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Samsung Galaxy S III : Design for Human phone review

With the dust still settling from one of the most exciting smartphone battles the industry has seen, and clouds of stardust swirling around a complete review, it's time to step back and take a sober look at two great phones. They are 2 glorious chapters in Android history, two milestones on Samsung's rise to the top. Keeping a cool head about gadgets like these two isn't the easiest of things but one has to be calm and rational in matters of upgrade and, ultimately, money. To get the obvious out of the way, the Samsung Galaxy S III boasts a massive HD screen and double the CPU cores of its predecessor.

Here's a quick list we threw together to help you get an idea of what Samsung improved on with the S III, but also why an S II might still be a smart buy.

Why the Galaxy S III is better?

-> Bigger, 720p screen

-> Not slimmer, but the thickness is much more uniform

-> Quad-core processor, faster graphics

-> S Beam, S Voice, Smart stay, smart alarm, 50GB Dropbox and so on

-> Better battery backup

-> Snapping photos while recording FullHD video

-> GLONASS support

-> Bluetooth 4.0 LE

-> 64GB storage option (comes with a price premium)


Why the Galaxy S II is still good enough?

-> Cheaper to buy new, plenty of second-hand deals too

-> Smaller, lighter device

-> Super AMOLED Plus screen (has a full set of sub-pixels)

-> Equally good camera with 8MP stills, 1080p video

-> Same amount of RAM - 1GB

-> Regular SIM slot

Of all the reasons listed, price is perhaps the biggest ace up the Galaxy S II's sleeve. Yes, it's gotten old, but it remains a very solid device, albeit in an upper-mid range position. Then there's the vibrant developer community around the S II, which might give it Android 5.0 Jellybean, even if Samsung decide not to do that officially. On the other hand, if you are after the crème de la crème in Android, the list is pretty short and the Samsung Galaxy S III is on it. Samsung have treated the Galaxy S III as a droid royalty and the smartphone is getting plenty of cool accessories (wireless charging, AllShare Cast, the Pebble), fancy software (S Voice, etc.) and it's practically a lock for a Jellybean update.

If it's just a matter of which of the two phones we'd like to have in our pocket, the answer is a straightforward "Galaxy S III, please". The S II was a trusted companion, but it no longer tickles our inner geek, while the S III feels like it comes from the future though the Galaxy S II will easily remain a great phone for another year, even if not quite as good as its successor.

This conclusion will shock no one - the newer phone is better and that's hardly a surprise. But the thing is, if you had to choose which one to buy just now, the S III is better by just enough to make spending the extra cash worthwhile. If you can't afford S III then S II is still not a bad option.

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