Battery life. One of the most contentious element still on smartphones and one we're keen to see stop being an issue – and it's thankfully nothing to worry about on the Samsung Galaxy S3.

See how it fares in our tried and tested battery power video:

The 2100mAh battery is designed to make sure that the large screen, with millions of pixels, isn't going to suck down the power as fast as it might do.

Samsung Galaxy S3 review

That's not to say the screen isn't thirsty – it takes up a good portion of the battery meter each time you check in – but overall, battery life was not an issue we butted up against regularly.

Let's put it into some context: subjecting the Galaxy S3 to the same test we do all smartphones, it's come out as the second longest-lasting device of all we've checked out.

We ran a 90 minute video at full brightness and applied all accounts (Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, Exchange etc) and set them all to the most regular updates over Wi-Fi.

Samsung Galaxy S3 review

The Samsung Galaxy S3 managed to get to only 82% battery power by the end of the test – compare that to the 60% of the HTC One X and 74% of the iPhone 4S and you can see why we're impressed.

Under heavy load, the phone will last about 8 hours. And we mean heavy: the battery test we mentioned plus an hour of photography and video. After than half an hour of playing Riptide GP and then some web browsing for a further hour. Then around twenty minutes of music listening before an hour's session on video.

We also had the voice-control activated from the lock screen the whole time, which Samsung tells you is a real battery killer as it listens to what you say.

This pushed the battery to about 20%, after which we killed it trying to synchronise over Wi-Fi direct in about 45 minutes (although this can be a real battery drainer).

In real use, as in not checking it every seven seconds to play with it (the curse of the new phone) you'll get a much more reasonable battery life. We regularly saw power drops of only 30% by 2PM, and a healthy 25% by bedtime.

This will change during use, obviously, but it's much harder to hammer the battery through actually doing things the phone is supposed to compared to the HTC One X.

The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S3 on the Jelly Bean update is improved ever so slightly – assuming you do a full factory reset when updated. This is only the experience we had with our handset, and others have reported a clean update process without needing to reflash.

However if it doesn't take properly, then you'll notice a real drain on the battery until you decide to do the factory reboot – shame on you Samsung.

Connectivity

If you're one of those people that want to have the phone all their friends have got, then the Galaxy S3 is the one you better hope that they have.

When it comes to connectivity, it's unsurprising that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is fully stocked – in fact we can't think of a single thing that we'd want to see that's missing.

From NFC to advanced location sensors, everything has been packed into the 8.6mm frame.

Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung has built on the Android Beam system - based on NFC - that Google created to allow users to share things like map directions, web links and YouTube videos. However, it's souped it up by using Wi-Fi Direct, which can transfer items at dizzying speeds.

Think pictures from one phone to another in seconds, and HD videos in around a couple of minutes - although sadly the trick will only work from S3 to S3 at the moment - we're hoping Samsung changes this in the future as Wi-Fi Direct connection should be easy to do between brands.

With the move to Android Jelly Bean, the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been imbued with greater powers than before. It can now send all manner of media formats, not just contacts and YouTube links. On one hand, the Galaxy S3 has to send elements over Bluetooth, rather than Wi-Fi Direct, which is possible through Samsung's S-Beam between its own devices.

While this means that it will take an impossibly long time to transfer video between the handsets (and will eat the life of the battery) pictures are much easier to share without having to worry about data costs.

It's still hard to share things between phones, as trying to not press something on the screen of one of the transferring handsets is difficult; that said, we love the soft beeping sound made when the process is initiated. Swings and roundabouts, really.

Dual channel bonding is also on offer for the Wi-Fi brigade out there - we noticed very little in the way of slowdown when it came to connecting over Wi-Fi, and the signal strength held well even with our crappy router (which loves to spit out a single bar of reception even when right next to the box).

Samsung hasn't stopped there though - get yourself a MHL lead and connect up to the TV through the microUSB port and you can mirror your device onto a larger screen with no problems... and it's a much better way of using your phone as a games controller than going through AllShare Cast we've found.

