Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. Samsung Galaxy S2 – Review

by Jerry D on December 23, 2012

Is the Samsung Galaxy S3 superior to the Samsung Galaxy S2? And what’s the best way to tell? We could give one of them an old Avro Triplane, the other one a classic French Antoinette Monoplane, and see which one has the talent to be a magnificent man in their flying machine. Or we could let the specs decide over 10 tech rounds? That sounds like a far better plan…

XXXX versus graphic Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. Samsung Galaxy S2   Review XXXX

Round #1 – Connectivity

The stunning Galaxy S3 comes out fighting with NFC, 3G/HSDPA, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and EDR. It also boasts 4G connectivity where available. The Galaxy S2 has 3G/HSDPA, Bluetooth 3.0+HS and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi in its own connectivity package. But it doesn’t have any 4G connectivity.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (1-0)

Round #2 – Size & Weight

The size battle plays out like this… The trim Galaxy S3 has dimensions of 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm; while the remarkable Galaxy S2 is 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49mm. The Galaxy S3 is the bulkier handset of the two. Put the two phones on the scales and the Samsung Galaxy S3 weighs 133g, while the Galaxy S2 is 116g. The S3′s newer technology means that it carries some extra weight.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S2 (1-1)


Round #3 – Cameras

First, let’s examine the Galaxy S3, which packs a 8.0 Megapixel camera (3264 x 2448 pixels) with extras that include: autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detecton, image stabilization and 1080p video recording. For video calling, you’ll find a second 1.9MP camera on the front.

The Galaxy S2′s 8.0 Megapixel camera (with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus functionality, face/smile detection, image stabilization and 1080p video capture) equals the Galaxy S3′s. A second 2.0MP camera on the front can be used for video calling.

Score: +1 to both phones (2-2)

Round #4 – Screen/keyboard

The new design for Samsung’s Galaxy S3 features a glorious 4.8-inch touch-sensitive Super AMOLED screen, with a resolution of 720 by 1280 pixels. The pixels per inch (PPI) measurement here is a creditable 306.042.

In comparison, the Galaxy S2′s touch-sensitive Super AMOLED Plus screen is just 4.27 inches wide. Its 480 x 800 pixel resolution is no match for the improved Samsung Galaxy S3 display. With only 384000 pixels onscreen here, the pixel density is an unexciting 218.501 pixels per inch.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (3-2)

Round #5 – Processor

Processor vs processor next. Inside the Galaxy S2 is a 1GHz dual core Exynos processor. It’s good. Fast too. But it shows its age when you compare it to the engine inside the Galaxy S3, which is a quad core Exynos 4412 chip, rated at 1.4GHz.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (4-2)

Round #6 – Software

The newer Android 4.0.4 comes installed on the Galaxy S3, while the Galaxy S2 originally launched with Android 2.3. Both phones support OS upgrades, whenever Samsung gets around to modifying its Touchwiz UI.


Round #7 – Applications

Which software platform has the most apps? There are no fireworks here and both fighters circle each other warily. Both phones link up with Google Play, so there’s no winner in this round. The points are split.

Score: +1 to both phones (6-4)

Round #8 – Storage

Now where were we? Ah yes. Storage. You can get the Galaxy S3 in 16, 32 or 64GB models. Not to be outdone, the Galaxy S2 also offers different storage capacities, specifically 16 or 32GB. As you can see, the Galaxy S3 incorporates a maximum of 64GB versus the top-end 32GB capacity of the Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S3 also has a microSD interface, which can extend the overall capacity to 128GB with a 64GB card. The Galaxy S2′s overall capacity can also be increased to 64GB via its microSD memory card slot.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (7-4)

Round #9 – Battery life

How long will the phones last? Samsung says that its Galaxy S3 can deliver 12.0 hours of talktime, while the Galaxy S2 is rated at 8.5 hours. Meanwhile, standby time is quoted as 790 hours and 610 hours respectively So it’s a last-place finish for the Galaxy S2 here.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (8-4)


Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.

Round #10 – Extras

The Galaxy S3 also includes GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, barometer, stereo FM radio with RDS, S-Voice, TV-out and Smart Stay eye-tracking. In comparison, the Galaxy S2 features GPS/A-GPS, DLNA content sharing, Wi-Fi direct, stereo FM radio (with RDS), optional NFC support, digital compass, gyroscope and an HDMI port

Score: +1 to both phones (9-5)

BPF Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S3 wins!

It’s not the most surprising result is it? The S3 was always going to beat the older S2. The real question was ‘by how much?’ In fact, it’s a testament to the design and build of the Galaxy S2 that it hangs on in this fight and doesn’t succumb to a brutal beating. The S2 is still a capable phone, gorgeously lightweight with a fast processor. The Samsung Galaxy S3, meanwhile, is surely one of the best smartphones ever made.

See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…

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