Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung Galaxy S3: Screen
Back to the size. If your hands can, er, handle it, the positive consequence is a superbly viewable display. Video playback on a mobile is always a doubtful priority – if you can’t watch on a TV, a tablet makes much more sense – but with 4.8ins of high-resolution Super AMOLED screen with its vivid colours and contrasty blacks, this makes it more of a possibility than before.

The screen resolution is identical to the HTC One X, so the pixels per inch aren’t quite as high on this slightly superior screen, but both displays look lush and inviting, with this one winning in terms of bright, rich colours.

Samsung Galaxy S3: Ice Cream Sandwich
The Galaxy S III uses the very newest version of Android, 4.0.3, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich. This is far and away the best version of Google’s operating system, with a cleaner seem than before.

Ice Cream Sandwich lets you put these buttons as virtual icons onscreen, like on the Galaxy Nexus. Here there’s a physical home button, an elongated strip in the centre of the phone’s face at the bottom. Either side are two virtual capacitive buttons. Samsung has rejected the Recent Apps button in favour of Back and Menu options. Much better. And if you need it, a long press on the home button brings up the Recent Apps display.

The latest OS doesn’t just offer yet another tempting-sounding treat to get our mouths watering. It’s a whole new interface which is redesigned throughout in contrast to preceding iterations which have felt like layer after layer glued on top of the previous code. It includes nifty features like face unlock which matches you to a previously taken photo to launch the phone from idle.
ICS brought Recent Apps front and centre – though the S3 has de-emphasised it again. Samsung adds its own refinements, like the ability to take a screen shot by wiping your hand across the screen.

Samsung Galaxy S3: Hubs
With so many apps to choose from, how do you know what’s good and what’s not? Samsung's Game Hub has a (small) selection of recommended titles. Some are free, and then there are premium apps to pay for. Helpfully some games can be tried before you cough up money.

The Music Hub is now up to version 3.0 (HD) and promises to be “the complete music solution for your Samsung device”. It costs £9.99 a month and promises unlimited streaming. You can also upload tracks from your personal music collection so you can listen to them everywhere. It has a neat interface and a huge catalogue – 17 million tracks.

The Video Hub is is where to go for movies – though there’s also Google Play, of course, which is arguably more attractively laid out. Like the Game Hub, there are helpful recommendations from best-selling to staff picks.

Samsung Galaxy S3: Camera
Last year, the Galaxy S2’s 8MP camera was above average. Now the competition has caught up and the S3 was rumoured to be getting a 12 megapixel camera, but instead it's got the same snapper as the S2. Still, it’s a decent sensor which delivers muscular results and you can also capture full HD 1080p video.

The front camera sports a 1.9MP sensor and can capture 720p video at the same time as taking a still image.

Samsung Galaxy S3: Performance
Speed is important, especially when you want to do more with your phone, like play high-definition video smoothly. So the on-board quad-core processor really helps. It’s not quite as fast as the one in the HTC One X, but it’s a real powerhouse that never slows down however much demand you’re placing on it.

A second microphone means call quality is good and signal strength was hard and strong. This is the most feature-packed Android phone yet, and one of the most powerful. If you’re an iPhone user who’s feeling their handset’s a bit puny in comparison, this is the best time to make the switch from iOS to Google – though it’s still nowhere near as intuitive to use.

even though you can opt for a Galaxy S3 with a huge 64GB storage (coming soon), the phone also has a microSD slot – unlike the HTC One X, iPhone S and many other rivals.

Samsung Galaxy S3: Battery
So you won’t be short of features to play with. Which drains the battery, of course. The other advantage of a phone this big is it can cram in a large battery. The one in the S3 goes on and on – unlike a few Android phones in the past which conk out after lunch. And since it’s a detachable battery, you can carry a spare as well (although, we've yet to find anybody that actually does this).


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