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184 of 191 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2012
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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146 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2012
First, this is a review of the US version of the phone. I tried to put a review up on the US version, but Amazon wouldn't let me. So hopefully this helps out people deciding to get the US version of the phone. In case people are wondering this is for the Sprint network.

The US version of the phone differs as it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Processor with 1.5 GHz Dual-Core CPUs, while the the rest of the hardware specs are the same as the international version.

I switched from an HTC EVO 4G to get this phone and so far it's been great! Here are the things I like about the phone:

* The phone is a nice size, it's lighter than my HTC EVO 4G.
* The processor is one of the fastest US released Android phone, and it comes with 2 GB of RAM.
* I played around with the camera and video camera and the quality is great in my opinion. (I'll post some pics or a video later.)
* The ICS 4.0 is really snappy and it opens up applications quickly.
* It comes with Google Wallet. I signed up and got a free $10 to use. (I'm going to McDonald's to test it out!)
* I've only use the S Voice application a few times, but it seems to be just like Siri on my wife's iPhone 4S.
* It comes with a micro SD slot in case more space is needed to save pictures, videos, etc.
* You can change out the battery if needed.
* Battery life last twice as long compared to my HTC EVO 4G.

Now for some cons:

* This is carrier related and not the phone itself, but there is no 4G LTE on the Sprint Network. Other networks such at AT&T and Verizon should be better, but I'm stuck with 3G speeds for now.
* The phone is so nice, that I baby it all the time!

I was on the fence about getting this phone or the HTC EVO 4G LTE aka HTC One X. The main things that I like over the the Samsung Galaxy 3 over the HTC EVO 4G LTE is that it comes with the Micro SD slot and also the battery can be changed if it ever goes bad.

I love this phone! :)
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208 of 230 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2012
(Network AT&T - US Version via Amazonwireless.com)

I purchased this phone for my wife to replace her beat up Motorolo Razr Flip phone. This was her first smartphone and I was a little afraid she would have a hard time using it. I tested the phone before she got home from work and there were many bells and whistles that are very cool and innovative, which made me worried it would overwhelm a simple user like my wife.

After my wife played around with the phone for couple of days, she loves the phone and has started customizing the phone the way she likes it.

I myself own a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate, and have been pretty happy with the phone until now because of the SIII. I am so impressed with the phone, that I will be purchasing one for myself.

Pros:
- Screen: Some say iPhone's Retina Display is better, but I am convinced it is just personal preference. If you like images and the screen to pop out and be lively, Samsung's AMOLED screen is the way to go. If you like softer tones, you may enjoy the iPhone. I personally like the crisp and sharp contrast of the AMOLED screens. Also the screen is pretty large which to me is a plus.
- Battery: I have not benchmarked the battery, so this is not a technical comparison, but since we just got this phone, my wife and I have been using the phone pretty much non-stop and the battery lasts the whole day. I have not seen the battery level go down below 50%.
- Weight: The phone feels really light holding on to it.
- Performance: The phone runs smooth. I'm very impressed how fast the phone downloads files and streams vidoes over AT&T's 4G LTE network (Orange County, CA). I really can't tell the difference between the mobile data speeed with my home's Cable Modem using a Wireless N+ router. It's pretty fast.
- Camera: the rear facing camera takes pretty sharp pictures and videos.

Neutral
- I've read some complaints about the casing feeling cheap. I honestly don't get that. I thought it feels nice and makes the phoen lighter. I didn't know people liked heavy phones so much.
- Over heating? I kid you not, we are constantly using this phone. I personally was using the phone for about an hour straight and didn't feel any uncomfortable heat. My Captivate however feels like it's going to melt. And I've played around with iPhone's. Those get pretty hot also.
- NFC. I think this will only be useful when it becomes more commonplace. For now, it feels gimmicky.

Cons:
- The pen that Samsung makes for this is pretty pricey (for a pen).
- S-Voice. Kind of gimmicky. I don't like Siri to start with, but S-Voice is even more useless.
- S-Suggest. You can disable it, but still find it useless.

