|Samsung Galaxy S3 Smartphone SPH-L710|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Phones | Handheld|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 18 December 2012|
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Samsung Galaxy S3 Phone Features
Samsung has been producing mobile phones for more than twelve years (SPH-N200 debuted August 2000), so when smartphone devices emerged they quickly partnered with Google to produce deeply functional products that interact with the user. Samsung's Galaxy S3 smartphone features the Google Android 4.1.2 "Ice Cream Sandwich" operating system. Google Android is the most popular smartphone operating system on the planet, surpassing Apple's iOS for the iPhone in number of units installed. Upon initialization Galaxy S3 prompts users to update Google Android to the latest version, keeping the phone up-to-date whenever connected.
Android is host to a core set of popular Google Applications (known as GAPPs), comprised primarily of: Gmail, Google Search, Google+, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Talk, Google Wallet, and Google Play Store. Most users are familiar with the functions for each of these apps, so I won't go into more detail on them. Samsung includes several more apps with their Galaxy S III phone, such as Samsung AllShare Play, Kies Air, S Voice, as well as many proprietary phone features. This section will cover many of these unique applications and phone functions.
The primary focus for much of Samsung's new phone features revolve around sharing data with others. Using NFC (Near Field Communication) short range wireless communication technology, Samsung S-Beam and Android Beam functions allow the Samsung Galaxy S III to share contents with another phone by merely tapping NFC labels to each other. While useful in an entertainment capacity, there are several more applications for NFC that go beyond focused file sharing. Some mobile carriers offer payment services via NFC, using apps such as Google Wallet. Additionally, new products like the Samsung TecTiles enable users to attach square NFC labels onto objects and assign a phone function when tapped. This becomes especially helpful for high-tech users who want to communicate with smart thermostats, home alarm systems, or activate/deactivate Wi-Fi as they enter or leave the home.
Samsung Buddy Photo Share is another time-saving feature that recognizes faces in the pictures you take so they can be more easily tagged and distributed out to those people. Samsung Share Shot further simplifies this task, allowing you to send photos to up to five supported devices connected via Wi-Fi Direct technology. Samsung AllShare is a feature that lets the Galaxy S3 share files with other devices, including DLNA-capable appliances, connected to the same Wi-Fi network. AllShare Play and AllShare Group Cast are two functions of this technology, which let the Galaxy S3 play files directly from another source or collaborate on documents in real time.
Other features simply make the Samsung Galaxy S3 a more convenient smartphone. Smart Stay technology will sense when you're looking at the phone, and keep the screen lit bright. Samsung S-Voice turns the Galaxy S3 into a voice-controlled device, similar to the recently-reviewed BlueAnt Commute Handsfree Car Kit, but now the phone will respond to what you say. Like Google speech-to-text, an active data connection is required for S-Voice to work.
Two little-known features available on the Galaxy S3 don't receive a trendy Samsung name, but are especially useful for all users. Galaxy S3 offers a volume boost feature that unlocks 'extra volume' during calls, while the in-call sound equalizer (EQ) can adjust the audio quality to help make a call sound more clear. Anyone who takes calls in a noisy environment will appreciate these two features.
With regard to multimedia capabilities, the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone sets a new standard. Sound and music files can utilize any of these CODECs: MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AC-3, apt-X. These means that beyond music, users can also listen to recorded dictation or work with audio stream files. For many, including myself, we prefer to convert our audio files and music discs into lossless FLAC format, so no further conversion is necessary to play files on the Galaxy S3.
Likewise, many popular video CODECs are supported: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, DivX, DivX3.11, VC-1, VP8, WMV7/8, Sorenson Spark Recording & Playback (Full HD 1080p). While MPEG4 and H.264 are among the most popular video formats, MKV files may still play just fine since they're based on the H.264 MPEG-4 container. The Samsung Galaxy S3 makes flight layovers and treadmill workouts a good time to catch up on that missed episode of your favorite show or converted movie.
In the next section, I give my final conclusion and rate the Samsung Galaxy S III phone.