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Two years ago, I embarked on my journey to University. Before going, however, I needed to find a new laptop to get me through the 3 year course. There are so many laptops on the market, I had no idea where to begin! All I knew was that I needed a reliable, durable laptop that will last 3 years, had a good amount of memory to fit both my Uni and personal things on, but also had a relatively good processor/graphics card (I'm a big gamer). So basically, I needed a laptop that can do pretty much everything, but didn't put a huge hole in my wallet. When I described what I needed to someone in PC World, they directed me to this, and I fell in love instantly.
Before I start my review, I'll add the specs, so you're all aware:
Processor - Intel Core i3 (2.13GHz)
RAM - 2GB
Hard Drive Size - 320GB
Optical Drive - DVD+/-RW
Operating System - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Card Reader - Multi Card reader
Display Type - TruBrite HD TFT High Brightness
Display Size - 17.3" (1600 x 900 resolution)
Graphics Card - ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
Ports - USB 2.0 x 2, VGA x 1, HDMI x 1
Webcam - Integrated
Wired Networking - Ethernet
Wireless Networking - WLAN 802.11bg
Warranty - 1 year
Other Features - Bluetooth, Microphone
Price: Around £400-500 (though not too easy to find now, as it's been discontinued)
Bearing in mind this laptop is over 2 years old, these specs are pretty impressive. If you look at the market now, a laptop with a good processor and a mid-high end graphics card will cost you a fortune. £500 (max) is a good deal in my opinion! Now, onto the review!
EASE OF USE:
When I received this laptop, it didn't take long at all to find my way around and install everything I usually use (despite that this was the first time I'd seen Windows 7). The touch-pad is surprisingly user-friendly compared to other laptops I have used, it's also more functional - you can pinch to zoom with it, which is a nice feature! Although, this feature is also a drawback, as you can accidentally touch the pad with a second finger, zooming in/out when not expecting to. The buttons are also quiet, which is great. I've had so many laptops in the past where the left/right mouse button are horrifically loud!
The laptop also has second functions for the F1-F9 buttons. By holding the FN button (next to the left Ctrl/Windows button), these secondary functions appear at the top of the screen, prompting you to press the appropriate key to do a specific thing, e.g. F8 can turn Bluetooth or the Wi-Fi off. It sounds a bit complicated, but it's actually incredibly simple and easy.
I have to admit, considering it only has 2GB of RAM, the machine works wonderfully. It can handle quite a few applications at once without a problem. I even tested a browser, to see how many tabs it can hold... My old laptop could only hold 50 or so, before slowing down/crashing. This beauty got close to 200 before having trouble! The laptop generally runs very smoothly - even now, 2 years later (it's a little slower than when I bought it, mind).
Games wise, the graphics card in this laptop is surprisingly good. When I bought it, I wasn't expecting it to play any games after 2010-ish, but boy, was I wrong! It quite happily runs The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (released last year) on high graphics. This alone for me makes it worth the price tag!
Being a student, I tend to travel a lot with my laptop. I go to lectures or the library several times a week, and may have erm, dropped it once or twice... But despite my accidental abuse, it's still in one piece and still runs great! In the 2 years that I've had it, none of the ports have given me any trouble either, which is always good.
One gripe I have though, is the fan. It gets clogged up very easily, causing the laptop to overheat. The answer to this problem is simple - use compressed air. The idea of paying money to blow dust even further into the laptop doesn't appeal to me, however, so I use the riskier option of getting the vacuum cleaner out and cleaning it that way. I've had to do this twice now, and it's worked both times. Of course if you ever do attempt this, make sure the fan isn't running - doing so while it's on could break it.
Most laptops in my experience end up having some sort of meltdown within the first couple of years of use. For example, the screen going blue and the system failing or something similar. However, this hasn't happened on my Satellite Pro (touch wood!), in fact I've not had any problems at all (and again!), apart from the fan mentioned above!