Overall, I'm very happy with the phone, and happy that my wife is using it, and having fun with it! I'm planning on getting the blue one soon.
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111 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2012
After years of sticking with my plain, but solid, flip phone, I decided to jump off the cliff and onto the smartphone bandwagon. I had held off on joining the masses because it seemed like every time I turned around there was a new and improved smartphone. Why waste the money when my phone will be obsolete by the time I get it out of the store? Then I heard about the up and coming Samsung Galaxy S3 (S3). After reading hours upon hours of reviews on the S3, all of a sudden I couldn't get my check card out of my wallet fast enough. If you are thinking about purchasing a smartphone, or are just looking to upgrade, I hope this review will help you reach the same opinion I did; The Galaxy S3 is the best phone in the... universe.

I'll begin by saying MASSIVE is the first adjective that came to mind when I opened my Samsung Galaxy S3 box. The display on the phone is an incredible 4.8" which, for me, coming from a standard flip phone, felt like what I would imagine upgrading from a standard 13" television to a 50" HD plasma T.V. would feel like. After the initial shock of the size wore off, the next thing I noticed was the gorgeous color. The S3 comes in two color choices; marble white and pebble blue. I had picked the latter, and let me tell you; I made the right choice. I also noticed that the phone weighed less than I had expected with a phone this large. In comparison to my old flip phone, the S3 has all the same basic buttons from volume control, an on/off switch and a main menu button. Some could say that the size of the phone makes it awkward or bulky, and I found it took me a few days to adjust to the size myself. However, after having played around with my new S3 for about a week now, I believe the benefits far outweigh any downsides to having a phone this large and, to further give credence to this opinion, I'll talk about the display, camera, and lastly, the video camera, which greatly benefit from the size of the Samsung Galaxy S3.

For starters, the resolution on the S3 is amazing. With a 720 x 1280 pixel display, the clarity of anything you do from the main menu on the phone is mind boggling. After I noticed the display, I decided to check out the picture quality. The Galaxy S3 has two different cameras; an 8 megapixel (MP) rear-facing camera, and a 1.9MP front-facing camera, both of which I find quite useful. For example, for every day pictures from facial shots , action shots to still portrait, I find the rear-facing camera to be the best fit. However, if I want to make sure I'm not smiling like a complete idiot, or have something stuck in my teeth, the front-facing camera comes in handy. Having a 4.8" screen is incredibly useful for knowing exactly what's going to turn up in your picture. Furthermore, the cameras on the Galaxy S3 come with many different features, one being the 'burst shot', which will rapidly take five pictures in a row, which really helps when you are trying to catch the split second your kid will smile while you are holding a camera. From what I have heard from friends, the camera perks on the S3 resemble other smartphone's camera options, so for potential migrating smartphone users, there shouldn't be much lost in translation if you decide to make the move to Samsung's Galaxy S3. On the other hand, if you're coming from a flip phone like I did, it will take a while to get adjusted to all the different camera options, but once you do, in my opinion, it's worth it in the long run. As far as video goes...

Let me start by saying I tried to find something bad, broken or annoying about the video options on Samsung's Galaxy S3. I searched but to no avail; the video on the S3 is simply perfect. First, with a 1080p at 30fps video camera, the quality is just as great as you will find on the best high definition T.V.'s on the market. For instance, I tried using the Skype application on my S3, so I could video chat with my daughter, who lives in California. The video quality was comparable, if not better, than what it is on my computer, which allows me to see my daughter even when I'm not at home in front of my computer. However, if I was forced at gun point to come up with something negative about the video aspect of the S3, I would say, that at 30fps, you may experience some slight lag if the objects/people you are recording move too quickly. I only experienced this lag once, when recording moving cars while running, and it was hardly noticeable. Overall, Samsung's Galaxy S3's video camera is a strong selling point to take into consideration when looking for a new phone.

In summary, I'm very happy with the fact that I purchased a Galaxy S3. The huge size of the screen, along with the resolution, is incredibly useful when texting, emailing or playing games. The cameras on the S3 come in handy in pretty much any situation I can think of, so it's nice to be prepared for anything and everything. The video camera is easily the best thing about the S3 in my opinion, and it was the final thing that helped me to decide to purchase a Galaxy S3.

