back to article Ten... alternatives to Samsung's Galaxy S III

With the Galaxy S III unveiled at last night's Samsung event, the next generation of smartphones now has consumer eyebrows permanently raised as if the wind just changed direction. Feel like defying the herd? Here are ten current or upcoming smartphones that may be worth considering, should you wish to avoid the Galaxy S III …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where is the Huawei quad core Ascend D? Probably a bit closer to release than the ZTE...

    1. LarsG

      they keep growing and growing

      in size,so how long before we need a man bag/hand bag to carry then round in?

  2. Gashead

    The next Google Experience Nexus device most likely to excite my debit card. Tempting though Samsung and HTC phones may be there's nothing quite like having a vanilla Android phone with the latest OS and none of that annoying waiting around for manufacturer customisations to be tested.

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      Samsung plus CyanogenMod.

      I'm betting the CM9 build for the Galaxy S3 will be out about 3 days after the phone hits the streets.


      1. HMB

        Re: Samsung plus CyanogenMod.

        CyanogenMod is absolutely awesome, but counting on a stable, fully functional release that will happen any time soon after launch seems foolish to me.

        1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

          Re: Samsung plus CyanogenMod.

          Meh. Stable and fully functional are for gurls.

          The current Alpha release of CM9 on the S2 is very good, though, about the only serious criticism I can come up with is a somewhat reduced battery life compared to the standard Samsung build. I've no idea how much work it will take to port that to the S3, mind you.


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    the Ascend D1 quad is the more obvious competition than several of the listed handsets, esp as it will more than likely to be cheaper too.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How did the Lumia get in there.

    It's an alternative to having one's testes sliced off with a rusty Stanley knife, but hardly an alternative to the Galaxy SIII.

    1. Antidisestablishmentarianist

      Re: How did the Lumia get in there.

      I would gladly take the Nokia as an alternative. Samsung Galaxy owners (of all 136 variants) seem to give off the same type of Smug that Prius owners do (or iPhone owners used to before they came too mainstream for it to be meaningful). Very unattractive. For that reason if it was ever a cold day in hell and I got an Android phone it would be HTC etc.

      Yours truly,

      A Luddite who in disgust of all these big dick (and/or boring) phones, recently hunted down a NOS Nokia 6500 Classic as my main phone. Glorious!

      1. Eponymous Bastard

        Re: How did the Lumia get in there.

        Prius owners have a reputation for breaking wind in a most unpleasant fashion thereby rendering ineffectual their carbon reduction smugness. One day I'll get around to lighting one of their farts in a car park; it WILL make local radio news even if I only singe their clothing with the lance that I carry in my Hummer.

    2. tirk

      WP7 does seem a bit "Marmite" doesn't it?

      There are those that hate it, and there are those that seem to be being paid to fluff it at every opportunity (there surely can't be any other reason to love WP7, can there?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WP7 does seem a bit "Marmite" doesn't it?

        Except there are a lot of people who genuinely like Marmite.

        1. tirk

          Re: WP7 does seem a bit "Marmite" doesn't it?

          Subtle difference. People "like" WP7. People like and *buy* marmite.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: WP7 does seem a bit "Marmite" doesn't it?

            My company moved everyone over to Marmite. It bought 144 cases of it, and gave every employee a jar. I tried it and it's GREAT!!! Much better than the other stuff. Everybody I breathe on likes it too. I thank our Head of Procurement every time he drives by in both his Lamborghinis.

      2. Nya

        Re: WP7 does seem a bit "Marmite" doesn't it?

        The main reason (well until MS shafts all the users when 8 comes out) is updates being out of the hands of phone companies trying to get to force a new phone on you. Sadly only the Jesus phone, BB and WinMo do that now. Even the Nexus seems to keep getting the previous version forgotten about by Google for a few months.

        While not a huge issue currently, sooner or late the massive fragmentation, and lack of security updates is going to hit the phone market like it has the full blown PC market. And when that occurs, it'll be nice to have something getting updates.

