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I have had my Samsung Galaxy SIII for about five months now, and I am still as impressed with it as I was when I was first given it!! Price-wise, I am not in a place to comment on since I received it sim-free as a very special gift, and the buyer bought it in another country where it is sold a lot cheaper than in the UK anyway. Additionally, since I received it without the packaging, headphones and the mains charger (I'm still waiting for my dear "gifter" to post them to me), so I cannot not comment on any accessories that came with the phone, nor on the packaging.
USB, Battery & Size:
What I do have, however, is the usb cable, so I have been charging it via my laptop. I will start with one of the downsides, and that is the battery life, which can drain frustratingly quickly. I have never owned a smartphone before, and so I understand that their main function is the use of applications and the internet, however I always bring the usb cable with me so that I can charge up the phone while I'm at uni to make it last until the end of the day. Another thing to point out for others like me who have never used a smartphone before, is the width (roughly 7cm), which can make it uncomfortable to hold for lengthy periods on the phone (use a headset when calling customer services!).
I was apprehensive about using a touchscreen, since I had tried and failed to even dial numbers from friends' phones, but I find the keypad choices fun and usable. When writing text messages, for example, you can choose to "handwrite" with your finger ([Finger]Tip: join the letters up!), you can use the voice-to-text option, using predictive messaging you can "swipe" the letters (Very useful whilst walking!), or you can turn off predictive messaging and type as with a normal keypad. What I am really impressed with is that when you use some set phrases often, the following word automatically comes up for you to just quickly tap and select and continue typing!
The predictive messaging works wonderfully in Spanish and Arabic, and this is extremely useful for correcting my spelling! After selecting the input languages you with to use, you can switch quickly between your selected languages by just flicking the space bar. I use English, Spanish and sometimes a few words in Arabic, and you can use multiple languages in one text easily.
I would love to show you some of the amazing photos I have taken using this camera!! I've never agreed with phones functioning as "all-in-ones", because you compromise on quality, and being a lover of photography I would never give up on an actual camera. However, being a student strapped for cash, I don't have the means to buy a nice camera, and the camera of the Samsung Galaxy SIII actually beats an actual camera! The macro is excellent; I have taken a beautiful photograph of a bee where you can see all of its hairs! The video quality is even better than the camera! Honestly, it's very impressive for a phone!
There are many features that the phone has which I don't use, and to be honest, it's worth looking up on youtube, for example, about tips for the phone, or even pop into a Samsung shop, I'm sure they would be helpful. It's an Android phone, and there are many applications which you can download from either the Samsung store, or from Google Play. Because of the large screen size, it's good for reading documents, or books on the Kindle App.
The alarm clock is wonderful, and once you set an alarm, it even tells you how long you have until it goes off! I'm pleased by small things!
I would recommend getting a case for the phone, as well as a screen protector, and do ensure that it fits well in the shop before you buy it. I haven't got a case yet, and it does feel fragile when using it in the rain, as there are a few gaps on the top edge where rain water could enter. Also, the blue paint on sides of the phone is easily scratched if you drop it, and I don't think that part can be replaced; when scarred - scarred for life, unfortunately for me.
I think a lot of thought has gone into this phone, and it offers a lot more features than I can put to use, or know how to use! It is overwhelming to step from a black and white, only text and ring-type phone, to this beautiful, elegant model, but well worth it!
Smartphones are not really new anymore, but I'm the kind of person who tends to be lagging behind everyone when it comes to technology. Recently, however, my husband had the opportunity to add my phone number to his account, and as part of the deal we both had a decent tariff with a free phone. The phone in question is this Samsung Galaxy SIII, which has quite frankly, revolutionised my opinion of mobile phones.
I had a choice over the colour of my phone, and I opted for the graphite blue rather than white. My decision was based entirely on the thinking that the white one would get dirty more quickly, and the blue seemed very sleek and smooth.
The size of the phone is quite surprising, because in a time where everything seems to be getting smaller, this phone is a bit bigger than its predecessors. The phone is about 5 inches long, and about 2.5 inches wide. The depth is less than half a centimetre, so it is long and wide but also thin at the same time. I often wonder when new phones are released, how different they will be to the previous version, but comparing this with my husband's old phone (the Samsung Galaxy SII), this one is thinner but longer, and although it's still quite large, it seems less chunky than the previous version. That said, I personally don't feel confident carrying this phone in my pocket, as I'm too worried it might drop out and break. I usually carry phones in my bag anyway, so this isn't an issue for me, but if you're the kind of person who likes to have your mobile on your person 24/7, this might be something to consider. It's not too heavy to carry round, weighing in at around 130g.
The screen is a really good size, at 4.8 inches, and to be honest is more like a small computer than a phone. It makes it very easy to read on my phone, so I use it for downloading books and reading during my commute to work. It's also great for surfing the internet, and my review reading and rating knows no limits since having this phone!
==Ease of Use==
The first thing I would say about this phone, is that I was really taken aback by how easy it was to use. I've never had a touch screen phone before, but I settled into using this one almost immediately. Once I had worked out that life is a lot easier if you use the tip of your finger instead of your nail, I was tapping left right and centre enjoying my new phone.
