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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely great phone
This phone is both a beauty and a brain. I was unsure about its size at first, but after reading lots of good things, I decided that this is probably the best one in the market right now. I found it to be a bit big and heavier than my old SI and my hand got tired when I held it for a long time. However, it took me only a couple of days to get used to it. Now I don't find...
Published on 14 Mar. 2013 by realessence101

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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Warning - phone is region locked
Amazon says nothing about this in its details, but this phone arrived with a sticker on the box saying 'European Model: This product is only compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within Europe. (..list of countries...)' Amazon says the Note 3 is region locked, but has not yet noticed the S3. Under the comments on the Amazon site for the Note 3, there is...
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer


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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely great phone, 14 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy SIII UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Pebble Blue (16GB) - Discontinued by manufacturer (Wireless Phone)
This phone is both a beauty and a brain. I was unsure about its size at first, but after reading lots of good things, I decided that this is probably the best one in the market right now. I found it to be a bit big and heavier than my old SI and my hand got tired when I held it for a long time. However, it took me only a couple of days to get used to it. Now I don't find the size to be a problem at all. The design looks better than I had expected. As I have the blue one, I love the glossy back cover. It makes the phone look more sleek. Plus, it fits well in the hand because of the curvy sides (but it can be a tiny bit wobbly if you want to type when it lies on the desk).

As for the software, mine comes with Jelly Bean 4.1.2, which I think is a great improvement from my old Gingerbread. With this update, you can install Google Now, which people say is better than the in-built Samsung S-Voice. Although I don't really use it much in my daily life, I'm impressed by how clever it is. The innovative Smart Stay works in a limited condition. If your face is not directly looking at the screen or if the light is not enough, it won't work. It is nice to have, but I won't depend on it. A big screen means a big keyboard, which helps my chubby finger to type faster and more accurately. The clarity and vividness of the display is stunning. I heard some complaints the dimness. I have to disagree. I don't even have to set it to half the brightness level to get a good picture.

Regarding battery life, which is everyone's concern, I think it is pretty decent, if you know how to handle it. For example, turn off the functions that are not in use, like GPS, Wi-Fi or Mobile data. Don't set the screen too bright (it's even better if you use a darker colour wallpaper). Clear the running applications by using the Task Manager (long press at the home button and then delete). Set reasonable frequency of data syncing. If the phone has to constantly download something all the time, the juice is sure to run out fast (so is your data quota). Importantly, install an energy-saving application. I have been using Juice Defender for many years and I highly recommend it. Especially in the paid version (only costs a couple of pounds), you can select the level of saving mode. I choose Custom Mode, which will turn off the Internet connection when the screen shuts down, but let you select the programmes that you want to keep connecting. This means you can still receive emails and instant messages real time. I did all this and I got my phone battery to last over 18 hours with moderate use (browsing, making calls, watching a few youtube videos). That is quite impressive by a smartphone standard.

Now, the S3 owner's biggest nightmare - the vulnerability of the screen. The phone huge display makes it more likely to crack when dropped on a hard surface. Gorillaz glass can prevent minor scratches, but not a direct impact. A good screen protector is still a must, and for a peace of mind, use a protective case. Sadly, it may compromise the gorgeous design of the phone. But if you will, you might want to choose the one that also covers all the rim of the front screen because it will help if you drop the phone on the side or face down. From many drop tests that I've watched, I notice that the screen tends to crack while the software still works fine.

Sorry for the long review. Like many have said, this phone is outstanding, but it's not perfect. That's why I gave 4 stars. However, so far I am very happy with it and think I made the right decision.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Warning - phone is region locked, 16 Feb. 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy SIII UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Pebble Blue (16GB) - Discontinued by manufacturer (Wireless Phone)
Amazon says nothing about this in its details, but this phone arrived with a sticker on the box saying 'European Model: This product is only compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within Europe. (..list of countries...)' Amazon says the Note 3 is region locked, but has not yet noticed the S3. Under the comments on the Amazon site for the Note 3, there is some useful comment, and there is a lot more, generally very unhappy, to be found on the net. Basically, it seems that you need to 'activate' a new phone by fitting a European operator's SIM for the first time of using. Then the phone automatically unlocks, somehow, sometime. Samsung said on a German site that you need 5 minutes use to unlock it, but does not say how that is measured; one 5-minute call, five 1-minute calls, five minutes internet browsing,or what. Some users seem to be successful in unlocking the phone, some fail. Samsung needs to much much clearer on this - and so do Amazon. I have not yet tried another region's SIM.

Anyway, I have deducted 2 stars because of the region locking, and another because the phone is overpriced, given the region lock and its age. I see that the price has dropped in the few days since I paid £245 and is now £233, but that is still far too much. It should be under £200.

