Opinions below are not that of my employer!

I finally got my hands on the "mostly final" version of the Galaxy SIII today and can finally talk about it! I feel compelled to say that this thing is just great. It's sleek and thin, insanely fast, and just sexy to look at (if you find gadgets sexy that is). I'm not going to talk specs, you can look those up if you want. I'll just mention the pluses and minuses.

1. Industrial design. It's smooth and sleek. The screen is huge. It's thinner than anything else you can buy. It does not have the on-screen navigation like the Galaxy Nexus, instead it has a menu, back, and hard home key. I didn't like that at first, but it's great for taking pictures and holding the phone in landscape mode.

2. Smart Stay. Probably my favorite feature. When the phone is about to time out and turn off the display while you are reading, the camera will snap a picture (with zero shutter lag) and do a face-detect. If it finds a face, it stays awake. It works brilliantly.

3. Gyroscope. Samsung did some great stuff that detects certain gestures with the gyro. This has been on other devices but is even better on the GS3. When you are scrolling a list, you can double-tap the top of the phone to jump back to the top.

4. Camera. It's an 8MP (rear, 2MP front), zero-shutter-lag camera. It's what we wanted on the Galaxy Nexus but didn't quite get. The stock camera app is really great and has tons of hipster effects, HDR, touch focus/zoom, burst shot (hold button for consecutive snaps), and panorama.

5. HOLY CRAP, it's fast. Depending on where you get your device the chipset may be different, but the US model is no slouch. There's almost no jank in the display, it's super smooth. For you people who know how long it takes to "adb push" a full CM ROM over to /sdcard/, you'll be happy to know that it just takes a couple of seconds. The I/O bandwidth seems to be far and beyond any other device I've used.

6. Lock screen. The water-trail lockscreen is great, and very functional.

There are things I would do differently if I were in charge of the project of course (ohai CM9) , but I think we did a great job (OK, so maybe I only fixed a couple of bugs, I am just fanboying everyone else who was involved).

The bad- it's still carrier-branded in the US and comes with all the baggage that's involved. I like my technology to have a lot less fine print.

It's a solid piece of engineering and definitely pushes the state-of-the-art forward, considering that this will end up in the hands of a huge amount of people. I hope that the US market will be able to break away from the current subsidy model at some point (ohai Google) but if that's what you are out for, it's a great choice.

Check it out if you have the chance. I'll probably get distracted by some new shiny thing in a week, so take it for what it is :)
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