1 Store155 Reviews
Pros: feature rich, front facing camera, voice to text option
Cons: very hard to see in the sun
The Samsung Galaxy S III is my latest smartphone. It is not the latest model, which is the S 4g, (For whatever reason they gave the 3 Roman numerals and the 4g a number) so I got a great deal on it. I had a Droid 2, which I liked, but it seemed time to upgrade. I found that as much as I liked my Droid 2, it was getting old; it wasn't as fast as I would have liked, the call quality could have been better, and the sound was a bit tinny.
I have not been disappointed by my decision. I bought it at Staples for a little under $80. That was with the tax, which is based on the original price ($600) of this phone.
I was a bit nervous because it was the first time I did not get a QWERTY keyboard, which is a stand-alone keyboard versus a virtual keyboard, which is on the screen. As it turned out there was nothing to worry about. The keys are large enough to well not be error-free but to make typing fairly easy. In addition with the swipe capability and popping up of words, typing is a piece of cake.
Features and specifications:
You can find a whole lot of specifications at the many technical websites around town. I am not a techie so this is a review from an ordinary consumer.
On the phone there is a status light, which is blinking blue right now because it is on but not open.
The top has a headset jack.
This is both a front and back facing camera. So now I can easily take pictures of the four of us (my two dogs) when I click on the easy-to-use camera icon. The camera (8-MP) takes great pictures and videos. In fact I got some great pictures at beautiful Acadia National Park. The camera has many features so I have fun playing around to get the best shot. If I hit "best shot" I can take eight pictures and the camera will give me the best one. No electronic background or photography classes are needed!
The power lock is on the side and is pressed to turn on or off. Pressing it will make the screen go black but pressing it a bit harder will allow me to shut it down, restart it or put it on airplane mode. Note that in order to “open” my phone I swipe the front screen. Because my husband has a work e-mail address he has to type in a pin. The volume key is on the left hand side.
The phone is maneuvered basically with three spots on the bottom front of the camera. One takes me back a page, one gives me the menu, which differs depending on what page I am on, and the middle one is home. I can be on any page but if I want to go to the home screen(s) I just press the home button.
There is a charging port on the bottom as well as a microphone.
The back facing camera lens is on the top back of the camera and the flash is to the left of that.
The speaker is to the right.
The phone measures 2.78 inches wide by 5.38 inches high by .34 inches deep. This may be a larger phone that you are used to but the all-important test is: does it fit in my husband’s pocket easily? and the answer is yes. It weighs 4.7 ounces.
The Samsung Galaxy S III has a 1.5-GHz Snapdragon processor and the screen is large coming in at 4.8-inches. The Galaxy S III has seven home screens I use for my widgets and shortcuts (icons). When I open my main screen I get the weather and a Google bar with a microphone. I will get to that in a moment. This phone has 16 (or 32GB) of user memory and a micro SD slot of up to 64GB. It has a 1.5-GHz Snapdragon S4 processor.
What I love:
I love using the S Voice although like the captions on my television, which don’t always correspond to what is being said, that is true of this feature. When I click on the app I am asked what I would like to do and I can ask it many things. Obviously this is a computer and not a human being so it doesn’t know everything and it doesn’t always recognize what I am saying. If it can’t answer my question web sites will pop up to help me find the answer.
The Galaxy S III has hundreds of thousands of apps. I have not bought one yet. I go through Google Play but Verizon has apps as well, which I haven’t utilized.
I can speak my text. There is a microphone next to Google and on the keypad. Again it doesn’t always get it right the times I have used it for texting have been pretty close to accurate.
This smartphone is fast. I will give you some jargon from http://www.laptop.com “averaged 23.2 Mbps downloads on Speedtest.net, a good 10 Mbps faster than the The HTC Incredible 4G LTE averaged 16 Mbps down, also on Verizon's network. Upload speeds, while a brisk 5.7 Mbps, were a bit behind the AT&T S III, which averaged 9.9 Mbps when surfing the Web, the S III downloaded the full New York Times desktop site in 8 seconds, ESPN.com in 9 seconds and Laptopmag.com in 12 seconds.”
I find the call sound to be good. It is definitely better than my Droid 2 but it is not perfect. It is better when I don’t have it on speaker than when I do so if you use speaker a lot and are wondering why you can’t hear, try turning the speaker off. You'll get about ten hours of talk time. I was asked to address this more thoroughly. When I was talking about the speaker I was not talking about it in my car. I was talking about it in my home. I often use the speaker phone option so my husband and I can both hear out kids' conversations. In my car, the reception is excellent. My phone comes through my navigation system and rarely does anyone have trouble hearing me. If they do it is because of lack of reception (rural areas or one spot in my town) or they have a hearing problem! At home, the calls are generally quite clear and I never have dropped calls. I still have a land-line and my calls get dropped from that phone not my Samsung Galaxy S III.
The phone is simple to use. I have three of my most called people on one of my home screens and just press on their pictures. Otherwise I type in the first few letters on my contact list and their name pops up. I can also look at recent calls, which allows me to redial a phone number from there. The keys are large and easy to press.
I like the canned text messages such as “How’s it going?” or “I’ll talk to you soon.” Like other pages this is found under the menu key when I am in the text message page.
I like the fact I can just shake the phone to update it.
I love the swipe feature. I use it most of the time. I get options of words if the Galaxy S III doesn’t know what I am swiping and will anticipate the next word I might use.
Not so good:
The battery is just fine for me but since I use the phone so much I always have a phone charger in my car, a regular charger and I even bought a back-up charger. The 2100 mAh battery inside the Galaxy S III should get me through the day according to the website above coming in at about seven hours of continued use.
The display is almost impossible to see in the sun. What more can I say? This is one reason I bought a tablet.
Jo's Final Thoughts:
I really loved my Droid 2. The Galaxy S III is definitely a step up with the front-facing camera and the fact it is so feature rich. I do not think it feels at all cheaply made. Having said that I did buy a nice cover for it and have a screen protector on it. With those two add-ons, my smartphone feels really sturdy.