Another minor point. This phone accepts a micro-SIM, not the normal mini-SIM. I downloaded a conversion template, free, and used scissors to cut mine down. If I had been better prepared, I would have ordered a conversion clipper from Amazon in time to arrive with the phone. No complaint about this - just trying to be helpful to other users.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best, 27 Nov. 2012
By 
J. Mcgowan (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy SIII UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Pebble Blue (16GB) - Discontinued by manufacturer (Wireless Phone)
I have had mobile phones for years and each time I change they get better but this phone is magnificent as it does everything I ask of it. The screen is superb and the processor is really fast and it is so easy to switch wi-fi, bluetooth, and sound on and off. I have not found anything about the phone I don't like, including battery life. Well done Samsung.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only one problem, 22 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy SIII UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Pebble Blue (16GB) - Discontinued by manufacturer (Wireless Phone)
I waited a long time for this to come down to a price that I could afford, now we are there. I have had this for just over one week and only found one fault with it - apart from the usual problems getting used to a new device.
After a few days the phone kept trying to access 'car mode' Repetitive switching modes quickly drains the battery. I could not even find a car mode in the instructions to stop this, but went online and found this is a common problem. Not only with the S3
If dirt enters the USB port or the pins inside become bent slightly it causes the phone to think you have placed it into a car dock.
The solution is quite simple - blow or brush out the USB port and straighten the centre pin carefully if needed.
It IS a great 'phone.
Edit - when I first received the phone I wondered why it had an app called Super SU installed. Some time later I attempted to check for updates to the Android system and was informed "This phone has been modified so updates not available"
A check on the internet explained the app - the phone is not all it appears to be. It has been 'rooted', I guess. Hence the 'Super User' app.
It still works fine, in fact, if I want to delve into the operating system it may work better. But I feel this needed to be noted.
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377 of 410 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best smartphone, 8 Jun. 2012
By 
Reza (Leeds, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy SIII UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Pebble Blue (16GB) - Discontinued by manufacturer (Wireless Phone)
Previous S2 user, before upgrading to S3 I have tried HTC one X, Nokia Lumia 710, and Iphone 4S to make sure that Android is the best operation system and Samsung is the best android handset provider. Now I am sure that it is the best smartphone.

The only phone that you can actually compare with S3 is HTC One X, both of them are very nice phones. I am not going to explain everything here (you can find plenty of reviews and comparisons on-line) I chose S3 (I paid almost £75 more) mainly because of:

1.Better battery,

2.Better grip; Because both phones are relatively large, when you want to wake them up with one hand, on HTC it is almost difficult as you should press the top of the phone but on Samsung it is on the side of the phone and is hassle free (from my view). In addition to that the curves on Samsung make it to feel smaller in hand than its actual size.

3.From my experience generally S3 is faster on everyday use and I think (not sure) it is due to the fact that HTC sense is heavier than Touchwiz. On HTC if you check your task manager regularly you can see that usually about 70-80% of the ram is used but on Samsung it is usually 50-60%

4.I love the hardware home button on Samsung compared to touch home button on HTC.

5.In case you want to sell your phone in future, Samsung showed historically that it does not lose value as much as HTC does.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good phone, shocking customer service from Samsung., 29 Nov. 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought the phone as at the time it was clearly the best Android handset out there. Loved it to bits, especially the 'open' nature of it - I love Samsung for letting me put a Micro-SD card in to expand the memory at a non-extortionate price and simply insert a backup battery to keep it running for another day or so.
What I don't like is their customer service (which they appear to have outsourced in the UK at least) - I suspect you'll get better service if you buy this on a contract and don't have to deal with them directly.
Within a year of buying the phone it started 'boot-looping' (crashes, restarts, crashes etc). I sent it back to Samsung under my (12 month) warranty and got a quote back for £135 to replace the screen I'd broken (from their 3rd party repair agent they'd sent it to). Phoned agent to tell them that there was nothing wrong with the screen when I sent it to them - but they were unable to check as they'd mailed the phone back to me with the quote for repair.
Back to square one.
So back to Samsung's f'in awful customer service dept (I think it's hidden option #6 when you call them - yes, they hide their customer care in the call system). Can you fix my phone please? Well seemingly I'd smashed my screen so they didn't want to help me (despite my unsmashed screen sitting on my desk in front of me). I eventually got them to pick the phone up again by promising that I'd pay for any physical damage my phone had (my recollection is that the operator was trying to call me out as a liar, imagining I'd taken a hammer to my phone). Conversation went as far as them telling me of independent electrical engineers I could send my phone, if I wished to appeal their decision that I'd smashed my phone with a hammer.
So, it went back, and this time I got a lovely note back with my phone saying the failure was due to water damage and uneconomical to repair. No apology over the broken screen accusation. No water damage had happened (this now seems a minor point in the saga). Oh, and seemingly should it have happened, Samsung weren't in a position to replace my phone for anything less than retail price.
There are companies I love (e.g. Logitech) where even if you've deliberately torched their device out of warranty, will offer you a 'cost' option. Samsung...well not on the list of companies I love.
In the end I simply gave up and bought an HTC One (which I love to bits). My S3 is sitting on the top shelf of my desk in it's Samsung mailer box, and I really can't bring myself to carry on arguing with them (I really should just bin it, and move on - maybe this review will give me catharsis).
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162 of 177 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Initially disappointed but now love it!, 17 Jun. 2012
I've had my iPhone 3GS for over two years now so it was time to upgrade. I felt there was no point paying the premium for an iPhone contract for a technically inferior product, so an S3 was duly ordered.

