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.
Improved Sense user interface
The HTC One S is simply a fine smartphone. It shows that HTC still knows how to build devices that elicit feelings of lust and desire, and it shows further that the company realizes that its Sense interface has seen better days and needs to get back to the basics. And the basics are what the One S does best. Call audio? Check. Web browser? Check. Camera? Check. Aesthetic appeal? Double check.
Very good call quality
The HTC One S might be the middle child in the new One lineup, but it can't realistically be called mid-range just because the screen is qHD instead of HD. Upper mid-range would be a good fit, if you are a categorization nazi. We loved the compact and sturdy design with a very light and premium feel. In fact, the One S feels higher-end in the hand with its sexy slim metal body, toned by the anodized coating, than the flagship One X, made of fancy plastic.
Beautiful slim but strong design
The HTC One S is a really difficult phone to judge. On the one hand its plasma-etched and super-slim design, fast processor, decent screen and good camera all add up to make this a major improvement over top phones of last year and certainly competitive with many current handsets. But, on the other hand, that plasma finish may not be as tough as first thought, it only packs 16GB of storage and the AMOLED screen is far from perfect.
The HTC One S is one of the top Android phones. The HTC One X has a bigger, higher-resolution display and LTE connectivity (not much use in the UK for now). Hopefully the call quality issues I experienced with my test HTC One S are an isolated incident. The lack of a storage expansion port is a shame, but other than that the HTC One S is a winner.
Stunning design, lovely display
The HTC One S is one of our top picks among Android smartphones. Not only is it one of the few to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, we also like the evolution of HTC Sense. The gorgeous, elegant and durable anodized aluminum unibody casing, impossibly thin profile and attention to detail are hard to beat among Android phones and the Super AMOLED display is super colorful and sharp.
Dual-core Snapdragon S4
Sporting a thinner and lighter design, the One S doesn't deserve to be hidden in the shadow of its pricier brother. With the latest dual-core Snapdragon S4 and noticeable improvements to HTC's Sense UI, as well as Android 4.0 and a potent camera, this phone is likely to play a large part of the manufacturer's renewed efforts after a shaky 2011.
Good design and materials used
If you are a power user and are sick of continually charging your battery, you should take a look at the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX. Its talk and standby times are the longest that we've seen on a smartphone, and the device has plenty of high-end features to quench an Android user's thirst, with its only drawbacks being the non-HD screen and the mediocre camera quality.
All the things about the original Razr are still here (except for that profile). The AMOLED is just as gorgeous, the overlay is just as snazzy, and we're still impressed with the media player even after all this time. Add to all that the Razr Maxx can now go days without charging, or actively use LTE without destroying your battery and - all the sudden - the Razr goes from a winner to a champion.
Battery life king
The build quality of the phone is top notch, with distinctive design and cool materials (kudos to Moto for using Kevlar on more and more phones recently). The screen holds up very well (it's the same unit to find on a modern upper-midrange phone like the HTC One S) and the camera is one of the better 8MP shooters. If the phone was a little more compact (or packed a larger screen on the same body) it would have been great, but that's not by any means a deal breaker.
The Droid Razr Maxx greatly improves upon what was perhaps the biggest weakness of the Droid Razr: battery life. If you plan on watching a lot of video or doing some heavy duty gaming on your phone, the Razr Maxx is a good match for you. If you're looking to save money, however, you might opt for the original Razr; it costs $100 less than the Razr Maxx.
All that Droid RAZR goodness, with nearly 2x battery life.
It's sexy, it's unique and nearly bulletproof thanks to Gorilla Glass on the front and Kevlar on the back. Voice quality is excellent, download speeds on LTE rock and the phone has supreme battery life. The Super AMOLED display is very colorful with deep blacks, though it's not the highest resolution display on the block. The Droid RAZR MAXX works with Motorola's myriad accessories including the Lapdock, giving it an element of versatility.
Spectacular battery life
The Droid RAZR Maxx may deliver a lifetime of mammoth proportions, but we can't help but have mixed feelings. Why? As too often is the case (the Samsung Skyrocket series on AT&T comes to mind), Motorola and Verizon are hard at work pushing too many RAZR devices at once, and early adopters are left as the victims.
Unique and solid design
After spending some quality time with the Nokia Lumia 900, we have to admit, we're not entirely blown away by it. Rather, it's essentially yet another device that we've experienced on numerous occasions in the past already and it merely plays to the same level found with existing Windows Phones like the HTC Titan and Samsung Focus S.
