Samsung Galaxy S III On AT&T Plans

Samsung Galaxy S III

Features

4.8 inch display
Android
8MP camera
16GB int. memory
70.6mm wide
136.6mm high
8.6mm thick
2.05GB RAM

Average Score

91/100

As with all high-end Samsung smartphones the screen is really where most of the attention falls and the Galaxy S3 isn’t ...

WhistleOut
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Samsung Galaxy S III Specs

Display

Type Super AMOLED
Screen Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Screen Size 4.8 inch (12.2 cm)
Touch Screen Yes

Camera

Resolution 8 megapixels
Front Facing -
3D Resolution -
Flash Type LED
Video Camera 1080p @30fps

Music and Video

Music Player Yes
Video Player Yes
Video Calls Yes
FM Radio Yes
Audio Formats MP3, WAV, eAAC+, AC3, FLAC
Video Formats MP4, DivX, XviD, WMV, H.264, H.263

Physical

Form Factor Slate
Width 70.6 mm
Height 136.6 mm
Thickness 8.6 mm
Weight 133 grams
Accelerometer Yes
Gyro Yes

General

GPS Yes
Battery (2G Talk) Not available
Battery (Standby) Not available
App Store Google Play
Processor Type Quad Core 1.4GHz
Operating System Android 4.1
Release Date May 2012

Connectivity

Main Connectivity 4G LTE
Maximum Data Speed 100Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
USB 2.0
Bluetooth Yes
Networks GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900
Data Networks HSDPA 850, 900, 1900, 2100

Memory

RAM 2.05GB
Internal 16GB
Expandable Up to 64GB

Messaging

Push Email Yes
Text Messages (SMS) Yes
Picture Messages (MMS) Yes

Samsung Galaxy S III Reviews

V.Positive

WhistleOut Review

"As with all high-end Samsung smartphones the screen is really where most of the attention falls and the Galaxy S3 isn’t letting anyone down. The 4.8 inch 720p display is, by all accounts, amazing."

Alex Angove (WhistleOut)
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100/100

"The Samsung Galaxy S III is a remarkable device that meets and often exceeds the hype surrounding its launch."

pcauthority.com.au
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V.Positive

"It’s arguably the camera which shows the most improvement, Samsung tweaking the interface to support simultaneous video and still capture – albeit the latter at lower than 8-megapixel resolution – as well as adding a straightforward burst mode. That not only makes grabbing multiple shots simple, but..."

slashgear.com
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V.Positive

"We tried it out with the internet and, specifically, searching for something on Google, and the clip ran as smoothly as if we hadn't touched it at all. Of course, it's in a much smaller form factor, but as soon as you go back to it, it expands to fill the screen again. Brilliant."

pocket-lint.com
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V.Positive

"The built-in keyboard is perfectly functional; at this screen size there's simply a greater likelihood of hitting the letter you're after. The menus and icons are all drawn in Samsung's TouchWiz style, though there are some new additions, including lock screen app shortcuts. In fact, the lock screen..."

engadget.com
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90/100

"Where the Samsung Galaxy S3 really pulls out a comfy lead over all and sundry is its sheer horsepower. Under its hood is a quad-core Samsung Exynos 4212 Quad processor, which is based on ARM's Cortex A9 architecture. In use the phone feels pretty fast, with apps loading quickly and the interface fly..."

trustedreviews.com
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90/100

"In terms of management options, there are more than ever before – the battery usage meter is joined by the data management tool that allows you to see which apps are sucking down the most bytes, and also (and quite neatly, using sliding bars) allows you to set warnings for when you're getting close ..."

techradar.com
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V.Positive

"When you have the phone in front of you, the screen will stay lit and not lock after a few seconds. If you pull the phone away (or fall asleep playing Angry Birds), the screen will turn off. The feature worked pretty well when I tried it out."

PCWorld.com
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V.Positive

"The app that probably captured the most attention is S Voice, a Siri-like presentation that builds off Samsung's voice actions app. It works as promised, doing things like fetching the weather or a map, placing calls, and so on, but one element I do like is being able to wake the app up when it idle..."

