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The Galaxy S3 from Samsung is smartphone that excels on every level. From it's pebble inspired frame to its HD screen with some of the best colours I've ever seen on a mobile device, everything is built to impress on the Galaxy S3.

When you turn the phone on for the first time you feel like you're holding something pretty special. From the offset you are offered a whopping 50GB of Dropbox cloud space, 10 times that of what Apple offers for free! There are more pixels packed into this 4.8 inch screen than there are in a lot of 48 inch TVs! Being an Android user, consumer and reviewer, a lot of the time I am bombarded with specifications such as 'Dual Core', 'Quad Core', '2GB of RAM' which are all lovely for geeks but rarely is it that a company manages to translate that technical jargon into something you can feel. But Samsung did! You can feel how smooth the Galaxy S3 is, everything seems seamless. 

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Those were my first impressions, and to be honest, in the 3 weeks I've been using the Galaxy S3, they haven't changed much. Sure I came into spots of bother with the phone, like you do with any phone, sometimes for instance the browser would freeze for a number of seconds, other times there'd be a few seconds of stutter then everything would be normal again. However these were rare occasions and for the most part my experience with this device were some of the best I'd had with any other high end smartphone.

Screen
The display on the Galaxy S3 is a behemoth, at 4.8 inches the screen on it can swallow many smaller smartphones whole! Saying this, never once did the screen feel cumbersome or too big, which is testament to the design of the phone. Almost everything is possible with just one hand on the phone due to it's thin profile. The display is very bright but suffers from a lot of glare under bright sun, however it remains readable. Colours pop thanks to the Super AMOLED technology in the screen. At a resolution of 1280x720, the screen is immensely sharp, it isn't quite as sharp as the Sony Xperia S or iPhone 4S but the extra size makes up for it. Best screen I've ever used on a mobile phone, without doubt.

Battery Life
With a giant 2100mAH battery, I was expecting good things from the Samsung's battery life, and it didn't disappoint. Getting even a solid day out of many modern phones can be a task, but the Galaxy S3 proved efficient (as well as powerful) after it steamed through 30 hours of average usage (light web browsing, music, phone calls and texts) which is pretty amazing for any smartphone, let alone a quad core, 4.8 inch giant like the Galaxy S3.

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Phone Calls

Where many smartphones fall, with lacklustre voice calls and poor audio quality in calls, the Galaxy S3 doesn't do too much better. In scenes with ambient noise (traffic, birds, etc) I didn't struggle to hear the person I was talking to, it was certainly loud enough, but there was no tone, everything felt a bit flat. The microphones on the Galaxy S3 do a good job of removing unwanted sounds and leave your voice to be heard, but once again, on the other end of a call with the phone it didn't sound crystal clear as I'd expected. However it does make an acceptable phone for voice calls, it just wont blow you away with life like realism.


Build Quality
Samsung traditionally use plastics instead of metals to make their phones, the Galaxy S3 is no different, there isn't even a hint of metal on this phone. However this isn't particularly a bad thing as it keeps the weight down, just don't expect a premium feel like many HTC handsets. Saying this, the build quality is sturdy and this isn't cheap plastic that Samsung is using, instead it feels like almost like a glaze or varnished finish which is brilliant.

Syncing
Syncing videos, music, podcasts, etc with your Galaxy S3 is relatively easy with Samsung Kies, however the PC software can be a little bit slow and doesn't feel quite as unified or seamless as iTunes. However there is an app for Galaxy phones which allows them to sync with Apple's iTunes software which is good news for those wanting to switch from an iPhone to a Galaxy.

User Interface
The Galaxy S3 uses Samsung's Touchwiz UI, which in the past I haven't liked. Many of the icons use bright colours which can make the tasteful design of the phone feel a bit childlike, however it seems to work on the new Galaxy S more than in previous incarnations. The phone runs Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich and Touchwiz doesn't change the stock feel around too much like it did in previous versions which is probably the reason it's grown on me. Everything seems silky smooth on this phone, darting around homescreens feels fluid and web browsing is snappy and smooth.

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Camera
The 8 megapixel shooter is a great pocketable camera. Taking pictures in daylight usually reveals great results, with vivid colours, crystal clear focus and fine detail. The camera app is also very easy to use and comes with lots of features such as burst shots, HDR, beauty and panorama. There's also more advanced options such as the focus mode, white balance, ISO, anti shake and contrast. An image on the right shows a shot taken by the Galaxy S3. 

The phone also records Full HD 1080P video at 24fps which is also pretty amazing, clear video, vivid colours and smooth movement. When recording there's an option to quickly take a picture whilst still recording 1080P video which comes in handy if you need a still image during filming!

Conclusion
Sure it isn't cheap, but it's still cheaper than a new iPhone, and in my opinion it beats it. Rarely does an Android phone feel as polished, unified and as smooth as this. Against the iPhone 4S, HTC One X and Galaxy S3 it'd be hard to choose, but I feel as if I'd be most inclined to go with Samsung's offering, it is fantastic!

29/5/2013 07:38:48 pm

Like the pictures in HD quality.

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