According to the specifications this laptop can last 3.2 hours, which is pretty accurate, unless you're playing a power-hungry game/application. After a year or two you'd expect this to reduce significantly to an hour or so. But despite the fact I use my laptop a LOT, and almost always have it plugged in, the battery hasn't degraded much at all. I can still get 2 hours out of a full charge, more if I'm not using any big applications. Would be nice if the initial battery life was higher, though. 3 hours isn't long at all.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who needs a powerful machine to run games, but also wants to do work on it and be confident it won't suddenly disappear due to a system malfunction. My only gripe is the fan - but keep it clear of dust, and you'll be fine.
Anyone who's owned a laptop or notebook will know just how irritating the touch-pad can be. They're usually incredibly slow compared to a mouse, you need flexible hands to use both the pad and the left/right buttons efficiently, and on modern laptops you can accidentally zoom in/out if a second finger hits the pad, due to them being multi-touch enabled! An obvious solution to this, in my opinion, is a separate mouse - a wireless mouse, to avoid more wires. The question is, which mouse do you get? There are so many different computer mice on the market, it's sometimes impossible to decide which to buy. It's difficult to judge their sensitivity, or whether or not it'll be comfortable to use. My advice would be to acquire a Logitech V220 Cordless Optical Mouse...
The V220 Mouse is smaller than conventional mice, but only by a little. This surprisingly makes for a much more comfortable experience. Although, those with bigger hands may find it less comfortable, and would prefer a larger mouse. But for me (my hands are average) the wrist is comfortably positioned with a small amount of the palm touching the table lightly, allowing for better control. The left and right buttons are curved inwards, to the shape of your fingers so your fingers fit much more naturally than flat buttons.
The buttons are very quiet and easy to press, as is the scroll wheel (which goes left and right, as well as the usual forward/back). So far it's the easiest, most comfortable mouse I've used to date..
Of course, this partly depends on your laptop's settings. But in general, the laser on this mouse is very sensitive. It doesn't show any lag at all, and the cursor can be moved very accurately.
Installation is easy. Simply plug in the USB receiver, wait for your laptop to install the software (10 seconds-ish), and voila! That's all there is to it! I currently run Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) and have had no problems. I've also tried this on my old Vista PC, and also found no issues.
When you're done with the mouse, and take the USB out, you probably get worried about losing it, right? Well, the mouse itself has a 'slider' on the bottom of it, allowing for the USB to fit in snugly, making the mouse and USB one unit. You will never have to worry about them being separate again!
I've only had this product for 2 months, but I've noticed no difference since buying it. It runs just as smoothly, and there's been no issues with either the mouse or the USB. I'll update this again in a few weeks, if there has been any changes. Also, the battery I received with the mouse (A duracell battery) is still going strong. Apparently it can last up to 6 months... I'll keep you updated on that one!
Overall, I couldn't recommend this mouse enough. At the price tag of around £10-15, depending on where you get it, it's definitely worth the money! I've paid £25 and above for mice before now, but easily prefer this lower-budget one. I've always known Logitech to be a high-quality company, and this product emphasises that for me.
When I bought this from Play.com, I also received a 15.4" Logitech laptop case. I'm not overly sure if this is standard with every product, but I thought it would be worth a mention. This case is also of a high quality, which surprised me - it has a main compartment for the laptop, and 2 reasonably sized compartments on the front for your charger and mouse.
£15 for both a mouse AND a laptop cover/case? You should have seen my face when I realised! This mouse made me one happy customer. :)
Bleach was the second Anime series I ever watched (Fullmetal Alchemist being the first), and it was a major factor that resulted in me becoming addicted to Anime, or Japanese Animation, for those that aren't familiar with the genre. It's beautifully drawn, the animation runs smoothly, not looking choppy like some older series', and the voice actors are brilliant - for both the Japanese and English dubbed version (it's rare to find good English dubs!). Instead of trying to explain the general opening/plot, I'll simply copy the synopsis from Viz Media's official site. Then I'll talk about this box set specifically.