There's a lot on the line for Nokia and Microsoft with the Lumia 900. While one handset isn't going to sink either company, the right one could certainly do wonders for both companies' market (and mind) share, where iOS and Android have continued to thrive into a thoroughbred race with only two horses.
Jaw-droppingly gorgeous bod
When super-fast 4G connectivity is one of the Lumia 900's core features, and something that won't be widely available in the UK for yonks, we see this new Windows Phone 7 device as a minor iteration on the Lumia 800. But that's no bad thing when it has an equally well-built, jaw-droppingly gorgeous bod. While we like that Nokia hasn't blasted out a dozen half-hearted Windows Phone handsets to date, a 4.3in option couldn't do the Lumia series's sales any harm.
Excellent voice quality
If you got the idea that we really like the Nokia Lumia 900, you're right. The elegant and durable design, unique appearance, simply irresistible ClearBlack AMOLED display and fast performance have us hooked. Throw in 4G LTE with fallback to HSPA+ and Nokia's excellent camera with Carl Zeiss lens and it's good times for Windows Phone 7.5. The Lumia 900 has excellent call quality, good reception and a compelling selection of Nokia custom apps.
Big screen, cool design
Nokia has done the best it can to make the most of Windows Phone 7, for us making this a viable alternative to Android and the iPhone. The app scene is still lacking though. It is getting better, but if that's your main want, WP7 still won't deliver as much as the other two main platforms. For us, the success with WP7 is with contacts, the interactive tiles, and how easy everything is to use. The apps will come in time.
Large capacity battery plus a spare one in the box
It is fascinating how Samsung's researchers managed to stuff all these LEDs inside the small projecting unit in the Galaxy Beam, and still achieve a watchable picture that can be blown up to 50, as if you carry your own big-screen TV in your pocket. Naturally, the resolution and brightness can't replace a TV experience, but under the right circumstances you can definitely enjoy a movie or two on the go together with many other people sitting nearby. That's the Galaxy Beam's key feature.
Good battery life
All-in-all, we're a little pushed to find more than a couple of random things you might need a projector for. You could go old-school and make people sit through a literal slide show of your holiday snaps.
Or you could possibly be out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a sheep to project a film onto the side of.
Or, of course, maybe you really do want to use it in-situ at a meeting. But other than that, what are you going to do with it?
2000 mAh battery
At the end of our review, it's perhaps fitting to return to the highlight of the Samsung Galaxy Beam - the projector. We found its performance pretty good for the casual media sharing, though the low brightness and the uninspiring resolution hardly make it a great work tool. It's pretty clear that the I8530 Beam was aimed at youngsters rather than professionals and that seems like the more reasonable approach.
Good at projecting media
There's definitely some excitement to be had when reviewing a device so out of the ordinary, but we found it a little difficult to make a final judgment call. The Galaxy Beam does well at what it claims to be good at (projecting media), but it's otherwise mediocre at best. That's not to say it's a horrible phone, but the low-to-mid-range feature set makes it a tough sell at $430, especially when you can pay the same price for much nicer devices these days.
Built-in pico projector
The Samsung Galaxy Beam is definitely one of the more interesting releases of 2012 so far. It's essentially an average, mid-range Android phone that boasts a built-in HD projector as its key feature. With a brightness of just 15 lumens, however, we can't possibly see this feature being used for any serious entertainment or business.
The Samsung Galaxy Beam may be a little quirky, but it's colourful design and projector skills certainly made it stand out from the crowd at MWC. Many will struggle to find a scenario where they'd need to project a video onto a wall using their phone, but it's a interesting idea and we look forward to testing it in more detail.
We have to say, at $49.99 with a 2-year contract, the Samsung Focus 2 isn't that bad of a smartphone even more when this is a brand spanking new device we're talking about! Strengthening its value, we love that it sports an adorable design, equipped with 4G LTE connectivity, and offers that casual Windows Phone experience like everything else before it.
Fast performance, Solid camera
The Samsung Focus 2 is an excellent Windows Phone released at the worst possible time. Yes, the elephant in the room is that Windows Phone 8 is just around the corner, and like all devices running the Mango OS, the Focus 2 can't be upgraded.
It doesn't help that thanks to aggressive pricing the Nokia Lumia 900 can now be found in the same budget $50 price range as the Focus 2.
Well-balanced and cleverly priced device
The Samsung Focus 2 will not sell by the millions. It is not designed to do so. What Samsung have done with the I667 instead, is to create a well-balanced and cleverly priced device to keep the competition on its toes. Unsurprisingly, it is a task well executed.
