The international edition of the Samsung Galaxy S III has quad band support for GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) and HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz) cellular connectivity. The result is that it is able to work on the vast majority of mobile networks around the world. If you want a LTE version then you’ll have to look at carriers in your region that currently support LTE 4G. Cellular speeds are theoretically capped at 21 Mb/s down and 5.76 Mb/s up.
In testing we found speeds to be slightly better than the HTC One X, even though reception quality wasn’t quite matched. In speedtests we were again capped at roughly 4 Mb/s and 1.8 Mb/s up so this is definitely to do with our area and carrier. Chances are your results will be different.
The Samsung Galaxy S III’s call speaker is on the louder side of average. While it may be loud, call quality didn’t overly amaze us but that isn’t to say it’s bad. Voices were easily understandable but they weren’t overly clean. We had no complaints from people on the other end of the line.
The Galaxy S III supports dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n networks and on the whole we were impressed with performance. It was able to max our 15 Mb/s down and 1.2 Mb/s up connection with ease while offering pings equivalent to my desktop connected over Ethernet.
Wi-Fi Hotspots are supported and while I haven’t had the chance to test this extensively but we found it to work just fine. Wi-Fi Direct is present but for whatever reason have not been able to get it to work, an issue that is much more likely to do with me rather than the phone.
Bluetooth 4.0 LE with A2DP (audio streaming) and EDR (faster data transfers) works fine – although as is typical of Bluetooth is rather slow. A 3.6 MB .mp3 file took just over a minute to transfer.
I was able to easily pair the Galaxy S III with my Bluetooth mouse but it is rather pointless as every button is a tap to the phone. Although I am sure there is an application that I am not aware of that can rectify this.
NFC and S Beam
NFC is supported like most new Android devices and this means Android Beam is present to quickly share (some) information and files across devices. Obviously this works well but Samsung has gone a step further with S Beam. S Beam combines NFC (for initial pairing) and Wi-Fi Direct to transfer data between selected devices, a list that is currently confined to the Galaxy S III.
So I went and found someone with an S III to test it out; with no success. Why it didn’t work I’m not entirely sure, perhaps it was something to do with our settings or the files we were trying to transfer.