November 22, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S3 4G Review

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Feature set summary for Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE

There are so many great features on the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, not the least of which is 4G support, that we can’t list them all. S-Voice wasn’t so great but the 8-megapixel camera is superb, with lots of ways to share photos.

Style and handling summary for 4G  Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE

Not the most robust 4G phone around the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE does look fabulous. Samsung has used the same nature-inspired design as found on the Galaxy S3, which we really like.

Battery power summary for Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE

Once a day is all the charging this 4G phone needs, even with heavy use. That’s not bad at all considering how big the screen is, and how bright. It also does well when streaming video, lasting seven hours.

Performance summary for Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE

Everything runs smoothly with no stutters thanks to the quad-core processor. This much power should keep the Galaxy S3 LTE current for a while yet.

User friendliness summary for Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE

Samsung’s TouchWiz interface is easy to use and lots of customisation features, and works well with the superb Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. The 4.8-inch screen is sparklingly bright, visible in direct sunlight.

Samsung Galaxy S3 4G Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Performance
Battery Power
Overall Score 4G.co.uk grey star

Pros: 4G LTE support; superbly sharp and vivid screen; lots of social features in the camera; quad-core processor.

Cons: S-Voice doesn’t work well; not much new compared to original phone.

Verdict: There’s not a lot of difference between the Galaxy S3 LTE and its predecessor, except that this phone supports 4G. That alone though makes it amongst the best phones out this year.

Get this 4G phone on Superfast 4GEE

Samsung Galaxy S3 4G Review

Samsung’s Galaxy S3 easily won our ‘phone of the year’ award in 2012. It was a large media phone stuffed with features and boasting a bright, gorgeous display along with other features you’ll only find on the Galaxy S3. First Samsung released a pared-down version, the Galaxy S3 Mini. Now Samsung has released another version, but with the Galaxy S3 LTE you don’t lose any features. Rather you gain 4G compatibility, giving you super-quick downloads.

Large and luscious

Like the original Galaxy S3, this 4G version also has rounded curves, and a chassis that draws from nature for its design. There’s a wide range of colours available too, including the ubiquitous bold white to a graphic version. It has a good weight that feels solid when held. The body is solid, with no movement when twisted or gripped apart. We can’t help but remember the Galaxy we smashed apart with just a simple, accidental drop, so we’d still want to keep a good hold on the phone.

There’s very little space wasted, with just a thin border around the roomy 4.8-inch screen keeping the size of the phone to a minimum while putting in the biggest display possible. It’ll still feel big in small hands though it will fit in a pocket with ease.

Themes and interfaces 

One other difference between this 4G phone and the original Galaxy S3 is the operating system. The Galaxy S3 LTE comes with 4.1 Jelly Bean, rather than the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich found previously. This OS is easy to use, and runs without hitches. As usual Samsung has tweaked this to make the experience even more pleasant.

Nature has inspired the inside of this 4G handset as well as the outside, in wallpapers and themes. This is a very flexible phone. Every function can be accessed in different ways, from the volume mute to webpage zooming, the way it responds to finger movements to tilting or shaking the handset. Lets say you want to move between desktops. You can use the desktop bar, or pinch fingers for an overview of all desktops. There are configuration options for everything, making the phone truly personal.

Notifications are broadcast by the Galaxy S3 LTE in a number of ways too. For example, a new email or text will cause a light located above the display to flash. Also, the phone will vibrate when picked up if notifications have arrived since you put the handset down. On the excellent Notifications tab you’ve fast access to settings, media controls, and anything else.

Super screen

No change at all for the 4G version when it comes to the Galaxy S3’s superb super crisp 4.8-inch display. Vivid colours, impressively wide viewing angles, and no blurring during action scenes. Perfect for watching sports or action movies, The screen is very bright too, remaining visible even under the glare of sunshine.