Super AMOLED display
It's not the best Windows Phone device out there but it will keep you happy. That being said, it's a risk to buy a new Windows Phone device now since it won't be updated to the newest version of the OS, coming this fall. Weigh your options before making this call.
Very tidy device
The Samsung Focus 2 is a very tidy device, and currently the cheapest phone on AT&T to combine LTE and Windows Phone 7. Anyone who purchases it won't be disappointed, especially those who require long battery life. That said, if a great camera or a big, high-res screen are in your list of must-haves, look elsewhere.
Clean, complete, and thought-out interface
Undeniably, Verizon Wireless customers are surely lucky because the Samsung Galaxy Nexus managed to make its landing this year as opposed to being delayed to next year. Who cares that the carrier missed out with a Galaxy S II model of its own, well, customers have consolation knowing that the Galaxy Nexus makes for a wonderful alternative seeing it's the first device stateside to land with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
We already knew more-or-less what we were getting with the Verizon rendition of the Galaxy Nexus, and ultimately it delivers. Yes, battery life predictably takes a hit compared to the HSPA+ when you enable LTE, and it's safe to say this version of the phone has a bit more to love than the earlier release, but neither of those are deal-breakers. This, like the other version, is a great phone.
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.
There is, quite simply, no better Windows Phone smartphone on the market than the Nokia Lumia 800. It features wonderful hardware in terms of both design and quality, and Microsoft's operating system runs more smoothly on the Lumia than on any other Windows Phone to date. This phone is a flat out winner, and a great alternative for those that wish to rise above the flood of iPhones and Android smartphones that we wade through daily.
Solid, stylized design
And so it begins, Nokia's partnership with Microsoft has reached fruition and the first taste is in our hands. Bearing in mind how quickly Nokia got this to market, the custom Nokia Apps they pulled out of the bag and the reformatting of MeeGo hardware to fit a Windows Phone platform, we can do little but commend. The Nokia Lumia 800 sports a beautiful screen, slick design and promising OS only made more attractive by the inclusion of Nokia Maps, Drive and Music.
Although we had our doubts during initial familiarisation with the Nokia WP7 environment, the transition from the Symbian environment will be much less painful than expected for those still entranced by the Nokia brand. In less than 48 hours we went from wanting to return to our old phones to not wanting to let go of this one. After four months with the Nokia Lumia 800 we still don't want to let it go, although we have had to accept some of its negatives to make the most of its positives.
The Nokia Lumia 800 is a well built and handsome handset with a solid set of features. However, its combination of mediocre specs and mostly standard implementation of Windows Phone certainly doesn't catapult it above the competition. It's definitely one of the better Windows Phones, and the Nokia exclusives like Nokia Drive and Mix Radio have the potential to be great features, but considering the fanfare, we're a bit underwhelmed.
Comfort is quite good
As much a fashion accessory as it is a headset, Nokia's BH-800 mono Bluetooth headset puts on a good show despite its compact size. Its mediocre range and average battery life are likely both consequences of its design, while the rubber-encircled speaker insert is less so; still, comfort is quite good once the initial (and cumbersome) adaptation has been carried out, and the headset's easily-distinguished keys and good quality further contribute to a positive overall impression.
Sturdy and sleek construction, with a vivid display
The Nokia Lumia 800 is probably Nokia's best smartphone so far. It has a sturdy and sleek construction, with a vivid display, paired with refreshing software from Microsoft. If you are just upgrading to a smartphone or you have one of Nokia's Symbian devices, then the Lumia 800 is a stellar upgrade: it's fast, easy to use and it looks great.
Sturdy, elegant design
The Nokia Lumia 800 is probably Nokia's best smartphone so far. It has a sturdy and sleek construction plus a vivid display, paired with refreshing software from Microsoft. If you are just moving up to a smartphone, or if you have one of Nokia's Symbian devices, the Lumia 800 is a stellar upgrade: It's fast, it's easy to use, and it looks great.
The mid-end price point coupled with the simplistic Windows Phone OS and the unibody chassis of Nokia N9 is definitely a good buy. The Nokia Lumia 800 definitely is a great choice to include to your to -buy list.
However, the drawback will be the limited applications available for Windows Phone (for now) and the absence of mass storage. Overall, you will find it a pretty decent partner to go with, especially when it is priced at RM1650.
© 2007-14 ReviewGist.com. All Rights Reserved.