January 12, 2013
For around five years, only Apple's iPhone was even considered as the best smartphone money could buy. That is beginning to change, with competition from other manufacturers making headway in the battle for supremacy. 2012 may be seen as the turning point with CNET voting the Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) the Best Tech Product of 2012.
What's changed? How has Samsung managed to knock iPhone, and the iPhone 5 at that, Apple's latest and most inventive yet, off the mantle set aside for it: the best smartphone?
There are a few reasons. Firstly, Samsung took the bold step of working itself hard to ensure the S3 was realised well before iPhone 5, giving it a head start in marketing and sales. A phone needs to be popular to win any voting contests of course, and with the long gap between iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, many picked up the Galaxy S3. Samsung also ensured it aped all other phones in terms of features, convincing even more people to pick up a Samsung Galaxy S3.
The list of innovative and useful features on the S3 is large, and iPhone 5 doesn't always have an answer. The S3's S-Voice feature is a voice search much like Siri for iPhone, both are useful, but it's probably Siri that is the more advanced. Then the Galaxy S3 swings into action. The Pop up Play feature lets you pin a floating video window anywhere on the screen on top of other windows, such as the web browser or an email, so you can watch videos while doing something else. With Smart Stay, the S3 tracks your eye movements and keeps the screen bright when you're reading or watching, and then dims it before turning it off when you look away. Heard of Smart Alert? This is a feature that makes the phone vibrate whenever you've missed a call, text or email, so you'll know straight away when something's waiting for you. All cool features, all something iPhone 5 can't currently replicate.