Samsung S3 Review: Is the Thrill Gone 7 Months Later?
The Galaxy S3 was Samsung’s magnum opus for 2012. Released in June the S3 was ready to duke it out with the iPhone 5 by sporting a brand new wireless chip for 4G LTE network access. Complete with 2GB of RAM and android 4.1 it has been quite the contender. Now 7 months after its release does this phone continue to be a leader in the market? Let’s find out in our Galaxy Retrospective, the Samsung S3 Review!
4G LTE Lives Up to the Hype
The Galaxy S3 is fast. Web browsing is painless over the LTE network and download speeds are comparable to many broadband connections. As an experiment I disconnected from the Mobile Informers Wi-Fi network that offers me 50MB download speeds and took the phone and 4G LTE network for a test drive. I noticed no slowdown compared to the Wi-Fi connection and tore through a few GB’s of YouTube videos with ease. Given the awesome download speed and the smooth video we should see a serious increase in the sales of unlimited data plans. As I type this I’m streaming a news broadcast on my phone and I’m amazed.
With video streaming that painless you can imagine that web browsing is blazingly fast. It is unlikely you will see any difference between your Wi-Fi or even direct connect Internet speeds compared to the 4G LTE downloads. It’s so fast that there are going to be few web servers you visit that will feed information to you fast enough to hit the device’s upward limit, and the ones that do will amaze and mystify you. Websites slam down and you don’t need to be afraid of attachments anymore when you check your email.
Galaxy S3 Specs:
- Network – 4G LTE
- SIM – Micro-SIM
- Chipset – Exynos 4412 Quad
- CPU – Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9
- Display – 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.8 inches (~306 ppi pixel density)
- OS – Android OS, v4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), upgradeable to 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Camera – 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
- Audio Codec: Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones, 3.5mm jack
- Sensor – Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
- Connectivity – HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
- USB – microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go
- Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
- Memory – 16/32/64 GB storage, 1 GB RAM
- MicroSD – up to 64 GB
- Dimension – 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
- Weight – 133 g (4.69 oz)
- Battery – Standard battery, Li-Ion 2100 mAh, endurance rating 50h
Should I Upgrade?
If you have anything older than a Galaxy S2 then the answer is an overwhelming YES! The upgrade will blow your mind and you will finally understand why the world has been talking about a “mobile explosion”. If you have the S2 and are wondering if an upgrade to the S3 is noticeable, it is. Samsung is known for being generous with storage and the S3 is a reflection of this as the high end storage option is 64GB compared to the S2′s max of 32GB. The S3 display is also improved increasing the resolution to 1,289×720 with a pixel density of 306ppi. Although the phone is bigger than the S2, by using Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2 the new Galaxy remains slightly slimmer without losing any sturdiness.
The Samsung S3 is loaded with Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) offering what most consider the best version yet. Navigation is simplified with virtual buttons that allow the user to instantly return home, Back, or open a recent app. Readability is increased by a typeface that is specifically optimized for high resolution screens and smooth animations make interaction more natural. These changes all add up to easier multitasking which is traditionally a challenge on any smartphone.
The combination of 4G speed and powerful hardware make for a great user experience, however the software features are at times clumsily executed. If you are looking for a smaller phone the heft of the S3 might be an issue but no more so than the Galaxy S2. The display is fantastic and I’ve found myself watching more video on my phone since the upgrade and I never thought I would enjoy that. I will also say that this has become my personal phone of choice.
The Galaxy S3 is well worth the price and you won’t find more bang for your buck elsewhere. After 7 months I consider the S3 in the top 2 phones on the market and unless you are in love with Apple it will probably win you over. It is my phone of choice and I bet I won’t change it up until the S4.