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“Fabulous but flawed”

Written on: 15/12/2013 by ae86touge (4 reviews written)

Having owned this phone on contract for 15 months now, I'm due an upgrade rather soon and so the Galaxy S3 will be replaced by a shiny, new phone. Whilst trawling the web for my next handset and weighing up the values of what I need vs what i want, it's also a good time to reflect on my ownership experience with the S3 and how it's performed compared to my expectations. I'll keep it rather brief, because I don't want to bore you however this phone has been all over the world with me, and has performed great as much as it has let me down. Firstly, the pro's;
+ The music player is simple to use and features an equaliser for optimising sound to get the most out of headphones
+ The camera (for a mobile phone) has taken some brilliant medium to close up pictures, clear, detailed and perfect for editing with filters etc
+ The screen is bright and well detailed, showing everything in fine clarity
+ I love that i can pull a drop down menu from the top bar and switch wifi, bluetooth and other utlities on and off and adjust screen brightness with ease and quickly.
+ The side buttons are easy to press and feel good
+ By being made of plastic, back covers are very cheap to replace, the battery and SD card is easily accessable and screens can be purchased and fitted atthe kitchen table.
+ Absolutely tonnes of apps available on the play market
+ Battery when listening to music for extended periods (ie several hours) is exceptional

And now for the not so greats...
- The user interface (ie the screen menus, icons, options) seem a bit chincy and overly complicated, not sleek and simple
- The alarm has let me down a few times, much to my bosses annoyance. I even showed them at work how I can set an alarm, set the alarm volume to full and set the phone to 'loud' profile but it still doesn't make any audible noise when it goes off
- The GPS signal likes to turn itself off, very inconvieneant when your relying on it to get home over a hundred miles away
- The standard keyboard is designed for children with cocktail sticks for fingers, I'd highly recommend any adult with average size hands to download a 3rd party keyboard app
- Just because the phone is switched to 'silent' mode, does not neccesarily mean the phone is silent, as I found outduring numerous meetings
- If the battery runs flat, your playlists that contain tracks from an external SD card will be deleted. Very irritating when you spend a lot of time compiling playlists, I would recommend a specialist app to backup playlist files.
- Removing the SD card deletes tracks in playlists from an SD card. It cannot rememberit was in the playlist for some reason.
- The phone lags and slows down a lot. This is due to a lot of gimmicky apps Samsung feel consumers need, such as eye tracking and motion sensing screen tilting. I personally turned them all off, as I never used them in any real-world situation. They seem like the sort of thing you might brag about down a pub when you're showing it off to your mates. However, all this (and more) 'bloatware' just slows down what is a technically fast phone, I wish it was an option to download it if you wanted it and not just uninstallable software taking up precious space.
- The battery could be incredibly unpredictable, sometimes it would last an impressive amount of time, and sometimes it would drain unbelievably just by sitting in the work locker.
- Due to the lag issue, the web browser would load a page and then suddenly shift or jump several seconds after you think it's done (as it loads something else), usually resulting in me pressing the wrong link or picture.

Overall I had mixed feelings about this phone. It left me lost in London with no navigation home, the battery decided to die in Rome whilst I was waiting to meet a friend to find our hotel, it lagged constantly which was unacceptable for an advanced phone and I found I had to try and uninstall the inbuilt Samsung apps and gimmicks and install 3rd party apps to make it more usable. However themusic player suited my passion for music and varied library (once I sorted it), the camera was good for a phone and I loved the variety of apps available.

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