Samsung Galaxy S3: What we didn't get

Samsung has lifted the curtains on its long-awaited new super-phone, the Galaxy S3. But what features that we expected to see are missing?

Samsung has finally taken the covers off its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S3, ending months of wild speculation.

We now know what we've got, but what about the rumoured things we didn't get? Which of them are we most surprised not to see?

Design

The physical design was one of the biggest areas of debate in the rumour mill over the last few months. Some of the more exciting ideas pointed to a flexible display, which might have meant it could bend around your wrist to be worn as a watch. It's a pretty bizarre concept, but it would certainly have been innovative. Both the screen and the casing on the S3 are, however, very much rigid.

Speaking of the casing, we were quite strongly expecting to see ceramic in use on the new blower. This would have made it lightweight, but also particularly strong. Instead, we've been given a similar plastic design with a clip-off back panel that we've seen already on the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Note. That does at least mean we can remove the battery if we need to.

The physical home button is still present and correct -- something we originally thought would be taken out, as was the case with Samsung's other top-end phone, the Galaxy Nexus . Having a row of touch-sensitive buttons would have helped make the phone's face look particularly sleek, but there are a lot of fans of the home button, so it's probably not a bad move to leave it in place.

Screen

The screen on the new S3 is a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED affair offering a 720p resolution. Size-wise, 4.8 inches is the maximum we'd hoped for. Previous rumours had hinted at a smaller display -- around the 4.5-inch mark -- which would have made it similar to the S2, so it's good to see more screen on offer.

If it were any bigger, it would be encroaching too much onto the Galaxy Note's 5.3-inch display, which I personally think is too big to truly be considered a phone.

One area of disappointment though is with the type of screen. The Galaxy S2 used a Super AMOLED Plus screen that was extremely bold and vivid. The missing word 'Plus' on the S3 is likely to make it a tad less vibrant than the S2, but we'll have to wait and see just how different these displays really are in the full review.

Other hints and tips that had been circulating suggested that we'll see a full 1080p resolution display, which would have made watching high-definition video clips an absolute delight. The 720p resolution is still good, of course, but there are various phones already offering this spec, so it's hardly a stand-out feature.

Power

A quad-core processor was a rumour that we'd quickly adopted as fact -- especially as Samsung unveiled its new quad Exynos chip recently -- so it comes as no surprise to finally see it surface.

What was less clear though is what speed it would be running at. The new Exynos chip is capable of "above 1.4GHz", so I expect it to have been slightly overclocked to the 1.5GHz region. While that will certainly make it nippy, the rumour mill had made reference to a 1.8GHz quad-core chip. That would have made it blazingly quick and capable of dealing with any task you threw at it with aplomb.

The S3 is also offering 1GB of RAM, which is what we've come to expect from most phones these days. We're pretty disappointed that Samsung hasn't upped the game by popping in 2GB -- something that was rumoured on more than one occasion. Not only would this have made multi-tasking a breeze, it would have given the S3 a great boost over the competition.

Camera

A 12-megapixel snapper for the new phone was strongly tipped from various sources -- to the extent that I personally thought that it was a sure thing. Instead, we've been given an 8-megapixel camera.

That's the same number of megapixels as the Galaxy S2 so it's a shame we haven't seen any kind of boost here. You'll find 8 megapixels on the other top-end players like the HTC One X and iPhone 4S , so Samsung evidently thinks that keeping up with the crowd is sufficient.

I've not seen in-depth technical details for the camera yet, so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that it's updated from the S2 with a sensor that's physically bigger or with higher-quality optics for beautifully captured scenes.

What do you think?

The Galaxy S3 might not have a crazy new design but maybe that's for the best. Were you hoping for a radical phone revolution? Or did you really just want a fresh-looking S2 with more power? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take it over to our amazing Facebook page.

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About the author

Andrew is a senior editor at CNET and has always been fascinated by tech. When not getting up close and personal with the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

 

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