JKeene Reviews- Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
The other day I got my brand new Samsung Galaxy S III delivered to me, a 16GB version in Marble White on Verizon’s network. I will admit up front that over here at AndroREV I am the resident Sammy fan so needless to say I was quite excited to get my hands on it. The GS3 has been one of the most talked about, anticipated, overleaked, and overblogged devices of the year. When it finally did release it was a rather polarizing device, there were more then a few people who said it was not enough of a leap forward, why did they go with that screen, why only the dual-core S4 processor, the gripes go on and on. At the end of the day, we in the Android world are pretty spoiled, every day it seems brings out something bigger, stronger, and faster. So does the GS3 live up to the hype or is it a victim of it’s own star power? Let’s take a look and find out.
1. Design and Hardware
Lets get the plastic phone situation out of the way first. Yes this phone is typical Samsung plastic construction. That means a plastic back that snaps off. Do not for a minute think that means this phone feels cheap. I have owned my fair share of Samsung electronics and I will go on record as this phone is the most solid, well built device Sammy has ever put in my hands. The white finish does a good job of covering up the fact that the phone is a fingerprint magnet so if you are not planning on putting a case on the phone go for this color over the blue. The phone’s fit and finish is superb, no creaks, no noise when handling it as I have noticed on previous Sammy phones. The chrome ring around the phone really adds a touch of class and sets the phone apart from other slab shaped phones out there. The buttons are all in the usual places, power on the right side, volume rocker on the left. The charging port is on the bottom with the headphone jack at the top( I love when they put it on the top instead of the bottom of the device) and the notification light is hidden under the white bezel at the upper left of the screen. The screen measures 4.8″ Super AMOLED Display with a resolution of 1280×720. If any of you have any qualms about this display vs the Super LCD found in HTC’s flagship you can go ahead and put them to bed. Ok if you look at the displays side by side under a microscope or pinch to zoom over text to maximum mag you will be able to see a difference. Other then that, trust me this display will not disappoint you. Colors are rich and vibrant and unlike my GNex’s display, the white does not have a yellowish tint. This display comes as close as I have seen a Samsung AMOLED display come to LCD in terms of clarity and color saturation. All of this along with an LTE radio is crammed into a chassis just 8.6mm thick, I was very pleasantly surprised when this phone is really no bigger then my GNex was. Inside you will find Snapdragon’s dual-core S4 Krait processor along with an extra 1GB of RAM for a total of 2GB of RAM. Alot of outcry was heard of the web when people found out that the Exynos quad-core processor that Samsung developed would not work on LTE networks, however allow me to say that the S4 found in this phone will not in any way dissapoint anyone short of the most hardcore phone gamer out there. I have included some benchmarks but I prefer real world use as a way to guage performance and so far I have yet to find a way to bog this phone down at all.
One of the big reasons I wanted to get this phone was to get my hands on thel camera. The GS3 packs an 8MP camera around the back and 1.3MP front facing unit. The camera is capable of a 20 shot burst mode, HDR, and of course panorama. On single shot this camera takes pictures almost instantly. It focuses very swiftly and while there was more image noise on night shots it is easily one of the best cameras I have used on a mobile device. The burst mode allows you to fire off shots in rapid succession and the best shot mode actually does what you ask of it and usually picks the best shot out of the bunch. The HDR mode really seems to help and due to the processor/RAM combo the phone just powers through the photo effects. The TouchWiz camera software includes some extras, some that help and some that do not. First off is Buddy Photo Share. This allows the phone to automatically tag your friends in your pictures for you to allow you to share them even swifter. Sounds great right? I guess my friends are funny looking because I was unable to really get it to work with any degree of consistency. Sometimes it would work, sometimes not or tag the wrong person in the picture. Now the Share Shot option is a winner. If you have more then one Galaxy S 3 among your group of friends then you can wirelessly link your devices together. After that the pictures will be shared between your devices as you take them! Very cool stuff and thanks to my cousin’s help I can tell you it works very well! Video mode works as well as you would expect, better in fact. The focusing while recording is very impressive and moving the camera showed that the processor has no trouble keeping up and allowing the lens to stay focused. Don’t forget that you can also snap still pictures while shooting video!
3. Battery Life and Software
I am going to do a whole other section of the additions that Sammy has made to Touchwiz so I will hold off on that part. What I do want to take a minute to talk about is S Voice, Samsung’s SIRI competitor. Will this replace you touching keys on your phone? No, however what it does do it does pretty well. All you do is tap the home key twice and ask what the weather will be like today, using geolocation the forecast pops up and the phone reads you the forecast. Ask it to call Dad and the phone places the call for you. Say text Mom I am running late for dinner and guess what, off goes your text. It is not Google Now nor is it a great leap above native voice control but it does what you ask decently well. Battery Life is pretty impressive for an LTE device with this huge display, having a 2,100mAh battery certainly helps. On 4G with me using the phone pretty heavily I got 9.5 hours with about 9% of the battery remaining. Using Wi-Fi all day with less use I got 13 hours on a single charge!! The best part is if this is still not enough battery life for you then you can remove this battery and buy a bigger one!
So is this phone the best that you can buy in the Android world right now? If it is not then it is certainly right up there! It is easily the best phone spec wise that you can get on Verizon right now. If you really want the AOSP experience then by all means go with the Galaxy Nexus, I can personally vouch for the awesomeness of that device. But if you are not afraid of rooting or just want a beautiful, swift, sexy device then you cannot go wrong with this phone. Samsung has another winner in this phone, as if the 10 million already sold does not attest to that fact. A lot of the concerns raised or supposed dissapointments over specs have shown in review after review to be unfounded. This phone is everything I want out of my Android device and trust me it will not let you down either. So head on over to Verizon and show Sammy some love!!
Samsung Galaxy S 3
I have been an avid phone geek for years. After seeing the light and leaving the world of Blackberry for Android, I have owned a wide variety of devices. I am a huge fan of the aftermarket community and when not writing about Android News I am usually flashing something new! Follow me over on Google Plus here, https://plus.google.com/114987504665153959288, for all the latest Android News and of course your daily dose of Meme!!!