Never having used Android before, it took a while to get used to. There are some really basic oddities out of the box. Why can't you turn off the background image? (I had to draw a black rectangle) Why is the minimum brightness (1/255) still so bright? At night it was ridiculous. Thankfully this was fixed by downloading an app called "Lux", but surely this should be built into the device?

Anyway, once I'd got past the slight nuances of Android I began to download apps and widgets (a new novelty for a previous iPhone user). I had to learn from you-tube how to do certain things, such as screen shot (swipe palm left to right) and how to access the camera really quickly (setting up the icons on the lock screen is buried in the settings->security menu). Now I know what I'm doing the phone is an absolute dream!

The screen is magnificent. The camera is magnificent inside and outside. I can unlock the screen and take a photo within 3 seconds, brilliant!

I have noticed a few slow downs which is surprising, but nothing like my old 3GS which was basically a dog but to be fair, pretty old).

My only gripe is that the construction lets it down and it's also a bit slippery in dry hands. I've had to buy a soft silicone case, but that's no bad thing for extra protection.

In conclusion, Android is not as intuitive as iOS out the box, but once everything is configured correctly it completely blows the iPhone away. A good value S3 contract seems to be at least five pounds a month cheaper than an equivalent iPhone contract. You would have to be completely deranged to get the iPhone, it is medieval in comparison. I'll never go back to rip-off Apple.

Get the S3, you won't be disappointed (after a bit of tinkering and configuring)!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to beat, 7 Aug. 2012
The Samsung galaxy s3 is an amazing phone. It's 110% the best phone out currently. Whether the iPhone 5 will be better no one could say just yet. As apple are ridiculously secretive about everything. I work at carphone warehouse so I have used many many phones of 2011 and 12. This one has overcome them all by quite a bit. I would say the next in line would be the HTC one x. It is a hard choice between the two phones but after comparing them next to each other you can see the difference by a mile. The camera resolution, speed, smoothness, accessibility and especially the creativity of being able to change and do near enough anything with on the device. The sound and battery I can knock down a few notches. The sound is very quiet and the battery does drain. But mainly because you want to use it so much for its awesome tools. Other than that i can not say anything bad about the phone, this is the phone to buy for 2012 so far. But with iPhone 5 just round the corner maybe you should wait. Not much has come from 2012 except the s3 and one x. Everything else is a bit... boring. Other phones coming up very soon and are pretty decent are the xperia tipo which is waterproof, literally being able to record and take pictures underwater. Also the projector which is already out. Awful phone but the 30 inch projector onto a wall is pretty awesome. Works well. Overall there are some cool phones out coming out but you can't top the s3 just yet.

Dan the tech Man
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73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From an iPhone 4 to a Galaxy S3, 5 Oct. 2012
By 
Woody (London, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just to put things into perspective, I've been using this phone for around 6 weeks now and have found it to be the best phone I've owned. I had an iPhone 4 before this and although it was a great phone it has nothing on the Galaxy S3. Here are a few of my thoughts on why I did not upgrade my old iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5 and bought the Galaxy S3 instead.

Firstly to start off, if you're thinking of buying this phone and/or making the switch from IOS to Android, try it out in store which is exactly what I did before taking the plunge, then I came here and bought it on Amazon for a whole lot cheaper ;)

I chose the SGS3 mainly because of its shear hardware power. It's very fast and responsive and has some great features like the ability to switch on or off the Wi-Fi, mobile data network, GPS etc all via the pulldown notification menu instead of going through a ton of menus. The 8MP camera is great too with its HDR feature which I use often with great results. Browsing the web on this phone is beautiful with its ultra sharp bright display, this was another great reason why I chose this handset.

I also like the fact that Android is so customisable and very easy to share with other devices to boot. The best thing about using Android is that it's so much less restrictive than Apple's IOS platform, for example something which really bothered me before when using the iPhone was how useless its Bluetooth sharing options were, only allowing me to share with other IOS devices but now with Android I can send what I like to whoever I like.

