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★★★★★

“Almost a game changer, but suffers in build quality.”

Written on: 26/06/2012 by dkl_uk (1 review written)

The Samsung Galaxy S III was well marketed, including a viral campaign that gave away just enough detail to keep the appetites wet of all gadget gurus. Samsung didn't have to go to the effort they did, anyone who owned a Galaxy S II and understood its true potential was gagging for the S III before it had even been officially confirmed. Much like iFanboys.

The Galaxy S III was a step in the right direction for Samsung. The introduction of that huge screen while at the same time keeping the front-face as close to the S II was a marriage of technical supremacy. Introducing a multicoloured LED into the foray was the final step in user experience for me, i've been lost without LED notifications since leaving my HTC Leo powered down for good a few months ago.

The Galaxy S III is not a simple cosmetic upgrade from previous models though, this device includes some never-before seen wizardry that makes life that little bit easier. The 'motion' menu includes gestures that can make using the phone simpler, although it's not been a natural manoeuvre to put the phone to my head half way through reading a text message, so learning these nifty little commands has proven difficult. I've found the screen stay function to fail unless i'm in a well-lit room, so it won't work when you're in bed or relaxing in the evening at home in a dim lit room. In principle it works well, removing the need to find an area of the screen to tap just to keep your phone alive, while at the same time not hitting something that's going to make your phone do something you didn't intend.

The quad core CPU will ensure anything you throw at the phone will run as smooth as possible, and the battery won't take a hit with that fifth 'low power' core that'll kick in when you're not using the phone. I've noticed an increase in battery life compared to the S II, although depending on your network you may need to disable data on occasion as T-Mobile seems to be data hungry for no apparent reason. Compared to O2 on the Galaxy S II, where the network was not active constantly. I imagine a software update might fix this little issue.

The size of the phone might scare some, and one failing of Samsung is the build sensation - that plastic feeling just doesn't sit well considering you've got the worlds most powerful mobile device in your hand. HTC have this down to a tee with their metal and plastic combinations, but the flimsiness of the S II and S III may put some people off.

Expandable memory and removable battery make this phone instantly more appealing than the HTC ONE X and the iPhone 4S. I personally won't buy a device with higher memory capacity when I know I can just throw another 32GB microSD in whenever I want.

The camera didn't perform as well as the S II when I tested it at a festival. Lots of blurred photos compared to the near perfect snaps i'd achieved on my first outing with the S II. I put this down to my own use of the camera, probably a setting I didn't tweak to ensure the camera refocused before taking that final shot.

The screen is huge and doesn't disappoint. The ability to select 'dynamic' picture mode means you can experience a HD games in their vivid glory, and pictures too if you're able to take one that's decent enough.

Personally i've already installed CyanogenMod 9 on this phone as I cannot abide manufacturer stock software and home screens. I am a power user and I love being able to control the phone the way I want. I have modified this phone to the point where the only 'Samsung' thing about it is the name etched into the case.