device – and in the end a comparison is impossible.

Hardware

To those who already own a Galaxy Nexus, don’t feel bad. You still own one of the fanciest phones in the market right now, sadly there are a few features in GS3 that other phones don’t really have, but that’s not to say GS3 is completely perfect. The idea here is, make GS3 as “ideal” as possible, and I believe Samsung has done a pretty good job achieving that goal so far with its preview. Time will tell when the device actually gets on the market and its reviewed thoroughly by people and customers alike. If you’ve read my previous post, I included an interesting chart showing how the GS3 compares to its competition. In terms of hardware, a reference to that chart is necessary. So just to refresh your minds, have a look.

Source: engadget.com

The only way smartphones can actually compete with each other is carrying specific hardware differences, hence the hardware analysis is done here.

Removable Battery: 2100 mAh”
I’m sorry but that for me was the selling pitch. I was honestly wishing the battery on GS3 would be of a higher capacity, and to top it all off by including a removable battery along with a higher mAh – my dream came true. Why is battery such an important aspect for the current-gen phones? Because most phones have forgotten about it!!! The current-gen phones require a lot of data transmission and processing, not only internal data but external data (wifi, HSPA, LTE) as well, and that drains the battery like no tomorrow. And, what if the battery drains out after a few years of use. If my phone cover didn’t come off, I’d be stuck with a dead phone!! Smaller batteries limit your experience to communicate with the world, people have gotten used to staying connected with the world on an almost 24.7 basis. Good and long-lasting battery is important whether you like it or not, only reviews will tell how long the quad-core and LTE processing last in this 2100mAh device. To compare with other phones, iPhone4S, HTC, Nokia all fail in this category, with iPhone scoring the lowest.

“Sensor – Barometer”
Barometer – any idea what that is? Here’s a WikiReminder:

barometer is a scientific instrument used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure. Pressure tendency can forecast short term changes in the weather.

[Source: Wikipedia]

DAMN! So does your phone turn into a weather-predicting-android-device?!?!? Not really. In terms of its usage in Android devices, here’s something I found on PopSci:

.. the barometer is more likely than not intended to be a source of supplemental data for the GPS sensor, adding altitude measurements for increased accuracy. The atmospheric pressure is directly related to elevation, so a barometer can very easily be used as an altimeter, measuring your altitude.

[Source: PopSci]

In simple words, it can calculate altitudes. Maybe another feature of Google Maps soon enough? Time will tell but similar to the NFC concept barometer is aimed at the future.

Storage:
16,32,64 + microSD [upto another 64GB] + 50GB DropBox cloud storage
That is surely a LOT of storage for any device on the market right now. And I mean serious storage. All of the phones seemed to have forgotten that people still like to store things offline, just because they are surfing online doesnt necessarily mean that they’d want to store everything online as well. Yes cloud storage makes data-access mobile and easy to carry around, but it will take some time before people start adopting that ‘trend’. For the time being, I love expanding my offline storage horizons, and since I’ll be getting 50GB for cloud storage anyway, I’m ready for future patterns already then!

Processor:
Quad-Core 1.4GHZ 
Now this is a caveat for enthusiasts. Realistically, I own a Galaxy S2 – and i think its fast enough to do anything I throw at it. GTA3 gaming, multiple application running, etc. Does it make sense to include a quad-core device then? Yes and No. If there were no extra features included in this version of TouchWiz, then I would have completely labelled this upgrade as a complete waste of money. But I have to say, this was also a very, VERY strategic move. Most phones are trying to replace dependency on PC machines, but none have been able to replicate the same kind of experience that would make people not keep PC altogether. Not sure if you know this one feature of the phone, but it’s called “Pop Up Play” – in which you can play a video file on your screen, and if you want to be able to keep on watching it while texting people and or surfing the web at the same time, you can drag and drop this mini-window that stays on top of all applications. It looks best in demonstration, but that’s one of the reasons why a quad-core processing unit is required. Instant video rendering across all screens while performing multi-tasking within the Android space – brilliant stuff.

http://youtu.be/PUfTAyrtS_4?t=1m46s

Display-
4.8″ – HD Super AMOLED
The screen size is bit bigger than older Galaxy models, it’s a bit closer to its Nexus cousin, but due to the hardware Home button in the middle and 2 capacitive touch-buttons make it a bit different. I think Apple’s strategy of labeling bigger phones as cheap and useless is completely wrong, and bigger screens offer a better viewing angle/area. HTC One X is a great example.
Offering 720p quality visuals on the display, Samsung continues to support and install the AMOLED tech for their phones. The difference is in the words “HD” and how 1080p is visualized. Funny thing is, all the Apple biased reviewers are claiming that the device is currently not matching Apple’s “ppi” ratio, are you insane? Does it even MATTER what the ppi is? In technical terms yes, numbers matter, but how does it BENEFIT consumers. Oh, stepping up from 306 ppi (GS3) to 330ppi (4S) – makes a whole lotta difference? Yeah 1080i vs 1080p — BIG EFFIN DEAL, folks. Point is, screen is spectacular and competitive. on both, JEEZ. Move on.

Camera-
8 MEGAPIXELS back w/ LED, 2 MEGAPIXELS front.
No one knows whether it has the same ‘aperture’ crap (f 2.0, 2.3 etc) like other phones do, but I could are less. Samsung dedicated themselves to make sure the camera works quickly in GS3, and is able to snap pictures with ease. Sticking with 8MGPXL I think was a smart move as people with smartphones are not photographers, they are SIMPLE consumers who would rather use apps like Instagram to do all the dirty work than to go out there and use their phone to drain all the battery out with cameras capturing at 41MGPXLS etc.

Bluetooth v4.0
This is an advanced version of the currently popular Bluetooth standard. v4.0 allows better battery usage, quick data transfer, and inter-transfer between WiFi and bluetooth simultaneously. Meaning, if a file is big enough and WiFi is also on, the device can use both technologies at the same time to transfer via the bluetooth “tunnel”.

NFC - Great hardware feature, powered by the software. (will be discussed later)

RAM – 1GB, the more the merrier and better for performance with the processor.

Other than that, all the hardware is pretty much the same.

Source: Engadget

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