CNET Reviews (reviews.cnet.com)
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90/100

"The first impression I came away with was not that the screen was the best on the market, although it has a depth, responsiveness and sharpness that bests, to my mind the HTC One X, although I wasn’t able to compare the two directly. Nor that the huge 4.8” screen was too big, although it’s heading t..."

telegraph.co.uk
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V.Positive

"It's anybody's guess how well the backside-illuminated 8MP sensor on the Galaxy S III's primary shooter will perform, but the software is touting some impressive performance promises. Specifically, Samsung claims camera startup time of less than one second, so "you'll never miss a shot again." They'..."

pocketnow.com
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85/100

"Touch responsiveness from the Galaxy S III’s screen and the two capacitive buttons underneath it (framing the physical home key) is perfectly reliable and gives no cause for complaint. On the whole, I’d say this is a display that will serve the vast majority of people extremely well, provided they’r..."

theverge.com
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Average Score

(12 Reviews)

91/100
 

Samsung Galaxy S III Review

The Samsung Galaxy S3 (aka S III) should need no introduction. It’s the latest record-breaking Android flagship device from the world’s #2 smartphone manufacturer. Bringing more than just upgraded specs to the table, the Galaxy S3 is the fastest-selling Android smartphone to date with an estimated 19 million units to have shipped by the end of Q3 of 2012.

We figured that the best way to test wade through all the hype was to do our very own Samsung Galaxy S3 review and, ultimately, we really liked the overall experience. If you’d like a little more info than that then read on as we go in to more depth about the pros and cons of Samung’s new GS3.

Physical Design of the Samsung Galaxy S3

When left to its own designs, Samsung has never really displayed any overt creativity or a uniquely stylish approach to smartphone design. The best-looking Samsung devices that we can think of are the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, both of which were developed in conjunction with Google and, as such, were subject to creative input from both companies. Just about every other flagship device in Samsung’s recent history has been rather plain and straight-forward. That’s not entirely a bad thing, as it lets the quality of these devices speak for themselves, but there really is no harm in throwing a little class in the mix.

Finally with the Galaxy S3 Samsung has taken a look at its approach to aesthetics and done a 180 degree turn. The GS3 is sleek, stylish and just unique enough to be instantly recognisable from a distance, rather than appearing as ‘just another smartphone’ to any but the keen and educated of eye.

While made of fancy plastic, the body sports a convincing aesthetic approximation of brushed steel. The industry-standard black design absent, the two available colors, White and Pebble Blue, help the S3 to catch the eye, relying on both the brush steel look and beautiful screen to hold your attention once it has been won.

The 4.8 inch display sports minimal bezels around its edges, adding to the overall impression of quality. The smaller bezels also mean that, while sporting a large screen, the GS3 isn’t actually noticeably cumbersome when held in the hand or kept in the pocket. It’s also surprisingly light, once again detracting from its presence when stored out of site.

The curved back and lightweight design come in to play again when held in the hand or pressed against the ear. In fact, the GS3 is probably one of the more comfortable phones we’ve reviewed when it comes to calling.

There is a down-side to the design; the GS3 is actually quite smooth, meaning that grip can be a problem. If put on a car seat the handset is sure to slide straight off at the first turn. Another problem stemming from this that we discovered was its tendency to slide in to a landscape position in our pocket, radically decreasing comfort levels. It also meant that we never felt truly secure when pulling it from our pockets or just holding it in our hand. While comfortable, there was always a niggling reminder that this was a device that might be easily dropped if our attention were allowed to wander.

Overall we still loved the design though, but we would have appreciated a somewhat more grippy approach. Still, it’s a fantastic step in the right direction for Samsung.

Display and UI

One thing Samsung does have a good reputation for is quality displays and the GS3 is a perfect example of this. The 4.8 inch HD display is stunning. The impressive resolution of 720x1280 provides a level of clarity not seen on most devices with a screen this large. On top of that the Super AMOLED display provides vibrant colors, stark blacks and relatively clear whites. We’d still put the whites of high-end HTC displays (such as on the One X and One S) above the GS3, but the GS3 provides colors with just that little bit more pop.

The TouchWiz UI on ICS works so incredibly smoothly backed up by the quad-core 1.4GHz processor. Of all the Android devices we’ve reviewed, we would say that the GS3 offers the smoothest and fastest experience for launching apps and navigating menus.

The Lock screen is almost more a work of art than a safety measure. After Samsung was successfully sued out of “slide to unlock” we were initially worried, as the measures it employed on the ICS update for the GS2 were shoddy at best. However, the Korean manufacturer has made the best of a bad situation and gone with a graphic approach that mirrors rippling water wherever the finger lands. This allows the user to effectively “swipe” to unlock in any direction that they please, while offering an aesthetically pleasing response.

