1 Store155 Reviews
Pros: Large viewing area, ease of use, speed, battery life, Android 4.0
Cons: Not all like the size, low alert and ring volumes, S voice needs some work
The Samsung Galaxy S III quickly made a name for itself last year as one of the hottest selling and highly acclaimed phones on the market. As yet another entry into the long line of phones set to challenge the iPhone's dominance on the market, the first question that will come to mind with this (and any other new phone that is released for the foreseeable future) is how it stacks up against the latest iPhone installment. However, I will not be comparing the two phones head to head - those reviews can be very easily found across the internet. Instead, I will just focus on how my newest toy stacks up in comparison to my previous phone (the original Droid Incredible) and how well it suits me.
Immediately out of the box, you will notice what is either the S III's biggest drawback or one of its main selling points - the size of the phone itself. While not the biggest phone on the market (their Galaxy Note is even larger), the S III is one of the biggest phones on the market. However, the space is used very economically, as the majority of the space is dedicated to the phone's screen. In fact, the viewing area itself is bigger than many other phones entirely (such as my fiance's iPhone 4). And while one hand usage is generally pretty difficult for someone with average sized hands, the Galaxy S III is an ideal phone for playing games, watching video, and looking at pictures. The image quality is also very good, as the phone sports HD quality images in a 1280x720 resolution in its 4.8 inch display screen. This definitely optimizes the phone's efficacy in these roles. Despite the phone's large overall size (5.4x2.8 inches), it is also an extremely thin and light phone as well, which still makes it easy to fit in your pocket and carry around. However, I will warn you right now - from mine and others' experience, this phone is surprisingly slippery and can have a tendency to squirt right out of your hands, so a good case is definitely recommended for this phone.
The Galaxy S III comes loaded with the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, which is perfectly suited to what I need from a phone. I have a decent amount of experience with the iPhone operating system, and the Android system compares very favorably in terms of functionality and ease of use. At this stage of the game, choosing an operating system for your phone to me is essentially a matter of taste since both are capable of many of the same things. The Android marketplace (now renamed Google Play) is continuing to grow in size and while it may not have ALL of the games that the iPhone currently has, the vast majority of the most popular and useful apps are now available for both phones. The phone runs very quickly and smoothly as well, and comes with a number of preloaded widgets and apps such as weather and Google Cards that also allow you to customize your phone's usefulness. The Google Cards have proven to be useful so far, which can very quickly display helpful information such as the weather, projected time (and route) home, and local points of interest. Another helpful feature on the S III is the addition of apps on the phone's lock screen that can be loaded immediately by swiping on their icon rather than having to unlock the phone and search out the app. Granted the number of steps this saves may not be a tremendous amount of time, but the ability to go directly into your messages or camera is a nice, convenient feature. The use of a physical home button is also a nice touch for the Galaxy, further adding to the phone's ease of use.
Google's footprint is of course all over the Android system, and the phone can readily sync with your pre-existing Google accounts. As is the norm today, you can also sync your contacts from social media and other accounts as well to fully integrate all of your various accounts. The phone is also built to readily share across your various networks, with features in place to post pictures and other things to your various accounts at the touch of a button. Another feature that got a lot of attention at the phone's release is ability to share files with another S III simply by touching the two phones together using an enhanced version of the Android Beam feature. While I have yet to utilize this myself, I've been told this works easily and effectively. The S III also comes with a feature called S Voice, which is Samsung's answer to the iPhone's Siri. S Voice features a number of voice-activated commands to control the phone, including the ability to unlock the phone. However, this feature does need some work, as it is not as responsive as you would like it to be as it does not return the desired result the majority of the time.
A very important feature for me when choosing my latest phone was battery life. To put it bluntly, the battery life on my last phone (even out of the box) as abysmal at best. So I wanted to make sure that I wound up with a phone that I didn't have to worry about whether or not I would even be able to get through a full of work without my phone dying. Luckily, the S III meets my battery needs more than adequately. Reviews that I have read before my purchase says that the battery life on this phone ranks among the best on the market, and I can definitely speak from experience that the phone easily last enough time for me without having to tweak my settings outside of turning off the GPS. As for how the battery will hold up over time obviously remains to be seen, but for the time being I am very happy with the phone's battery life.
Call quality is also very good on this phone, and a definite improvement over my previous Droid. Many people tend to overlook the ability of a phone to do its primary function today, but suffice to say, I have no complaints with the S III. Thanks to 4G LTE coverage, I have little trouble with dropped calls or poor service, and apps, files, and websites can transfer and load very quickly. The phone also sports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, which not only improves transfer speed but also cuts down on data usage.
While I haven't used it too many times, the phone's 8 megapixel camera takes some pretty darn good pictures that compare favorably to any other phone on the market. Shutter lag is nearly nonexistent, and the phone's powerful helps result in much brighter and clearer pictures in darker rooms than that other phone on the market. It can also record HD video at 1080p, which then looks great on the phone's stellar display area.
So far, I am extremely happy with the Galaxy S III. While not a perfect phone, there is plenty for me to like about it and I am happy that I stuck with the Android path for my latest phone. While many people may not like the phone's larger size, its thin size and lightness makes it far more manageable. My only real complaint would have to be that the phone's built-in alert sounds and ringtones aren't overwhelmingly loud, which can make them hard to hear in normal circumstances. But if that's my biggest issue so far, I'd say the Galaxy S III definitely fits the bill and is worthy of all its accolades.