Best Samsung Galaxy S III accessories
So, you've just decided you'll be picking the Samsung Galaxy S III over the HTC One X and the iPhone 5. Good for you. The best news now is that you might have some spare change, but before you go blowing it on something extravagant like overpaying on your mortgage, you might want to think about how you can maximise the use of your new Android toy.
You see, there are mobile phone accessories and there are mobile phone accessories and if it's mobile phone accessories that you're after, then welcome to the right place. Here are the very finest, the selected, the best Samsung Galaxy S III accessories on the planet today.
You've just forked out for a £500 phone and you're probably tied to the thing for the best part of 24 months. If that's the case, then you're going to want to make sure it lasts the distance. Here's how.
Yep, it's an obvious one, but if you don't look after your nice, pretty 4.8-inch Super AMOLED, then your phone's not going to be good for much. Scratches will ruin the interface over time, and they also don't look too clever when they're getting in the way of the latest episode of Game of Thrones. So, if you're likely to put your Galaxy S III in the same pocket as your coins and keys, it might be wise to invest.
There are quite a few on offer out there, but on the whole it's worth spending the extra cash to get one that works. The InvisibleSHIELD seems to give the best results - largely because it's actually not just a screen protector, but a full body wrap for your phone - but if you'd prefer something more subtle, there are plenty of others that will do the trick.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with the more traditional approach to a phone case. It might sit a little bulkier in your pocket but the bonus is that, when you come to actually use your device, there'll be nothing between your finger and the screen. Your first port of call is the standard Samsung Galaxy S III issue unit.
The Samsung Flip Cover is smooth, stylish, also comes in white and it flips open; what else could you need? Well, perhaps something a bit less executive. The leather look isn't for everyone. Neither is the flip action, while we're on the subject. So, for something a little more alternative, the Ted Baker design cases over at Proporta are well worth a shout too.
Mobile phone insurance
Exciting, this isn't, but the benefit of phone insurance is that, first, you can relax in the knowledge that the world won't end if someone steals your SGSIII or if you drop it down the toilet. The second advantage is that you don't really have to bother with covers and cases if you don't want to either.
If you're lucky, you might find that either your bank account or you home contents insurance covers your phone anyway. Give them a call and find out. If not, insurance can be had from around £5 each month. Sure, it adds £120 to a 24-month contract but you know if you're the kind of person that will need it or not. Have a think.
The bane of the smartphone-user is the tragic brevity of battery life. The screen that burns twice as big burns for half as long and you're going to need to think how you're going to make it from dawn until dusk on a single charge every day without worrying about how heavy your use needs to be. Try some of these on for size.
You've got yourself one of the smartest smartphones out there, so why hide the thing in your pocket? Prop up your Galaxy S III for the world to see on your desktop and at your side like the new pet that it is. The official Samsung dock is the best way to go here.
It won't charge a spare battery at the same time like some others but it is designed to support your device in either portrait or landscape orientation, there is a 3.5mm audio out if you'd like to connect to some speakers and it allows your to juice up your device through either a USB cable or using the mains.
Samsung Galaxy S III vehicle dock
Docking is more than just a desktop pastime, of course, and anyone with a car needs somewhere to put their Galaxy S III while on the move. So, instead of risking that pretty screen in the little area next to your handbrake with all the coins and fluff knocking around, buy yourself the Samsung Galaxy S III vehicle dock for £29.95.
It's designed to fit the S III to perfection, unlike the generic phone holders that work with varying results. The advantage there is that your phone won't end up at your feet while you're trying to use it to navigate your way around town. The added bonus is that it comes with a 12v charger to keep the battery topped up.
As it goes, the Samsung Galaxy S III battery is a pretty good one. The 2100mAh unit doesn't do too badly but it's always useful to have a back up. In an idea world, we'd tell you to go and pick up a third-party version with even more juice space to spare but, at the time, of writing, they're yet to become available.
So, instead just grab an identical version of the one that came with your handset. That way, you can play games, capture video and watch back films throughout your day without ever having to worry that you won't miss that request to pick up milk on your way back home.
The Samsung Galaxy S III Music Hub is proof enough that Samsung thinks owners of its top smartphone should be listening to tunes on the go. If you agree, then here are a few bits and pieces to maximise your smartphone's potential.
64GB microSD card
Storage is what makes the world go round and, with the size at which apps are increasing, you're going to need as much space as you can get, especially if you like to do a little gaming.
