Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE hands-on

Here within the UK, we’re used to bumbling along on rubbish old 3G, barely aware that our US cousins — and other nations besides — enjoy faster mobile data owing to 4G tech. That’s about to vary. Everything Everywhere has created EE, a brand new network for its 4G LTE service, and one of many first phones to exploit that faster technology would be an LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy S3.

There’s no word yet on when this LTE-capable smart phone might be released, or how much it would cost, but with EE’s 4G network launching within weeks, I’d cautiously expect this mobile to be out before Christmas.

I’ve been hands-on with the 4.8-inch Galaxy S3 LTE previous to its official launch, so read on for everything you should know (including the result of my speed test), and check this page later for more photos and an entire review with a celeb rating.

LTE speed

The Galaxy S3 LTE is a 4G phone. That suggests it has the hardware required to latch onto a network’s 4G spectrum band, which delivers much faster data. In practice, videos will load so much more quickly and web sites will appear with less delay. It’ll even be faster to put in apps and do very nearly anything that involves a web based connection.

Designated a 4G phone by the bobbly LTE icon glued onto its rear, this phone performed rather well after I gave it a speed test. My hands-on time was limited, but I saw internet sites loading snappily and was hugely impressed by the implications I nabbed.

The download speeds afforded by an LTE connection rival home broadband.

Using the rate Test app, the S3 LTE managed an extraordinarily fast 39.57Mbps download and 23.95Mbps upload. That’s extremely nippy and it’s significantly quicker than many people’s home broadband.

I ran the test a number of more times — once it came back slightly slower at 26.43Mbps download, though that’s still impressively quick, and on another test it just edged past the 40Mbps mark.

Only time will tell whether this phone, and other LTE mobiles, can manage real-world speeds which are anywhere near that benchmark. Network strain, location and other factors could easily affect the speeds you finally achieve.

It’s also worth noting that I spied a 3G phone loading an internet page ever-so-slightly faster than its 4G equivalent a couple of times, so for everyday tasks like web browsing, the adaptation might not be terribly obvious. I’m also hoping 4G downloading doesn’t prove a horrendous battery drain.

Design and hardware

In design terms, the S3 LTE is sort of completely a dead ringer for its non-4G equivalent. Rounded and light-weight, it is a good-looking mobile. For more in this smart phone’s style, I’d recommend testing the design component to our exceedingly detailed Galaxy S3 review.

Apart from the brand, the handset appears similar to the regular S3.

The only visible difference is an LTE logo plastered at the phone’s rear. i don’t believe it’s particularly attractive, but a minimum of it’s out of ways. EE shall be exclusively selling the S3 LTE in titanium grey (pictured), alongside the commonly available blue and white options.

The S3 LTE is a quad-core phone, this means that it beats the U.S. version of the 4G S3, as that device is dual-core. Once you’ve stopped waving your union jack, you can be interested to be informed that the processor is clocked at a hearty 1.4GHz, so this mobile will power through even essentially the most demanding apps and games. Other benefits from the powerful chip will include an absence of lag if you find yourself swiping in the course of the phone’s menus.

Here’s front-facing camera for video chats together with your chums.

Elsewhere, there’s an 8-megapixel camera at the back and a 1.9-megapixel snapper bolted onto the phone’s front. You get 16GB of on-board storage, which you’ll expand using a microSD card if it isn’t enough.

Software

The Galaxy S3 LTE will arrive running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, that’s the most recent version of Google’s mobile operating system. Samsung has stuck its own TouchWiz interface on top of the default Android software — for more in this Android skin and other app goodies that Samsung might be pre-installing, have a look at our in-depth study the Galaxy S3’s software.

We’ll see how Samsung’s interface tweaks to Android Jelly Bean perform inside the full review soon.

The non-LTE Galaxy S3 is currently running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but could be updated in October. Jelly Bean brings new features including Google Now, a service that provides you information relevant to you in keeping with such things as your location or search history. Let’s say, conjure up Google Now before you permit for work and it can offer you travel information in your commute.

