Better, faster: Samsung’s 4G LTE Galaxy S3 reviewed


Playing with the Galaxy S3 4G, you quickly find that this is one fast piece of kit. From running multiple apps, performing the 4G speed tests, browsing the web, and cruising through the menus, it’s clear that Samsung has improved on an already excellent device.

We don’t really need to get into the nitty gritty of what made the original Samsung Galaxy S3 so excellent, and there’s already a review pointing it out, but the improvements that have been made here result in a better product altogether.

There is literally no lag, no slowdowns, and no reason to ever question is the 4G S3 isn’t working for you. That whole idea of “it just works” is completely warranted here.

Perhaps what’s strikingly clear in the Galaxy S3 is that not only have the internals been upgraded slightly with more memory – 2GB RAM over the 3G’s 1GB – but the operating system is even more recent, with Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” provided out of the box.

Google's new search box shows you more than just what you're looking for. It also shows you what's happening near you.

With Google’s latest, you’ll find a new menu layout that’s easier to use, an improved dropdown bar with more detailed information, the ability to switch off notifications and messages at the drop of a hat with blocking mode, and an updated Google search system that shows you what’s around, including weather information, public transport, restaurants, and past searches.

The status bar drop down now shows even more information than it used to.

There are also a whole host of little fixes that help to make the experience of using an Android phone so much quicker, and Samsung has done a mostly excellent job throwing it all together.

While Samsung’s TouchWiz isn’t the best home screen software for Android out there, it’s reasonably respectable on the 4G Galaxy S3, and we have no problem with using it.

In fact, Samsung has even introduced a few widgets we’ve not seen prior to this, including a fullscreen keypad that can be added to any home screen, allowing you to swipe and always have a phone dialpad to call from.

The alarm clock has been updated too, now featuring images showing what time of day your alarm has been set to – night or day – so you know, especially if the whole 24-hour time thing has always confused you.

Samsung still has the same features from the first Galaxy S3, and that means you’ll find a decent camera app with an instant shutter, the voice assistant found in S-Voice, the swipe to call functionality, and all the other nifty things that were native to the Android installation on the first model.

Not much has changed outside of this, with a plastic chassis, 2100mAh battery, nice 4.8 inch Super AMOLED screen with 720p resolution, WiFi connectivity for 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, microSIM, and everything else you’ve come to expect from Samsung’s third Galaxy flagship.

There is one very new thing, and it’s the main reason you grab a 4G phone: to surf the web, check emails, watch online videos, and take advantage of the high speeds on offer.

Good news, then, because the Galaxy S3 4G offers insanely fast speeds, with our tests showing a maximum of 38.58Mbps down and 23.89Mbps in our area on Telstra. Optus didn’t perform quite as well, pulling in a maximum of roughly 20Mbps down, but GadgetGuy’s offices in Woolloomooloo tend not to have the greatest reception for Optus, and you may find better results.

No matter what ever telco you choose to use with the Galaxy S3, you shouldn’t be disappointed with the download speeds, especially when you’re connected on 4G.