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Customer Review

188 of 196 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great phone so far! Highly Recommended, July 5, 2012
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy S3, Blue 16GB (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I've had the new Galaxy 3 for a few days and it has really grown on me. I upgraded from the Galaxy S (Captivate) which I loved as my first smartphone but I got it as a free refurbished model so it had a few issues (nonfunctioning GPS and random hiccups and restarts here and there). I was a bit wary of sticking to Samsung after having a bit of trouble with the previous Galaxy model. Despite the hiccups of my personal copy of the Galaxy S, I decided to give the III a try.

After opening up the beautiful box that the Galaxy III arrives in, I was a bit dismayed that the phone seemed a bit flimsy. To insert the battery and SIM card, you basically have to pry off the cheap plastic back cover with your fingernails. It seemed a bit strange, especially since the Galaxy S had a sliding metal cover and was built like a hockey puck. This is my one main complaint about the III. The Galaxy S is going on strong after two years of drops and falls without any protective casing but I don't feel that the III can sustain such heavy abuse. I'm sure it will survive a few accidents but I don't think I'm comfortable subjecting it to my previous carelessness with its predecessor. After sticking the battery in, the casing feels a bit more solid and the back cover locks in tightly.

Also, memory expansion and replaceable battery gave the III an edge over other new smartphone models. The III also comes with a nice set of headphones/mic and of course a charger.

In terms of size, it is pretty obvious that the III has a much more screen space and is much larger than the Galaxy S and many other smartphones. I have small hands/fingers but I was able to manipulate the Galaxy S with one hand. Not so with the III but that's hardly something worth complaining about. The screen is big and beautiful. Colors are crisp and the contrast is very good. I think the screen isn't as bright at the Galaxy S screen but it is still an improvement as the colors aren't as jarring.

The phone runs rather nicely. It's very smooth and I feel intuitive. Coming from Android Gingerbread, ICS isn't too much of a change. Switching tasks is a breeze and it is noticeably faster than the Galaxy S. It also outperforms my boyfriend's Motorola Atrix 4G which also has dual-core (though, it is now two years old). We ran the same tasks and app on the both the phones and they have parallel performance. Additionally, a Quadrant Test ran at 4758 (if that means anything to you). The Atrix tested at 2091.

Another reviewer complained that the phone ran hot. I didn't really see this as an issue with my copy. It does warm up a bit but no more than the original Galaxy S and not to any concerning level.

The S Voice is a nice addition and works surprisingly well. I've never tried an iPhone or Siri so I can't compare. S Voice is a nice touch but I felt a bit slower than expected. It is far more accurate and intelligent than whatever voice function the Galaxy S had. It is very sensitive to a fault so it will attempt to decipher any kind of utterance (so no thinking out loud!) There are a few things that are pretty gimmicky like the Smart Stay which is supposed to keep the screen active while your face is watching it. We felt that this feature was unnecessary and may be a potential battery drain since it will recognize your face even if you aren't actually looking at the phone. It may be a useful feature for movie viewing. Fortunately, this feature can be easily disabled.

The two cameras are really good. I am a DSLR user and I'm big into photography. I thought the Galaxy S camera was OK but the III's cameras are a big step up. The rear camera focuses very, very quickly and with a touch of the screen you can easily change the focus of the photo before you take the picture. Obviously, it cannot compete with DSLR photographs but it takes pretty decent photographs for a phone. It doesn't exactly rival compact point & shoot cameras but it is close.

The III also comes with some useful apps like Kies Air which allows you to change your phone around (edit contacts, add music, etc) through your computer without having to plug the phone into USB. This a great feature especially when you are getting started with the phone for the first time and are importing data. There's a fair amount of crapware from AT&T but they can be easily removed or hidden. You can easily hide apps by going to Application Manager, hitting Force Stop and then Disable. This can quickly remove unwanted or rarely used apps without having to root them.

Battery life on smartphones is terrible in general. With moderate use, I can get through the day with some battery left to spare so it is good enough. It lasted 12 hours of regular use of GPS, apps, phone calls with 10% to spare.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the phone. Other than investing in a good protective case and learning to be more careful, I can't really find much to complain about. I'll update my review as I go along but so far, I recommend it highly.

UPDATE: A month in and I still love this phone. It is incredibly fast and reliable. I haven't had it crashed once so far. The processing speed is great. I used to shy away from using my previous smartphone to do quick internet research because it was slow and unreliable. The SIII really makes you feel that you have the world at your fingertips. Very quick.

I am an AT&T customer and I ordered this phone through Amazon. There were a few problems when my account was transferred to this phone but AT&T quickly cleared it up. As for the network, I know AT&T is well-known for having a crappy network. Having been an AT&T customer for a long time, I don't know any better but unless I'm in a known dead-zone like a basement or a dense apartment building, I have had no issues with connecting onto the network or making calls. No dropped calls so far, also (which is amazing because my Galaxy S would drop calls ALL the time). Still in love with this gizmo.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 8, 2012 10:36:31 AM PDT
Jeff Edwards says:
The back cover is actually polycarbonate, yes, it has a 'plasticky' feel, however it is many times stronger and yet lighter than the typical plastic phone rear cover. When manufacturing a phone of this size, in order to keep it from weighing more like an expensive paper weight, some areas need to be sacrificed, but Samsung DID take a better route using the polycarbonate instead of plain plastic. More durable, lighter and a great deal stronger. Honestly, I think its pretty only complaint is that its rather slippery in my hands. Other than that, this phone is a winner all the way around.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2012 3:50:27 PM PDT
Pushpin says:
Thanks for the clarification. I agree with you. Once it's locked in there with the battery in, you don't really notice how plasticky it feels. Feels sturdy but yes, slippery.

Posted on Aug 14, 2012 2:18:46 PM PDT
L. Housley says:
first off, the problems you had with the original galaxy s were not because it was a refurb, it's the phone. i got mine new and have the same problems.

have you used the gps on your s3 much? how is it?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2012 3:25:51 PM PDT
Pushpin says:
The GPS on the S3 is great! (but then again I am coming from the original Galaxy S). The S III is much, much faster than original Galaxy S at pinpointing my location - just about instantaneous - and can track movement very well. I use it for both navigation and tracking my runs through various apps. Works great and I can finally use GPS based games/apps with zero frustration.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2012 4:35:28 PM PDT
L. Housley says:
awesome. thanks for the reply. does it have a different turn-by-turn system than the original?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2012 7:30:20 PM PDT
Pushpin says:
They both came with Google's Navigation app and the AT&T Navigator. The Google Nav app runs well and besides a few minor changes to the layout it is the same as the app on the original Galaxy.. I haven't used the AT&T Navigator on either phone since the google app works fine.

Posted on Sep 13, 2012 12:46:05 AM PDT
Boxshadow says:
How's the battery life?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 5:56:59 AM PDT
L. Housley says:
i charge it every night when I go to bed and usually once during the day. I don't usually charge it during the day because it's dead though, i charge it because I'm going somewhere (usually a sporting event) where I know I'll be using it A LOT.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 2:46:21 PM PDT
Pushpin says:
Battery life is great. A lot better than other smartphones in our household. I use GPS a lot as well fiddling around with email, text, internet, various apps and music throughout the day and when I get home at night there's still enough of a charge for me to get through the next morning if I forget to charge it that night. I am pretty surprised. I hope the battery life keeps it because it's wonderful.

Posted on May 15, 2013 8:11:16 PM PDT
Cr8tve Chick says:
what kind of problems did you have transferring your account to this phone? i am interested in trying transferring this way but want to make sure it is worth it.
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