Throw in all that 1080p video you'll be capturing, your 8-megapixel stills and however much music you're going to be carrying around and you'll soon regret it if you didn't max out on the biggest piece of removable storage that money can buy. Right now, that's a whole 64GB of microSD and, combined with the on-board flash memory, that's a potential 128GB to play with. Not half bad.
There are a lot of headphones out there to buy but the Phonak Audeo PFE 232 is where it's at as far as in-ear goes right now. We adore them. They produce an out of this world sound. They were so clear, undistorted and pleasant to listen to, once we had them in, we never wanted to take them back out again.
Obviously, £400 is a lot of money. For something half the price but outstanding in their own field, go with the Klipsch X10 or, if you'd rather something for the current on-ear trend look, then the Sony MDR-V55 are not only very reasonable at £89 but also nice and portable too.
Even on top-tier smartphones, the built-in speakers are usually less than impressive and just about get by as functional. If you intend to use your phone for listening to music a lot, then you might want to invest in something like the Jawbone JAMBOX for around £110.
This compact device connects wirelessly to your phone via Bluetooth and is small enough to carry around in bag, while still offering some punchy audio. With eight hours of battery life and plenty of boom for your buck, it's a no-brainer for your travels and picnics. Full review
Philips Fidelio AS851
Not all your audio needs are going to be portable. So, if you're after something more home-based in the way of Samsung Galaxy S III music, then you might want to give the Philips Fidelio AS851 a shot. With so many iPhone speaker docks on the market that don’t cater for Android, it's really good that someone is trying to serve the huge number of devices that aren't made by Apple.
The Philips Fidelio AS851 isn’t a rush job. It looks good, sounds good and, more importantly, is easy to use. The downside is that the music signal is sent over Bluetooth rather than the micro USB connector but the quality of the audio is certainly good enough. Full review
Well now, seeing as you've just got yourself some of the finest headphones and portable speakers that money can buy, you may as well sign up to the biggest mobile music streaming service there is too. Spotify Premium costs you £9.99 per month and we've never met anyone who signed up and regretted it.
You get access to a massive catalogue of music and the Android app even caches your beats so that you'll still get some listening time after you're out of network range. So whether you're on the Underground or just passing through a black spot in the country, you'll still be furnished with tunes.
Cables and connectors
Wireless or otherwise, your Samsung Galaxy S III has some serious connection potential at its disposal but it doesn't quite come with everything you're going to need out of the box. You may want to shell out on a few of these optional extras.
Sure, your phone might be the top of the line piece of kit but your TV might not be, and nor might be that of wherever it is that you're visiting, perhaps more to the point. Fear not, Samsung is at hand with another neat cable to plug into the MHL socket of your Galaxy S III.
At the of end of the connector is a female HDMI port where you can attach a proper HDMI to HDMI cable that you'll then be able to stick in any TV built in the last 10 years or so. Not as neat as DLNA but needs must as the Devil vomits in your kettle.
AllShare Cast dongle
If you're willing to part with a bit more cash (£79.95), and a touch more space in your luggage, then the AllShare Cast dongle is the sexier way around the non-Wi-Fi TV problem. It's a essentially a Wi-Fi enabling box that you attach to your telly by an HDMI cable.
What makes it more convenient than anything else similar is that it's made by Samsung and will work, most likely, a lot better. The box allows you to stream films, music and the like straight to the big screen as well as mirror anything that you've got on the display of your device at the time, be that a website, a game or just your home screen.
AllShare can, of course, work both ways and that 4.8-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen is certainly big enough to enjoy the odd movie on wherever you are about the house. So, if you don't have a tablet for just that kind of purpose, then you might want to invest in a NAS box to stream from.
Great for back up and general home server to TV streaming duties too, the likes of Buffalo, Lacie and Western Digital all do a decent line in these kinds of things. Make sure there's at least 1TB of storage space to play with in this day and age and you needn't be looking at much more than £120 or so, like the Buffalo LinkStation Pro LS-VL that even comes with a built in BitTorrent client. Enjoy.
A smartphone isn't a smartphone without apps and you've got a lot of downloading to do before you get your new baby loaded up and ready to go. Fortunately, we at Pocket-lint consider ourselves something of an expert when it comes to that department what with our App of the Day slot and such. So, here are a few lists to get you started when it comes to finding the best Samsung Galaxy S III apps.