As for its touch responsiveness I think it's definitely on par with my previous iPhone. I was very wary when trying it out in store and found that it didn't miss a beat unlike a friends old Android phone running Gingerbread 2.3 software which left me constantly re-typing odd characters here or there when the touch response failed (but this could have been the phone and not the software I can't be sure).

When it came to battery life I wasn't that impressed... at first anyway. Then I installed a free app call Juice Defender which improved my battery life a LOT! It switches off the mobile data network and/or Wi-Fi when the phone's screen is off and checks for data syncing every 15mins in the background whilst the phone is asleep and this makes a huge difference on saving precious battery life.

Now for my main gripes;

1* Although not a big problem the only downside to using Android for me is its Play store. I've found that Apple's app store has more apps of a higher quality and that some of Google's Play store apps aren't quite up to scratch, an example of this would be where I came across a few apps on IOS that run fine and were up to date on my iPhone but were months out of date with the latest features / bug fixes on the Android platform. This is probably due to the fact that many developers prefer IOS over Android (I've heard they make more money through IOS?). I managed to find just over half of the apps I had on my iPhone in the Play store and then a few more which weren't available on IOS, so it's a bit of give and take on that one.

2* The Samsung Kies software is terrible. Not only is it outdated (for Mac OS X Mountain Lion anyway) but when I run it through the Mac Unarchiver (which is the only way to get it to work) it more often than not fails to sync my device no matter what I try. I'm not gonna list all the things I've tried as it's probably unnecessary but let's just say I've got it to sync about 3 times randomly in about 20 attempts! Even the Android File Transfer (AFT) program will not sync (in MTP or PTP mode with or without USB debugging checked) maybe this program is out of date with OS X Mountain Lion too? Either way I had to use a 3rd party app like AirDroid to be able to sync it and that's why it lost out on a five star rating. If you own a Mac like me this could be a serious deal breaker.
I've heard it syncs fine on Windows so don't be put off if you're a Windows user.

For those of you still wondering whether or not to buy this phone or are still even here reading this review, here is my small list I used, for and against choosing the Galaxy S3 in reference to an iPhone;

For:

# More freedom with apps compared to Apple's restrictive regulations with certain apps in their app store,
# A more customisable experience with widgets & lock screen shortcuts,
# Expandable memory,
# Replaceable battery,
# Large 4.8" display,
# True multitasking,
# More hardware for your money,
# 2 year manufacturers warranty (as opposed to Apple where you have to pay extra for a second years warranty),

Against:

# Not as many Android OS updates,
# Doesn't have a complete premium quality feel being made mostly of plastic,
# Doesn't have as much resale value as an iPhone,
# Can at the best of times be touch and go syncing with Samsung Kies software.

(I could probably add more to the list but these were my main personal concerns in choosing this phone)

It really does depend on what you want in a smartphone, for me I chose hardware over software and by that I mean the specs on my Galaxy S3 are far superior to the iPhone 4 and a fair bit better than the latest iPhone 5 IMHO (others may feel differently). But when it comes to software I feel that IOS wins on that front and that's mainly because Apple don't have to make their software run on so many different devices which causes less problems with compatibility and stability with certain apps and software etc.

Don't get me wrong there are definitely things I miss about using my old iPhone/IOS but it's not enough to warrant me buying back into the iPhone franchise. I still love Apple hardware and will continue to use my Mac but I feel Apple has lost its edge in the smartphone industry... at the moment anyhow.

There are many more points I could make about this wonderful handset but many other reviewers have probably already mentioned them and I feel I've gone on far too much already.

CONCLUSION:

If you want simplicity / basic functions in a smartphone alongside a bit more of a premium feel, get an iPhone, But if like me you want a more customisable experience with really powerful hardware specs, larger screen, memory expansion, replaceable battery, longer battery life etc then get the Samsung Galaxy S3. Trust me you won't regret it.

----------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE!!! (13/11/2012)

It appears that both Samsung and Android File Transfer have released updates to their syncing software for Mac OS X Mountain Lion. My Galaxy S3 is still a bit temperamental with Kies but syncs perfectly with AFT (Android File Transfer). It worked with ICS 4.0.4 and also with the latest through the air update to Jelly Bean 4.1.1
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great phone, 23 Nov. 2012
By 
Dr. R. R. Hilton (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy SIII UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Pebble Blue (16GB) - Discontinued by manufacturer (Wireless Phone)
Don't get me wrong this is a great phone however one things bugs me. The battery life. I use the phone to its full capacity. I get a reasonable number of emails per day which require answering or checking out in some form or other. I receive more phone calls than I make. Certainly at the beginning I downloaded many apps and so the fact that the battery life seemed short did not worry me inititially. However, now my use is well past the initial setup phase and still the battery does not last for a day. If I manage to get to early evening with 20 per cent I have done well and been pretty economic. As a result I bought myself a second battery and charger. The phone requires a larger capacity battery Samsung!
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