"Ichigo Kurosaki is an ordinary 15-year-old boy who happens to be able to see ghosts. His fate takes an extraordinary turn when he meets Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper who shows up at Ichigo's house on the trail of a Hollow, a malevolent lost soul. Drawn to Ichigo's high level of spiritual energy, the Hollow attacks Ichigo and his family, and Rukia steps in to help, but is injured and unable to fight. As a last resort Rukia decides to transfer a part of her Soul Reaper powers to Ichigo...
Ichigo, now a full-fledged Soul Reaper, and Rukia, minus her powers, join together to face the challenges that lie ahead."
I won't go into any more detail, because if you are looking at buying the DVD, you are likely already familiar with the series. So I won't repeat any more of what you already know! This particular box set contains the first 20 episodes, over 5 discs, with 4 episodes on each disc. Every episode can be watched in Japanese, with or without English subtitles, or in English. The box is relatively large, but looks very nice, as do the covers for each disc/volume! Each episode lasts roughly 23 minutes, which isn't a huge amount of time, but the time is used pretty well. Story wise, this box set is only really an introduction to the characters and the 'Bleach' world, the main plot becomes more clear (and becomes very gripping) at about episode 10+.
Directors: Noriyuki Abe
Format: Box set, PAL
Language: English, Japanese
Region: Can be bought in both Region 1 or Region 2 formats.
Number of discs: 5 (4 episodes on each disc)
Classification: Age 15+
Studio: Anchor Bay
DVD Release Date: 5 May 2008
Run Time: 455 minutes
Price: This box set can be found for £10-15 on Amazon/Play.com, which works out at about 50-75p per episode, which is a good deal in my opinion!
There is one drawback to this series, and that is the number of 'filler episodes', i.e. episodes that don't follow the manga, and are added in to extend the series. There aren't many of these episodes in the first 3 series' box sets however, which is nice!
Overall, I honestly couldn't recommend this series enough. Both to newcomers to the Anime world, and people who already like Anime/Manga, especially those who like the sci-fi genre! It's definitely a series worth having in your collection. :)
I'll be honest here, I'm not a fan of Apple. I dislike their selling methods - make a relatively simple device and add fairly simple features on it each year, and selling it as a 'new device', I also dislike their frequent patent-abuse/constant lawsuits against other companies...
HOWEVER, there is one product made by Apple I have always liked, and probably always will like. That device is the iPod Touch. I was given the 1st Gen iPod Touch as a Chirstmas present the year it was released (2007), and I haven't stopped using them since. I had my trusty 1st Gen iPod Touch for 3 and a half years, before I started to consider upgrading - most new apps didn't work, as they didn't support the 1st Gen. The deciding factor was when my little 2 year old brother grabbed it, and threw it at a wall, smashing the screen. Granted, it still worked, but what better excuse to buy an upgrade?!
When my 4th Generation iPod Touch came through the post, I noticed the difference in quality immedietly. It was much slimmer and lighter than my previous one, and the edges were more curved, making it feel more natural to hold. Now, on to the fun stuff:
The 4th Generation models come in 8GB, 32GB and 64GB versions (apparently they decided to drop the 16GB one). The 8GB version is too small for me, so I went for the 32GB, which so far has been sufficient. The device runs at 1GHz (underclocked at 800MHz), and also comes with 256MB of RAM, which doesn't sound like much, but it's more than enough for this device. I've not enountered any memory issues thus far. The devices runs on Apple's A4 chip, which is one below its A5 chip, currently in the iPad 3/iPad 2/iPhone 4S. This chip is very powerful, and allows the device to run flawlessly. Lag is very, very rare! Naturally, it also has a 3-axis gyroscope/accelerometor too.
This iPod runs iOS 5.1.1 quite happily, and will support iOS 6 when it's released in the coming weeks, which I'm definitely looking forward to.
