This Review is written by DesiJatt
The packaging was very basic, with the box being very small. Very surprising to see that the box was too small for a phone of this calibre, and for a such an expensive one. The packaging had very basic stuff packed in, they were –
Europeon USB Charger (Two round pins, unlike US one with rectangular pins 110V AC)
Quick Start Guide, Warranty Information and other printed stuff.
Nothing much in it. I would have appreciated at least a leather cover, just like Galaxy S2, and an MHL cable for TV Viewing, and an optional OTG cable. The phone is a premium one, why not supply good accessories with it?
Coming to the phone build quality, it’s above average. Obviously, some might not find it that much good looking as it’s competitor HTC One X, but still, I find it really beautifull. The fake aluminium strip running on the sides of phone is good and looks great, but quality of the same is not
that great. The back panel is polycarbonate (not just ordinary plastic), and is quite flexible, seems like it won’t break apart easily. Removing it somewhat tricky, and needs you to literally force it to come off, which some might do hesitantly.
The back, after removing the cover is plain, with two slots each for Micro SIM (yes, micro sim ) and a Micro SD Card slot (inbuilt memory is 16GB for international version). The battery is large enough to make this beast run through day of moderate to heavy usage, and is labled 2100 mAH. Also, there is a speaker on the back with the Camera and an LED Flash.
Front looks are just plain awesome. Simplicity, at it’s best. Three dark circles are visible on the right of the speaker phone (if you bought the Marble White Version), which are Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor and a 1.9MP Camera (I’ll talk about it later). The screen looks gorgeous on white plastic, and so does it perform. The home button is OK,
and sometimes it feels hard to move from all touchy screen and touch buttons to a hardware button, but it’s alright.
Ok here comes the best (and the worst too, more about it later) part. The screen is gorgeous. Literally beautiful. It’s a 4.8″ 720P Super AMOLED screen with Pentile Matrix (Doesn’t really matter in real world usage). The clarity is great, and you can read every bit of text clearly without even zooming in sometimes. The colour reproduction is a bit on warmer side. Colours are “artificially” saturated, and enhanced, which is evident when you are taking a photo
and you realise that the colours displayed on the screen is much sharper than the actual colour of the artifact (lol). The new protection, Corning’s Gorrila Glass 2 works well, and I literally tried to scratch it with my keys (lightly, not with force ) but it just slid on the screen with no visible scratches. Corning claims that it’s 20% thinner and about the same tough than earlier glasses.
The screen is a very good companion if you browse a lot. S3 has a neat feature of changing the brightness level of browser itself, for optimal viewing, which does not change the brightness of the whole phone UI. So you can enjoy the web, with the crisp 720P display, text can’t look any better, it’s crisp and easy to read, no strain on the eye what so ever.
Overall, the screen is great, but due to some issues (more on it later), I’ll rate it down 1 star.
Again, comes a two faced part. The UI, TouchWiz UI given by Samsung is very polished and allows in depth control of the device with plenty of settings which can be manually tweaked. The animations are slick, gestures are nice and overall it’s a great experience. It DOES look like a premium device with TouchWiz over it. I tried a couple of launchers (NOVA, APEX), they just don’t cut it, but then it’s totally my opinion.
The new Task manager and recent apps change is welcomed, and is quite polished. Simply swipe to remove the recent apps, and easy access to Task manager by long pressing Home button is a plus.
The Notification centre is a great improvement over S2. The toggles are now more in mumber, and can toggle pretty much anything you want just by a touch of your finger. WiFi, GPS, Sound, Screen Rotation, Power Saving, Notification, Mobile Data, Bluetooth, Driving Mode, and Sync. These things can be toggled easily without going into settings, for the other people, who like to tinkle with settings frequently, Samsung added a shortcut on the Notification Tray itself for the Settings.
The App drawer is fluid, with no lags or jitters at all. It houses Apps and Widgets in different drawers, and and a small addition here is you can toggle between all apps and the downlaoded ones with a button. Moreover, scrolling to the end of list in App drawer doesn’t take you to the Widgets drawer as in stock ICS.
Settings section has a few quick toggles too, doesn’t really adds up the aceesibility, but still they are there.
Overall, I will give this User Interface a rating of 1.5 less star, because of an issue (discussed later).
No words for this masterpiece. Great piece of work by Samsung here. The clarity is unmatched, video recording is swift, and taking photos while recording is also there (lol @ HTC gimmicks). I will post a sample photo and a video soon. But believe me, it’s amazing.