I hope this review helps those of you out there who are looking at possibly purchasing a Galaxy S3. I realize there are other specifications and options that could be covered in a review, but I chose to focus on the main things that are important to me, and I assume to some others, when looking for a new phone. Buying a smartphone is not an easy decision, especially with today's economy, so remember to take into account the additional data costs that you will have when purchasing any smartphone. Last night, I made the decision to write this review, because it's rare when I have few, if any, complaints about a gadget I decide to buy and, with the Galaxy S3, that's exactly what I bought.
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93 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2012
To preface this review, I've had the following smartphones most recently in this order:

iphone 3gs
iphone 4
HTC inspire
Samsung Galaxy s2 skyrocket
Samsung Galaxy s3

PROS:

- screen size and resolution. 4.8"beast 720x1280.
- Screen clarity is amazing. I can clearly read the screen in broad daylight with no strain.
- Processor is blazing fast. No lag with multiple apps open and switching between them.
- size, shape, and weight are all perfect for me. This phone is surprisingly thin.
- speaker phone is loud and clear
- cell phone reception and internet speed are exceptional
- call clarity is excellent
- GPS works MUCH better than the HTC inspire, and as good or better than the skyrocket
- battery life is better than the HTC inspire, and about the same as the gs2 skyrocket (make sure to fully deplete the battery as soon as you get this phone. Then give it a 100% charge without taking it off the charger. Android OS needs to calibrate the battery.)
- built in task manager works very well.
- bottom app bar is customizable.
- camera takes excellent pictures.
- music player sounds great and is very responsive.
- physical home button is nice to have
- typing and playing games are both great experiences due to the huge, super responsive touch screen
- Android 4.0.4 runs MUCH better on this device than it did on the galaxy S2 skyrocket
- Shutter speed on the camera is very fast
- I reliably(so-far) use the built-in clock/alarm app as my everyday wake-up alarm. The smart alarm feature is really cool too!
- Comes with headphones with in-line controls. They are good for the gym, but the sound is a bit lean.

CONS:
- battery life still isn't as good as the iphone4. This is primarily with regards to standby time.
- Touchwiz doesn't seem to have as many pretty widgets as htc sense, but I've found some 3rd party replacements (extended controls, beautiful widgets, etc)
- no more touch-search-button (only menu, back, and home buttons now). I actually liked having that button.
- phone is massive, so one-handed use is very difficult depending on what case you use.
- S-voice is a joke, but you can use a different app...
- Camera photo quality isn't quite up to par with apple's newer offerings, but is still very respectable.
- Over a period of a few months, the samsung branded software keyboard will start to get VERY sluggish. I recommend downloading the stock ICS or Jellybean keyboard from the Google Market!

OTHER:
- I recommend the "Llama" app to setup cell phone tower profiles. When I enter my work's cell phone area, my phone automatically turns off wifi and gps, as well as mutes my phone. When I leave work my phone automatically turns my volume back on. When I get home I have it turn wifi on and gps off, and when I leave home it turns wifi off. VERY useful and it saves battery life.

Honestly, this is the best phone I've ever used. Battery life may be a consideration for some people, but the micro USB charging port makes having (or borrowing) chargers pretty convenient. The size of the phone is awesome for me, but you may want something smaller.
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2012
Long time android user but I have only had 2 Galaxy phones - the S2 Skyrocket and the S3. The skyrocket is a really nice phone as well but the s3 wins because:
-HD Screen - Apps like bible, eBay, and chrome are much easier to read.
-HD Video - looks much clearer then the skyrocket
-2gb of ram - this is definitely future proof
-supports up to a 64gb memory card for 80gb total!!
-battery lasts until 2 or 4 with heavy use. I haven't drained it completely but I assume it will die if I use it all day and night. I have Bluetooth, GPS, and Wifi on. 4g will definitely have a significant impact on the battery.
-super fast!!
-excellent reception
-excellent call quality
Cons:
-screen cracks easily - so get an Otterbox!
-awkward sometimes to hold one handed but still do-able.

