Samsung Galaxy S3 vs S2: Review and Comparison

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If you’re used to minor changes when new smartphone models arrive (think Motorola), it’s quite different for Galaxy S3 vs S2. Dubbed as the “iPhone killer” by some, the Galaxy S3 is more than a few steps ahead of the Galaxy S2, a powerful and highly popular phone in its own right.

There are several ways to compare both phones, but right now we’ll compare in terms of form, display, storage, software and features, camera, and processor specs.


The Samsung Galaxy S2 follows the footsteps of the Apple iPhone series with a slab-like shape and ‘relaxed’ corners. In fact, this visual trend continues to look modern. The phone is made of sturdy plastic, which makes the phone durable, but some complain that the phone feels cheap on the back panel.

Samsung Galaxy S3: the most powerful smart phone to date. (Image: dalewaterman84 (CC) via Flickr)

The Galaxy S3 has a more curved shape in general, with the design reportedly inspired by pebbles. Colors are available in blue and white, refreshing new choices for the Galaxy phone. The ‘home’ button is a physical button, while the ‘menu’ and ‘back’ controls are capacitive. In addition, Galaxy S3 still feels very tacky, and is very glossy in spite of its brushed texture.

Galaxy S2 seems to have better build quality, but Galaxy S3 wins the looks department.

It’s a draw for this category.


You can see why the Galaxy S3 is very different from S2 by looking at the display specs.

The Galaxy S2 has a 4.3-inch display with an 880 x 480 pixels resolution, a Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touch-screen, and a pixel density of 217 ppi. This is no longer the best display in the market today, but it’s still one of the best, with its rich colors, good contrast, and vivid, bright and sharp display.

The Galaxy S3 has a 4.8-inch display with a 1280 x 720 pixels resolution, a Super AMOLED Plus with a TouchWiz UI screen, and a pixel density of 306 ppi. The massive screen was fit in perfectly into a body that isn’t bigger than the S2’s. Brightness, contrast, and color depth are remarkable in this phone, among the best in the market.

Comparing the display specifications of both devices shows that the Galaxy S3 has the edge. At the very least, watching photos and videos using the S3 is more fun than with the S2.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 wins this category.


Samsung Galaxy S3 vs S2 continues, and here we take note of the fact that most phones are generous with regards to external and internal storage space. For internal capacity, there are two variants for both phones: 16 GB and 32 GB. However, Galaxy S3 has an additional 64 GB choice. Both phones and their variants have 1 GB of RAM, and can accommodate up to 32 GB capacity microSD cards.

The Galaxy S3 has an extra 64 GB option for storage. (Image: via

The Samsung Galaxy S3 wins this category.

Software and Features

Both the Galaxy S3 and S2 run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz User Interface v4.0. TouchWiz and Android versions are exactly the same for both phones, but there are noticeable, non-radical, differences in the interface.

The following are some of the new add-ons to the S3:

S Voice – This is a counterpart to iPhone 4S’s Siri, but probably better, as it allows you to control completely your smartphone using your voice.

Direct Call – A cool feature that allows you to call a contact immediately by simply bringing the S3 close to your ear, saving a tap to the screen or two.

Smart Stay – The S3 knows if you are looking at it, or if you’re looking away. It turns off if you are busy with something else, and immediately turns on once you redirect your attention to the smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 wins this category.


Both smartphones have 8-Megapixel primary cameras with 3264 x 2448 pixels resolutions and BSI sensors (back-illuminated). Both have 2-MP secondary cameras. Both phones can also capture 1080p video, have smile and face detection, touch focus, autofocus, geo-tagging and an LED flash.

with more features, Galaxy S3 has a better camera overall than the S2. (Image: Stereopoly Blog (CC) via Flickr)

The Galaxy S3 stands out with additional features, including the ability to capture still images and HD video simultaneously, and a rapid multi-shot, taking 3.3 pictures per second with essentially no shutter lag. It can also choose from the best photo from a set, and detect faces of your friends in photos through social networking.

In addition, S3 can capture in 720p high definition for video calling. For having more features and having stunning image quality, Samsung Galaxy S3 is superior to S2.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 wins this category.

Processor Specs

Much has been made about the 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 Exynos processor plus 1 GB of RAM sported by Samsung Galaxy S2, but the S3 easily tops that with its quad-core, Exynos 4212 processor at 1.4 GHz per core. There is no contest in this department; benchmark tests confirm that Exynos 4212 is the fastest processor in the world for smartphones.

A GL Benchmark 2.1 – Pro – Offscreen (720p) test reveals that Samsung Galaxy S3 scored 130 points at first place, followed by Apple iPhone 4S with 123.1 points and HTC One S (International) with 95 points. Samsung Galaxy S2 is at 6th place with 86.5 points.

Similarly, a Browsermark test shows that S3 still tops with 161, 710 points, followed by HTC One X (International) with 110,038 points, and Lava XOLO X900 with 105,558 points. S2 is at 5th place with 101,869 points.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 wins this category.


Galaxy S3 vs S2 is a difficult comparison to make because the S3 is a complete overhaul to its predecessor, and there are few similarities between the two. However, the Galaxy S3 is the most powerful smartphone right now. It is a true descendant to the Galaxy S2, with upgrades in almost all aspects.

What do you think? Is the Galaxy S3 worth its premium price? Is it a praiseworthy successor to the Samsung Galaxy S2?

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Author: Neal Alfie Lasta

I enjoy learning and writing about social media and the latest in mobile updates. Don't forget to subscribe and receive our latest posts in your inbox.

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