Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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Capable phone but certainly overhyped
Samsung Galaxy S3 16GB
Member Name: efficientdirect
Samsung Galaxy S3 16GB
Advantages: Good battery life; powerful; customisable through Android
Disadvantages: Clunky and bloated UI; poor build quality; many bugs; photos often blurry
The Galaxy S3 is a great phone: it is suitably powerful, with a processor, RAM, and internal memory sufficient for everyday use and more. Indeed, all but the heaviest users - i.e. those gaming, streaming or downloading large files - will have no performance issues whatsoever. Yet beyond this, it is hard to work out why exactly this phone deserves all the marketing hype and 5-star industry reviews it receives.
After all, if we were to look at its specifications alone, then there are many competitors out there similarly well equipped; brands such as ZTE, Lenovo, and Huawei are now producing high-end smartphones at far lower price-points. And even established Android names - such as LG, HTC and Sony - have as powerful products at more affordable prices. I can only conclude that the marketing hype for Samsung products has reached such an extent that its deficiencies are overlooked. In particular, the S3 suffers from the following issues:
1) Shoddy camera - despite an 8MP camera, I found that 2 out of every 3 photos I took was ridiculously blurry. One had to hold the camera so absurdly still to get a decent, clear photograph that it almost made it unusable. Indeed, I got better photos from my Nokia N95GB camera; a phone which is, I think, nearly 7 years old.
2) Build quality - this is by far the most glaring issue. For a premium product, meant to be the main competitor for the Iphone, the S3 feels overly flimsy and cheap. It feels plasticky to touch; it is almost akin to a large debit card in how it handles. I did not feel comfortable using it without a thick case, which of course entirely undermines its 'slim' form factor.
3) Software - sure, Android is nice, and can be entirely customised, yet I want a phone that works out the box. The Touchwiz UI is frankly clunky, filled with bloatware and is hard to use.
4) Bugs - Perhaps I got unlucky, but in my year of having an S3 I've had so many issues. First, the Wi-Fi wouldn't work. Second, after 6 months the phone started turning on and off randomly; wiping the phone temporarily fixes it but the problem starts again. It renders the phone unusable and is so frustrating - what's the point of a £500 smartphone if I can't even make calls?
1) Good battery life, especially for a smart phone.
2) Powerful enough to do pretty much anything to want on a smartphone.
3) Customisable - Android is perfect for tweaking your phone
However, it is worth noting that most of the benefits are down to the Android operating system, rather than the phone itself. Therefore I would give this phone 3 stars.
Summary: Capable phone yet seriously overhyped