REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S3

A huge 4.8in screen and a quad-core processor make this phone almost as fast as your Mac...

Samsung Galaxy S3

Galaxy S3 has a huge screen and quad core power

The other big Samsung device on offer at the moment that offers a lot for designers is the Galaxy S3. At the moment, it's still running Ice Cream Sandwich – but expect an update to Jelly Bean soon enough.

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One thing we would say from the offset is, although the Galaxy S3's screen is incredibly sharp, the Touchwiz overlay that Samsung has added to Android isn't the slickest.


It's not that it's an ugly UI, or that it's slow – the quad core processor in the S3 makes this one hell of a quick phone. You'll never experience any lag and apps fly along. It's just the fact that icons are a bit chunky and everything is, well, a bit on the large side.

Even putting the font size down to 'tiny' in the Display settings doesn't make much of a difference. And the email app isn't great either – white on black isn't a pleasant user experience.


One cool thing is you can change the font on the Galaxy S3 – not just to one of the preset options but to a range of purchasable fonts from Monotype on the Play Store.

Who wouldn't want Helvetica Neue, Bauhaus or even Seb Lester's Soho Gothic as the main font on a phone? It's a nice touch – although the fonts will cost you 69p each.

The Play Store is full of great apps for creatives – and the large screen takes full advantage of these (although you can't run Photoshop and other Adobe Touch apps).


The display though is incredible – the best you've ever seen on a phone. Photos, videos and, er, everything else, look brilliant. The camera is also great – not only sporting 8 megapixels but a rather cool burst mode enabling you to take quick fire shots.

Couple it with instant upload to Google+ and/or Dropbox and you have a great photo device with immediate cloud storage. Nice.


So, what about the design of the phone? Well, it's good. Not great, but good. Because it's so light it can feel a little cheap.

It comes in white and blue (looking past the nature-themed colours Samsung states), both of which have their own qualities. White feels sharp and sleek, whilst blue feels more sophisticated.


Back to the features of the phone, there are some other really nice things – such as the phone not dimming its display when you're looking at it but doing nothing (doesn't work in the dark though). There's also a neat sensor that alerts you to any missed calls or messages when you first pickup the phone after leaving it somewhere, with other sensors enabling features such as being able to call someone automatically whilst messaging them by lifting the phone to your ear. Heck, you can even continue watching a movie whilst tweeting, sending a text and performing other tasks. It can be little, neat touches like this that add to the surprise-and-delight factor when using a phone every day.

Specs: Samsung Galaxy S3

  • Size: 136.6x70.6x8.6mm
  • Weight: 133g
  • Screen: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 720x1280 pixels, 4.8in, 306ppi pixel density
  • CPU: Quad core 1.4GHz
  • Camera: 8MP, video at 1080p at 30fps
  • OS: Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Micro SD card slot: Yes


  • UI: 6/10
  • Design: 8/10
  • Apps: 8/10
  • Features: 10/10