Usually, when I get a new phone, I spend an evening on the sofa with the instruction manual, getting to know all its features. When I opened the box, however, I was disappointed to find that there wasn't an instruction manual included with this phone, as it is built into the phone itself. At first, I was a bit put out by this, but after my husband had given me a five minute whistle-stop tour of the phone, I actually found I've only needed to refer to the instruction manual a couple of times. The phone is that easy to use, it kind of explains itself.
The phone can be used vertically or horizontally, depending on what you're doing. So if I'm texting for example, I'll keep it vertical, but if I'm reading a review which is quite lengthy, I can simply flick the phone to make the text appear horizontally. This makes it so much easier to read, and if you tap the screen twice, it will automatically fill the screen instead of you having to zoom in and out with your fingertips.
As with most mobile phones, I had to put the SIM card and battery in first, and then fully charge it before I could use it. There is a little bit of paper in the box which tells you this, and gives good instructions if it's something you've never done before. The only issue I had with it was that I struggled to get the back of the phone off a little, as despite having decent length nails, the back felt flimsy like it was going to snap. I persisted, and it didn't snap, but when I mentioned it to my husband he said the back is a little flimsier than the previous version of this phone, which he upgraded from. It seems quite sturdy from the outside, but I would apply caution when taking the cover off, just in case.
Before I started familiarising myself with all the new-fangled features of this phone, I wanted to do the basics such as setting up my contact list. This gave me chance to get used to the touch screen nature of my phone. In fairness, I didn't need any guidance to help me do this, as it's so straightforward anyone could do it. I was pleased to see the contact list allows you to add all the relevant details for each contact, so I now have phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, and email addresses for all my contacts stored in my phone. I find this useful for those times you're in the post office about to send a last minute birthday card, and discover you've forgotten to write the address down. It acts like a portable address book, and also reminds you of people's birthdays and other important dates once you've entered them.
I wanted to choose a ringtone which was different to my husband's, to avoid us both jumping up whenever one of our phones rang, and found there were plenty of options on ringtones. The final thing I wanted to do before getting started, was to set up my email account, which is Gmail. My husband actually did this for me, not because it's difficult or I'm incapable, but as he works in IT he has a habit of taking over anything remotely technical (for which I'm grateful!). I was amazed when I started entering my contacts into the phone, it had picked up email addresses from my Gmail account, as the phone is an Android phone and so anything Android is synched to the phone. Amazing!
==A Communication Tool - Phone calls, Emails and Text Messages==
Usually, I would be of the opinion that the main purpose of a mobile phone is as a means of communication. And whilst I still believe that is the case, I have to admit I probably use this phone primarily for things other than communication. This is a first for me.
However, a mobile phone review would not serve its purpose if I neglected to mention the performance of the phone when it comes to phone calls and text messages.
Making and receiving phone calls is a very easy process, and I haven't yet found any issues with hearing other people or making myself heard. There is a volume button at the side of the handset, so if you are struggling to hear, you can just press it whilst on the phone, until it reaches a comfortable level. I don't really use my mobile for long phone calls, more for the odd few minutes here and there, so I can't really comment on battery life. For my purposes, it is perfectly adequate, but as I use the phone a lot during the day for other things, if I was having long conversations on the phone as well, I think the battery may struggle to keep up.
The handset is quite wide, which I think would become a little uncomfortable to hold if you were on a call for prolonged periods. But, as I've said, I don't use my phone for this purpose so it doesn't pose an issue for me.
There's not really much I can say about text messages, as most phones fulfil this function. However, the size of screen makes reading messages much easier, and it also provides the history of the conversation so you can scroll through and read the whole conversation back should you wish. Obviously, you can also send and receive picture messages on this phone.
I have my phone linked to my Gmail account, which is great as I receive emails throughout the day rather than catching up at the end of the day. The emails aren't intrusive though, so they just appear in the same way a text message will appear, as a symbol on the top of the phone for you to check when you want to, rather than interrupting whatever you're doing. I did wonder whether I would get interrupted by emails, for example when reading a book, but this isn't the case.
==Getting down with the kids, I now have "Apps"!==
I'll be honest, although I've heard of these "apps" everyone is always talking about, I had very little interest or desire to find out more about them. However, I am now converted. At first, my husband and I had a little stand-off in the kitchen about this, as he suggested downloading some apps but I didn't see the point. "Why do I need a Facebook app, when I can just log into Facebook?" was my reasoning. But I humoured him, and since then I've been downloading apps, having been surprised (and secretly pleased), that everything I attempt to do has an app! Damn, I hate it when he's right.
In case anyone doesn't know (and that's nothing to be ashamed of), apps are applications which are all designed to make modern life easier. So, although I could just log into Facebook, the Facebook app means I don't have to navigate to the website, type in my password, and find my way round the homepage on my phone screen. Instead, it's laid out to be accessible and easy to use for smartphone users.
Other apps I have since started using are the LoveFilm app so I can add films on the go, the HSBC app so I can check my balance and recent transactions without having to log in fully, WhatsApp which is an instant message service meaning you can communicate with your friends without having to use the text message allowance you get with your contract, and I also have a Swagbucks app which allows me to earn Swagbucks points when searching the internet on my phone (anyone who is a member of Swagbucks will know what I mean by this).