        Am I a bit paranoid on this? probably yes. But hey, WinMo is Marmite. Love it, hate it, makes a good door wedge :P

  5. Jeebus

    Any chance Dirk Vandenheuvel and FatsBrannigan are going to post those reviews claiming the SIII is laggy, as they haven't in the other thread, and this one is nearer the top.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. David Hicks
    Paris Hilton

    So what do I get if I want something smaller?

    As a fan of slipping my phone into the front pocket of my jeans, which is the best smartphone for me?

    The big screens are all very pretty, but it's almost a different class of device to the trouser-able phones I'm used to.

    Difficulty - no SOny, MS or Apple.

    1. AdamWill

      Re: So what do I get if I want something smaller?

      The One S is vaguely reasonably sized. You can still buy quite a lot of 3"-era top-of-the-line models, like the HTC Sensation or its keyboard-y cousin the MyTouch 4G Slide (which is what I have, it's a great phone). And there's always the iPhone, I guess. That's small.

      A lot of current midrange phones are smaller than the high-end ones, but of course you don't just lose screen size, you lose some genuinely nice features like good cameras and stuff.

    2. jef_

      Re: So what do I get if I want something smaller?

      The small size+proper resolution screen was what solded me on the Motorola Defy. I don't play games (on my phone). Well, my girlfriend might disagree haha[misogyny]ha.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So what do I get if I want something smaller?

        solded - would rather not have ED than you very much!

    3. Mark Zip

      Re: So what do I get if I want something smaller?

      HTC Nexus One?

      Small size.

      Stock Android (but no official path to ICS or later)

      Still reasonably fast

      Expandable memory.

      Better build quality than Samsung.

      Easily available unlocked.

    4. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      Re: So what do I get if I want something smaller?

      Well, my Galaxy S2 lives quite comfortably in my jeans pocket, and the S3 is only a few mm bigger. I might wear baggier jeans than you do, of course.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So what do I get if I want something smaller?

        Or what ever you carry around inside your jeans leaves plenty of space for accessories?

      2. AdamWill

        Re: So what do I get if I want something smaller?

        When you grown up and start wearing proper trousers, you might like a smaller phone.

  8. Steve Evans

    10 alternatives?

    I saw the HTC One X and a couple of wannabees and a shed load of vapour.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 10 alternatives?

      Xperia S is a fine phone, and easily as good as the Galaxy S3, but in different areas. a MUCH better camera for example, especially in low or zero light.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Re: 10 alternatives?

        Zero light photography... Sounds tricky.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 10 alternatives?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 10 alternatives?

          Isn't that called a 'flash'?

      2. LosD

        Re: 10 alternatives?

        Have you seen a single camera test of the S III? No? Then I have no idea how you can claim that the Xperia S has a better camera...

  9. Steve Litchfield

    Err..... what about the Nokia 808 PureView, with a camera that's simply astonishing? Out this month. Definitely should be in this roundup IMHO.

    1. AdamWill


      it's a complete one-trick pony. It's a tech demo more than it is a phone. The camera is, by all accounts, amazing. The rest of it is just about enough to qualify as a phone. It's no kind of competitor to a GS3. Later PureView devices might be.

      1. Manu T

        Re: srsly?

        Have you actually used a Nokia belle phone?

        And I don't mean an upgraded N8 from 2008. I'm refering to e.g. the 1.3Ghz 701 with Belle FP1

        As for "Later PureView devices"; you probably refer to proposed Windows Phone devices. They will have the same shortcomings as the current ones. Besides by the time a non-Symbian Nokia device will have PureView-technology, Windows Phone 7 will be defunct. So stop living in that pipedream.

        1. cocknee

          Re: srsly?

          Though I agree that the new 701 with Belle FP1 is good, I'm very happy with Belle on my N8.

          Still one of the best camera's around.

          Just the right size and avoids being a slab

          still the first and best multi-tasking OS

          and a battery-life that makes most other smart-phone users weep - even with a screen-saver. that's on all the time, live widgets etc etc.

