The pleasantly rounded Galaxy S3 instantly feels better in our hands than the Galaxy S II ever did – where Samsung's insanely popular S II admittedly seemed a bit flimsy and cheap, the slim (8.6mm) S3 is one hell of a premium bit of kit. It's light at 133g but still feels expensive and sturdy.
The S3 has a very nice screen but that's to be expected from Samsung these days – it's a HD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 720x1280. We also loved the almost edge-to-edge design, with slimmer bezels than the Galaxy S II's surrounding the sharp 306ppi screen.
With a quad core processor under the hood, we'd expect super-fast smarts from the Galaxy S3. And menus are certainly slick and responsive – then again they're always likely to be on a phone that isn't clogged up with apps, pics and videos. Even in our short time with the Galaxy S3, though, we found lots to discover and an intuitive, fluid interface.
Voice control with S Voice is almost instantaneous – despite the crowded, noisy environment it picked up on our request to take a picture and brought up the camera app in a flash.
We didn't have time to properly test out the Galaxy S3's imaging smarts in our brief encounter but we've got high hopes for the 8MP sensor round the back and 1.9MP snapper up front. The rear cam shoots 1080p video and for stills, it seemed especially fast when booting up – not surprising when Samsung claim it can reload quickly enough to take three shots a second.
There are tons of features like the face detection and pop up play video smarts that we want to delve into in more detail – but on first impressions, this quad core beast still somehow manages to feel sleek and premium in the hand with tons of extras to push you away from the HTC One X and into Samsung's hands.
Based on hardware and features alone, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the best phone in the world right now. Whether it can hold its own against the app smarts of Apple's iPhone 4S is another matter entirely, but we can't wait to pit it Galaxy S3 against the best Apple, HTC and Sony have to offer.