We’re also fans of the new Lock screen functionality that Samsung, admittedly, seems to have ‘borrowed’ from HTC. Phone, Messages, Browser and Camera can all be jumped straight in to from the Lock screen. All the user has to do is place their finger on one of the icons at the bottom of the display and swipe upwards. The now-standard ICS addition of pull-down notification tray access has also been added to the lock screen, so long as the user has not implemented any security measures between the Lock and Home screens such as a password.

Our absolutely favorite thing about the GS3’s UI is Smart Stay. Smart Stay is a new innovation by Samsung that tracks your eye movements and will not switch your screen off while you’re looking at it. Seriously. It’s one of the best additions to any UI that we’ve ever seen and, surprisingly, it isn’t a huge drain on battery power. It is a little creepy, we have to admit, that your phone is always watching you. But at the end of the day it leads to a lot less frustration on behalf of the user.

Camera and Battery Life on the GS3

The 8MP camera of the Galaxy S3 was intermittently fantastic. That is to say, sometimes photos came out with extreme clarity and other times they were merely passable. We must still complement Samsung on this one, as we found the GS3’s shooter to be the best Android camera that we’ve ever used. Shots during the day generally came out quite clearly and with good color, while shots in dimly-lit areas, while still not great, saw a vast improvement over those offered by the GS2.

Perhaps what we liked most about the GS3’s camera was its flat-out and undeniable speed. Pictures took incredibly quickly with minimal time required for auto-zoom. It’s also very easy to switch modes between single shot, burst shot and a variety of other shooting modes. The menu buttons around the edges of the camera were also movable, much like app icons on the home screens. Not only that, but there are a variety of other shortcut icons to choose from, such as white balance and effects, if you feel that you would use those more often.

On top of all of this are the various social and sharing options that Samsung has integrated with the GS3. Social Tag is an automatic service that tags and recognizes friends from your contact list. Or, if it fails to, you can tag them yourself and it will take the name and suggest people from your contacts, after which it will learn their face and retroactively tag them in previous photos. The tags are all just suggestions, so it won’t permanently add anyone’s name without checking first. What’s even better is that by tapping on a tagged contact’s face you can send them the photo via MMS.

There’s also the option to immediately share all photos and videos taken with friends in the area who also have Galaxy S3 handsets. This would theoretically be super handy at concerts, sporting matches or just on a day out as everyone would get every photo taken and you wouldn’t each have to grab your own snapshot of that one street performer or that awesome shot of your favorite musician on stage. However, as it only currently works between GS3 devices it’s a pretty limited piece of functionality at present.

Video capture was also a marked improvement over most of the Android competition, but will still rather undeserving of the connotations carried by that “1080p” tagline. Video was certainly not terrible for a premium-range device, but we still weren’t overly impressed. It wasn’t that there were any particular glaring faults, merely that the overall experience was just a bit fuzzy. On the flip side sound-capture was fantastic, but one would hope that a device designed to function primarily as a phone would have a halfway-decent mic on board.

Battery life was good, we regularly got a whole day out of the GS3 with medium-to-heavy use. We have to admit that we were a little surprised, considering the hardware that this device comes packing. A quad-core processor and 720p 4.8 inch display would be enough to drain a lesser handset by lunchtime, but the GS3 just kept coming back for more all the way up until we put in on to charge at bed time.

Browsing and Keyboard

The keyboard on the GS3 is fast and responsive. Messaging is a breeze thanks to the responsive keyboard and large display. Where once we went in to detail regarding keyboard quality, these days just about every cat on the block has a more than satisfactory offering and the GS3 was no different. We’ll just say that we had absolutely no qualms with the keypad on the GS3 and leave it at that.

Browsing was fast. It’s not the fastest experience that we’ve ever seen on a smartphone but it was definitely close. The great display meant that web pages came out clearly and with bright colours while offering crisp text rendering, even when fully zoomed in.

Pinch-to-zoom was responsive and caused little to no lag thanks to the powerful processor and, well, that’s it really. Browsing was great.

Music and Media

Music is another of those areas in which smartphones used to sink or swim but has now been mastered by all. The GS3 provided clear sounds and quite passable base. Its music app was aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate and accessible from the Lock screen and notifications tray. As always we absolutely love the ability to skip tracks forwards and backwards from the notification tray, rather than only having the options to pause, play and go to the music app itself. This is something that we’d like to see every smartphone manufacturer adopt.

