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Samsung Galaxy S3 review

The best high-end Android phone on the smartphone market today
Fri Jun 01 2012, 13:59
Samsung Galaxy S3 front shot

Product Samsung Galaxy S3
Website Samsung Galaxy S3
Specifications 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor, Mali-400MP GPU, 1GB of RAM, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), Touchwiz 4.0 user interface, 4.8in 720x1280 Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass, 16/32/64GB of internal storage with microSD support for up to 64GB, Dropbox, 8MP autofocus rear camera with LED Flash, face detection and simultaneous HD 1080p video and image recording, 1.9MP front camera with HD video, stereo FM radio with RDS, HSDPA 21Mbit/s, WiFi 02.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, 2100mAh battery, 136.6x70.6x8.6mm, 133g
Price £499 SIM free for the 16GB model


SAMSUNG HAS A LOT riding on the Galaxy S3. Not only is it the sequel to Samsung's previous flagship Galaxy S2 smartphone that sold 20 million units worldwide, it could also see Samsung dominating the Android smartphone market as it aims to woo customers away from the HTC One X. With its 4.8in HD screen, quad-core processor and abundance of software tweaks it sounds like one of the greatest Android smartphones yet, so we've put it through its paces to see if it lives up to expectations.

Design
As you'll know if you read our early hands-on encounter with the Galaxy S3, we weren't too fond of the phone's 'pebble' shaped polycarbonate plastic case when it first launched at the beginning of the month, as the material struck us as cheap and tacky. However, after a few days handling the smartphone, we're not ashamed to admit that we've been completely won over by the curvaceous device.

We got our hands on the white Samsung Galaxy S3, which comes edged with metallic trim that bespeaks high-end despite the phone's plastic chassis. We were surprised at how light the phone is too, as despite struggling to fit it in our hand the phone's smooth case sits nicely in the palm, a nice touch compared to the angular Iphone and HTC One X.

Samsung Galaxy S3 design

One thing that lets the phone down however is the flimsy back panel, which feels like it won't withstand the force of being peeled away to reveal the battery. However, thanks to its polycarbonate material, the battery cover is no doubt more rugged than it feels.

The phone's screen sits flush within the case too, so that your fingers never get bashed into a ridge if you're frantically swiping across the display. Underneath, there are two hidden capacitive keys that add to the slick feel of the handset, alongside a trusty home button, which, although it's a handy addition, ruins the phone's slick Galaxy Nexus-like design.

Screen
On paper, the Samsung Galaxy S3 features a 4.8in Super AMOLED 1280x720 HD touchscreen. We're happy to report that the display is just as impressive in reality as described, besting the screens on the Sony Xperia S and HTC One X with its vibrant colours.

It might not feature the Super AMOLED 'Plus' technology of the Galaxy Nexus but it's undoubtedly one of the best displays on the market today, showcasing crisp images and video and displaying easy to read text. Its viewing angles are impressive too, with images and text remaining clear even when tilted to extreme angles.

 

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