Samsung Galaxy S3

The Good
  • A large, beautiful display
  • Great new features, including S Voice
  • Thin and light, easy to hold
The Bad
The Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone is easily the best Android-based device currently available on the South African market.

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Samsung Galaxy S3 [Review]

The Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone is easily the best Android-based device currently on the market, and it packs a number of great features. If you don’t mind the slightly lighter-feeling polycarbonate shell and you like big HD screens in your pocket, this is a phone definitely worth checking out.

Design: A Sleek Form Factor for Samsung’s Flagship

It’s no secret that Apple’s iPhone device has led the market in terms of industrial design since its inception more than a half-decade ago. Since then, companies like Samsung have been playing catch-up. The company seems to have recently found its footing, however, as its Galaxy S3 device is thin, large, and sleek, offering a superior experience to earlier Galaxy models.

Also in a surpsirse move, the Galaxy S3 features a removable battery cover which will let you switch the battery in and out. If that wasn’t enough, removing the cover unveils another great feature that sets the S3 apart – a microSD slot next to the microSIM port. In theory this would allow users to boost the memory on the S3 to accommodate a total of 128GB of on-board storage!

A 4.8-inch display is standard with the S3, using Super AMOLED technology that’s easy on the eyes. The brightness doesn’t quite match the iPhone 5 or the HTC

One X, but overall the 720p resolution is excellent! The Pebble Blue colour option is super sexy, and the brushed effect gives the Samsung Galaxy S3 the look as well as the feel of a truly top-end device.

Multimedia and Calling Features

The S3 comes with both a front-facing and a rear-facing camera, making it a perfect device for rich photography and video chat via services like Skype. The rear-facing camera on packed into the Galaxy S3 comes with a respectable 8-megapixel rating, which is easily the standard among today’s high-end smartphones. The front-facing camera bundled with the device features a 1.9-megapixel resolution, which isn’t bad, but is certainly lower quality than the high-definition camera featured on the front of the competing iPhone 5.

Call waiting, three-way calling, caller ID, a call timer, and call holding, are all present on this Samsung smartphone. These are generally standard features on every device in the 21st century, including on phones that are far less “smart,” so it’s nice to see the company keeping up with technological standards for making actual calls, even as calling becomes secondary to data usage.

Battery Life and Memory

A 2100 mAh lithium-ion battery comes with the phone, providing up to eight hours of usage and 21 hours of standby time. These ratings have been called into question, however, especially in areas with LTE coverage. Customers have ranted and raved about short battery life, with some complaining that standby time lasts barely eight hours, and active usage can drain a fully charged battery in just under four hours. Battery life may

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Internal memory comes in at either 16GB or 32GB, which can be chosen at the time of purchase. A microSD card slot is provided, allowing

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for the addition of up to 64GB of additional storage capacity. The company promises a model with 64GB of internal memory is forthcoming.


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Features: The Icing on the Galaxy S3 Cake

A 1.5 GHz dual-core processor is shipped with models that can connect to LTE networks. Phones that lack LTE connectivity feature a quad-core processor instead. That’s a sad limitation, but it’s due to the state of processor technology rather than Samsung’s desire to bundle it

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The Galaxy S3 features near-field communication, or NFC, for wireless and contact-less payments or file transfers. The phone also proudly boasts about its S Voice feature, specifically designed to compete against Siri. Samsung even says that the S Voice feature surpasses Siri’s capabilities. In testing, however, the phone’s voice control falls short. S Voice is a great addition, and it’s certainly useful, but those familiar with Siri will actually prefer the perpetually-in-beta voiceover client found on iPhones.

Overall, a Great Android-Based Smartphone

The Galaxy S3 might have a few drawbacks, but together with the Nexus 4 currently shares the top spot for the world’s best Android phone. Its LTE connectivity is an

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essential new feature, and the device’s drive to conquer the iPhone’s feature set is heartening. Those who are committed to either Android or Samsung devices will find something to love, and to brag about, with the S3.

The Good
  • A large, beautiful display
  • Great new features, including S Voice
  • Thin and light, easy to hold
The Bad
  • All-plastic construction
  • LTE models lack a quad-core processor
The Verdict
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