Australia’s first Samsung Galaxy S3 review

What we love

Using the Galaxy S3, it’s clear that Samsung has done a lot of work to make this the best phone it possibly can be.

Let’s start with the experience, as the 4.8 inch screen shows images and icons beautifully.

While it’s not quite the same high-grade IPS panel as the HTC One X, the screen on the S3 is magic. The viewing angle are pretty impressive, even if they aren’t as strong as HTC’s current flagship, and it’s certainly a bright phone. The clarity is also pretty awesome, and we had no problems looking at text or images on this handset.

Samsung has also done a lot of work on the user interface, trying to clear it up and make the whole phone gel together in the way some of its competitors have certainly managed. This includes the ability to uninstall apps easily through the applications menu, moving icons around the app drawer at the bottom of the screen, switching phone functionality on and off through shortcuts in the status bar drop down, and adding new types of gestures to let you do more in the phone quickly.

Making a phone call yields large dial numbers, a massive information screen for who you’re talking to, and clearer options that make it easier to work out what you need to do.

All up, the phone feels like it has come together more cohesively than any other Samsung handset has before it.

Samsung has also improved the sound of the handset, with the S3 boasting some of the best voice quality we’ve heard in a long time.

Touchscreen responsiveness is also commendable, and we had some of the easiest keyboard typing action experienced yet on a smartphone. The touchscreen buttons were fast and between the simple virtual keyboard presses and Swype word spelling, the phone rarely slowed down or skipped a beat.

Samsung’s choice of cameras hasn’t changed much in a year, as we’re still using an 8 megapixel shooter. That said, the camera is now faster, resulting in virtually no lag and firing a shot off immediately. Shooters can fire 20 shots in burst mode and even switch on a “best photo” mode that will fire eight shots and pick the best out of the lot for you.

Focus is also improved throughout the camera and the clarity in images is very impressive. While we’re not sure if the Galaxy S3’s camera is good enough to replace your compact yet, this is one of the better choices for doing so.

And then there’s the speed: this thing is fast.

As far as handsets go, the Galaxy S3 is insanely fast, beating every device we’ve previously reviewed on benchmarks without a problem. It’s roughly twice as fast as Samsung’s only currently available tablet. That alone is impressive enough.

The Samsung Galaxy S3: fastest phone around. The benchmarks practically prove it.