I chose Red because it is the color nobody has. White is too plain/feminine and blue would be my 2nd choice but was a plain jane color too. The red is very deep and does have sparkles. Its almost a maroon color. I ordered a blue otterbox so hopefully it doesn't look too tacky. It is definitely my most favorite phone. Works great with Straight talk wireless!
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2012
To preface this review, I've had the following smartphones most recently in this order:

iphone 3gs
iphone 4
HTC inspire
Samsung Galaxy s2 skyrocket
Samsung Galaxy s3

PROS:

- screen size and resolution. 4.8"beast 720x1280.
- Screen clarity is amazing. I can clearly read the screen in broad daylight with no strain.
- Processor is blazing fast. No lag with multiple apps open and switching between them.
- size, shape, and weight are all perfect for me. This phone is surprisingly thin.
- speaker phone is loud and clear
- cell phone reception and internet speed are exceptional
- call clarity is excellent
- GPS works MUCH better than the HTC inspire, and as good or better than the skyrocket
- battery life is better than the HTC inspire, and about the same as the gs2 skyrocket (make sure to fully deplete the battery as soon as you get this phone. Then give it a 100% charge without taking it off the charger. Android OS needs to calibrate the battery.)
- built in task manager works very well.
- bottom app bar is customizable.
- camera takes excellent pictures.
- music player sounds great and is very responsive.
- physical home button is nice to have
- typing and playing games are both great experiences due to the huge, super responsive touch screen
- Android 4.0.4 runs MUCH better on this device than it did on the galaxy S2 skyrocket
- Shutter speed on the camera is very fast
- I reliably(so-far) use the built-in clock/alarm app as my everyday wake-up alarm. The smart alarm feature is really cool too!
- Comes with headphones with in-line controls. They are good for the gym, but the sound is a bit lean.

CONS:
- battery life still isn't as good as the iphone4. This is primarily with regards to standby time.
- Touchwiz doesn't seem to have as many pretty widgets as htc sense, but I've found some 3rd party replacements (extended controls, beautiful widgets, etc)
- no more touch-search-button (only menu, back, and home buttons now). I actually liked having that button.
- phone is massive, so one-handed use is very difficult depending on what case you use.
- S-voice is a joke, but you can use a different app...
- Camera photo quality isn't quite up to par with apple's newer offerings, but is still very respectable.
- Over a period of a few months, the samsung branded software keyboard will start to get VERY sluggish. I recommend downloading the stock ICS or Jellybean keyboard from the Google Market!

OTHER:
- I recommend the "Llama" app to setup cell phone tower profiles. When I enter my work's cell phone area, my phone automatically turns off wifi and gps, as well as mutes my phone. When I leave work my phone automatically turns my volume back on. When I get home I have it turn wifi on and gps off, and when I leave home it turns wifi off. VERY useful and it saves battery life.

Honestly, this is the best phone I've ever used. Battery life may be a consideration for some people, but the micro USB charging port makes having (or borrowing) chargers pretty convenient. The size of the phone is awesome for me, but you may want something smaller.
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96 of 111 people found the following review helpful
Earlier this year I slipped off to Evo-land and had a great experience with the HTC Evo One X, but at the end of the day, AT&T's version of the One X was too limited: smaller space (16GB instead of 32), no added storage, sealed battery, too much pre-loaded junk, too much data-gobbling. I wasn't ready to live that much in the cloud.

Thus far, the Galaxy S III has been the answer to all of my problems. It has none of the senility of my Galaxy I (which got really weird there at the end), it is far snappier than the Galaxy II I played with, and the Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" OS has me giddy with its response time and smooth transition from one program to another. Yes, the Galaxy S III really can multi-task, and is happy to do so. Best of all, I slipped in my 32GB SD Card and we were ready to go. The HTC One X consumed just over 6GB of its built-in 16GB. This means an AT&T Evo One X has only 9 GB of room. Out of the box, the Galaxy S III takes up a little over 4GB of the native 16, but will allow you to slot in an SD card of up to 64GB in size for even more room. If the battery stops holding a charge one day, I'll just open the case, pop it out, and put in a new one--how handy!