USB To Go is an underrated trick that we're surprised isn't being more widely used (although it's probably because the adaptor is so jolly hard to get hold of) - being able to connect a USB stick or hard drive to the phone when out and about is a great feature to have and one we're glad to see again.

GPS is on board, and it's backed up by GLONASS - for those that don't know, this is a system that's similar to GPS (developed by the Russians) that's slightly less accurate than the US-created version - but add the two together and you've got a superbly quick fix when it comes to locating yourself on the Maps app... we're talking a couple of seconds max most of the time and world away from the rubbish reception of the Galaxy S2.

(Apparently GLONASS is necessary on mobile phones now to avoid being subject to an import duty when exporting to Russia - we don't care, as it gives us faster tracking and phones are cheaper for our Russian friends. Everyone wins).

Samsung Galaxy S3 review

As we've already discussed, DLNA is on board to allow easy connection to nearby devices - most of the time you'll have to trigger this manually in the menu, but once enabled the streaming is pretty quick.

It's not perfect by any means, and still lacks the slickness we'd like to see from wireless streaming, but should you get your set up working well you'll enjoy being able to get files from your computer without a hassle.

Bluetooth 4.0 is on board the Samsung Galaxy S3 as well, with the standard A2DP streaming to Bluetooth headsets on offer as well.

This means when the technology starts to mature you'll be able to create personal area networks (PANs) where you can connect up a variety of sensors and have them stream to your phone - and there are a few of those listed in the accessories section already.

And let's not forget the fact you can turn your phone into a wireless hotspot with ease, allowing you to share your data connection with all and sundry. You'll have to make sure it's enabled by your networks first; else you could be forced onto another price plan to make it work.

So, as you can see: connectivity is high here and we haven't even got onto the myriad PC connections on offer either...

PC connectivity

With most smartphones, the notion of connecting up to a PC to get files and updates is growing increasingly antiquated - but Samsung is forging on still with its Kies software.

This is Samsung's version of iTunes, although it's not really got anything like the same power behind it. It harks back to older phone software at times - insofar that it still took us three attempts to install the correct drivers to sync up the Samsung Galaxy S3.

But once in, the experience isn't terrible - we were instantly asked if we wanted to use the iPhone back up Kies had found to populate the S3 with new content, which was a nifty touch. We instantly had loads of photos from another handset without having to do any dragging and dropping, and if we hadn't got all our contacts from Google sync then this would have been ace.

However, getting other content onto the phone isn't the fluid experience we might have hoped to see for a company that's trying to out-do Apple in the media stakes - you can't do simple things like dragging and dropping files onto the phone icon; instead you have to right click and tell it to 'Transfer to Device'.

At least that process is fairly quick - even with conversion on some video files there was no problem with it.

And if you're one of those people with fancy Wi-Fi enabled computers (you know... everyone) then you can connect to Kies over Wi-Fi instead of tethering the phone to a PC through a cable. However, this is a slower way of doing things, and we had trouble getting the phone to auto-update when we got into the Wi-Fi zone, which is what we'd have hoped for from such a service.

And when the Galaxy S3 is connected to Kies via Wi-Fi it's not got the same speed of operation either - we noticed significant slowdown from a handset that is definitely snappier in most cases. This will obviously depend on your home set up, and it's something we've seen on many other phones too.

If you're interested in connecting to a PC but not messing around with Samsung's software, you could just drag and drop files over the Windows Explorer interface - it works just as well thanks to the Galaxy S3's ability to play nearly every file under the sun.

You can connect the phone in either MTP or Camera mode - both of which will allow you access to the file system (although you'll have to use the former method to connect via Kies).

Here's one big issue though: Mac connection simply isn't available in USB mode. You can connect up to Kies, but the old way of being able to drag and drop files from your Mac won't work any more. It's a kick in the teeth for Apple computer users, and one that's odd when Samsung is trying to wrestle away fans from the iClan.

Something else that's missing from the Galaxy S3 is the ability to interact with the phone via an internet browser - a novel idea from the S2 - but given that process was as slow as pulling teeth, we really don't miss it.