For any owner of an older generation iPod Touch, who picks this one up for the first time, will first notice one thing; The Retina Display. The screen on this iPod blows the other 3 generations out of the water! It's incredibly clear, crisp, and a wonder to look at. But I won't babble on about how good it looks - the only way you'll really appreciate how nice it is, is by seeing it for yourself (in person, not in a picture, that doesn't have the same effect!). The responsiveness of the screen seems to be much better on this model too, which is always a plus.
The touch-screen supports multi-touch and so naturally allows the pinch-to-zoom gesture in websites etc.
Multi-tasking is simple. When you leave an app, it is 'paused' and kept stored in the multi-taskign bar, which can be accessed by double tapping the home buttom on the bottom of the device. So for instance, if you're playing a game and decide you'd like to check Facebook, you can go to the home screen, enter the Facebook app to check yout account, and go right back to your game when done by double tapping the home button and tapping the icon for said game. It'll put you exactly where you were - as if you never left!
The 4th Generation iPod touch is the first model to have any type of camera. The rear camera is only 0.7MP, which seems tiny compared to other devices (most of which now have 5MP and above), but unless you zoom in on the picture, it's difficult to tell that the difference is so big. Video however, is a different kettle of fish. It can take 720p video at 30 frames per second, which is pretty damn good! It also sports a front-facing camera for Facetime, and as far as front-facing cameras go, I was pretty impressed. I rarely make video calls, but when I do, I use my iPod Touch, the image quality is great.
Anyone who owns an Apple product will know just how big the App store is. If there's an app you like the idea of, put it in the search bar, it'll probably be there! Some of my favourites include: Skype, Spotify, Kindle, Facebook, Plus500 (a stock trading app), Kerrang! Radio and Mathemagics (I'm a maths student, don't judge!), plus a fair few games...
Speaking of games, this device isn't merely an iPod, it's also a great gaming device! It runs some amazing 3D games with console-style graphics. A Dead Space game is on the app store, for example, and most definitely does the series justice. Of course there are also lower-graphic games/classics, for the more casual gamers; Sonic the Hedgehog, Angry Birds, Golden Axe (yes, all 3 classic SEGA Megadrive games are there!) just to name a few.
On top of the multitude of apps and games, the App store also houses thousands of e-books, which can be read in the iBooks app, so you can read on the go! (Or you can use the Kindle app if you prefer). Then there's of course the iTunes store, which contains millions of songs/albums/movies for you to buy and download!
I'll be honest about this one, I'm not a huge fan. Voice recognition software simply isn't advanced enough yet (on mobile devices at least) to be a huge amount of use. You can access the voice control on the iPod Touch by keeping your finger down on the home button, then when the voice control screen comes up, say your command. It is relatively accurate - you can make it play music and open some apps pretty easily. However it seems a little less accurate when asked to do other things! It could just be me, but hey ho!
It's an iPod, so music is 'supposed' to be its key feature, and what you originally bought it for, right? Well, you'll be pleased to know that the music app is brilliant. You get the usual features you would expect from an MP3 player (play, pause, forward/back, shuffle/repeat, etc etc), but you also get some other great features. When picking a song, you will be shown the cover art, the artist/album/song names, and if iTunes have them (or if you add them yourself), the lyrics will be there too. On top of these, if you go into settings, you'll find the EQ letting you change how the music sounds - Acoustic, Bass Booster (or reducer), Classical to name a few. There's also a 'Shake to shuffle' feature, where you simply shake the device to turn on shuffle and go to the next track. Great eh?
As I said earlier in this review, my first iPod Touch lasted well over 3 years. The only damage it received prior to being beaten by my little brother was on the back - it gets scratched very easily. Considering it must have been dropped more times than any other device I've ever owned, it did pretty damn well! I obviously can't say the same for the 4th Generation just yet, as I've only had it for 10-12 months. So far though, it seems to be coping incredibly well to my clumsyness. Again, the only noticeable damage are the scratches on the back, the screen and OS are perfectly in tact!