I've seen some people have battery problems, but so far I've managed to go up to two days without having to charge. It all depends on what I'm doing, but even with what I consider to be heavy activity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, several calls, lots of surfing), I don't have to charge the phone more than once a day.

INTERFACE AND SETTINGS
With the Galaxy S III's interface, there are a LOT of options that let you customize your phone to be just as you want it: it's as if the makers of both the Galaxy III and the Droid OS decided to bend over backwards and hand you the keys to pretty much every feature you can think of. For example, if you hate eating data when someone e-mails you an attachment, you can set the phone to only pull down attachments when on Wi-Fi, or not at all. Check for new messages anywhere from 'continuous' to 'daily' to 'never' (which means 'manually'). Hotmail works much better now that Exchange is supported--my Galaxy I would take forever, drop out, freeze, or give me nagging, 'Too many requests' messages.

Getting around is smooth swiping with the Gorilla Glass on the Galaxy S III's face, but I still went with a so-so Steinheil screen protector. Either way, SWYPEing is easier: not only is the onscreen keyboard huge, with the keys generously spaced wherever possible, but the SWYPE interface draws your swipe line cleanly and it is easy to see what word you are SWYPEing. Word suggest is still annoying--tap out the word "text" and get "Texas" inserted--but once I turned this off, everything else worked well. If there's one disadvantage to the Galaxy S III, it's that both the phone and the screen are a real fingerprint magnet: the Evo X picks up stains and smudges, but was just a bit better about not getting as much smeariness on the glass. Still, with either device the problem is solved by a quick swipe across your shirt.

APPS AND WIDGETS
Android phones now use the Google Play Store instead of the Droid Market and it works fairly well: enter your Google account info and you're ready to go. AT&T customers still get CRapplications they can't remove, but your own third-party apps can also be side-loaded after changing one setting in the options. You can't root the phone (yet, anyway), but I'm not seeing the horrible performance drag of all that AT&T stuff like I used to. I'm especially fond of the side-loaded Amazon App Store, which nimbly pushed all my apps down with no complaints, security warnings, or performance drops (take that, ol' Galaxy I!)

Applications now come in two form factors: Apps and Widgets. When you tap the 'Applications' button from the home screen, the resulting screens are tabbed between a list of Applications and a list of Widgets. Think of an 'App' as meaning "An icon I tap to launch a program" and a 'Widget' as "A thing I may launch, or may just interact with at the screen and never need to open separately" (like the Weather, the media player, or the flashlight). When you swipe from one home screen to another, adding Widgets now gets a Windows Phone like twist: some widgets are double-wide like a Windows Phone 7 tile, and some (like the media player or the clock/weather on the main home screen) take up half the screen--the variety of sizes also resembles the coming Windows 8 Metro interface. Instead of feeling crowded, it reminds me of how much fun it was to play with my first desktop gadgets in Windows Vista.

NETWORKING AND DATA
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are very responsive: connecting to various networks or pairing is quick. If you connect to the type of network that requires you to open a browser and agree to something/provide a user ID before you can connect, the Galaxy S III will prompt you accordingly and automatically open the page you need. There is also a button right on the pull-down menu to turn off packet data so you can conserve your data plan--I like that feature VERY much.

MULTIMEDIA
Multimedia playback is excellent: while my Galaxy I would take quite a while to open and respond to me, the Media Player Widget makes my music quickly accessible. True to form, I get album art, artist/title/album searches, and a very good quality of playback over the included earbuds.

