Bild: Samsung

Galaxy SIII – Contra

Bild: The Verge

How Samsung broke my heart„, Vlad Savov

All of a sudden, a former Android also-ran jumped ahead of the pack and announced itself as the new leader. The Galaxy S was just a natural extension of Samsung’s continuing strategy of beating buyers into submission with feature lists, but it pushed the company past a certain threshold of quality.

It wasn’t just some cheaper copy of a Nokia or Sony device you were buying, it was the only phone combining a Super AMOLED display with Hummingbird graphics and the flourishing Android OS. Almost overnight, Samsung found itself atop the pile of iPhone alternatives.

I came to trust Samsung.

The Galaxy S II made just as many shock waves as the original. In my review shortly after its launch, I described the GSII as the best smartphone on the market. In moving to a more refined design and offering the smoothest Android performance to date, Samsung seemed to signal a newfound swagger and an awareness that it was now in the big leagues. It was a painstakingly thought-out product that emphasized higher quality. And it was a massive intergenerational upgrade at a time when others, chiefly HTC, were beginning to stagnate.

It was dynamite, and boom it went.

I was one of those amateur logicians who put history and marketing together and believed that Samsung had something more to show us. It didn’t need to be different, it just had to be more than what we’d seen already from HTC, LG, and other Android contemporaries.

Design and build quality of any anonymous MP3-Player.

So what did we get? The Siri-imitating S Voice, a suite of camera enhancements that rips off HTC’s ImageSense wholesale and industrial design and build quality that you’ll find on any anonymous South Korean MP3 player.

For the first time in its history, Samsung had enough sway with phone buyers to convince them to hold off on the premier option on the market, HTC’s One series, in wait for Samsung’s riposte. The Galaxy S pedigree was on the line, and if Samsung could live up to it, a bond of trust was going to be its reward. People were ready to start treating Samsung like Apple, giving it the benefit of the doubt both in terms of product timing and the adoption of unfamiliar new features.

Industrial design still counts.

Even if I could keep straight all the S-branded extras Samsung enumerated at its Galaxy S III launch, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what difference they’re going to make to your life.

And while hardware is growing less and less important, industrial design still counts, and the Galaxy S III falls below the necessary threshold of a high-quality device, while also failing to maintain the Galaxy S tradition of offering a unique hardware selling point.

At best, Samsung matched the HTC One X.

At worst, it indulged in a two-month delay of an MWC-worthy device, stoked a frenzy of anticipation that was unjustified by the eventual product, and jeopardized the still fragile growth of its brand reputation among smartphone enthusiasts. I’ll leave you to decide which extreme I’m gravitating toward.

Weitere Artikel aus der “Galaxy S III”-Reihe: Breaking: Samsung Galaxy SIII; Galaxy SIII – Pro; Galaxy SIII – Contra; Galaxy SIII – Von Anwälten für Menschen; Galaxy S III – Keynote Supercut; Galaxy S III – Pop up Play; Galaxy S III – S Pebble; Galaxy S III – News Quiz; Galaxy S III – Gestik

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