Samsung Galaxy S3 - Multimedia and Verdict

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Video

We’ve already touched on just how good video looks on this phone but

what we haven’t yet mentioned is how easy the experience is too. The

default player will play anything you throw at it flawlessly, saving the

need to download a third party app.

Samsung Galaxy S3 - Video Player

Some may still prefer to use a

particular app but at least there’s no necessity to. Just drag and drop

your files onto the device and away you go – something that is made

doubly easy thanks to the microSD slot. A nice touch in the Samsung app

is that it shows a short preview of all the videos when viewed as

thumbnails.

Samsung has also included a Video download service called Video Hub.

Like much of these 3rd party video download services, it didn’t seem to

have the greatest selection on offer so didn’t particuarly capture our

imagination but prices seemed reasonable. One nicety it does lack,

though, is the £0.99 rentals on HTC’s equivalent, which are great if

you’re at a loose end and just want to kill some time on the cheap.

Pictures

Samsung has heavily tweaked the Android Gallery app changing the layout

to a side-scrolling grid of large thumbnails that pulls in your images

from Facebook too (it doesn’t store them locally so you do need an

internet connection to actually view them). It’s an interesting twist

but we weren’t overly keen on it in practical terms as scrolling is a

little slow and it just didn’t feel as quick or easy to get to the snaps

you want. Still, it basically gets the

job done.

Samsung Galaxy S3 - Gallery

Music

As well as the video hub, Samsung also has its Music Hub which is among

the best offerings out there. Like most services it provides access to

streaming music and music downloads, with a large 19 million song

selection on offer. But it also has a music match service akin to

Apple’s iTunes Match service. This finds what music you have stored on

your PC already and uploads it to a cloud storage service with 100GB of

space. So, no matter where you are you can access all your music.

Samsung Galaxy S3 - Music PlayerSamsung Galaxy S3 - Music Square

Samsung

has also added the Music Square which helps you pick a playlist of

music based on your selected mood, picked out by choosing a square from

the grid. However, Passionate, Calm, Joyful and Exciting are the only

moods on offer, so quite how it’s supposed to accommodate indie of metal

fans, we’re not too sure.

As for general ease of use and

playback quality, the former we had no issues with aside from an

inability to start the music player from the lock screen (like you can

on the iPhone where you just double tap the home button) but playback

quality suffers from the usual slight hiss that plagues just about every

Android phone we’ve ever tested. You’ll only notice with very good

quality, sensitive headphones but it is there and can detract from quiet

music.

Dropbox

Like HTC, Samsung has hooked up with Dropbox to provide integrated cloud

storage on your phone. This allows you to upload photos on the fly as

you snap them as well as access your Dropbox files. Samsung has also

trumped HTC by providing 50GB of free storage, where HTC only offers

25GB.

Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy S3’s larger 2100mAh battery does indeed put it a

little ahead of the competition (most of which have 1800mAh or smaller

batteries), giving you a better chance of having the phone actually last

a day. However, with heavy use it still drains pretty quick and we

still found it running dry long before the day was out. But, if you’re

sparing it should give you a couple more hours use over most of the

competition.

Verdict

There’s no doubting the Samsung Galaxy S3 is technologically the top dog

at the moment. It’s screen is dazzling, its processor incredibly fast

and its battery life is better than most. Add in extras such as a

microSD slot, NFC and wireless charging and you have a phone that no

other can match.


However, despite all these features there’s a lack of that certain

something that truly makes it desirable, thanks in large part to an interface that lacks a truly cohesive feel and an uninspiring design. Then again, it’s not like any

other Android alternative gets it all right, either. The HTC One X has a nicer

screen for general smartphone use, and has a slightly nicer design, but

it also has plenty of slip ups like a lack of microSD. Meanwhile the Motorola Razr Maxx offers

stellar battery life, microSD and microHDMI but doesn’t have all that

great a screen.

There is of course the whole screen size issue too. Samsung has made an

effort to make the S3 easy to handle despite its size but it’s not there

yet – we still found it cumbersome. Nonetheless, if you can live with a

large phone day to day then the S3 is the current pick of the bunch.

As for the iPhone competition, both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 have the S3 beat for design (both for toughness and style) and we find them much easier to handle, plus of course the app store’s better stocked. But you do miss out on NFC, expandable memory, and it’s more difficult to customise the handset to do what you want.

As they say, it’s horses for courses.

Score in detail

  • Performance 10
  • Camera 9
  • Design 8
  • Usability 8
  • Value 9
  • Features 10
  • Screen Quality 8

General

Operating System Android OS
Height (Millimeter) 136.6mm
Width (Millimeter) 70.6mm
Depth (Millimeter) 8.6mm
Weight (Gram) 133g
Available Colours Pebble blue, Marble white

Display

Screen Size (inches) (Inch) 4.7in
Screen Resolution 720 x 1280
Touchscreen Yes

Battery

Talk Time (Minute) 700m
Standby Time (Hour) 790hr

Storage

Internal Storage (Gigabyte) 16,32,64GB
Expandable memory MicroSD up to 32GB
Camera (Megapixel) 8 Megapixel
Front Facing Camera (Megapixel) 1.9 MP, 720p@30fps Megapixel
Camera Flash 1 x LED

Connectivity

Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, EDR
WiFi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
3G/4G HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
3.5mm Headphone Jack Yes
Charging/Computer Connection microUSB

Processor and Internal Specs

CPU 1.5Ghz Quad-Core, Samsung Exynos 4412

Misc

App Store Yes, Google Play
GPS Yes
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