CAMERA
The Galaxy S III has two cameras: one in the front and a much better one in the back. Both are for taking photos and shooting video. The camera on the back is for the serious picture-taking and has a very high-output flash for such a tiny LED. Picture-taking is so fast I find myself accidentally snapping multiple shots! The gallery of my Galaxy S I might take a while to show me newly-snapped photos, but with the S III they are not only instantly available, I can go straight into the Gallery from the Camera and not have to step out to the home screen. Flash can be adjusted on and off, switching cameras is as easy as tapping one icon, and there are a variety of easy-to-access options, from three focus modes (Auto, Macro, Face detection) to generic 'shooting mode' settings: Single shot, burst, HDR, "Smile Shot", Beauty, Panorama, Share Shot, and Buddy photo share. Settings includes the ability to adjust the exposure value, and what's more there are scene modes for sports, night, party/indoor, etc.

CALLS
The feel of the Contacts and Phone Dialing interface haven't changed much, but the look certainly has: icons, contact pictures, and menus are larger on the Galaxy III's generous screen. I found myself making fewer mistakes trying to nudge and poke my way through the touchscreen when I needed to look up a contact or merge their information. Call quality is excellent, and answering the phone is easy. As with all new phones, there are many ringtones, alarms, and message sounds to choose from: I was very pleased with the variety of options this time around--the many sounds you can choose from for your calls range from soothing and tranquil to jarring and noisy.

If you're looking for a new Android Smartphone, the Galaxy S III is a fantastic choice. Its screen is bright, colorful and generous, the OS runs smooth and fast and the screen is very responsive to touch. The number of features at times seems endless, but more importantly, Samsung have executed those features well: this is indeed a great phone.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2012
The GS3's sexy specs and glossy good looks (particularly in pebble blue) won me over. On launch day, I swapped my beloved Droid Razr Maxx, for the Samsung Galaxy S3. Prior to the Maxx, I briefly owned the Verizon version of the GNexus (which I can't recommend at all). Before I get into the nitty gritty details, with pro's, con's and comparisons, at the time of this review, this is the phone you have been waiting for--the phone that will make you use that upgrade or cause you to sign a ridiculous contract with Verizon. After spending ten minutes with the phone, it's an obvious step up from the Razr Maxx and Galaxy Nexus--the former top tier Android phones on Big Red's network.

Performance

As much as I loved my Razr Maxx (and its marathon 2-3 solid days of battery life), after spending a few minutes with the GS3, the performance leap is very noticeable. The GS3 is silky smooth, with no lagginess at all. Apps (particulary heavy duty games like GTA III) launch quickly and are game play is flawless. I know many of you aren't going to play anything requiring more than the occasional fling of a few angry birds, but the GS3's ability to handle hardcore mobile games with ease is a sure fire indicator that it will be able to run 99.9% of the apps out there in two years. In other words, this phone has the chops to allow you to make it through your contract without starting a countdown for your next upgrade.

How about some real world examples of the GS3's muscle? The Qualcomm S4 chipset with an industry leading 2gb of Ram can cut through 1080p video files like butter. Surprisingly, it was able to play back a 23.5 mbps AVCHD file using hardware decoding decoding!!! I was even able to take play back the file with the video in screen, while I did a couple of google searches. The average $400 laptop would have a tough time handling that!

The GS3 doesn't disappoint on the audio side either. While HTC touts its Beats Audio Technology, that's nothing more than a brand name equilizer setting with limited value-- unless you're spend $100 or more on a beats headphones (which I personally don't care for). Sammy, on the other hand, dropped in two Wolfson digital to analog converters, which allows the GS3 to pump out lossless high bit rate music with ease. Using a pair of Etyotic HF3 IEM earphones, sound quality was crisp and clean for music playback. Even lossy tracks streaming from Amazon Cloud sounded surprisingly full. Much more so than on some other phones that I own. In terms of music playback, the GS3 is every bit the equal of the iPhone and possibly a little better.

The Screen

The's GS3's 4.8", 720p HD screen is a stunner! The Super AMOLED panel provides rich color saturation and outstanding contrast. The panel used to make the screen is beautifully fabricated. the slight curve in the design makes it a pleasure to touch. Text is crisp and I see no issue with this most recent implementation of pentile technology. The fuzziness from Galaxy S, GNexus and Fascinate is a thing of the past. Watching videos on the GS3 is a treat.

