Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
Samsung Galaxy S III Mini
Member Name: HelenW
Samsung Galaxy S III Mini
Advantages: User friendly, great design, compact, useful functions.
Disadvantages: Email doesn't sync well at all. Battery life not great.
I ordered the S3 mini as my upgrade, which had a set up price of £19.99 along with my contract price. I was rather excited about it, so was thrilled that it only took 2 days to arrive.
I took it out of the box and immediately noticed a complete lack of instructions. Hmmm. So, after putting it on charge and some initial difficulties with getting the sim card in (see what I mean about technical difficulties!?!), I had a play with it. The first thing I did was go through the on screen tutorial which popped up straight away when I turned it on. I got used to using a swipe phone with the tutorial, as my Blackberry wasn't touch screen or anything fancy like that! I started by looking over the menu but accidentally figured out how to move the icons, by holding my thumb on the icon for slightly too long! When I figured that out, I started to arrange the home screen with some widgets. On the first page, I put a time and date widget, which also has the weather on it. Swiping over a screen, I put a post-it note widget on it. Swiping over another screen, I put some alarm clock widgets on it. I say "some"... more like 4. I'm not particularly a morning person! Swiping the other direction from the home screen, it was rather useful to find that I could put a planner widget on it, giving me quick access to my diary.
Already on my home screen were the default icons that I would have put on there anyway, phone keypad, contacts and messaging and email. Pressing the "apps" button, takes you to the menu screen, with all the other functions of a smartphone! Camera, google chrome, downloads, ebay shortcut (??!), along with "flipboard", radio, gamehub, play books, navigation and plenty more!
There was plenty I had not come across before, like flipboard. I had a look at it, but it didn't really appeal. It would be useful for anyone who uses social media. I don't have twitter, google plus, bebo or any of that. I have facebook but don't ever use it, so flipboard has had very little use for me. I've already tested out the sat nav on it, which is pretty good, although slightly quiet! At the top of the screen is a pull down menu, which has all the settings you can turn on and off, like wifi, GPS, sound, screen rotation, bluetooth, mobile data, power saving etc. It's useful having these things on a quick access menu, as I don't like keeping GPS turned on all the time. Going into the settings icon on the app screen, lists: wi-fi where you can select to connect to a network, bluetooth, data usage etc. The data usage is very useful. It splits it into wifi and mobile. Both have a graph to show data use and you can set a data limitation which switches off mobile data when the limit is reached. My data on my contract is 1GB, so I've set it to 985MB limit, just in case, as I don't want to incur charges in case I don't notice! You are also able to set a warning limit, which is set slightly lower than my limit. Scrolling down, you can see the applications that are using the most data. Also, you can choose to restrict background data. I did this over the first month, so that I could keep an eye on the data usage.
It's pretty much a given, that as phones get smarter and smarter, they drain the battery faster. This phone has a power saving option, which I haven't particularly made much use of yet, although I can see it being useful when going away for the weekend. Also, in the "lock screen" function, you can choose different security features. I'm a big fan of the pattern feature, which when you come to unlock it, shows a 3x3 square, where you can draw a pattern in order to unlock the screen. I really like this function because when I only had "swipe" as an unlock, I managed to randomly dial, as my pocket kept swiping the screen! Plus it's more fun that a password ;-)
Another cool feature about this phone, is the choice of keyboard or voice typing. I only use keyboard as an input, as the voice typing doesn't really work with a lisp but it's still a cool feature, I think! ;)
I've found one annoying thing about this phone. The battery life doesn't bother me (I don't have a problem charging it every night). The one thing that does bother me is the email syncing! I have my hotmail account synced to the email function on this phone. Previously, on my blackberry, if I deleted a message, I could find it gone from my inbox if I log on to my email from a computer. Whereas, with this phone, if I either read or delete an email, to find it still there in my inbox, still unread! The syncing is terrible! It's quite annoying to look at your phone and find 15 unread emails, and they are emails you have read and even deleted! But they're back again!!
You can download apps from either the Samsung store, or the play store. I've generally found the play store to be much more useful and to have more useful apps in it. They download pretty quickly, and the pull down menu at the top tells you when something is downloaded. I'm a fan of "words with friends", which is basically scrabble! I've just beaten my brother in law in a game of scrabble and have been challenged to a rematch...
The camera on this phone is really good, it makes my niece look extra cute! When you go into the gallery, the pictures tile nicely and you can swipe through them.
I find this phone to be very user friendly. It's the size of other phones (as opposed to the huuuge S3), which means that you can use one hand to use and to text! On the right size, is the lock button where a tap locks the screen, but holding it in makes the "device options" appear, giving you the option to turn off, put it in flight mode and to change the ringer to vibrate or mute. On my last phone, the internet was not user friendly at all. The mobile pages worked ok, but if you have to use a desktop version, it doesn't work particularly well. With the S3 mini, using chrome is much more user friendly. You can reorient the page by using the screen rotation; you can zoom in to use the page.
I'm glad I chose this phone, the functionality is really good. Although the battery doesn't last very long, it doesn't bother me. The one downside to this phone is the email syncing. I would use my phone almost exclusively to accessing my inbox from a computer, but with the bad syncing, I can't. I would give this phone 5 stars, however the email thing means it has to lose a star I'm afraid. Maybe to others it would seem like a small gripe, but I use email a lot, particularly for my planning for my brownie unit etc, so the lack of syncing is definitely a drawback.
Summary: Overall, a great option.