For such a small device that runs quite a lot of software, the battery life is surprisingly good. Listening to music, you can get a good 4-5 days out of it, if used 3-ish hours each day and not turning the device off. Turning wifi off when not using it increases this even further. In terms of video, you can watch about 4 hours before the battery dies, which for such a small device is brilliant. Rather than listening to music through the device's main music app, I tend to use Spotify, which can drain the battery a little faster, but even then, I only have to charge it every few days!
Overall, I would most definitely recommend this device. It is without a doubt better than other iPods on the market. Granted, it has a fairly high price tag (the 32GB version is around £200), but in my opinion it is worth it. I usually consider Apple products to be over-priced, but I disagree with this one, you are definitely getting value and quality for your money!
I bought my first pair of these JVC Gumy earphones about 18 months ago, and I haven't bought a different pair since. For the price of £5-10 a pair, depending on where you buy them, these earphones obviously aren't made with amazing sound quality in mind. However, compared to other earphones I've used at around the same price, and in some cases a lot more expensive (£15-20), the sound quality is amazing. I actually prefer them to Apple's iPod headphones!
On top of the great sound, these are incredibly comfortable in the ears. I can have have them in for hours and not feel uncomfortable in the slightest! They're also quite durable. When you buy 'cheap' earphones, you expect them to last what, a few weeks at most before either breaking or losing most of the sound quality? I'm constantly listening to music, or watching videos on my tablet, so earphones I own get a good battering due to walking around with my iPod in my pocket etc. However, these beauties always last me at least 2-3 months - my current set has been going for 4 months now - before the sound deteriorates or the connection is damaged and one or both of the ears stop working. For the price tag, that's pretty amazing if you ask me!
Overall, I'd definitely recommend these to anyone who doesn't mind 'good' sound quality, and doesn't want to fork out £50 for a decent set. I for one will be sticking with these Gumy earphones, the quality is extremely high for the price. JVC all the way!
I've had my Blackberry Torch 9800 for just over 18 months (my contract just ended and I switched to a Samsung Galaxy SIII). I have to say, I enjoyed my time with my Torch, and had no problems with it, bar a little lag towards the end of my contract - this is common for most phones, age slows them down. A bit like us I suppose! I'll review the features individually:
Touchscreen and keyboard:
The Blackberry Torch is like most Blackberries, with a physical keyboard. For some reason, the keyboard on this phone feels a lot nicer to use than other Blacbkerries I've tried - for those with big hands/fingers, it may be a bit of a pain, with the keys being quite small - I can whack out emails/texts incredibly quickly with very few errors! For those who don't like physical keyboards, however, there's also the option of using the phone's touch-screen keyboard. I'll be honest, the on-screen keyboard isn't amazingly accurate compared to other modern phones, but it still feels relatively nice to use.
The great thing about this phone is it's suitable for anyone screen wise. There's a physical keyboard, if you prefer those, an on-screen keyboard/touch screen, and there's even the classic Blackberry trackpad, if you don't like using the touch-screen!!
The 5MP camera on the Torch 9800 isn't bad for a 2 year old phone. But as far as modern phones go, it doesn't quite compare. The image quality isn't great, and even with the flash, pictures can look quite poor in the dark.
The Blackberry App Store is relatively small compared to the likes of iOS and Android stores. However, there are still many great apps there, especially for the organised, business type! It is however slightly lacking in terms of games - there are of course classics, like Doodle Jump, but there are very few games with decent graphics, so gaming wise it isn't as good as other phones.
I've personally never had a problem with the browser. In fact, I rate it quite highly. It's fast and for the most part reliable. The browsers on other devices I've had crash far more frequently! It's also incredibly secure, due to Blackberry's BES technology, which means you can do things like online banking without worrying.
Any Blackberry fan knows about BBM. It is essentially RIM's own social network, where people add their friends' 'PIN' and can then talk to them in real time - the same way you text, but you can see when people read your messages, you can make 'status updates', and add a display picture. This feature is great, I used it frequently. It just feels a lot more personal than texting does!