All is, however, not perfect with the GSIII's screen. While the contrast and color saturation are strong points for the phone, if you like natural color tones, the pumped up saturation levels may bother you. Personally, I would dial back the saturation level if I could. The GS2 had a settings menu that allowed users to tweak brightness, contrast, tint and saturation. For reasons I don't understand, that great feature was some how left behind on this next gen phone, which is a real pity.

While saturation is a matter of taste, the real issue with the screen though is brightness. Even cranked to 100%, the screen still seems to be a few nits behind the curve. I would love to be able to dial up to 120%. The maximum brightness is noticeably less bright than the screen on the Maxx (which Motorola sourced from Sammy). So, what gives? I am not sure, but my best guess is that in the interest of improving battery life and to compensate for the size of the screen (and the power that size screen will suck), Sammy choose to put a software restriction that limits the ability of users to pump of the brightness. Hopefully, this can be cured by a future firmware update.

While the brightness could use a boost, this deficiency is further amplified by awful auto-brightness implementation. When auto-brightness is turned on, the phone makes sudden and drastic adjustments in brightness even in a consistently well lit setting. It seems as if the software has only 3 settings for brightness when it is set to auto--low, medium and high (which isn't that high to begin with). The phone will drop from high to low suddenly, leaving the screen unreadably dark. Until Sammy sends out a software update to fix the problem, I have disabled the auto-brightness feature.

Software Implementation

The user interface for this latest version of touchwiz is really very nice. This phone provides IOS levels of comfort and ease of use to a smartphone beginner, but allows the flexibility for the nerds among us to customize the phone to suit our needs and tastes. CNET and Phonedog have done excellent video reviews on the GS3's user interface and software features and highly recommend that you check them out (Amazon won't allow links to outside sites--so you'll have to google them).

I do have a few software gripes, one of which could effect some peoples' buying decision.
One of the purported advantages of the GS3 over its top competitors from the HTC One line of phones is the fact that the GS3's has a micro SD card slot and accepts up to 64gb cards. Android allows must apps to be saved and launched from the micro SD cards. This feature allows low and mid-range phones to be made with limited internal storage because users can add their own cards.

Sammy, however, wants power users to buy the bigger capacity 32gig phones for an extra $50. To force us to buy the step up model, Samsung disable the ability to move apps from internal storage to the micro SD card. I am not sure of the size of the app partition in the phone, but I hope Sammy didn't put too big of a restriction on internal storage or that could be a problem for some people down the road. I understand why Sammy made the decision to disable the feature, but it seems like a low rent Apple type move to me and, in fairness, the HTC One series doesn't accept SD cards at all (nor does the iPhone nor any of the current Windows 7 phones).

Another small grip I have is with Sammy's decision not to incorporate ICS's native ability to generate folders for apps simply by stacking one app icon on top of another . Motorola incorporated this feature on its ICS update to the Razr and its native to ICS, so why force us to have to press the menu screen, select create folder and than drag and drop files? Sammy, that's very Gingerbread of you. A good UI should use the strengths of the underlying Software and improve on the weakness--not just make changes for change sake. This is one of the few areas that the Sammy's "Nature" UI seems to fall short.

Battery Life

Gripes are over for now. :) The batter life on the GS3 seems pretty decent. I have had it off the charge since 8:30 this morning (its 4:47 in the afternoon), and have been using the phone heavily. Screen on time is about 2:53 minutes. I have done some light web surfing--shopped on ebay and amazon for a new case for the sammy. Send about 7 or 8 emails, 10-12 tests, and made about 80 minutes worth of phone calls. Brightness is set to around 90% (auto-brightness is disabled). I even played about 15 to 20 minutes of GTA III, and watch about 20 minutes of an episode of Lost on Netflix. It's now 6:33 in the evening and the battery says it has 62% remaining. I would still be in the mid-80's with the Razr Maxx and the GNexus would have been dead or on the charger a few hours ago.

