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Latest Galaxy Phone Aims for the Stars, But Falls Short

•, by Nathan Olivarez-Giles

This is truly an achievement, and a win for consumers, who can just shop for the hardware they want instead of merely settling for the best hardware available on their carrier.

It’s a coup I wish HTC would have been able to make happen with its stellar One X handset. But Samsung beat HTC in that race, and starting this month, the Galaxy S III will roll out to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and U.S. Cellular for $200 with 16GB of storage — the same price as the iPhone and the One X. 
The Galaxy S III is Samsung’s most ambitious smartphone yet, and it serves as a testament to the company’s growing stature as a premium handset maker. However, the S III isn’t quite an iPhone killer, nor does it dethrone the One X as the best Android handset. While it’s a fine smartphone, it’s not the unqualified success it aspires to be, and it’s regrettably held back by software that never works as well or as easily as it should.

First, the hardware. The American version of the S III packs Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor. This seems odd, since the phone is available with a quad-core processor outside the U.S. (just like HTC’s One X). But stateside consumers actually aren’t getting shorted that hard. Chances are, you won’t miss those extra cores, as the dual-core S III is still a mighty phone. Launching apps, watching high-definition video, loading websites, multitasking — everything I threw at the new Samsung was handled with no sluggishness or hesitation.

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