The phone has an icon for Google PlayStore which is where you buy all your apps, music and books. So far, the only apps I have downloaded have been free, but I have bought books from the Play Store which I then read on my phone. This has curbed my urge to buy a Kindle...for now.
I could talk all day about the features this phone has, but you'll be pleased to hear I'll try and keep this bit short! Other features include GPS sat nav (which I haven't needed yet but I would guess you'd need an in-car charger otherwise the battery would go flat quite quickly), a diary which can be synched to your tablet if you have an Android tablet, alarm clock, a very good quality (8 megapixels) camera which also has the ability to take self-portrait shots by changing the view so you can see how the picture will turn out. This is great for those times you want a photo of you with your partner and there's no-one around to take the photo, as it means you'll get a decent photo rather than cutting someone's head off! You can also use it as a mirror if you're desperate to know if mascara is running down your face and you don't have a mirror to hand.
The phone has retina recognition (which you need to activate through the settings), which detects your eyes are still on the screen so the screensaver doesn't come on when you're reading but haven't used the phone for a while. It's only a small detail, but something I find so useful. It also has voice activation but I've not attempted this yet. I'm sure there are lots of features I haven't yet discovered, but on what I have experienced so far, I am already mightily impressed by this model.
==Will I hear a bad word said about my new gadget?==
No gadget is perfect, and although this comes close, it does have a couple of irritating features. The negatives are not bad enough to warrant me dropping a star off the rating, as they don't impact on my enjoyment of the phone, but for anyone considering getting this phone, I should probably make you aware of a few things.
Firstly, the battery life isn't brilliant if you plan to use this phone for all its features. As mentioned earlier, I tend to use it mainly for internet, apps, and reading, and I usually have to charge it every night, or every other night at best, before going to bed. If I was more sociable and spoke to people a lot, the battery would take even more of a hammering, but as it is, it's not a huge inconvenience to charge it every night. I will hopefully be getting an Android tablet soon, which will take some of the burden off my phone, as I can synch everything and use the tablet at home instead of draining the phone's battery. It is supposed to be "mobile" after all, and isn't really designed to be used all evening at home because you're too lazy to get your laptop out.....
Secondly, the screen does attract fingerprints, as you'd expect from a touchscreen phone. I keep meaning to look into it to see if they make cleaners especially for touchscreen phones, but haven't got round to it yet. The only time it annoys me is when I'm reading a book or a review, as it covers the whole of the screen and sometimes I'll try to remove a fingerprint mark and end up turning the page by accident! I'm sure this is an issue with other brands of touchscreen phone though, so it's just something you have to accept with this type of phone.
Other small niggles are the charger, which has a very short lead, the fact it's expensive at full price, and the fact the backlight is very bright so I'd recommend sleeping with it facing down, otherwise you'll get woken by a very bright flashing light if you get an email in the middle of the night. I mentioned this to my husband and he tells me you can change the settings so your phone doesn't flash overnight, so this phone has tried to combat the most obvious problems.
==Would I recommend?==
Absolutely, yes. Although there are a few (very minor) niggles, I still give this phone five stars as it really has improved my life. That may sound like I'm being dramatic, but the fact I can download books onto this phone has led to me enjoying reading more, which was something I'd got out of the habit of doing as I never remember to take a book with me to work. I can access my emails, catch up on reviewing, and check all the other websites I'd usually need to be near a computer to check, on an app on my phone. I'm not sure I would ever pay full price for a phone, as if you shop round enough you can usually get a good deal as part of your contract, but if you're trying to decide between different brands of smartphone, I can highly recommend this as being user friendly and designed to make life easier.
Apologies this review is so long, thanks for reading!
(This review is also posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
This was to replace an I-touch and pay as you go LG mobile. I loved the I-touch to bits but found the screen too small. Within half an hour of using the Galaxy SIII I found my I-touch had become obsolete. I love the Galaxy SIII to me it's like a mini touch screen laptop. I use it for internet, emails, texting, phone, music and games. The screen is perfect size for browsing things like Argos (not so good on I-touch), the screen is super responsive to input, much better than the I-touch. The only negatives I've found so far are the back plastic was very flimsy, I would recommend getting a case for it, I got one for under £10 with a screen protector (I carry mine around in handbag so also have a leather pouch for it). Also the battery drained quickly, however have since installed "juice defender" and even though only on basic settings the battery lasts twice as long. Bluetooth doesn't appear to work. Tried it with LG phone and also I-Touch, devices will pair but won't connect. After some research I've found this appears to be a common problem. This wouldn't put me off owning one though as I rarely use Bluetooth anyway and if you're using it to transfer image/files etc there's plenty of other ways round this, i.e. dropbox, kies, or the good old fashioned emailing yourself.
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*
The first time I saw news articles about this phone it piqued my interest. I use my phone all the time, not often to browse the internet or facebook or anything like that - I play games, listen to music and use the kindle app on my android phone a lot!! So when I saw that a phone was coming out that looked to be on a par if not better than an iphone and with the now familiar android operating system to boot I wanted it then and there.
My previous phone was a little Sony Ericcson x10 mini pro with a pop out keyboard and when I first got my hands on the Galaxy S3 I must admit I was surprised by the size of the thing and genuinely thought this thing is too big for me - thankfully I was very wrong and the phone with its slim shape fits comfortably in my jacket and jeans pockets with no problem at all and as it is so thin it doesn't stick out so the danger of battering it off something in my travels is thankfully miniscule...
