Long battery life, Has all the S4 features & more
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is simply one balanced performing smartphone! At $300 with a 2-year contract, there's no denying the fact that it's an expensive cost, but as we've come to learn, the hefty pricing does come with some perks. The phablet category saw some new entrants into the space this year, but the Note 3 continues to be the best in its class.
Beautiful large screen, cutting edge tech
Samsung has done it again - and it made it look so easy. The Galaxy Note 3 can pretend it has no competition, while otherwise remarkable rivals know they'll will have to live with - but not quite live up to - comparisons to the gadget that defines an entire segment.
Three generations into it, Samsung is returning to a playground which now has to be shared with others. There are bigger screens out there, waterproof bodies, impressive cameras and immensely powerful chipsets.
Huge full HD display, S Pen digital pen, fast CPU
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is king of the phablets, as was the Note II. Heck, before the original Galaxy Note, there was no such thing as a phablet. Good thing Samsung was cheeky enough to give oversized smartphones a try. The Note 3 is currently among the fastest phablets; only the Sony Xperia Z Ultra shares the Snapdragon 800 CPU with Adreno 330 graphics for now, though we expect that to change as the months pass.
Pros: Improved looks, hugely powerful.
There are a few little things about the Note 3 that we think require some attention, such as photo processing and possible concern over SIM region-locking. These feel like software issues though, and that gives us some hope that they might be fixed at some point in the future. Aside from that, the leap forward from the Note 2 is pretty epic. The included S Pen is great for handling the new air command interface, while handwriting recognition is more accurate now.
Crisp, bold screen, Very powerful
Its huge 5.7-inch size means the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 really won't be to everyone's taste. If you're after a big screen, however, and a phenomenally powerful phone to help tackle anything your working life is likely to throw at it -- and you fancy hand-writing notes with a stylus -- the Note 3 is the best massive mobile around.
Great battery life, Excellent screen, Top-notch specs and performance
If you don't mind feature clutter and the device's high price, or you just want a big-screen phone that has the fastest internals for gaming and multitasking, the Note 3 is the best phone for you. But if a big screen and good performance are mostly what you're after, there are other big-screen options, and there will soon be more. If you can live with a lower-resolution screen (that's still pretty great) and the absence of the S Pen, Samsung's Galaxy Mega is a good choice.
Large screen, compact phone
Samsung didn't exactly catch us by surprise with the Galaxy S4. Pretty much all the hardware improvements like the faster processor, better camera, and 5" 1080p screen were expected. Samsung simply had to have those in the Galaxy S4 if it wanted its product to be relevant in 2013. However, it's the flawless implementation of all the features that makes the Galaxy S4 the superb smartphone that it is. Design-wise, the latest Samsung flagship is nothing special.
Stunning screen, Superfast processor, Great camera
Make no mistake - the Samsung Galaxy S4 is far, far more than a Galaxy S3 'S' - Samsung may be copying Apple according to some people, but it's not as brazen as the Cupertino brand in flogging the exact same design with a slightly uprated processor and calling it a new phone.
The Galaxy S4 is a great, great device in its own right, re-inventing what it means to own a brilliant smartphone in a number of ways.
More serious and stylish look
While the Samsung Galaxy S4's exterior might be its Achilles' heel, we can't blame Samsung for sticking with the Galaxy S brand image it spent so much resources trying to build (that phone sold over 50 million units too, so being associated with it cannot be too bad).
With the sheer number of excellent flagships to choose from, if you are looking for the best smartphone, you had it better than ever.
Stunning 5-inch Full HD screen
The Samsung Galaxy S4 might not look that different or have that one killer feature that sinks the competition, but it's a worthy successor to the Samsung Galaxy S3.
It's a true high-end powerhouse and undeniably one of the best phones on the market right now, albeit one that will relies a little too heavily on brand appeal and past successes rather than innovation and eye-catching design. Yes, it might not be the most stylish handset on the market, but nor is it a dog.