Outlook

The arrival of 4G is a thrilling technical breakthrough for mobile Internet connection inside the UK, and a favored, powerful smart phone just like the Galaxy S3 is a perfect standard bearer. As for whether this phone might be worth dishing out for, we’ll must be patient how the impressive speeds 4G is promising delivers in real life.

Tips to save battery life in your Google Nexus 7

The Google Nexus 7 fares well with battery life in comparison with other smart phones and tablets, owing to its massive 4,325mAh battery and shortage of 3G connection. Still, if you are sapping its power stores by devouring HD videos at maximum screen brightness, you’ll welcome any extra juice you are able to wring out of this tasty tab.

The following guide runs through the entire sections inside the Settings application which you can tweak to eke much more life from your Nexus 7’s cell.

The power control widget

A long-standing member of the Android widget set, this permits you to control Wi-Fi, GPS, account synchronisation and screen brightness.

Wireless and networks

Wi-Fi settings
Network Notifications: in the event you switch this off, the Nexus 7 will stop actively looking for new networks.

Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep: the ‘only when plugged in’ option is the most effective compromise between power use and convenience

Bluetooth
For the sake of security and battery life, keep Bluetooth turned off until you wish to have it. To further improve battery life, minimise the ‘Visibility timeout’ so the tablet will deactivate Bluetooth once possible.

NFC
Near field communication (NFC), the technology that comes into play if you are using a tool to tap to pay for goods in a store, as an example, can also be disabled. It uses so little power it probably isn’t worth turning if off though.

Airplane mode
Airplane mode disables all wireless systems and should save lots of power, so long as your activities don’t require a web based connection.

Sounds

Notification sounds
If you’re pestered by various notification sounds, they are often quite distracting in addition to requiring power. Set the notification volume very low or to zero.

Touch and screen lock sounds
Again, these could be somewhat annoying and require energy — disable them.

Display

Brightness
The Android battery usage meter (Settings > Battery) usually shows that the screen is constantly the largest power drain. The Nexus 7 uses LCD, not AMOLED technology, so using dark-themed wallpapers and apps is not going to save power, because the backlight is often on. Regularly, automatic brightness manages things for you, but when you would like to save every last Watt of power, disable automatic brightness and decrease it to the minimum level.


Wallpaper

Avoid using live wallpapers. They may consume RAM and CPU cycles, all of which use energy, in addition to the ability needed for driving the pixels at the screen.


Sleep

Keep the time for the screen to fall asleep as short as possible — but not rather a lot that it spoils your delight in the device!

Battery and apps

View the battery chart to match how each app is hogging the flexibility. Under normal usage, the screen will always sap one of the most, but when you discover an app accounting for a huge percentage of your battery drain, it is advisable to consider uninstalling it or adjusting its settings.

Location services

GPS consumes power because it tries to maintain a lock on satellite signals. Unless you can use the Nexus 7 as a sat-nav, keep it turned off. If you’ll mostly be using your tablet indoors, always keep GPS switched off as it’s unlikely you’re going to get a signal anyway.


Avoid using all of the cores

The Nexus 7 runs on a quad-core Tegra 3 processor but keeps power consumption down via a low-power fifth core when performing tasks with low processor requirements. Therefore, to maintain power usage down, avoid processor-intensive apps. More often than not of thumb, if an app is making your tablet heat up, avoid using it. Heat is wasted energy out of your battery!

Battery care

Battery care is regularly overlooked. The battery have to be initially conditioned with one or two discharge-to-zero cycles. Thereafter, frequently discharging lithium-ion batteries your entire thanks to zero damages them. Try and keep the battery topped up above 50 per cent, after which occasionally do a whole discharge cycle so the battery can recalibrate itself to supply more accurate readings.

Finally, in case you take the Nexus 7 out and about with you and cannot depend upon having a mains socket, put money into an external battery (which include Proporta’s TurboCharger 7000), to charge the Nexus 7. You may always continue to apply the tablet while charging.