I would say the battery is good--but it's not close to being in the same league as the Maxx. The fact that it is removable, however, does give it a major step up on phones like the HTC One (X-S), Razr (original), Sony ION, iPhone 4S and Atrix HD. In short, if you are on Verizon and don't need the Maxx's 2 full days worth of battery life, I would take the GS3 over the Razr Maxx (which is exactly what I did).

Camera

The camera on the GS3 gets top marks. It uses an updated version of the same 8MP Sony sensor used in the iPhone 4S. Unlike the iPhone 4S, there are options galore for tweaking your photos. I am really impressed with the sharpness of the phones, even in low light. Depending on the shot, the camera on the GS3 (and photo quality in general) is very comparable to photo quality on the Nokia 808 and iPhone 4S.

Video quality is on par with the photo quality. It shoots very smooth 1080p video. Color is good and the video quality is genuine HD quality for most shots. If you shooting a sporting events or other fast paced action, or are pan quickly, there is a lag in time while the camera gets in focus. In fairness, I see the same issue with the iPhone 4S and I have yet to see a smart phone camera do better. Audio quality on the camera is also quite good.

Call Quality and Reception

I have had no problems with reception at all. Unlike its GNexus stable mate, the qualcomm radio and baseband in the GS3 are top notch. I have excellent signal strength on Verizon's network. Call quality is excellent. The people I called say that I sound like I am on a landline--and they sound just as clear to me. Data on Verizon's 4G LTE Network is also strong. I located in the metro NY area. I am consistently pulling 18-24mbps download and 9-16mbps upload speeds on the 4G Network. I get strong reception for Wifi and great broadcasting for Bluetooth as well.

Comparison with Competitors

I have no regrets about trading up from the GNexus to the Razr Maxx and even less regret about trading from the Maxx to the GS3. Despite its plastic build, I think the phone does have a premium feel. It's not as solid as the Maxx, but no one is going to look at the pebble blue version of the GS3 and thinks--that thing looks cheap. It's comfortable to hold. The HTC One X has a sharper, brighter screen and a camera that is on par with the GSC's. The lack of a user removable battery is a big knock against the HTC One series however. The iPhone is, well, an iPhone. As nice as the iPhone 4S may be (and it's great phone), the lack of LTE capability and low data rates on Verizon's CDMA network make it a no go for me. On ATT, however, it can take advantage of higher HSPA+ speeds, but ATT's network has been having some issues lately. For that reason alone, if I am married to ATT or am on Sprint or Verizon for that matter, I am taking the GS3 over the iPhone 4S.

Conclusion

This is a solid phone and a no brainer if you are on the market for a phone right now and have $200.00 in your pocket!
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2012
The US version of the phone differs as it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Processor with 1.5 GHz Dual-Core CPUs, while the the rest of the hardware specs are the same as the international version.

I switched from an HTC EVO 4G to get this phone and so far it's been great! Here are the things I like about the phone:

* The phone is a nice size, it's lighter than my HTC EVO 4G.
* The processor is one of the fastest US released Android phone, and it comes with 2 GB of RAM.
* I played around with the camera and video camera and the quality is great in my opinion. (I'll post some pics or a video later.)
* The ICS 4.0 is really snappy and it opens up applications quickly.
* It comes with Google Wallet. I signed up and got a free $10 to use. (I'm going to McDonald's to test it out!)
* I've only use the S Voice application a few times, but it seems to be just like Siri on my wife's iPhone 4S.
* It comes with a micro SD slot in case more space is needed to save pictures, videos, etc.
* You can change out the battery if needed.
* Battery life last twice as long compared to my HTC EVO 4G.

Now for some cons:

* This is carrier related and not the phone itself, but the 4G LTE is not all in all areas so be sure to check your carrier if internet speeds is a deciding factor in purchasing this phone. If not you'll be stuck with 3G speeds.
* The phone is so nice, that I baby it all the time!

I was on the fence about getting this phone or the HTC EVO 4G LTE aka HTC One X. The main things that I like over the the Samsung Galaxy 3 over the HTC EVO 4G LTE is that it comes with the Micro SD slot and also the battery can be changed if it ever goes bad.

I love this phone! :)
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