Which is what you want coupled with the uber-fast download speeds of 4G LTE compatibility. With the Galaxy S3 LTE streaming HD video without having to buffer is just a walk in the park. Naturally you’ll have to be in a hotspot. The audio experience is top notch as well. With a decent pair of headphones music reproduction is clear and sharp, and although basic the included music player has everything you’ll want.

Out of all the features we’ve seen introduced to smartphones this year, Pop Up Play is one of our favourites. So we were pleased to see it in the 4G LTE version too. This feature allows you to shrink video down while you’re watching, move the small window anywhere you want on the screen, and then take care of the text or email that’s arrived or any other task except playing with apps. All done with drag and release motions.  A good example of the versatility of the Galaxy S3 LTE.

Battery life is excellent. You can stream seven hours of movies between charges, an excellent performance compared to other 4G phones. Including those with smaller, and less bright, screens. With more ordinary use, including a few hours of media and app use, you’ll get a good 24 hours before recharging.

Snappy

There’s an incredible amount of features included for the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE’s camera. There’s Burst Mode, taking eight photos in quick succession, and you can film HD video and take photos at the same time. There’s no lag at all with the shutter when clicked. In line with all the other versatile features of this phone, you can take control of the ISO, exposure, white balance and so forth.

There are editing options on the camera for photos you’ve taken, and lots of ways to share your snaps with friends and family. These include email, text, and upload options for social media including the less well used Dropbox, Picasa, Google+, S Memo, and Flipboard. It only takes a couple of taps. Samsung’s ‘Buddy Share’ means friends can be tagged directly in shots, and then used to contact them and the photo shared via this or through email. Although there’s an incredible number of options available, everything is so easy to use we never felt overwhelmed.

For Skype and other video chats there’s the front-facing 1.9-megapixel lens. Be careful, this camera captured very sharp images, and a great depth of detail. Possibly more than you might want if you’re used to keeping wrinkles out of shot.

Lots of features 

There’s amazing features like NFC and 4G LTE, and everything else already mentioned. That’s not all you get in the Galaxy S3 LTE. There’s a pile of extra tools included that will make life that little bit easier. Someone sent you a text but you want to call rather than text back? Just lift the handset to your ear and the call is made automatically. Tap your phone to a friend’s phone to simply share a photo with them. We still haven’t found all the different ways you can use a Galaxy. The only downside is S-Voice. This is not a good voice recognition system, especially when compared to Apple’s Siri. We soon stopped trying to use it.

Our conclusion 

If, like we do, you prefer to read a review by starting at the end to see a quick summary in verdict, then there’s only one thing we have to say. This new 4G version changes nothing in our view. The Samsung Galaxy S3 beats all other phones in our opinion, including the HTC One X. This phone simply has more, and better, features. On top of that there’s the quad-core processor, bright and sharp Super AMOLED screen, feature-packed camera, social media sharing features and a gorgeous design. You won’t be able to pick out one reason why you love this phone exactly, but you will most definitely love it.

Get this 4G phone on Superfast 4GEE

Samsung Galaxy S3 4G Specification

Type of device Smartphone
Operating System Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Dimensions 137 x 71 x 8.6mm
Weight 131g
Form factor Touchscreen
Input Touch Screen
Processor speed 1.4GHz quad-core
CPU Quad-core
Graphic chipset

DISPLAY

Screen size 4.8 inches
Screen type Super AMOLED
Resolution 1280 x 720
Display type 16 million colours

Memory

RAM 2GB
Internal storage 16GB
Memory card slot

Camera

Camera 8 megapixels
Secondary camera 1.9 megapixels
Special camera features LED flash

Sound

3.5mm Jack
Music player MP3 / AAC / ACC+ / e-AAC+ / WMA / WAV / MIDI / OGG / FLAC
Audio recording
Radio
FM Radio description

Video

Video recording
Video player H.263 / H.264 / MPEG4 / WMV / AVI / DivX / Xvid
Video calling
Video streaming

Additional Features

Browser Android
Games Google Play
Voice control
Voice dialling
Other

Messaging

SMS
MMS
Email
IM

Connectivity

Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
USB
NFC
GPS Yes