Samsung Galaxy S3 Review: Best and worst features

The 4.8in device is one of the most highly anticipated Android devices of 2012. We go through the top five features of the Galaxy S3 and also point out its niggles.

1. S-Voice needs to do some homework

Apple launched the Siri voice-activated personal assistant on the iPhone 4S, and, although it generated excitement, it is a feature that has been confined to use in social environments. We don't mind Samsung adding this feature, but the execution with S-Voice is poor.

Although the device is able to perform simple tasks, such as "set alarm" or "call mum", asking the device to do anything else is difficult.

Performance when answering questions was inconsistent. S-Voice was able to answer an easy question such as "what is the tallest mountain in the world?". But when asked to provide the "weather in Iraq", it could only tell us what it is like in Leicester Square. Indeed, when we asked S-Voice the weather for any region, it always returned Leicester Square.

Samsung Galaxy S3 - S-Voice weather

S-Voice was only able to tell us the weather of one location

Complex questions also posed a problem. Ask it something like, "find me the nearest pizza place" and you're likely to get a response along the lines of, "I'm not sure what you mean".

Samsung Galaxy S3 - S-Voice failure to understand

When using S-Voice, this screen will be a common occurrence

Trying to have some fun with S-Voice is hard work too. When asked "what is the meaning of life?", S-Voice answer "42" every time. This gets tedious rather quickly.

Speed is also an issue. Like Siri, S-Voice requires an internet connection to function. The speed at which it can answer requests on 3G varies from instant to painfully slow. At times it can take over 10 seconds to process a simple request such as "compose text".

Dictation is another letdown and the reason why this feature is unlikely to be used. As soon as you pause for breath, the device adds a full stop and you cannot add anything further to the message. At best, you can get the device to send one long sentence. This negates any productivity benefits, and we found it quicker to carry out the whole process manually.

At best S-Voice is a novelty, but one which you will stop using after hours rather than days. We would struggle to find anyone who will use it on a regular basis, other than to set appointment times or call someone when using hands free.

IT PRO VERDICT

Verdict

We've found the positives far outweighed the negative aspects of the S3. The performance, screen and gestures are ahead of other Android devices on the market and make this the number one competitor to the iPhone 4S. In time we envisage Samsung will also be able to improve S-Voice as it's a server-based system and it should accumulate knowledge to answer questions. With the S3 available for free from as little as £26 per month, even the price is more than reasonable.

OS: Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz Processor: 1.4GHz Exynos quad-core Memory/Storage: 1GB RAM; 16/32/64GB internal + 64GB microSD slot Screen: Super AMOLED HD 4.8in (1280 x 720) Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, micro-USB, 3.5mm headphone jack Other: Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, RGB Light, Barometer sensor, Assisted GPS / GLONASS available Bands: EDGE / GPRS (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz), HSPA+21 (850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100) Camera: 8MP rear with LED flash and autofocus, 1.9MP front-facing Battery: 2100mAh Size: 70.6 x 136.6 x 8.6mm Weight: 133g

Featured Resources

How virtual desktop infrastructure enables digital transformation

Challenges and benefits of VDI

Free download

The Okta digital trust index

Exploring the human edge of trust

Free download

Optimising workload placement in your hybrid cloud

Deliver increased IT agility with the cloud

Free Download

Modernise endpoint protection and leave your legacy challenges behind

The risk of keeping your legacy endpoint security tools

Download now

Recommended

Google banned from importing patent-infringing tech following Sonos IP victory
Policy & legislation

Google banned from importing patent-infringing tech following Sonos IP victory

7 Jan 2022
Google, Facebook fined €210 million for making it difficult for users to reject cookies
Policy & legislation

Google, Facebook fined €210 million for making it difficult for users to reject cookies

6 Jan 2022
Google is working with leading PC manufacturers to improve Android on Windows
Google Android

Google is working with leading PC manufacturers to improve Android on Windows

6 Jan 2022
Google Cloud acquires Israeli security startup Siemplify
cloud security

Google Cloud acquires Israeli security startup Siemplify

5 Jan 2022

Most Popular

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD
Microsoft Windows

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD

4 Jan 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

6 Jan 2022
Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug
email delivery

Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug

4 Jan 2022