To the phone itself - not only does it look amazing it's genuinely a very impressive piece of technology. The screen is very large, literally the entire size of the phone and as someone not too used to touch screen I was a bit wary, within 5 minutes of using the phone though those fears where quashed as the touch screen works seamlessly with none of the "multi touch" issues I've had in the past with other touch screen phones and my large fingers. Also with the screen being so large the on screen keyboard is generous without taking over the entire display when typing text messages or browsing the internet. The screen rotation works well in this aspect as well - tilt the phone on its side and you can easily use both thumbs to type out the largest of text messages in seconds or if you more techno savvy you can use the phone's clever voice interface to tell it to send someone a message...
Speed wise this phone is a marvel - the manufacturer rates the processor at 1.4ghz and if like me your thinking "what does that mean then" I'll tell you it means the phone does what you want it to lightning fast, no standing pressing buttons whilst the phone has a conniption fit trying to catch up with you touching the screen repeatedly the screen, it's smooth and fast and a dream whether you're in a hurry to send a text, make a call or find a note to yourself you saved on the phone.
The real draw of this phone for me though is the Galaxy S3's ability to replace multiple devices. As I mentioned before I used the kindle application (free from Google market place on android) a lot on my previous phone and with the Galaxy's huge screen and crystal clear display any thoughts I had of buying a kindle are gone as with this in your pocket you really don't need one at all - why carry the extra item or spend the extra money?
Next is the gaming capabilities of the Galaxy S3, I must admit I was sceptical at first after watching you tube videos etc of games being played on this model before I bought the phone (it really looked too good to be true!) and I was prepared to be a bit disappointed but I really wasn't. There are lots of games available on Google play (the new Android Marketplace) and they don't disappoint. From the classic and highly addictive Angry Birds (free unlike on iphone!) to the cult Grand Theft Auto 3 (the full version from the PC, Xbox and Playstation 2) the games are stunningly smooth graphically and the control interfaces are surprisingly good. There are even some good first person shooting games in the shape of Brothers in Arms 2, Battlefield 2 Bad Company and some original titles such as Dead Trigger and Shadowgun with a lot more on the way as well as games for every taste. Add to that the variety of game consoles and handheld console emulators available to buy and the wide variety of ROMs (games you download and save to your phone's SD card) to be found online means you can turn your phone into a Gamboy advance an Super Nintendo or Sega Mega drive and play all the classic games from your youth on the go!
And lastly in terms of media entertainment you have the excellent built in music player and the frankly superb video player that comes pre-installed. With these you've no need to ever entertain the thought of getting an ipod. The phone's own video player has multi - format capability so it can play back many of your favourite film formats (such as .avi or mp4), all in stunning definition and rich sound with the supplied headset.
Storage wise the phone (I got the 16gb model) has lots of space to download apps and save music files, photos and the odd movie or five; as well as the ability to add an external micro SD card up to 64gb in capacity. I purchased a 32gb card to move my music collection onto and the phone is able to recognise the card easily and access music seamlessly, there's no problems waiting in files to load etc.
The phone has an excellent wireless modem on board and downloads files faster than my old slow laptop and offers very fast connection when browsing the web.
There's also the small issue of the 8mp camera and HD video camera built into the phone too, which gives excellent photo quality with lots of setting on the camera such as burst shots and auto focus to allow you to take good quality pictures.
Battery life I've found to actually be very good. The Galaxy S3 has it's own built in power saving mode which limits processor speed and reduces brightness when you're out and about as well as there being many applications (the majority of them free) you can download from Google Play which help minimise the phone's power usage when idle. I'm averaging about 30 hours out of a single charge at the minute with the kindle app in use for many hours a day and a goodly amount of gaming and music thrown in too boot. Essentially if you set the phone to power saving when in your pocket I've found it only dropped 3 per cent charge during my 8 hour work day with only the occasional sneaky text send when the boss isn't watching. Playing Grand Theft Auto 3 for just over 4 hours on the first night I downloaded the game accounted for 60 per cent of the battery and watching a 2 hour movie accounted for less that 50 per cent of the battery - all in all much better than I expected. Although as mentioned by another reviewer it is slow to charge...
Drawbacks wise, there are a few but none unique to this phone. Being a touch screen it can get very dirty (but it's easily cleaned) and with a screen so large your best to get a case/screen protector asap but any savvy shopper can get those very cheap these days. Being so thin, without a case you will feel you might drop the phone very easily so I would advise anyone getting this phone to get a case for it too. Other than that there are no other drawbacks I've seen so far.
To summarise if you want to have a kindle, an ipod, a mobile phone and a portable gaming device to cover all eventualities whether you're commuting, in the house, on your lunch hour or on the train on your way to see friends or family then don't bother - get a Galaxy s3.
This phone is something else. I've owned three Android phones so far. The HTC Hero, the HTC Desire HD and now this one. I thought that nothing could match the Desire HD, but this phone just blows it away.
The phone is very very light. At first when opening the packaging and putting it together, I though if felt like a pretend phone with out any components inside of it. Once I had got the battery in place, the micro sim inserted and cover on it was amazed how light it felt.