Video playback as outstanding on the 4.8 inch Super AMOLED 720p display. The HD offerings were so clear that it often felt unreal to watch. Going back from the GS3 to a lesser display really is the kind of soul-breaking thing that makes phone reviewing that much less glamorous, because at the end of the day a phone like the GS3 is going to make whatever you own look third rate by comparison.

Colors were bright and realistic, shapes were well defined, blacks were stark (although not as dark as a Nokia ClearBlack display) and whites were clear. The larger screen also offered a much more immersive experience than a smaller screen every could, at least for us. If you’re a big video content watcher on your smartphone then the Galaxy S3 should be at the top of your comparison list for this reason alone.

The WhistleOut Opinion

The Galaxy S3 is a fantastic device but is it the best Android on the market? We’re going to go ahead and say yes. The HTC One X would surely give it a run for its money, but we felt that the GS3 offered a more aesthetically pleasing experience overall and its camera functionality left the One X for dead.

Of course, the aesthetic styling is totally based on personal opinion so others may disagree and if you’re not a big camera using then it’s still worth checking both phones out when you compare. But for us we have to say that the GS3 is the best Android phone we’ve ever reviewed.

It’s fast, smooth and stylish. We’d prefer a little more grip on the casing and perhaps some clearer shots from the camera but no phone is perfect. Overall the GS3 gets a big tick of approval for us here. The Android OS isn’t for everyone but we’d still say that anyone looking for a premium smartphone should definitely give thought to grabbing a Samsung Galaxy S3.

More About AT&T

The USA’s number one provider, AT&T is not only one of America’s biggest companies, it’s also in the top 20 largest companies worldwide. AT&T can, albeit indirectly, trace its history to the Bell Telephone Company founded by Alexander Graham Bell; its current incarnation was founded in 1983, although its network of subsidiaries monopolized the US telecommunications industry for most of the 20th century (known as the Bell system). The AT&T of today is a publicly traded company providing landline, long-distance, mobile phone, cable television and broadband services.

Its 4G network may not be the nation’s fastest, but it is currently the largest, covering 288 million people and expected to reach 300 million by mid-2014. AT&T’s network isn’t technically all ‘4G’ – it’s actually a dual layer of LTE and HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul. AT&T states that their enhanced network is capable of delivering 4G speeds, and that combining these two technologies will provide customers with a smoother and more consistent mobile internet experience. The dual ‘4G’ network currently covers more than 170 million people in over 140 markets, with plans to expand AT&T’s LTE coverage to 300 million people by the end of 2014.

Aside from 4G, the company is also the nation’s largest Wifi provider, with a network of 30,000 AT&T hotspots nationally and providing access to over 220,000 hotspots globally for its customers through roaming agreements.

In terms of phones, AT&T offer devices for all of the major operating systems, including Android and Blackberry, and hold the honour of being the first US carrier to distribute the iPhone, a status it held exclusively until early 2011 and the release of the iPhone 4. However, with the iPhone now available through Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, as well as several smaller carriers, AT&T has expanded its range of basic and smartphones for every budget, and provides customers with a wide variety of devices to choose from.

Like Verizon, AT&T has introduced shared data plans, aimed at families or individuals who use multiple devices. These plans all come with unlimited talk and text, with pricing varying by how much data is required and how many devices you’ll use. AT&T also offer traditional individual voice and data plans, and Family plans with shared text and voice minutes and optional data add-ons. Many of these plans also include unlimited night and weekend talk, rollover of minutes and unlimited AT&T Mobile to Mobile calls for customers who haven’t opted for the higher-priced Unlimited plans. And many customers will appreciate that AT&T still include rollover minutes, meaning any unused minutes at the end of a monthly billing cycle will roll on to the next one.

AT&T’S plans, however, remain some of the priciest of the major carriers, generally coming in second behind Verizon, and this is likely to be a factor for many customers looking for a wireless provider.

AT&T operate over 2300 retail stores and provide customer support in more than 160 languages. The company rank high in customer service satisfaction surveys, and also provide extensive accessibility and communications support for customers with disabilities.

Overall, AT&T is a company with a strong history and brand, and with an expansive and reliable 4G network and a wide range of plans. It may not be the cheapest carrier, but customers willing to pay a little extra for quality should definitely consider AT&T when choosing a cell phone plan.

AT&T’s Network Specs:

  • Technology: GSM
  • 2G Bandwidths (GSM, GPRS, EDGE): 850MHz
  • 3G Bandwidths (UMTS, HSPA): 850/1900MHz
  • 4G Bandwidth (LTE): 1700MH

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