Gigaset GS3 – The color-changing smartphone in test
Gigaset not only introduced the GS4 in October, but also the somewhat less expensive GS3. Unlike its bigger brother, it is not advertised as “Made in Germany” and is therefore probably assembled in the Far East. In return, the smartphone is significantly cheaper than the GS4, and it stands out from the crowd with additional features, such as a replaceable case cover.
A Mediatek Helio A25 works inside the smartphone, which is supported by four GB of working memory. The 6.1-inch display has a resolution of 1560×720 pixels and the internal memory of the device, which costs around 160 Euros (Current: Price not available *), is 64 GB. In addition, there are two rear cameras and again the option for battery swapping as well as wireless charging.
How the GS3 performs in practice, and whether we would recommend the device, is clarified in our following review.
|Operating system:||Android 10|
|Display:||1560 x 720 pixels, 6.1″, 450 cd/m²|
|Rear camera:||Main camera: 13 MP F2.0
Wide angle: 8 MP F2.2
|Camera (front):||8 MP|
|Interfaces:||USB-C 2.0, 3.5mm jack, WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC|
|Sensors:||Accelerometer, proximity sensor, gyroscope, light sensor, compass, fingerprint sensor|
|SoC:||Mediatek Helio A25|
|CPU:||4x 1.80 GHZ Cortex-A53 + 4x 1.50 GHz Cortex-A53|
|Battery:||4,000 mAh, wireless charging|
|Dimensions:||156 x 74 x 9.5 mm|
|Inserts:||2x nano-SIM + 1x microSD|
|Price:||Price not available *|
Scope of delivery
If you haven’t read up on the GS3 beforehand, you might be surprised when you unpack the smartphone, because the device comes in two parts. The back cover, which is offered in various colors for four euros for additional purchase, is namely not attached ex-factory, but it is packed separately. It is simply pressed onto the back at the beginning.
Gigaset also includes a USB power adapter with charging cable and some instructions with the GS3. There is no opening key because it is not necessary due to the removable back: You have direct access to the microSD and both SIM slots through it anyway.
Workmanship & design
Unlike the strikingly designed Gigaset GS4, which stands out with its glass back and rose gold accents, the GS3 has a much simpler, more conventional design. Once again, almost the entire front is covered by the display, which is only interrupted by the camera notch. The button positions are just as usual: The power button and volume rocker are on the right, the USB-C port on the bottom, and the jack on the top.
The back of the smartphone is initially uncovered, as already mentioned. Here, the battery can be replaced and SIM and microSD cards can be inserted before the back is pressed open. It is then held in place by clips and sits flush and tight. To remove it again, you simply have to pull it off via one of the two notches on the bottom of the device. This requires a bit of force, but can be done without any problems.
Otherwise, the back is designed like many other smartphones: The plastic cover is monochromatic and is only decorated by the Gigaset logo on the bottom and the power button, which is red in all color variants. Thus, the GS3’s design is not too flashy, but we find the simple design quite successful. The option to buy a different colored back cover for a reasonable price and Gigaset’s optional engraving service also make the smartphone special.
We also like the GS3’s haptics: The smartphone feels very good in the hand and the plastic surface is pleasant. The build quality is also praiseworthy: The device is torsion-resistant and pressure-resistant everywhere – even on the removable back. Visually, almost everything about the GS3 is flawless. Only the flash on the back is not quite centered when looking closely.
Software, performance & battery life
Instead of a manufacturer-specific user interface, Gigaset relies on a clean Android 10, which also manages without annoying additional apps. Besides the necessary apps, such as camera and SMS, only the Google services are installed, which always have to be there for using the Play Store. This leaves a good 51 GB for other apps and data, which can be expanded via the microSD slot under the back.
Gigaset has trimmed the GS3 down quite a bit by using the Mediatek Helio A25 as the SoC: The eight A53 cores are sufficient for normal multimedia use, but compared to some competing models with A73 cores, the smartphone has to clearly take a back seat here. Fortunately, the smartphone nevertheless always responded smoothly in our tests, and the app launch time is okay. However, it is difficult to assess how future-proof the SoC is.
The unlock functions are also well implemented, just like in the GS4: The fingerprint sensor and face recognition respond swiftly and flawlessly in our tests.
|Geekbench 5 SingleCore:||140|
|Geekbench 5 MultiCore:||851|
|3DMark Slingshot Extreme:||372|
|PCMark Work Performance:||5.925|
We also like the GS3’s battery life, as Gigaset delivers a remarkable performance in our eyes here: At minimum brightness, the smartphone can hold on for over 20 hours in PCMark Work, and it is still 9:18 h at maximum brightness (450 cd/m²).
Display, camera & multimedia
When it comes to topics like performance, features or design, it is often enough to simply look at the spec sheet – and that was also the case with the Gigaset GS3: You get exactly what it suggests. The multimedia hardware is more exciting because it is harder to quantify.
The smartphone’s display lives up to expectations: The color reproduction is clear over wide areas, but you would probably only expect more with a surcharge. The resolution is also high enough that no pixels can be recognized – if you stay at a normal distance. We only found the brightness a bit annoying: The maximum level is definitely appropriate in our eyes and bright enough for everyday use, if you exclude midsummer sunny days. However, we would have preferred a slightly lower minimum brightness for night use and also a finer brightness setting, since this is not smooth on the GS3, but only nine levels.
Gigaset also delivers what is expected from the speakers: The highest volume level rattles a bit during some songs, but it is loud enough for playing in living rooms or small garden parties. The lower and medium volume ranges deliver a clean quality that is sufficient for normal everyday sound. We also liked the sound reproduction via the jack as well as the built-in microphone: Both deliver impeccable, noise-free quality.
The combination of a normal and a wide-angle camera at the rear delivers sufficient quality for quick pictures and selfies, but details quickly look blurry when looking closer. A night mode is available for night shots, but it only has a minor effect in our eyes. However, we liked the panorama mode, which can be used to take pictures all around.
Even though the Gigaset GS3 lacks the prestigious “Made in Germany” label, it is still an exciting smartphone with quite interesting touches. For a price of €160 (currently Price not available *), the device combines the unusual features of wireless charging and replaceable battery. Additionally, there is the option of a changeable, engravable back and many card slots: two SIM cards and a microSD card are possible at the same time. Apart from that, however, there is an average configuration.
Core elements like the build quality, the display or the sound quality are well implemented. The battery runtime is also outstanding in our eyes, but there are also a few points of criticism. The camera could be better, we missed an (almost) stepless brightness adjustment of the display, and a stronger SoC would obviously never hurt. However, in the price range of the Gigaset GS3, you always have to make one or two compromises in every device, and we find the smartphone successful from this point of view.
Those who see a use for wireless charging or plan long runtimes with the smartphone, where a fixed battery all too often gets in the way, should take a closer look at the GS3. The option to change the color later and the engraving service also make the smartphone interesting as a gift, since many of the less expert users will probably not be particularly bothered by the mentioned points of criticism. However, if the cover, removable battery and wireless charging do not find use, you are better off with an “average” smartphone that does not offer any special features but slightly better hardware.
Value for money
The GS3 combines a solid base with unusual special features.