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

One thing you may not like, however, is the battery life, which only manages to survive a day through regular use, such as downloading from the web, social networking, making calls, sending messages, checking email, and playing a game or two.

A day of life isn’t amazing, and from what we saw, the screen seemed to kill the battery more quickly than anything else, so if you’re looking for ways to conserve power, we’d start with turning the brightness down and move on from there.

We also noticed that the screen is a touch more slippery on this model than the 3G model. We’re not actually sure why this is the case, as the technology shouldn’t have changed, though it’s possible the coating has.

It’s worth noting, that with the slick plastic back already in use on the Galaxy S3, you may find that the now slippery front causes the handset to fall from your hands if held loosely.

Outside of the battery and screen, Samsung has made a change that we’re not too enthused by, including an icon dock that can’t be changed. It’s one of those odd things that actually worked in the 3G S3, but for some reason doesn’t work here.

We hope you like using phone, contacts, messaging, internet, and the apps menu, because in the version of Android we tried on the 4G Galaxy S3, you can’t change them.

This probably comes from some of the odd changes that Samsung has made with regards to the “home screen mode” section of the device, offering first-time users of Android an easy way to get accustomed to how home screens actually work.

Strangely, there are basic and easy modes, but no advanced mode, which we suspect would give us this level of customisation.


Three months on, Samsung’s 4G Galaxy S3 is even better than the first one, managing a handset that feels faster, even if much of it is the same.

Of course, the fourth-generation mobile speeds are blazingly fast, something you’d have to expect, and anyone expecting a first-rate performance will no doubt be pleased, but the phone manages to be an even better experience altogether.

Owners of the first model, the 3G one, will soon find themselves in pleasant company, with Samsung releasing the next version of Android for their handset and making the handset better, although possibly not as fast, as the extra gigabyte of memory in the 4G model probably helps a great deal here.

Still, if you crave the 4G speeds on offer by Telstra and Optus, desire a big screen, and want something that just works, then this is an awesome phone to look at.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Blazingly fast 4G download speeds; More RAM makes it faster; The most recent operating system from Android comes preloaded;
Still the same plastic body as the original S3; Mediocre battery life;

Previous 1 2 3

  1. Different devices. Both are great handsets, it’s just a question of do you prefer the plastic build and 4G (S3 4G) or would you rather have Google’s stock Android with 3G and a glass design (Nexus 4)?

  2. Navigon is Free. So is google maps. Of course youve dropped your iphone and it did nothing. Thats because it was already a piece of shit.
    Theres one of these “I switched from iShit to android and it was crap” comments in every single solitary android article.
    Youve never owned an android in your life. Stop trolling.

  3. With both phones fit the same battery? I have an i9305 so if i were to purchase an i9300 battery would it fit my phone

  4. i wanna buy Galaxy s3 , but i don’t know which one is better to buy Galaxy s3 GT-i3900 or Galaxy s3 GT -i3905 ?

    how much is them RAM of s3 GT -i3905 ?

    which is new model between s3 GT -i3905 and s3 GT -i3900 ?

    in the under like there are 3 front camera in s3 GT -i3900 Galaxy but in s3 GT -i3905 has 4 camera ( 1 extra in left side ) what is the difference of them ?

  5. “Storage came in at 16GB on our model, though like the original S3, you can grab a microSD card and upgrade it quickly once you pull out the removable 2100mAh battery.” – This is false, you don’t need to remove the battery to install a microSD card. I swap a 32gb in and out of mine nearly daily, all you need to do is use the ‘safely remove storage’ option in the Settings under ‘Storage’.

    Great phone, my only two gripes are that the screen can be hard to view in direct sunlight (even when the brightness is turned to max), and the only internal storage size appears to be 16gb right now. Having moved from a 32gb iPhone 4, I would’ve thought that more internal storage would’ve been standard.

    1. The sunlight thing is annoying, though we haven’t seen many phones that can cope with this.

      Storage size isn’t a big deal to us, because even though 16GB might seem small comparatively, you can throw in the microSD card, which is an inexpensive way to boost the memory.

    1. Our Galaxy S3 3G (the 4G was returned after review) has FM radio, which suggests the 4G one will too.

      We don’t really mention it anymore because it’s sort of become a standard feature.

    1. It should be noted that Gorilla Glass is scratch resistant, not drop proof. It’s better at dealing with drops than regular glass, but depending on how it’s dropped and where it lands, it may not save you.

      Corning’s glass isn’t quite drop proof yet. I don’t think anyone has really nailed that.

  6. I was just curious about whether or not this phone is compatible with the 4G LTE network in North America. Does anyone know if it is?

    1. Theres also the option to cache sections of maps in google maps but if you want the it will take a while

    1. There are many ways to add music. I purchased a 32gb MicroSD card and using a card reader I created a folder called media, then inside that another called music. Then using the card reader I just drag and drop the albums into the music folder. Insert card back into phone, turn it on and it scans the SD card and all your music in available. You can just connect the phone to your computer via USB and use Windows media to send the music to the phone. The good thing about Android is that there are lots of ways to do it and no restrictions. Most music software will allow you to send music to a USB device and you can also use the new version of Samsung Kies..

  7. According to Apple site iPhone for Australia has LTE bands 2100 1800 850. So this Galaxy compatible only with 1 (1800) out of 3 available LTE bands in Australia, meaning less connectivity in comparison to iPhone ?

    1. According to Samsung website, the i9305 support LTE 1800MHz and 2600. Currently only Telstra and Optus use the 1800MHz band, so the other bands that the S3 and iPhone support are not going to be useful unless you are travelling …..

    2. Not from what I know about connections, no.
      Last I checked, Australia only used 1800 for LTE, suggesting we only have one band. The S3 supports 850 and 2100 but in a 3G capacity from what I know.

  8. Ordering the Samsung S3 4G as my first phone replacement since the iPhone 3g. My iPhone 3G was alright for the first 3 years, but for the last 2, it really has been a pain. Im not really that hyped about graphics or anything, but I just want a reasonably fast phone. Was considering the iPhone 5 since it had LTE, but it didn’t seem that much different from the 4S. I am hoping that Apple loses some of its elitism (ie. trying to be competitive) and instead focuses on innovation again. Hoping this phone will last me another 5 years :D.

  9. in regards to your comment “including an icon dock that can’t be changed. It’s one of those odd things that actually worked in the 3G S3”. That was actually removed in the latest ICS firmware of the S3 3G model. So its not 4G model only. Looks like its carried over to JB too

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Value for money
Ease of Use
Final Score

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.