The battery life on this device is actually quite good. I sometimes managed to last 48 hours before having to charge it. For mobiles, that's a long time! I hadn't noticed any depletion in battery life either, after the 18 months. It seemed to last just as long as it did when first bought.
If you own a Blackberry Playbook tablet, this phone (and any other Blackberry phone) can be linked up to it, allowing your Playbook to see everything on your phone - contacts, BBM messages (you can also reply to them via the tablet), or even use the phone's 3G network when you don't have wifi, without an extra charge - this saves you from having to pay a silly amount for a 3G card like you would for an iPad or other tablet, you can simply use your phone's network!
Personally, I loved this phone, and struggled to part with it. It's great for users who don't mind not playing games on a mobile, and only want to use it for social networking/contacting people/browsing the web. However, for the tech-heads out there, it more than likely lacks the technology for you. The app store is lacking, and the feature pool isn't exactly large.
I'd definitely recommend this phone to anyone who don't care about games too much, and only want a phone for its original purpose - communication.
I bought my Playbook over 12 months ago, back when it was over £300. And even now, with it being priced at around £150, I still don't regret paying so much for it. Before, it was reasonably priced, now it's a ridiculous bargain! I'll review the individual features, to make things easier:
Screen and tablet itself:
The screen is very clear, especially for a tablet released 18 months ago. It can run full HD videos/games without a problem. Also, the touch screen is very sensitive and accurate. Using the on-screen keyboard feels very natural, especially in portrait mode (using thumbs). The tablet's gestures are brilliant too - swiping down from the top of the tablet brings down any menu your current app has, swiping from the bottom up brings up the home screen/multi-tasking window, and swiping from the side of the screen swaps between apps.
The 1GHz processor and 1GB of ram provide the Playbook with a lot of power and speed. It's incredibly rare to come across any lag. With the 4G Playbook that has just been released, the tablet is even more powerful - with a 1.5GHz processor.
Multi-tasking on this device is amazing. Unlike tablets like the iPad, or Android/Windows tablets, apps don't simply run in the background, they all run in real time! For example, if you're browser is open on a youtube page listening to music, you can then switch to, say, Kobo (an e-reader) and the youtube video will continue to run - allowing you to listen to a music video while reading!
The app store isn't as large as Apple's App Store, or Google Play, but it does have a good variety of apps, and a lot of the top iOS/Android apps are actually there. On top of this, you can side-load almost any Android app, so you essentially have both the Blackberry store and the Android store.
The music player is Windows Media Player, and it's fair to say, it doesn't have many features. You have your playlists, artists, songs and album folers, and the usual shuffle/repeat etc etc. But there's no equalizer, and there's not much customisation. However, the music playback is very clear, and the sound quality from the Playbook itself is on par with low budget stereos - which for a tablet, is impressive. The video player allows for full HD videos, which makes for a very nice experience on the 7" screen!
The browser is relatively fast - speed tests put it as slightly faster than the iPad 2 (doesn't beat the third generation iPad though, of course. It is 12 months older). It also supports Flash, which means you can view almost any website, unlike other tablets. The flash player is pretty quick considering it's on a tablet, too. Although a bit slow, I was able to play a few Tower Defense games online without much hassle. The browser also supports HTML5, which will be handy in the future.
There is a 5MP camera on the back of the device for casual use, and a front-facing, 1.3MP camera for video calls. Both of these work brilliantly. Until I bought my Samsung Galaxy SIII, I preferred my Playbook camera over most others on mobile devices. Naturally, the video camera can record full HD.
The battery can give about 6 hours of video playback - longer with wifi turned off, which isn't amazing, but it's not bad at all. General browsing/listening to music gives anywhere from 8-12 hours. The device takes roughly 2-3 hours to charge from flat with a mains charger. Much faster if you invest in a charging pod.
