Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S3, but the company that likes to call iPhone owners sheep might as well start "baa-ing" because its new smartphone does little to stand out from the pack.
The Score is a weekly column scoring controversial events in the mobile industry. Want to get to the point? We'll break it down and give you the score.
The Setup: Samsung's Galaxy S line has emerged as the company's flagship smartphone model, responsible for some of the most successful devices on the market. The original Galaxy S laid the groundwork for success against Apple's iPhone, and the S2 continued that work last year by selling more than 20 million units worldwide.
The South Korean electronics giant has marketed its devices for customers who want to be different from the masses who consistently line up for the newest iPhone and other devices. Samsung's reveal of the S3 yesterday was the company's biggest opportunity yet to prove it was a true innovator in the smartphone market by unveiling a device with unique features that Apple and others would be forced to try to catch up with.
However, Samsung's initial presentation of the S3 left many critics wanting. Did the smartphone maker forgot to tell the crowd the S3 also features a camouflage mode? Maybe that's the reason the flagship smartphone from the company that prides itself on being different looks like every other phone on the shelf.
The S3 features a quad-core processor, 4.8-inch screen, 8-megapixel camera and will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It represents some of the very best hardware inside a smartphone to date. Samsung:+1,000 points
HTC's One X features a quad-core processor, 4.7-inch screen, and 8-megapixel camera and runs Android 4.0 and went on sale a month ago. Umm, wait a minute. What happened to different Samsung? So much for innovation. Samsung:-1,000 points
The S3 not only doesn't come to the table with anything that stands out when it comes to specs, but its new software features scream copycat. The S-Voice recognition feature allows users to say commands like "How is the weather?" and the device will find results. Sound familiar? Introducing a voice feature is fine and expected, but acting like you reinvented the wheel in the process? BAAAAAA!!!! Samsung:-500 points
The physical design of Samsung's device is also nothing special. Granted, this isn't the most important thing in the world, but a phone that will likely cost $300 should probably not look and feel as if it's made of recycled plastic. In Samsung's defense, other smartphone makers fall victim to the same thing -- except Apple of course. Oh wait, that's the S3's primary competition! Samsung:-500 points
Final Score:Samsung:- 1,000 points
Is this final score harsh for a manufacturer that just introduced one of the best smartphones ever made? Yeah, probably. But you come to expect more from a company that has the arrogance to call Apple customers brainwashed "yes men." Samsung needed the S3 to be a huge step forward if it wanted to stop people from lining up outside Apple stores for the new iPhone. Instead, the company just matched what's already seen as the best smartphone on the market, HTC's One X. Sorry, that's not enough.
Sure, the S3 is going to sell like hotcakes and Samsung has struck a marketing deal that will make it the official phone of the summer Olympics, so it will be seen and purchased all over the globe. But for customers that may have considered an S3 instead of waiting for the next-generation iPhone, what are they left with? A device that's slightly better than the 4S, but will likely look outdated the second Apple announces its new handset.