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Samsung Galaxy S3 review

Samsung Galaxy S3 V3

Samsung's Galaxy S3 is one of the best Android handsets on the market and easily outclasses almost all of the competition, boasting quad-core processor technology, a bright and vibrant display and the best camera seen on any Samsung smartphone to date.


Nice visual design, great screen, quad-core processor, excellent camera, useful Samsung software additions, microSD card slot.


Polycarbonate chassis feels cheap, Samsung's S Voice is a poor Siri clone

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £500

Samsung's latest flagship handset, the Galaxy S3 faces competition from a horde of other Android phones and may soon be up against a long-rumoured new iPhone. Has it got what it takes to keep the mobile crown?

The S3 was unveiled at a packed Earl's Court event in May and since then hype around the S3 has only grown. It smashed pre-order records for both Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse.

Having finally got our hands on the device for an extended period, we've been able to try all the new features out. For once, we have to admit, the massive hype was worth it. The S3 comes close to smartphone perfection.

Design and build
The Galaxy S3 packs one of the biggest screens we've seen on an Android handset, featuring a massive 4.8in 1280x720 HD Super Amoled display.

Outside of the Galaxy Note and Dell Streak there aren't many smartphones that have shipped with a larger display.

Samsung Galaxy S3 side

Despite its massive screen, the S3 chassis isn't as big as you'd expect, with the device measuring in at 137x71x8.6mm.

The S3's current biggest Android competitor, the HTC One X, measures in at a comparable 134x70x8.9mm despite packing a slightly smaller 4.7in display.

When it comes to weight, the S3 is very light for its size weighing 133g. This is largely because the S3 is predominantly made of polycarbonate as opposed to metal.

The use of polycarbonate left us slightly concerned about the S3's durability. While the device is surrounded by a similar metal ring to that seen on the iPhone 4S, this is not a unibody design and the removable back plate really does feel flimsy.

The fragile feeling back and glossy front left us unconvinced that the device would survive an accidental drop or knock unscathed.

Samsung Galaxy S3 backplate

In terms of inputs, the S3 has a three external physical buttons, with a rectangular home button sitting positioned on the face, flanked by capacitive back and menu buttons.

The device's volume control sits along the S3's top left hand side, with the power button across from it on the top right. In terms of inputs, the S3 features headphone, micro USB and microSD ports and takes a micro SIM card from the mobile network.

Unlike its flimsy chassis, the S3's buttons and inputs feel sturdy, with the device's volume and power buttons both being neatly contained within the device's metal trim.

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Processor: 1.4GHz quad-core
Display: 3.7in, 800x400 resolution
Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB versions
Camera: 8MP rear-facing camera; 1.9MP front-facing
Connectivity: GSM/HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
Ports: Micro USB, microSD card slot
Operating system: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich 
Dimensions: 137x71x8.6mm
Weight: 133g

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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