The phone it's self looks fantastic. The colour of mine (pebble blue) looks lovely and I just want to look at it all the time. It looks fantastic. The back cover incorporates the samsung brand in a shiney metal look across the polycarbonate cover.
Turning on, the phone very quickly comes to life. My Desire HD was fast, but the quad core processor on this thing makes my old desire HD (which I am still impressed with) look like it's walking rather than sprinting.
Internal memory (16gb) is nice and large, and so far i've been able to put far more apps on this than my desire HD. The operating system (Ice Cream Sandwitch) is really smooth and very quick.
Battery wise, it out does all of my previous Android Phones and my friends iphone 4S easily. I must admit I am very very impressed. The great thing about this phone also unlike HTC's One X is that you can insert a 64gb micro SD card and a battery if yours should run out. Thats why I decided to walk away from HTC and go for a Samsung Mobile phone.
Svoice which is Samsungs answer to Siri on the iphone is the only thing about this maching I can say was a dissapointment. It's just not brilliant. But even so, it's still not that good on siri and the iPhone. While you can still download better voice recognition apps like speaktoit assistant off the play (android) market which function as good if not better.
It is a very large phone, but if you have large hands like me, it's perfect. Not good for people with small hands!
The screen is very detailed, but does have a slight blue tinge to it. This is due to how the pixles have been made for the screen. But it isn't too much of an issue.
The Camera is just about the best camera i've ever used. My Desire HD was excellent (8mp) but strangly, even though the Galaxy S3 also has a 8mp camera, It seems like a guy who's been given the correct glasses to read with. The pictures are much sharper than the DHD. Also I would recomend using the macro settings for close up pictures. This truely blew me away on the phone and i've ended up getting some great close up's of flowers, insects using this.
There is no lag in the camera either, so it pretty much takes the picture when you press the button. Also, the HD video recording is stunning with the ability to take pictures while recording like the HTC One X.
I would say that this phone is the best on the market at present. And any iPhone 4s users that think their iPhone's out do this are very bias. It simply blows the iPhone to pieces on all sides!
Get one, you won't be disapointed!
I recently upgraded my phone to a Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3), this phone is a lot bigger than my last one, how-ever I wanted something that was going to be reliable. My old phone was heavy although it was small and the graphics were always pixelated on it. The battery had to be charged every single day and I had it repaired 3-4 times over the 2 years of having it, this was a fault and not something I had done with the phone itself. I have had many Samsung phones in the past and have always been very pleased with the quality of them and the life of the battery. I often check my e-mails on my phone and use other sites such as Facebook and Ebay so I wanted to be able to install an app on my phone where I could quickly access these.
~ The Phone in General ~
I have read many reviews about this phone and some people have said that it's better than an iPhone and Blackberry. I personally hate the style of the Blackberry phones anyway so wouldn't have even considered one of these phones. The phone is available to buy in 2 colours including Pebble Blue & Marble White the blue is more of a dark blue and looks blacker from a distance. I decide to go for the white one as when looking at this phone in my local Vodafone store the screen seemed to stand out more on this than on the blue one. The phone's come with either 16GB or 32GB. I opted for the 16GB as this was good enough for me and I didn't have a huge amount of contacts or other information on my phone anyway. The phone has lots of different features which will appeal to many people; some of these include the following:
* The phone has a Smart stay feature which recognises when you are looking at the phone so the screen will stay lit. It's not until you put the phone down that the screen will begin to darken. This is great if using the phone to read e-books.
* Pop Up Play - You can watch an HD video whilst sending a text message or e-mail.
* When using the camera the phone automatically takes a bust of 8 shots ensuring you never miss a smile or catch someone when they are blinking. This guarantees the best shot every time.
* S-Voice - You can call people or tell your alarm to snooze. You can even reject calls, turn the volume to music up or down or even tell the camera when to shoot. This is all done by voice.
* Smart Alert - If you've been away from your phone and missed any messages or other alerts as soon as you pick up your phone it will vibrate to tell you that you have missed an alert.
* 4.8 HD Super AMOLED - The screen is a 4.8 inches high definition display with true colours and faster response times with HD video playback for a sharper picture. It's also energy efficient and very thin too.
I have listed a few of the Specifications that I think are most important. I didn't want to fill the review up with all this information:
* Dimensions (mm): 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6
* Operating System: Android Icecream sandwich 4.0
* Screen Size (inches): 4.8
* SimType: MicroSim
* Weight (g): 133
* Processor: Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9
* Network Region: Quad-band
* SatNav; Google Maps Navigation
* Image Resolution: 8 Megapixels
* Camera Zoon: x 4
* Camera Self Time & Auto Focus
* Music Player & FM Radio
* Picture/Video Messaging
* Built in speaker
* Conference calling
* Web Browser: Google Proprietary
* Supports Adobe Flash
* Also has Alarm Clock, Calculator, Calendar, and Stopwatch/Timer
~ Included in the Box ~
Samsung Galaxy S3 Phone - This should be the colour that you choose.
Battery - This fits into the phone very easily.
Mains Plug & Cable - This is great as the middle pin is folded into the charger. You need to simply pull this out and then in the box is a piece of strong plastic with the other 2 pins on. Simply slide this in to make the mains charger. The cable can be plugged into the charger and then into the phone or it can be plugged into the phone and then into the computer as its USB.
