The Samsung Galaxy S III is certainly expensive sim-free, but the device has a mesmerising screen, superb performance and a quality range of pre-installed apps that would make us buy this over its closest competitor the HTC One X - which we also reviewed this month.
The Samsung Galaxy S III has a minimalistic design with the front facia including just a single physical Android Home button at the base (the other two buttons are touch sensitive and light up when touched) and a single 3.5mm headphone port at the top, alongside the bottom placed microUSB port. It also has a slight curvature to the back which enhances the design.
However the whole focus is on its 4.8” Super AMOLED HD screen, which to be honest is pure quality! Yet despite the minimalistic look the Samsung is equipped with a removable back cover so you can gain access to the battery and a microSD card slot - which supports up to 64GB memory cards, thus alongside the 16GB internal and 50GB Dropbox account the phone provides massive storage potential over its competitors.
Granted the build quality is not in the same league as the HTC One X we reviewed earlier but personally we think the blue (the blue is only noticeable in certain light conditions) hard brushed polycarbonate plastic still looks great and when held in the hand the device feels sturdy.
OS & Size
As with the Samsung Galaxy Note we reviewed last year (which has an even larger screen) its size is definably something that may hamper those blessed with smaller digits, especially when typing in landscape mode because it is quite a reach for your thumbs when pressing the spacebar.
On the plus side you do eventually get used to its size (in some ways it's not that much larger than the Samsung Galaxy S II - see picture comparison) and you can't help yourself really once you see the vibrancy of the screen and Samsung’s latest take on the TouchWiz UI.
The device comes with a series of cool themes and a range of interface tweaks which genuinely helped our experience with the phone. While the S-Voice technology has had mixed reception we found it a useful program for launching apps with our voice (though this requires a data connection).
You also get on-board a series of motion controls i.e. double tap on the top of the phone to scroll back to the top of the page within emails or contacts.
The supplied software is also ample, yet unlike previous Galaxy devices you don’t’ get overloaded with unnecessary apps. Samsung instead have given you the freedom to download more from the Samsung store, such as Polaris Office for editing Word documents.
However we still found the pre-loaded music and video players were fantastic, with the latter providing a picture-in-picture option so you can watch videos as you type! (Plus you can position the video player window anywhere on-screen by dragging and dropping it with your finger).