The native email app allows for several accounts, and you have the option of looking at these email accounts separately, or you can have them all in a combined inbox. The layout is nice and simple too. My only gripe with the email app is that it is a little slow - hopefully this will be fixed with an update soon.
Overall, this tablet is WELL worth the price tag. It can do everything the higher-end tablets can do, and more. Its downsides however, are the relatively small app store, which lacks essentials like Skype and Kindle (though these can be side-loaded) and the moderate battery life. But in my opinion, the pros easily outweight the cons, and for £300 cheaper than the likes of an iPad? I won't complain!
At the end of July, I was nearing the end of my phone contract - I previously owned a Blackberry Torch 9800 (a great phone, I have to say), but I was unsure if I actually wanted to part with it. Then days before the end of my contract, I stumbled upon some reviews/videos of the Samsung Galaxy SIII that swayed me. The idea of convenient gestures, such as calling the contact you have on-screen, by putting the phone to your ear, voice recognition and the large screen persuaded me to go for this phone.
On a basic level, the phone's screen is wonderful. The super AMOLED makes a huge difference! And although the screen size (4.8 inches) will put a few people off, it's actually the perfect size, in my opinion. It's not huge like a tablet, so can fit in your pocket, and at the same time it's not too small making games/apps annoying to use.
When I booted up the device, I was pleasantly surprised by its simplicity. I've had an Android phone in the past (A HTC Hero), and compared to iOS/Blackberry, it didn't feel all that user-friendly, it was also quite sluggish. However, I was instantly able to find everything I wanted/needed on the SIII, without any real effort, and more importantly it was done fast, without the lag I'd experienced before. Within 10 minutes the phone was all set up and I'd installed all my usual apps - Spotify, Kindle, Kobo etc. Before buying the SIII, I was seriously worried about swapping from a physical keyboard to a touch screen one. I'm not a fan of touch screen keyboards at all, it's difficult to type quickly without making mistakes. However, the SIII's keyboard is very easy to use - probably due to the bigger screen, and keys being slightly bigger. With a bit of use, I can see myself liking it just as much as my old physical keyboard (or at least almost as much).
Now was the time to get playing! The gestures were exactly what I was expecting, and more. You can mute music/a call by turning the phone face down, call people by putting it by your ear, take a screenshot by swiping your palm across the screen, zoom in by tilting the phone back and forth and even view a zoomed-in picture by moving the device around, as if you have a camera over a painting, and are panning around it!! After fiddling around with these, I tested out S Voice. I wasn't expecting much if I'm honest, voice recognition is still something that needs a LOT of improvement. However, I was very surprised by its accuracy. Granted, it isn't perfect and does make mistakes, but it is better than a lot of mobile voice recognition apps I've used. I'd say it is better than Siri (the UK version of Siri at least).
There are a few drawbacks to this device, which potential buyers should be aware of. The main drawback being the battery life. I'm a very heavy user - my Blackberry Torch used to last a good 10-12 hours, whereas my SIII only lasts 6-8 hours, if I'm using it a lot. This means it rarely lasts a full day without needing to be charged, which is a pain! Though it is expected, considering the amount of tech in the device! Keeping the screen brightness down increases battery life a good amount. But still not enough for me. I'm contemplating buying a second battery for it, or a portable charging device, to counter this problem (this of course won't be a problem for people that aren't heavy users)
All in all though, I love this phone. It's simple, fast and very functional/convenient. Well worth the price tag!
EDIT: I don't know how, but I forgot to mention the camera. My God, the camera! The device's main camera is 8MP, and has a fair few editing tools. You can adjust the white balance, add effects, adjust contrast, set it to outdoor/indoor mode, etc etc. it also has face-detection, which I've always liked. But features aside, the camera's picture quality is amazing (naturally it can record in full HD too). It's better than any other mobile device's camera I've used - and all the friends I've shown at University agree.
*Also posted on Ciao under Christoff81888*