Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III review: S to the third

GSMArena team, 20 May 2012.

Impressive video player

Samsung have put what is easily the best default video player on the Samsung Galaxy S III. It offers several view modes - grid, list, folders and nearby devices (which accesses DLNA devices).

The grid view is our favorite as it is a true quad-core tour de force - the visible video thumbnails (all eight of them) are actually playing the videos instead of being static images. They play at a reduced framerate, but it's an awesome preview and it shows what can be done when you have processing power to spare.

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Two of the view modes available for browsing your videos

The video player lets you choose between three crop modes for how the video fits the screen. The same SoundAlive audio-enhancing technology is available here too.

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The video player has a simple interface but is quite capable

The video player lets you squeeze out the best viewing experience from the large, high-res screen. You can adjust video brightness, color tone and enable outdoor visibility too.

Another cool feature that showcases the power of the Exynos chipset is the chapter preview - it detects chapters in the video and shows a rectangular grid, with live thumbnails (just like the grid view above).

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Plenty of settings available • the chapter preview

The video player had absolutely no trouble with any of the files we threw at it - starting with .WMV, through .AVI (DivX and XviD) and .MP4 to .MKV (H.264). Resolution wasn't a problem either - the Samsung Galaxy S III played FullHD files. Large files worked seamlessly.

The Samsung Galaxy S III also made a good impression when it offered a list of subtitles and let us pick. Most players look for a file with the exact same name as the video file (save for the extension), which means quite often you have to rename the subtitle file to match the video file just so that the player will show you subtitles.

Samsung Galaxy S III Review
Picking the right subtitle file, the easy way

The video player on the S III has a feature called Pop up play - it moves the video in a small floating window and you can use other apps on the phone while still watching the video. It's the only such feature on the phone, there aren't any floating mini apps like Samsung's tablets have.

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Pop up play in action

FM Radio

The Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III is equipped with an FM radio with RDS too. The interface is simple - there's a tuning dial and you can save as many as 8 stations as favorites. You can also listen on the loudspeaker, but the headset is still needed as it acts as the antenna. You can record radio broadcasts as well.

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The FM radio app

Audio quality

The Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III turned out to be one of the most talented musicians around and aced our audio quality test.

The volume levels when the S III is connected to an active external amplifier are hardly spectacular, but the output is perfectly clean with no weak points whatsoever.

Stereo crosstalk did spike when we plugged in a pair of headphones, but that was the only significantly affected reading. An impressive overall performance indeed.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III+0.03, -0.05-90.390.30.012 0.018-92.6
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (headphones attached)+0.11, -0.04-90.290.20.0092 0.090-53.1
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II+0.04, -0.09-91.491.90.0042 0.066-89.7
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II (headphones attached)+1.05, -0.22-90.090.20.013 0.647-49.4
Samsung Galaxy Nexus+0.11, -0.69-90.690.60.0085 0.014-91.8
Samsung Galaxy Nexus (headphones attached)+0.41, -0.61-89.589.50.097 0.267-63.5
Samsung Galaxy Note N7000+0.04, -0.08-90.488.90.0044 0.066-87.4
Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 (headphones attached)+0.12, -0.06-89.788.40.0084 0.112-51.6
HTC One X+0.02, -0.08-82.182.10.137 0.393-80.7
HTC One X (headphones attached)+0.10, -0.10-80.680.60.174 0.459-60.8
Sony Xperia S+0.10, -0.09-86.686.80.0110.018-86.9
Sony Xperia S (headphones attached)+0.44, -0.13-88.488.60.2640.338-47.3
Apple iPhone 4S+0.02, -0.11-91.291.20.00200.012-93.0
Apple iPhone 4S (headphones attached)+0.05, -0.10-91.391.30.00680.071-66.7

Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III frequency response
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

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