130 of 143 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2012
Amazon guarantees free 2 day shipping, but I got it in a day (a MAJOR plus). I got the phone and it was in perfect condition. It does not come with a micro SD card (I forgot to read the fine print), but it does come with earphones. The battery life isn't the best, but it's nothing I would complain about. A car charger and extra batteries are probably going to be necessary. Other than that, this phone runs really smoothly and its interface is amazing! I switched over from an HTC Evo (the first one that came out) and I hated the phone with a burning passion. My Evo was slow, heavy, bulky, and frustrating. This phone runs really fast, is super light (I mean like a feather), and is really slim. There are comparisons between the plastic back of the S3 and the nice smooth feel of the iPhone 4S and 5. Honestly, to me, the S3 doesn't feel cheap. It's smooth and shiny. If no one ever pointed out the plastic backing, I wouldn't have even noticed it. Because it's so slim and light, I feel like I can snap it in two, but this thing seems pretty study. I love it so far!
Edit: I've been using this phone for 2 months now and the battery lasts me throughout the whole day. However, I do turn off my mobile data and WiFi when I don't use it. On my average day, the battery is great. On a day where I'm really active with my phone, I bring an extra batery along just in case.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2013
After fiddling with both a Blackberry 9800 and Nokia Lumia 720 (on Windows Phone) for the past two years, I had finally had enough of using a mobile operating system (OS) without a good ecosystem of applications and superior specifications, so I prepared - like many people have - to make the switch to an iPhone. I would be lying if I said that price point and good advertising didn't make me consider the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Android, but in retrospect, I'm very happy I took a second look. Simply put, being very familiar with each of the major mobile OS' - Google's Android, Apple's iOS, RIM's Blackberry, and Microsoft's Windows Phone - the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the BEST smartphone money can buy and is overall superior to the experience Apple offers on the iPhone.
DESIGN & FEATURES
The first impression I always get when people look at my phone is, "Wow, that's a big phone" - and until you own one, it is. The Galaxy S3's 4.8 inch screen dwarfs my 3.2" Blackberry 9800 and 4.3" Lumia 720. But, it honestly doesn't feel like such a big step up. The phone has a sexy form factor (Samsung and sexy have rarely been uttered in the same sentence before the S3); it's incredibly light, thin, and the screen size feels just right. Since I have become adjusted to the Galaxy S3, using my friends' iPhones have become a pain. While the iPhone 5 was too small and cramped to type on with confidence, the Galaxy S3's screen size was just right. Even when using the phone horizontally, typing and navigating the Galaxy S3 still feels natural.
Some argue that the Galaxy S3 feels "cheap" compared to the iPhone 5, but I actually found Samsung's use of hard plastic to be much better than Apple's premium finishes. The iPhone 5 felt incredibly light and fragile (for someone like me, who drops portable devices like no tomorrow, this was a big game-changer), while the Galaxy S3 actually felt solid and durable. The hard plastic on the Galaxy S3 is incredibly deceiving, because it feels sleek and looks relatively good - Samsung did a good job on the chrome fitting that lines the sides of the phone. The only thing that's flimsy is the removable back cover, but it's no biggie.
Beyond screen size, the Galaxy S3 shares just about every top-of-the-line, cutting-edge feature of its major competitors: an 8MP camera that produces gorgeous quality photos (my iPhone 4/5 friends are insanely jealous at how well the camera holds up in low-light); a front-facing camera perfect for shameless self-portraits and Skyping; a reasonable 8GB of on-board storage; very generous battery life; and superb call quality.
But here's where the Galaxy S3 simply outdoes its flagship counterparts - the iPhone 5, Google/LG Nexus 4, and Nokia Lumia 920, to name a few: Samsung did THE CONSUMER a favor by including a removable battery & microSD card slot for expansion.
Some claim removable batteries are incredibly overrated, but this was a godsend for me. My first Nokia Lumia 720 sustained water damage and while the phone itself was alright, the battery was destroyed. Having a removable battery allowed me to buy a new battery without having to get a new phone. Yes, insurance plans cover replacement, but require pricey deductibles for water damage. None of the Galaxy S3's competitors - not the iPhone, Nexus, or Lumia - offer a removable battery.
The microSD card slot means expandable storage, which was also a game-changer. That means I can use my Galaxy S3 not just as a smartphone (for calling, texting, browsing, and using apps), but I can use it as a portable media device for all my music, movies, and photos. Carrying around a phone, mp3 player, and digital camera is simply not feasible in this day and age, so expandable storage allows me to add up to 64 GB of storage on top of the on-board 8 GB. 64 GB microSD cards run for about $60 on Amazon (I'm using a 16GB microSD card I bought for $12). The iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 don't offer expandable storage, meaning their base models are capped at a lousy 16 and 8 GB, respectively. To get 32 GB of storage on a 16 GB Galaxy S3, you only have to put out an additional $12-20. With the iPhone or Nexus, you need to put out an additional $100-$150 to even come close.