Earphones - There is pair of white earphones and also a selection of 3 different rubber ear-pieces in which you can put on the ear-phones for a more comfortable fit when listening to music.
Leaflets - Warranty Leaflet and a Quick start guide. The quick start guide is worth having a look at as there may be some useful information in there.
~ Using the Phone ~
The phone does take a smaller Sim card similar to the size that you would get in an iPhone, this means that you can't simply take your phone out of your old one and put it in this one. I am with Vodafone and they set up the Sim/Phone for me, including transferring all my numbers over to my new sim ready for me to use the phone. As well as doing this for me, the staff member in Vodafone also ensured that the phone was up & running before I left the store. This was fantastic as I didn't have to try and do this myself, it did how-ever only take a few minutes anyway. When holding the hand in my phone for the first time I was surprised at how light it actually was. The phone did feel bigger than what I was used to, as my old phone was small but much heavier. The phone did have some charge in it; how-ever as soon as I got home I put it on charge so the phone could charge fully before I started playing around with it.
Main Menu - The phone will lock itself after a while of it being put down. To unlock the phone you simply press the button on the bottom of the phone which is in the middle and swipe the screen to unlock it. On the main screen there is the current weather for my local area and the time and date is also displayed. This part of the phone is really nice and colourful as all this information is stored in a box at the top of the screen and the current weather is pictured as a background in this area. On the bottom of the screen are 5 different touch buttons which include Phone, Contacts, Messaging, and Internet & Apps. You can change the wallpaper and the way the main menu looks by going into setting which can be found under Apps.
Phone - If you touch this button it will bring up a large keypad in which you can dial the number to call someone. After the call you have the option whether to save the number to your contacts list or not. The keypad is easy to use as the buttons are large and are self-explanatory.
Contacts - When you touch this button this will bring up your contacts which are split into sections in alphabetical order. This makes looking for contacts easier. Here you can also add new and delete contacts as well as add pictures to go next to the contacts name. To look for a contact instead of scrolling down the page you can type it into the search button and it will find it for you. Simply tap on the name and there will be options whether to call or message the number or to edit details or delete it.
Messaging - When you open this it will display all of your messages in your inbox. They are displayed by the name of the person who sent the message. If you click on the message you can view it and view previous messages from that person. For example I have my messages that boyfriend has sent me saved on my phone. When I click on the one message from him I can scroll up to look at all the previous messaged from him. There will be dates and times underneath the message and will show his messages in green and mine in blue. The messages are displayed in shapes like speak bubbles, just like an iPhone. To create a new message you can click on the envelope sign at the job right hand side and then add a contact and type the message. Typing a message was a lot easier than what I thought it would be. You can choose to turn the phone portrait or landscape and the keyboard will appear beneath the message window. You can choose whether to have predictive text on or not. I chose to have this off, how-ever even when starting to type words, just above the keyboard some word suggestions will appear and I always find the word I'm typing there so I can stop typing the word and just choose it from the small section above the keyboard. You can choose to delete or edit message simply by clicking on the message and then on the touch button which is located to the left of the large button on the bottom of the actual phone. This button lights up so you can see it when using the phone. You can also use the arrow touch button on the other side of this to go back a page. This also lights up when the phone is being used.
Internet -Here you can connect to the internet with a touch of a button. You can connect to the internet either using Wi-Fi or the mobile network connection. Simply touch the internet button and type in or browse webpages.
Apps - In this section is basically everything. You can find Apps, Update your software, access messages, use the calculator and change settings for the phone. There's planner and a few suggestions for Apps already on the phone such as YouTube and other Apps. You can choose to look for more apps simply by clicking on the Samsung Apps button. If you have lots of Apps they won't all be stored on the one page. Simply swipe the screen in order to view the Apps on another page. Browsing Apps is easy and you can do this by searching for a specific App or by viewing new or popular Apps. Some of the Apps are free and some do require payment, it will state this next to the App. To read more about the App and about what other people have said about the App simply touch it to bring up more information about it. You can go back anytime by using the back button which is located on the bottom of the phone next to the main push button.
Camera - The camera is 8 Mega Pixels and can be accessed from the Apps menu. Simply turn the phone landscape way and press the camera button to take a picture. You can edit the photo or delete, copy and send it to another device or to someone else. The camera is very clear and of very good quality. There are different settings for the type of picture you want to take and you may want to experiment with these and play around with them a bit when getting the phone for the first time. You can also take a picture of yourself when holding the camera. You can simply touch a button in the settings which will change the view to behind enabling you to see yourself in the camera so you can take a picture. This feature is really handy as I often take pictures of me and my boyfriend together using my phone.
Learn Motions - In the small book that comes with the phone it will show you different ways to move your phone as it has built-in motion recognition. This includes tilting to zoom in and out, shaking the device to update the list of e-mail messages, double tap to move to the top of a list and more. I haven't got used to all of these motions quite yet and not sure that I will. This will definitely take some learning.
Settings - In this menu you can choose a new ringtone for your phone and change the ringer volume. You can also change the screen saver and the message tone as well as changing the way the phone vibrates. There are a number of different ringtones and alert tones already in the phone and these sound great. Of course if you have music on your phone you can also use music as a ringtone as well. If you want to change or edit anything about your phone you will find it in the settings menu.