          Not to mention all the things it does that Android, IOS and Windoze just can't do even now.

          Most annoying thing that I can't get - British Airways App for e-tickets. Saying that most other smart-phone users should take a paper one just in case they can't find a charge point!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            First World problems.

            > Most annoying thing that I can't get - British Airways App for e-tickets.

            Second most annoying thing that you can't get - a decent haircut in Hoxton.

            Most annoying things people in other parts of the world can't get - fresh water, enough food to eat, etc.

    2. Andy Hards

      It's not really an S3 alternative though is it?

      While I am a Nokia fan I wouldn't say Symbian is a competitor against the latest Android phones. Yes, it has an amazing camera but what else does it have to compete with?

      1. Manu T

        Re: It's not really an S3 alternative though is it?

        Mr. Hards, you're obviously not a Nokia fan if you ask such ridiculous questions.

    3. Manu T

      Hi Mr. Litchfield

      You forgot that this is El Reg. They typically neglect Symbian/Nokia, deliberatly downtalk it and favor Android devices. They definitely won't look at it with an open-mind.

      Some of these Symbian-haters probably have stupid remarks that Belle nicked features from Android while in reality Android (and Symbian too) nicked features from Nokia's Harmattan.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hi Mr. Litchfield

        That was a couple of years ago. El Reg is way past denigrating Symbian. It still denigrates Nokia, but for a very different reason now.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        @Manu T - Nokia/Symbian no longer exists.

        What you forget is that Nokia's CEO publicly stated that Symbian was rubbish and dead.

        This is a terrible shame, because neither of those were actually true when he said it - though the former had been fairly accurate about a year prior.

        Now the latter is true, because nobody in their right minds buys an operating system that the manufacturer has publicly declared dead.

        Face it, Elop personally killed Symbian. It's all over bar the lawsuits, and unfortunately lawsuits take so long that they can only find blame and never correct stupidity. It's also fairly unlikely that he'll ever be held properly responsible for the destruction of shareholder value he has caused. All we can hope is that he won't be given the opportunity to kill any other companies.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Manu T - Nokia/Symbian no longer exists.

          I'm sure he will if Microsoft want him to run another company into the ground then acquire it for a song.

      3. Cupboard

        Re: Hi Mr. Litchfield

        As someone who owns and uses on a daily basis both a Symbian S60 handset and and Android handset, both released at not too dissimilar times 2-3 years ago, I would agree with the comment that Android is a more pleasant experience than Symbian is.

        Symbian (and the phone I have that runs it) has many good feature - that's why I have it - but unless you're after certain specific things that Symbian does well, it's Android all the way for me.

  10. David Beeston

    Er, No Galaxy Nexus?!

    No Galaxy Nexus. Its only probably the most directly comparable handset, with the same resolution, ICS 4.0, similar size etc. Also not too big, like I suspect the SGSIII will be (can you hold it in one hand and touch all four corners of the screen?). It will also get Android updates much quicker. I suspect battery life is on par too.

    1. DryBones

      Re: Er, No Galaxy Nexus?!

      Got one, and it does rock. Like the look, like the lack of carrier kruft, like the direct line to the Android devs for getting updates. Even before the SIII came out I didn't want one, but all the new features that it supposedly sports make me think that either Samsung is going to fork Android, or it's just another case of "6 months to never for the next OS update".

  11. Mike Judge


    Lumia crap and iPhone 5 vaporware... Really??

  12. b166er

    Gentlemen, rest your sphincters

    Clearly the Padfone is the winner as it's the only one with any kind of innovation.

    1. Naughtyhorse


      Can i get a screen mounting kit for my sinclair c5 for it?

      1. MrT

        Self-tapping screws...

        ...should be enough to fix it to the bodywork... ;-)

        And voice recognition that works, when wearing the full all-weather hoodie tonneau.

        Jump leads from the phone for a 5 mile range boost?

