Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
Newest Review: ... apps and games but they obviously vary in quality; you have the Google play store and the Samsung app store.. the best of both worlds. The... more
No wonder Samsung are the leaders in the mobile world
Samsung Galaxy S3 16GB
Member Name: iamasadlittleboy
Samsung Galaxy S3 16GB
Advantages: Very powerful, great screen, Android Operating System, A lot of storage, Great features
Disadvantages: Most folk are unlikely to use a number of features, Some functions could be improved
A few months ago Vodafone called me telling me I was able to upgrade my phone and after some haggling I managed to take a massive upgrade from a HTC Wildfire to the then recently released Samsung Galaxy S3.
Not only had I been offered a very delightful deal in terms of monthly payment but I was also being offered the phone with no up front fee and thought that the phone, at least on paper seemed to be a bargain, especially when I was being offered other, lesser specced phones (iPhone 4S being the notable one) at a higher monthly price and with an up front price.
The day after making my order the handset was delivered and blew me away almost from the off with it's smooth, massive, high quality screen that just looked gorgeous from the moment the phone was turned on. After taking a few minutes to set it all up (date, time and connecting it to my google account) I got my first real "hands on" play with the phone and...well...wow!
As we all do when we get a phone, I had a play with the camera and was shocked immediately by how excellent the pictures looked with the main camera (which is an 8MP camera). The pictures looked amazing with fantastic colours and a really high level of detail (embarrassingly catching several spots that I would rather not have been captured). It wasn't just taking amazing pictures but it was also amazingly easy to use with features like "Anti-Shake" to help people who aren't great at photography to take some brilliant photographs.
Of course as well as the main camera, the phone also has a front facing camera using for things like Skype. Whilst photographs weren't as good with the front camera (which is only 1.5MP) it was still solid enough to take a decent self portrait picture that looked "alright" for something like facebook.
Whilst still playing about with the camera I found out that the video quality was equally as good as the photograph quality and better yet you could take still photographs whilst you were filming (a feature that genuinely amazed me).
Overall I felt pretty happy with my early play with the camera so I moved on to play about with other things and decided to watch one of my videos back. Not only was it filmed in brilliant HD quality but I could watch it in both a full screen mode or a small movable pop up window allowing me to check my e-mails whilst the video was still playing. By now I was sold, I'd made a great choice in getting the S3 however I wondered just how far I could push it and what else could I do with it, other than use it for videos and photographs.
Following my play with the media functions I decided to download some apps from Google Play and was shocked by just how much storage the phone had. Not only could I download the alternative browsers I wanted (Opera Mini and Boat Browser), all the Angry Birds games and various other useful apps but I was still left with several Gigs of space to download stuff onto in the future. I know this is only a minor thing but having come from the Wildfire this was a massive improvement, heck I'm not even sure the Wildfire would be able to cope with Angry Birds in Space in terms of space. As well as the space on the phone I was also amazed at how well the games played. If you've never tried playing Angry Birds on a Wildfire, I'd advise you never do, it's slow laggy and just generally terrible, however on the S3 it was perfectly smooth and thoroughly enjoyable with no lag or slowdown at all.
Having had the phone a few days and gotten over the initial "play about" phase of having the handset I kept noticing more and more (and more) about the phone which just kept amazing me. The more I used it, the more it shocked me and the more I found out about it. It was just so easy and quick to link to my Facebook, Twitter, Skype and E-mail accounts and add my contacts from the various accounts. This not only seemed brilliant but also really, really time saving.
In fact it's probably the time saving nature of the phone which may be the most "useful". For example you get a notification (with a flashing LED) when you get a Message/Email/Tweet saving you from needing to look at your phone if your awaiting an important text, you get GPS to help you using the inbuilt Google Maps app, you get NFC to make payments (something I've yet to try sadly but I know it's there) and you get a calender that automatically picks out birthdays from Facebook.
Of course whilst the time saving feature is useful I won't lie, it's not something that really does it for me, I'd rather use the phone as a mobile internet tool and a media device and it does this brilliantly due to the wide variety of apps. Whether you're a retro gamer and use gaming emulators like NESoid, N64Oid and Gensoid to play classic games from the past, or a music fanatic with hundreds of albums or a movie buff with a host of movies the phone will almost certainly be able to hold all the media you could possibly want on the device. As well as the on board storage you also have access to various cloud storage systems (including Dropbox, Box and Amazon's new "Amazon Player" amongst others) and expandable memory with an SDHC card. As well as the 16GB of on-board storage you basically have infinite storage that the phone can use as well.
Having now had the phone for several months I'm still finding features that are brilliant and that I never even thought of a phone having. Things like turning the phone into a portable hotspot, face recognition, S Voice (Samsung's version of Siri) and thats with out even mentioning some of the brilliant apps that are available on the Play Store (or other stores, including SlideME Market and Amazon's Marketplace).
Despite loving the phone, it's raw power, functionality and usability I do still think there is room for improvement. Notably the ability to use the "pop up player" (the video window I mentioned earlier) for things like Youtube, iPlayer, 4OD and Netflix and the fact there is no Infra-red functionality (meaning you probably won't be able to to use the phone as a television remote) however to even think about things like this is literally picking flaws.
Whilst some folk may not like Android, Samsung or Google it's hard to really fault this product which genuinely raises the bar in the mobile world.
Note-Whilst I know T-Mobile and 3 do unlimited everything deals I wanted to keep my bill under £30 a month and got offered 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB 3G (as well as 2GB Openzone Wi-Fi) for £28 (including VAT) as well as the free upgrade. This in total works out to be £672 over the space of 2 years, not bad when the handset generally retails for around £450+
Summary: A top rate phone at an excellent price