THE GREAT DEBATE: ANDROID vs. iOS
Android has come a long way since its early days; Google has done tremendous work making its mobile OS more refined, buttery fast, and - dare I say it - beautiful. With the latest build (version 4.1+) shipping with the Galaxy S3, you have an OS that is incredibly beautiful and easy to use. Apple's iOS may be beautiful in its own right, but it's hardly customizable. The iPhone 5 has a stagnant home screen where you can move apps around and organize them into folders, but you can do little else. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S3 has beautiful widgets, which can do things like display a list of appointments from your Calendar app on the home screen, give you real-time weather updates and large time information all from the home screen. Android is fully customizable, whereas with Apple, you get a very stagnant experience.
Apple aficionados tout that iOS is more "user-friendly" than Android, but seeing my entire family (including my self-professed 'technologically-challenged' mother) switch to Galaxy's, I beg to differ. Although Android itself is incredibly easy to use, Samsung makes it even easier with TouchWiz, a special version of the OS exclusive to Samsung's line of Android phones. The pull-down notification bar not only displays new notifications from all of your applications, but it also displays key aspects of the phone (e.g. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Airplane Mode) that you can toggle on and off with ease. It's great to be able to toggle these features on-and-off, especially when dealing with a low battery (Wi-Fi can be a killer).
The only discernible advantage iOS has over Android is in the app world, but it's not significant enough to make a difference for the average user. New apps tend to make it to iOS months before Android. Still, with the vast majority of popular apps - Facebook, Instagram, Angry Birds, Skype, etc. - on both platforms and broadcasting updates to both near-simultaneously, you can hardly tell. Google offers applications, movies/TV shows (for rent and purchase), e-books, and magazines via the easy-to-use Play Store, which has been a blast to use.
Google offers services Apple simply can't compete with. The silky-smooth Chrome browser, GMail application, and a host of Google apps - Google Drive, Google Maps, etc. - are built-in and fully integrated with Android. Given that Apple can't even seem to make its own Maps application right (prompting millions to flock to the new Google Maps application for iPhone), having a Galaxy S3 is a total win. Now, Microsoft's Windows Phones offer incredible integration with Microsoft's services as well, but very few of us use Bing to search, SkyDrive for cloud storage, or Outlook for mail. Google Now comes right out of the box, a beautiful voice command experience that uses the power of the Google search. Google Now is not only better at picking up voice commands than Siri, but it is fully integrated with Google search in the event that your voice companion is clueless. Samsung includes the similar S-Voice on the Galaxy S3, which I've found to be relatively useless (and now, unnecessary, given the power of Google Now).
THINGS TO NOTE
* Having come to Sprint from T-Mobile, where wi-fi calling/texting was a savior on my Blackberry and Nokia Lumia, I realize that Sprint doesn't seem to allow for wi-fi calling/texting. It may be device-specific, but this was a letdown.
* Google and Samsung have been pretty hush-hush about syncing Android devices with iTunes for easy music transfers, but it exists! Easy Phone Sync, Samsung Kies, and Google Play Music Manager are all incredible options to sync music/content from iTunes without a hassle.
* The Galaxy S3 is offered on essentially every major carrier, so if you get spotty service with Sprint (or notice poor coverage in your area), I'd recommend the S3 on a different carrier.
* Androids don't have group messaging enabled out of the box, which is a pain when communicating with your iPhone-obsessed friends, but apps like Go! SMS fix the problem and even let you use 'emoji,' which are apparently a big hit.
This is just an amazing phone and in my opinion, the best smartphone money can buy! Samsung has finally made an Android phone worth obsessing over; this is truly a game-changing phone and it's setting the bar for technological advancements in slim packages in the future!
+ Large, beautiful screen in a thin, sexy form factor
+ Durable, solid phone that doesn't feel cheap
+ Expandable storage (microSD) and a removable battery - unheard of on comparable flagship phones like the iPhone 5
+ Gorgeous camera that is a pleasant surprise in low light
+ Fully integrable with Google's awesome services - everything from GMail and Chrome to Drive and Maps
+ The smoothest, most beautiful, user-friendly Android phone to date
+ Great voice search on Google Now & the power of the Google Play Store for apps/multimedia
+ Unbeatable price point (retails at $50-100 cheaper than the iPhone, sometimes $200 cheaper than the Google Nexus 4)
- No wi-fi calling/texting on Sprint
- No group messaging options
- Flimsy back cover
- The size can take somewhat of an "adjustment period" for some users