The camera settings are very much detailed, with the following photos showing each and every settings ^^
Browsing, is a bliss on this phone, with a Super AMOLED 720P screen at the disposal, the crisp text, I can’t ask any more. The proprietary browser is great, renders pages fast enough, and doesn’t lagg when zooming in and out of a heavy flash page like YouTube. Video playback inside the browser is great, although interacting with flash is sometimes a PIA, but still, it works (ohh, Apple).
Default browser also supports Tabs, Incognito Browsing and different Brightness settings from that of the phone itself. A small amount of tweaking is still required, just short of 5 stars in my opinion.
Messaging with such a large screen, is bound to be good with the equally large keyboard at hand. Portrait typing is a bliss, although landscape mode is kind of bad, because of buttons getting smaller in length but getting bigger in width. The defualt messenger does a great job, sorting out messages, threaded view is awesome.
Unlike many other phones, the messaging app has tweakable settings on how will the conversation be displayed, you can choose the blips, background and much more from the messaging app itslef.
Overall, a rating of 5 is justified, but there’s still room for improvement.
The battery is OK, better than most Dual Core Smartphones out there like iPhone 4s and even S2. It’s rated 2100 mAH and can run through a day of heavy usage, like WiFi browsing, calling, playing games occasionally, and just tinkering around with settings. Samsung has done a great job adding a Battery Percentage option, for those of you skeptical about the correct amount of juice left in your phone. No rooting or custom roms are required for this option to work.
Overall, the battery will undoubtedly get 5 stars rating from me.
The sound quality of the device is good enough for a normal audiophile like me. The loudspeaker is loud enough to produce sound when a call comes, or when music is playing. The bundled earphones are great, if not the best. Bass output is good, vocal clarity is above average. The equaliser settings in the default Music Player gets the job done, but still lack precision.
Overall a good experience, but it makes me ask for more.
A phone was intended to call, always. And S3, does it pretty well. The speaker output is very loud, and sometimes I have to keep it away from my ear (lol). But I prefer to use 3/4th setting of the max volume of the speaker, which is adequete enough for most users.
Signal Reception is bad. I mean it, BAD. It shows 1 bar in my room, tucked in the back of my house, where other phones show around 2-3. Call drop is very rare, but call quality is best nontheless.
Here are some synthetic benchmarks for those who care –
Here comes the problematic part. Throughout my usage, I have found some problems, which may be small, but it DOES matter to me especially when I am buying the Best Phone around in the market.
>The screen ahs the biggest issue. When viewing a DARK or Black background, in a totally dark room, you will see some dark spots, some dots and some lines. These are pixels which are darker in colour than their other counterparts. I researched a little and found out that it a common problem in Super AMOLED phones.
I was dissapointed at first, but the thing, it is really not visible easily. You literally have to look for it, only then you can spot them. I contacted the Service Centre about this issue, but they didn’t find any spots (obviously). So it’s not something to cry about, but something which was very unexpected from a phone of this calibre.
>The TouchWiz launcher has an issue too. When using some heavy applications like Web Browser or heavy game, if I press the home button or back button to quit the app, the Home screen will come up, but the TouchWiz Launcher Redraws itself, which usually takes 2-3 seconds. In simple words, when I quit an app, it takes 2-3 seconds for the widgets on the home screen to re appear. This is a bad thing, especially with a phone supporting a
quad core processor and best in class GPU. Somewhat disspointed here too.
Although there is a fix which is available on xda, which requires you to root your phone and then edit services.jar file, but I am too skeptical to do that on my phone. For the end user, using a third party launcher like NOVA or APEX solves this problem to pretty much full extent.
>Hardware Home button is difficult to use sometimes.
>Back of the phone really prone to scratches, despite being made of good plastic.
>Charging time is high, compared to dad’s Blackberyy Torch, takes a little bit more time to fully charge.
>Headphone jack can create problem for some third party headphones, where they do not get plugges in correctly in some cases.
>Some minor glitches in Gallery.
The phone is amazing. True innovation, the term “Desinged for Humans” pretty much gets justified. No noticeable flaw in the phone (all the problems mentioned above can be fixed with software updates rolled out by Samsung). Camera is great, Calling is great, Screen is gorgeous. The price bracket is however a bit steep. You can easily find an HTC One X for around 32k, while Galaxy S3, at it’s lowest can be found for about 37K. Sure it performs better than One X in all the benchmarks
I ran on it, but does it really justify the 5K price gap in the prices? That’s your decision. I made mine, and I am happy about it.
Build Quality ☆☆☆☆
And that’s pretty much it. I will update the article as I keep on using the phone, so that it remains up to date and contains all the valid information about the phone.