Samsung Galaxy S3 4G
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is back, only this time it’s rocking some seriously souped up tech, as well as brand new software. The Samsung Galaxy S3 4G can now connect to EE’s super speed LTE network for download and upload speeds up to ten times faster than you’re used to on 3G - and you’ll find all the extra features of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tucked inside too.
It’s a Samsung Galaxy S3. You don’t need us to tell you that this is the big daddy of Android phones. Its design hasn’t been changed in anyway, and it’s scorchingly, shockingly fast. It’s impossible to make this phone wobble, and the the 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen is absolutely gorgeous, not to mention pin sharp.
But it’s a Samsung Galaxy S3 that can go even faster. The Samsung Galaxy S3 4G can hook up to EE’s 4G network (the only one in the UK live at the moment, though if you buy it unlocked it will work with O2 and Vodafone’s frequencies when they go live) for absolutely insane speeds. In fact, the fastest of any 4G device we’ve tested so far. We often saw downloads speeds between 20 and 45Mbps, beating 3G by a factor of ten.
Pages pop up in an instant, and you can comfortably stream video on the go - though you probably wouldn’t want to do this very often. Perhaps more usefully, the solid upload speeds mean uploading video wherever you are is much, much quicker than it ever has been before. That extra speed doesn’t seem to affect the battery life in anyway either.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 4G also runs the fantastic Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a software update not every Galaxy S3 on every network has received yet. It looks much the same, but Google’s Project Butter tweaks behind the hood make it even faster, eliminating any lag. Google Now can also be launched, which combines fast accurate voice search with clever predictive cards of information it thinks you’ll need. It’s not perfect, but it’s nice to be presented with train times when you’re on the move at the very least, and we can’t wait to see how Google improves the service further.
While the Samsung Galaxy S3 remains sturdily built, it doesn’t have quite the same premium feel to it as the unbelievably light iPhone 5, or the beautiful, curved HTC One X line. It’s just a piece of plastic, and design aficionados may not be too happy with that. (Of course, the plus side of the plastic case is a removable back cover, so you can switch out the battery and add in a micro SD card for extra storage, something its rivals don’t allow).
Hairsplitters could also argue that it’s not running the very latest version of Android, 4.2. But the truth is this adds very little to the mix beyond a Gmail bug fix which fits text onto the screen, so it’s not missed - and rumours have it Samsung is working on an update anyway.
Perhaps more pressing is the current 4G coverage situation in the UK. EE’s rolling it out aggressively, but right now there are still dead zones in the middle of central London - including areas where EE says its 4G signal penetrates on its website. For the price EE is asking (Starting at £36 per month), that doesn’t scream value as it does super speed. Yet. If you’re not in a 4G area, you could do well to go with a 3G Galaxy S3 with unlimited data on a cheaper tariff.