  13. majorursa
    Thumb Down

    Hardly alternatives

    The whole point of the Galaxy releases is that at the date of release there IS no alternative. The review shows only 1 or 2 available devices. And waiting for the next iPhone is moot as usual, since by then there will be at least 10 devices that have progressed beyond. There is always a next iPhone and it is always hardly better than before and iOS is so tiring and dusty already.

  14. aThingOrTwo


    With the digital imaging expertise inside that company, if Sony they can't beat everyone on sensor performance and image processing they might as well pack up their things and go home now…

  15. david wilkes

    One X?

    Mom is trying to take over the smartphone market. Futurama fans to your stations.

  16. gronkle

    I'm more convinced than ever that all Smart Phone designers, engineers and developers would help make up the population of the 'Golgafrincham B Ark',

    ("If you're so clever you tell us what colour it should be!").

    Fix the battery life guys, please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Battery life.

      Give up your large colour screens, fast processors, 3G/4G and actually 'using' the phone for a lot more than older phones - in fact just get yourself a Nokia 6310i...

  17. amanfromearth

    All too big

    What happened to the rumoured iPhone nano?

    That would be an excellent companion for a iPad3 wifi, as long as it allowed tethering.

    You see, I only want a phone for calls. Even 4" displays are too small for web, email etc, so I use the iPad for that.

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  20. ph0b0s

    Buying an iPhone = Defying the herd????

    Has world has been flipped on it's head? Now purchasing an iPhone is considered as 'defying the herd?'.

    And 'should you wish to avoid' a 'juggernaut.' Going for an iPhone not going to do that as they are the archetype of 'juggernaut' launches. The fact that Samsung are being able to compete is a good thing....

  21. cnapan

    This list forgot to mention the Samsung S3.5 - the one which will have some good industrial design rather than looking like a cheap plastic toy.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Although I am very much a drooling Apple fanboi...

    ...I have to say that the current and near future selection of phones out there is looking pretty fantastic, and, if I hadn't been mentally programmed to 'stroke the fruit', it's be very hard to choose what to get next. Very cool.

    Now all I need to reach techo-nirvana is for the Lytro to be released over here next week.

    AC 'cos there's only so much direct derision a person can take.

  23. cosymart

    Lost the plot...

    Being a bit of an old fogy I always made the assumption that phones were for phoning with... OK I can go with the apps and wizzy stuff but many of the comments here are mainly around how good or bad the camera is.

    The camera appears to be the deciding feature so in effect people are buying a convenient "quality" camera with lots of goodies attached including a phone. Interesting as perhaps the manufactures have missed a trick here? So what we need is a good quality compact camera that is pocketable, digital zoom lens, lots of memory for all those piccys. with a built in phone/browser/wifi/3G?

  24. Cupboard

    Keyboard please?

    Some of us want a decent phone in the UK to replace our ageing first generation Motorola Milestones with!

    It's not like they don't exist either, Samsung Captivate Glide, Droid 4 etc

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is the Blackberry advert a fake?

    "Quality apps and content story "

    Hope the "story" has a happy ending...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is the Blackberry advert a fake?

      Forward looking statement - so forward looking it's the time they got bought by Google or Apple and the OS replaced.

  26. Piro Silver badge

    Razr Maxx would be my choice

    Seeing as a smartphone is no good if you spend your time micro-mananging power user. They've put a heroic battery in the damn thing, and for this, Motorola should be highly commended.

    It also has that neat Webtop gimmick, like the Atrix.

  27. Avatar of They
    Thumb Up

    Yay, good phones that are not HTC.

    Nice to know there is more than just HTC. After the mess they have made of my HTC sensation (lasted 24 hours of crashing, burning my hands) and it's replacement HTC Desire HD (no 3g, no network and no sd card support) and the utterly appalling support team in Ireland that basically said "buy another phone". I have been looking for a replacement that isn't MS or Apple.

    Tegra 3 in a phone. Jeez the thing will heat my house. :)

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