~ Overall Opinion ~
As with any phone you need to use it for a little while before you are actually used to the menu's and how the phone actually worked. Although the phone sounds very technical and confusing I have found it very easy to use so far. I'm still not used to the size of the phone; how-ever this will get better the more I use it. I find the phone very quick and the touch screen fantastic. I only need to touch the screen lightly and it recognises the touch. As well using the Internet, Calling, Messaging & Apps, the alarm on the phone is also very good allowing you to choose how many time you can press the snooze button. I also purchased a protective screen cover for the phone to ensure it doesn't get scratched or damaged. The kind staff member in Vodafone actually gave me this free how-ever you can purchase them on the internet from Amazon or specialist phone shops. I will also be buying a protective case for the phone as well, to keep the back protected from any scratches or damage. The design of the phone is fantastic as its light-weight and slim. The only down-side to the phone is that it's large; how-ever the large HD screen makes up for this. I can check my e-mails on this phone quickly and can make calls easily, send and receive messages and even watch things when I am on the train. Depending on how much you use the phone depends on how much the charge will go down. Obviously if you use the phone a lot to use the internet then the battery life wil go down a lot quicker. I give this phone 5 out of 5 stars as I haven't yet had any issues or faults with the phone.
(review may also appear on ciao)
So after enjoying 2 years contract with my service with my iPhone 4, when my upgrade was due I decided to throw caution into the wind and try something completely new and switch to android. Don't get me wrong I absolutely LOVED my iPhone and it wasn't a commitment I thought about so easily! My upgrade was due for about a month when I finally decided to go with what was most popular and newly released on the market - this Samsung Galaxy S III.
I am not a whizz on all technological stuff so I am going to try and keep this review basic for everyone to understand and grasp the main features about this phone! It costs around £499.95 for handset alone with 16Gb Memory but i got mine free on upgrade from 02 (go to independent retailer like carphone warehouse or phones 4 U as they are much cheaper than buying direct fromnnetwork provider!)
So what does it do???
In essence it's an amazing smartphone. An upgrade in design and specs on the previous Samsung Galazy S II it comes in a bigger screen, with a a 4.8" screen. In comparison, the size of my entire iPhone 4 fits the size of this screen alone. It is not too big it seems like a tablet (the Samsung Galaxy Note is a bigger version of this and really does feel huge!) but the screen is amazing size for watching videos and youtube with ease and amazing clarity and quality! I have watched a few shows on this phone when lazing in bed (oh yes I have my lazy days when even the remote to turn on the tv is too far away!) and I have found the pristine crispness of the motion pictures astounding and far superior to that of the iPhone! It is super slim, sleek and streamlined so looks and feels quite professional!
Navigating around the phone is easy and similar to most other other smartphones with a home screen,and apps located on different pages which one swish of the finger across the screen will introduce the user to all the different applications and functions. Google is always on the home page for quick searches and so is calls, messages, internet and camera but this can be customised to everyone's personal preference.
Running on Android, the apps are pretty much similar to those on apple which I am amazingly happy about as can do everything I did before but on a much better and faster phone! I won't bore you with a list of apps as we all know the basic principle, but I haven't found prices to be dramatically higher than those on apple so I'm still a happy bunny and there are tons of good free ones to get!
The key advertising point for this phone is the slogan "designed for humans"...(so why would it be designed for monkeys??) but anyway I am assuming this is to do with the highly efficient and articulate personal assistant. By double pressing the central button and saying seductively "hi galaxy" my sexy phone pops up and answers any questions I want to know and does any action! For example, If I say, Text Tanya, Message where are you? It will send Tanya in my contact list a text message with the message "where are you?" which I find super duper handy! Being the lazy human being I (sometimes!) am this is ideal for times when I am writing a message so long I can't be bothered to type it! Aksing her the weather for the area, or my local tesco opening hours she has fulfilled these tasks better than I would expect my self to! I never had Siri on my iPhone in fairness, so I can't compare but nevertheless this feature alone makes this phone worth her price!
Another amazing feature I love is the navigation system. The in-built Sat Nav makes my Tom Tom obsolete! I recently was getting my Aunt from Paddington station and all I had to say when opening the app was the destination "Paddington Station" and it comes up with a completely accurate map and detailed description e.g. "turn left onto Grosvenor Road for 0.3 miles". I honestly wouldn't have known how to get there without it! So much easier to understand visually and the audio description than my Tom Tom I couldn't ask for much more!
The phone also has an amazing Picture-in-picture technology. With my iphone if I listened/watched a video on youtube and I received a message it would interrupt and I would have to cease watching this video and enter the app to read the message separately. With my lovely galaxy it lets me watch a video in another window while sending an email or text simultaneously. By dragging the message to where I want it on the screen, I am able to do 2 at once! Result!
Another point I love is the ease of sorting music on my phone. Downloading Samsung Kies (like iTunes for apple iPhones) on my Mac I can easily transfer music/videos onto my phone within minutes. As with all new applications it takes a while to download and install but the overal process of putting files onto the phone is super quick and much more efficient that whenever I would have to sync my phone with iTunes in the past. Listening to music is easy, just access the music hub where music is stored and the sound is clear.
