People are going mad for the Samsung Galaxy S3, but is its worth upgrading if you happen to be a proud owner of the Galaxy S2? The S2 was ahead of the curve when it launched and was undoubtedly impressive, so the S3 is even better, and has improved on the S2 in many ways. But has it improved enough to make S2 users bin their current phone?
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs S2: Is it worth the upgrade?
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is a bit larger and heavier, at 133g and 136.6×70.6×8.6mm, compared to the slightly more trouserable S2 (116g and 125.3×66.1×8.5mm). The S2 had three colour options (black, white or pink) and there’s just two choices with the S3 (pebble blue or marble white with limited stock making it not so easy to get the one you usually want). This difference, though, is largely a matter of taste rather than quality.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 display is a bit bigger – 4.8” compared to 4.3”. Both have Super AMOLED touchscreens made of Gorilla Glass, but the S3 screen is Gorilla Glass 2. This might sound impressive, but it doesn’t mean it’s better than the first glass. A recent drop test found that the Galaxy S3 shattered easier than the iPhone 4S. In terms of resolution, there’s no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is better – it has 720×1280 pixels while the S2 has 800×480 pixels.
The cameras of both the S2 and S3 are 8MP, and can take pics at 3264x2448p resolution. The features like autofocus, LED flash and smile detection are the same on both; the only differences between the two are that the S3’s front camera has a higher MP count, has burst mode and can support simultaneous capture of stills and videos.
The Samsung Galaxy S2 processor is a dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex A9 running Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread), and you can upgrade this to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) soon. The S3 already has ICS preloaded, and while it’s quad-core elsewhere, the US version has a dual-core S4 chipset.
The Galaxy S2 has 32GB internal memory, and a Micro SD slot that can increase memory by up to 32GB more. The S3 has 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions as well as a Micro SD slot that can add up to another 63GB. If you can’t make do with 64GB in the S2, it’s the S3 for you. However on average, most consumers barely can fill up the 16GB they have on base models with an added micro SD card.
The battery in the Samsung Galaxy S3 is larger too, by 450mAh to 2100mAh, which gives 12 hours of talktime – an increase of three hours from the S2.
The additional features on the S3 are a little more exciting and smarter, with S-Voice, Smart Call and Smart Stay. However with Android 4.0 coming along for the S2 very shortly, we may see many new surprises on the aging handset as well.
So, while we have to naturally recommend the Samsung Galaxy S3 to all Android fans given that it is without a doubt the best phone on the market, if you do have the S2 however, you might want to hang on for a Samsung Galaxy S4 or even the Galaxy Note 2 (probably out in October) instead as it won’t seem like a major upgrade over its predecessor (nothing like what the Galaxy S to S2 felt like).