Huge display in a not so huge phone, excellent camera
The Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones is a juggernaut; like the iPhone, the next generation will sell well based simply on brand loyalty, trust and familiarity. Even so, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a lot to offer, and though I wasn't overwhelmed with love for the Galaxy S III, the S4 is seriously tempting me. The superb camera and related features, comfortable feel in the hand, replaceable battery and software like Smart Stay and Air Gesture are hard to give up once you've used them.
A brilliant phone in almost every way
As we type this we have the SGS3 and the SGS4 on our desk. While, superficially, there's really not a lot of difference between the two, to hold, they couldn't feel more different. We really like the new, more square-feeling SGS4. At the back, we prefer the SGS3 aesthetically, although the case design of the new phone is nicer - albeit still plastic.
There are a stack more options here.
High-resolution display, Fast processor
An alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active - with such impressive characteristics and top-of-the-line hardware specs - is pretty hard to find. As of this review, the Sony Xperia Z is the only capable competitor to Samsung's tough handset as it is also water-resistant and with high-end hardware specifications.
IP57-level water resistance is nice
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is not the best smartphone in the Samsung lineup, but if you add "that I can put in water," things definitely change. It's a very good 2013 flagship aimed at people who until recently had very few options - as you can see there aren't many high-end smartphones with water resistance.
Sure not everyone needs to have an IP57 certified handset, but if it doesn't cost anything in terms of overall smartphone performance than it certainly doesn't hurt having it.
Able to handle dust, water, and all the vicissitudes
We really like the Galaxy S4 Active. It's got the kind of features that we wish the flagship smartphone has. There is a downgrade with some specifications but they don't seem like a big sacrifice. Performance is excellent and the neither display nor the camera could be described as poor. If you want durability, this is the Galaxy S4 for you but it's worth checking out the Xperia Z as an alternative.
Same great features as Galaxy S4 though the camera resolution is demoted
If you love the Samsung Galaxy S4, but work or play in harsh environments where the phone comes into contact with water and dust, then the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is for you. In order to keep the price the same as the regular GS4, Samsung dropped the camera quality down a notch, but you're still getting a very good shooter than can even photograph fishies underwater.
Wow just wow
The Samsung Galaxy s4 active is probably the phone to have right now on the market. Although pretty pricey it is literally a "Smart" phone. The phone may be a little bit bulkier than the other phones in the past, it is life proof, literally. When I purchased the phone the first thing I did was test it to see if it could last in water. I poured water straight into the sound output then played music straight after, and the sound quality was perfect.
Good value-for-money for a convergence device
Oh, and if you have to have a convergence phone/camera device with optical zoom for whatever daily reason - well, nothing can rival the chubby S4 Zoom then, and Samsung has priced it pretty well to boot, just slightly above its S4 Mini blood brother, throwing in the whole camera part for cheap.
Battery life is decent
It's almost impossible to score the Galaxy S4 Zoom. It is such a niche product. £400 buys you either not much phone or a lot of camera. Actually, it buys you both. But whether that makes it a good deal depends on your needs: do you want a superzoom camera that can make calls and send and receive emails? If so this is the phone/camera for you. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
Pros: Responsive camera, physical controls make for ease of camera use.
READ:. As a phone the S4 Zoom has us equally as charmed as the S4 Mini - it's snappy, great to use, has plenty enough power and is a decent size. As a camera the S4 Zoom performs like a reasonable 16MP, 10x optical zoom compact camera too. Married together and the potential of both sides opens up: there's no need to switch between two products so no waste of precious bag or pocket space, while using apps, snapping shots and sharing on the go are just a few finger taps away.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is a spectacular phone. A big part of what makes it spectacular is its incredible specs sheet. Yeah, although its specs can easily be rivaled by strong competitors like the HTC One X, which also has a quad-core processor and the other beloved tech goodies, the Galaxy S III manages to shine brighter, thanks to its superior user experience.
Excellent battery life
So to summarise: if you've been waiting feverishly for the new Samsung Galaxy S3, you will not be disappointed. It's fast, it's sleek and it packs the latest technology that will get your pulse racing.