Connecting to wifi is easy peasy, and with my 3g Internet it is super fast, but of course this will depend on the network provider for the phone. 8 Mega Pixel camera is so clear and beautiful for my taking pictures of random times and activities which I enjoy!
Making calls and texts is easy enough to do. Same to any phone, just type it in, or use the personal assistant to tell the phone who to call or text! Sound quality is also perfect, I have not had any issues with hearing the other person, nor have they had issues with hearing me!
Any downsides to the phone??
Oh yes! As with everything, this phone is nowhere near perfect. Battery life in particular is absolutely awful! First time I used it, I left it overnight to charge 100% as my sister recommended (FYI this is not stated in the mini manual the phone comes with, or by any of the sales persons in the Phones 4 U shop!) and the next day off I went playing away with it. I am a heavy user of the internet on my handset (I blame you DooYoo for this!) and battery life within perhaps 4 or 5 hours is practically non-existent. Charging it is also a nightmare. I came home from work when it was 5% and it took an hour and a half to charge it up to 80%. Not even 100%!! Honestly, for such a smartphone you wouldn't think it would take so long! With this grudge, charging it with other smartphone chargers e.g Blackberry or HTC seems even slower so I advise to use the Samsung one it came with in the box as much as possible.
Also, whilst I appreciate it is lightweight and nifty, the phone feels slightly flimsy for me! I have already dropped it (a strongly emotional time for me! It was on pavement and everything!) as it's so darn slippery and light to glide through my nimble fingers and the back flew off and the battery and this was it in a case I had purchased the same day from Phones 4 U! So much for protection....
Also, the downside of a touchscreen is the speed in which the screen picks up dirt :( I am contantly trying to wipe away finger marks which make it lok constantly grubby and I have only had it a week! Alongside the screen issues are that it isn't clear black meaning in sunlight I do have to shafe this phone away from sunlight and squint my eyes at an annoying angle to see what on earth the screen is trying to explain to me...
Lastly I can't seem to figure out how to set an alarm! How annoying! If I set an event in my calendar it seems to ring bright and and early to remind me I am having lunch with Esther. However when I set an alarm for work it made no noise whatsoever! Luckily I told my boyfriend to set his alarm so we weren't late for work! Phew!
Any last points????
It comes in Pebble blue and Marble White. With most phones the white is meant to be the exclusive colour, but Samsung released it first so the Blue is now the "cool" version. Under this advice from the sales assistant at Phones 4 U I was lured into getting the blue to seem super cool, but I bought a white case in any event so I can look like I have both!
It is an amazing superphone, and I definitely do not regret changing from an iPhone and I used to swear that phone was the best thing since sliced bread. I am sure over time I will pick up using this phone as I am still a newbie, but in any event I would definitely recommend it and I already love using it!
I have to admit I have been waiting for the S3 for a while. I kept up with all the rumours, I watched the official release at Earls Court on my laptop, I pre ordered it early on but my god it was worth waiting for. I'm fotunate enough to have used the HTC One X, the Iphone 4S and the Galaxy S3 for a fair amount of time and I feel that the S3 is the best of the lot and the Iphone struggles to even compete. The S3 and the HTC don't have much between them but apart from build quality the S3 shades it in all departments.
You may think at 4.8 inches the screen and therefore the phone is too big. Wrong. It never feels too big, it fits easily into your pocket and the quality of the Super Amoled Pentile screen is just a delight. The phone isnt much bigger than the S3 but the screen is better and it feels twice as good in your hand.
A major problem of smartphones is battery life. The S3 doesnt have such a big problem with this because its not a smartphone, its a superphone. The battery lasts over 12 hours of fairly heavy use, average use would probably get you about 2 days worth of battery.
Now the S3 is let down slightly by the build, just for the fact it is plastick. Its a nice feeling plastic but its plastic all the same. It does make it feel a bit cheap compared to the One X but it does allow a removable back cover so the battery can be replaced and external memory can be used. I'd like a more premium build but what happens inside makes up for it.
The features on this phone set it apart from the One X. Granted some dont work great but some are wonderful. S-voice, compared to Siri is poor but at least it caters for the UK market. However the smart stay feature is a great idea and on the whole works really well, the nature theme throughout adds class, S beam is remarkable and the NFC technology is way ahead of its time. One thing that the S3 doesmt have is 4G capability but I dont see this as a problem because it wont be widespread until 2015 by which time the S3 will have served its time and we'll all be moving on to the S5 or maybe even the S6.
The phone also seems that bit quicker than the One X and has that little bit more class. Both wash the 4S out of the water but the galaxy S3 will still be one of the top models in 18 months time, with probably only the S4 being better than it. Apple will have to do something pretty special with their sixth generation phone to beat the S3 and I just cant see them doing it, there is only so long a great marketing campaign can make you seem like the best. Apple just rename existing features on other phones and market them well, everything else is too symplistic, too boring and not much special. An Iphone costs the same as the S3 which is over 200 quid more than an Ipod Touch which apart from design is an Iphone without the 3G antenna.
So you have a choice, either you buy the Galaxy S3 and have the best phone on the market or you follow the crowd and buy an expensive fashion accessory that is the Iphone.