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Interface and Functionality:

The TouchWiz 3.0 interface on the Samsung Galaxy 3, as well as the menus and core apps are looking absolutely the same like the ones we explored in detail in the Galaxy S review. The only quirk we noticed at first look was a white instead of black background in the calendar, which aggregates events from your Facebook or corporate Outlook/Exchange schedules as well.

There are up to seven homescreens for widget, shortcut and folder placement. One of the good ideas in the making of TouchWiz 3.0 was to include connectivity switches right in the notification bar, which can be rolled down from every page. On the Galaxy 3 we have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and vibration toggle, and we found ourselves constantly using that function instead of the stock Android widget for which you have to navigate to a home screen.

The Activities tab in the Contacts app shows an aggregate view of all your communications history, regardless of the source and means of that communication – calls, texts, email, Facebook messages, etc. These communication stories are visible also in the history tab of each contact, but are restricted to your interactions with her or him only. You can even enter the media tab from a single contact view, and it will show you the latest albums they have uploaded on Facebook, for example. That's how deep Samsung's Social Hub goes – it is the company's response to Sony Ericsson's Timescape and HTC's FriendStream, and we'd dare to say we found it very useful.

The Email app coming with TouchWiz 3.0 still doesn't offer a way to setup the number of messages and their size to be downloaded. Typing messages on the Galaxy 3 is a bit uncomfortable on account of the 3.2” canvas, but the on-screen keyboard is quite good by default, so this is not a dealbreaker. The handset also includes Swype – a popular text entry method where you finger slides from one letter to the next without lifting it off and form words. It is quite speedy once you get used to it.

The TouchWiz interface as a whole feels silky smooth, despite the phone having a 667MHz CPU.

Internet and Connectivity:

The default WebKit-based browser renders even heavy pages quickly and reflows the text to fit on the small screen with ease. Kinetic scrolling on heavy pages is choppy, however, due to the hardware limitations (or software imperfections). When zoomed in, though, the page fluidly scrolls in all directions. The Galaxy 3 is getting updated to Android 2.2, as Samsung promised, so the browser will show Adobe Flash as well, which, of course, can't make up for the lag and meager WQVGA resolution beaming a pixelated webpage.

The phone has a full range of connectivity options (3G, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, FM radio), including Bluetooth 3.0. With A-GPS we locked signal quickly, and were using Google Maps  Navigation mere seconds after we fired it up.

Camera and Multimedia:

There is no dedicated camera button on the Galaxy 3, and no flash of any kind to complement the 3MP shooter. The camera interface offers a range of preset scene modes, as well as useful shooting modes such as panorama, continuous shooting and smile detection. The 3MP snaps are actually not bad for the resolution since the camera captures enough detail with true colors and decent focus. The manual touch focus doesn't always lock the object properly, and the pictures often get blurry as a result.

Video capture is QVGA with the choppy 15fps, so the Galaxy 3 won't replace your standalone camera soon, but at least the colors are accurate.

Samsung Galaxy 3 sample video at 320x240 pixels resolution.

Some 3D effects in the gallery grid are present in the Galaxy 3, but indexing files and scrolling through pages with multimedia suffered because of the slower CPU. Pictures and videos, of course, don't look anything like on a Super AMOLED screen, though they still look fine.

The excellent music player we found in the Galaxy S is present here as well, and, what is more important, its 5.1 channel surround sound in headset mode was intact, too. The tabs on the top allow sifting through your collection by artist, album and playlists, or display all at once. Landscape mode brings along some eye candy like CD cover flow or an alphabetical wheel, to pick your music poison. Sharing the song via email or Bluetooth is done from the context menu while playing. The current song keeps going in the background when the screen is locked, and you can even pull down the notification area then to display the controls.

Samsung is great in video format support, and the Galaxy 3 is no exception – it plays DivX/XviD out of the box. Videos run all the way up to the 720x480 resolution, and only afterwards the phone gave us a warning that it can't play the file.

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