The recent update has made it an even better phone, and we've been using it out of choice for the last few months - given we've got the choice of most handsets out there, that's a pretty big recommendation for any phone.
Good design and build quality
Subject to further testing, the Galaxy S3 has turned out to be an excellent smartphone. It offers a good design and build quality, despite our small niggles. Samsung has put together an impressive set of hardware resulting in silky smooth performance and extensive software features.
Fast, big display and a great camera
Is the Samsung Galaxy S III an excellent smartphone? Yes it is. Given the millions of preorders, I suspect many of you would buy this no matter what I said about the phone. That speaks of Samsung's momentum in the smartphone market and their excellent track record. Is this Samsung's best Android phone ever? Yes it is, but there is room for improvement. I'd love to see Samsung use high quality materials and cutting edge designs in their top tier phone.
Large screen makes gaming and watching videos very comfortable
No, the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 isn't ridiculous despite its gargantuan proportions. It is simply not a smartphone for the mainstream market. Rather, it is meant to be used by a very specific demographic - those few who want their smartphone to have a large display above all. Without a doubt, having such a huge screen makes gaming a lot more comfortable and it is great for watching video or photos.
4G and microSD support, Large, bright screen
In the end, we are left feeling a little confused by the Samsung Galaxy Mega. Every time we pick it up, we really want to like it. Samsung proved with the original Galaxy Note, and the subsequent Galaxy Note 2, that big screens really do sell phones, and we can see exactly why.
But that Galaxy Note 2 comes with an AMOLED screen, and the same resolution as the Galaxy Mega but in a screen that is 0.8 inches smaller so seems that bit more impressive.
UI navigation is pretty smooth
For the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 to be relevant to a smartphone user, it comes down to a very specific set of needs. First, you just have to have a large screen, second, you need to have dual-SIM support and finally, you have to value Android 4.2 Jelly Bean pretty high. If this is you, then the Mega 5.8 offers a package that few can match.
Surprisingly comfortable to hold in relation to its size
We suspected that Samsung was working on a 6.3" smartphone, and frankly, we thought that it was the Galaxy Note 3 until recently. While it is just about certain that the Samsug Galaxy Note 3 will come in due time, the arrival of this Galaxy Mega is quite a surprise, and mostly a good one. The smartphone design looks great, and it has little to envy to the Galaxy S4, it is really like a close relative.
The Galaxy Mega is not meant as being the new high-end specs performer.
Great in-call audio quality
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S Advance has absolutely no major drawbacks, which makes it a splendid mid-range Android device. We are more than content with its design, the hardware has no troubles handling every day tasks with ease, and the in-call audio quality is absolutely ear-pleasing. Add the smartphone's well-justified price tag to the equation and you get a clear winner in this category.
Great AMOLED screen
Overall, the Galaxy S Advance is a good, all round package. It's got decent performance thanks to its dual core processor, the screen is excellent and the camera isn't half bad either. Why the middling score then? The problem is that Samsung's pricing seems a bit off as you can find the company's own Galaxy SII on contract for a similar price, while the likes of the speedier HTC Sensation XE is cheaper when bough SIM free.
Nice screen; decent performance
The Advance is mainly hindered by an outdated operating system. It misses out on a lot of cool features offered by Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as it runs on Gingerbread.
Samsung's TouchWiz interface makes up for it with a modern and snazzy look but it can only do so much.
Also, the Advance doesn't have cutting edge features but for RM1,099 you are getting a lot of features that matter.
Expandable & well connected
It's a good phone. If you're coming from a Samsung Galaxy Ace or Galaxy Mini, the Galaxy S Advance will make for a great upgrade, but we can't shake off two things: we've seen this formula from Samsung countless times before and we're getting an out of date version of Android. If neither of these negatives matter for you, the Â£300-Â£330 asking price of the S-Advance is fair, however if they do, you may want to stump up an extra Â£30-40 for a better specced, ICS upgradable Samsung Galaxy S2.
The Samsung Galaxy S Advance is a souped-up version of the Galaxy S that looks like a smaller S2 but packs a curved Super AMOLED screen. Its specs won't blow your socks off, but they're not bad if you're in the market for a mid-range pay-up-front blower -- provided you're happy to stomach the slightly stale Android Gingerbread.
Solid 5-megapixel camera
With the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G, you're looking at a solid midrange Android smartphone that packs a punch, and has a reasonable initial price tag. T-Mobile customers wouldn't go wrong with the handset, especially if they don't want to pay top dollar, but it isn't for those looking for the cutting edge.
Fast data when available
The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G is an impressive device with great ergonomics and speedy performance. Apart from some issues with the display, it is also built very well. Even if you don't live in an area where you can access T-Mobile's super fast 42Mbps HSPA+ network, the Blaze 4G is a joy to use. Of course, the experience is only that much better if you can take advantage of the high-speed data services while on the go.
Great calling quality
Good things are still found in small packages. In fact, that's essentially what we find with T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G, as it's able to impress us in so many ways. To tell you the truth, we weren't expecting a lot out of this one, especially when the Samsung Galaxy S II is out there floating around, but it's evident that the Blaze 4G is a wonderful alternative for those who prefer a device that's more compact without sacrificing the goods in the specs department.
Well built, fast, and pocket friendly
The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G packs enough functionality to keep every potential Android user, who thinks that a screen over 4" in size is too big happy. It is well built, fast, and pocket friendly. It's also got some powerful hardware that makes it relatively future proof.
The smartphone however, is far from perfect. Its Super AMOLED screen has remained in 2010.
We're certainly excited to see dual-core processors trickle down into T-Mobile's mid-tier, and thanks to some well-tuned software, the Blaze 4G is an excellent performer. It's an admirable handset that offers top-notch battery life and network performance, pristine call quality and a beautiful, sturdy enclosure. That said, it's a good handset that stops just short of greatness. To justify its high price, Samsung could've included a better display and its superior 8-megapixel camera.
Great 8-megapixel camera
With its huge screen and throwback stylus, the Samsung Galaxy Note is a polarizing smartphone that winks at tablet territory. Those who like their screens XL will find a top-notch device that lets multimedia shine. The S Pen adds some artistic potential, but for some, the phone will just simply be too big.
Great multimedia device
It should be clear that the Samsung Galaxy Note is a niche product. It's not a phone designed to take over the mass market. Why is that? The big dimensions of the Note make it much more uncomfortable to handle and use than any other smartphone. Some people with extraordinarily large hands may have a chance of finding it okay, but those cases will be extremely rare. Just to give you an example, the device's size means that it's absolutely impossible to use it with one hand only.
Powerful yet long-lasting
The Note doesn't quite live up to Samsung's marketing slogan: Jack of all trades, master of all. It's on the large side for a phone, doesn't fit into small pockets and usually requires two hands for messaging. However, if you can live with these compromises the Note is a sleek, attractive powerhouse with one of the nicest screens we've ever seen, superb battery life and great video recording plus playback. Once it receives its ICS update, it should match the best.
A great screen and responsiveness
The Samsung Galaxy Note is a very likable device with portability, a great screen and responsiveness on its side. The issue, of course other than with its possibly high price tag is whether there really is a market for something that straddles the smartphone and tablet divide.
Huge and lovely high res display
The Samsung Galaxy Note is the best Android smartphone of 2011. It has a superb display running at an extremely high resolution, a very useful Wacom digitizer with pen for pressure sensitive writing and drawing and a very fast dual core CPU. It's thin, attractive and though very large, can still fit in a pocket as well as medium to large hands. Voice quality for calls is excellent whether using the handset or a Bluetooth headset, HSPA+ speeds are very good and the GPS is solid.
The Galaxy Note is one of those devices that you'll either completely love or totally hate -- its sheer size alone will certainly be a barrier for those with smaller hands (or pockets). With the Note, Samsung has managed to create one of the world's largest smartphones, but cunningly it's also an incredibly compact tablet with a high-resolution display -- the same as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet -- without the high-resolution footprint.
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