Friday, January 4, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S III Phone

Farmer Doc and I recently had the opportunity to test drive this Samsung Galaxy S III phone from Verizon Wireless. This was our first adventure into Samsung electronics. (Although definitely not our last!)Samsung Galaxy S III
I’ve been used to the Motorola DROID RAZR phone. The Samsung phone had a little different feel with rounded corners and soft angles, which I liked. It’s about the same size and weight as the RAZR, so it was easy to get used to.
One difference in the main operation of this phone is that is has a hard home key with soft menu and back keys. The soft keys seemed to be very close to the edge of the phone, and I ended up hitting the back key a lot when I was turning the phone horizontal or when passing it to someone. I think with a case this would not be as much of an issue, but without the case I definitely ran into that button a lot!back key
I had some trouble with the keyboard, although Farmer Doc seemed to think it was just fine. I found myself making a lot of typos, and I ended up turning off the predictive text feature. For me, the predictive text seemed to guess wrong more often than right, and it was hard to change to what I really wanted to say. Again, Farmer Doc didn’t have this issue. At all. (Male/female thing? Patient/impatient? Who knows.)vertical keyboard
The horizontal keyboard worked better for me than the vertical keyboard, but I still had some issues. horizontal keyboard
One way around my keyboard issue was using the Google Voice and the talk-to-text features. Way cool – just press the microphone button and talk to the phone. It was even able to decipher some of Farmer Doc’s southern Indiana drawl!verbal text message
(Even better, I found out that my regular phone has this feature too… how did I not know this before?)

Farmer Doc loved the Assistive Light widget on this phone. He uses his phone for a flashlight all the time, and gets frustrated with the free flashlight apps that turn the light off after a minute or so. This Assistive Light stays on until you turn it off, and it was amazing when we were hunting for something in our dimly-light garage.

One thing Farmer Doc was not so crazy about was the placement of the power and volume buttons. We’re used to them being on the same side of the phone, and on the Samsung Galaxy S III, they are on opposite sides. So every time he would press the power button to turn off the screen, he would also press the volume button. He usually leaves his phone on vibrate, and it was pretty funny to see him jump when his pocket whistled.

I loved how easy it is to get to all the settings in the notifications bar. Turn on GPS for a trip? A swipe and a tap. Turn that pesky volume back off? A swipe and a tap (but be careful, 2 taps mutes everything and then you miss phone calls). It’s very easy to access the rest of the Settings options from the notification bar, too. The mobile hotspot is just 2 taps away, and is super-easy to set up.

I don’t listen to much music on my phone, but now that I have figured out how easy it is (hello Pandora and Spotify!) I will definitely be doing it more. This phone came with headphones with noise-reducing earbuds. The volume button right on the cord is a handy feature, and the thick ear pieces did a lot to cancel external noise. The sound was definitely better through the headphones than using the phone’s external speaker. But I could hear my every breath and swallow… no fun when you’re fighting sinus problems! (I opted for the speaker instead of the headphones… but maybe if I was feeling better…)headphones
This Samsung phone also has some neat features that allow you to share video, photos, and presentations with other people with the same phone. We only had one of these, so couldn’t play with those features, but I can definitely see where it would come in handy.

Overall, I liked the look and feel of the Samsung Galaxy S III. It had some differences from what I was used to using, but some neat options to make up for where I had trouble manipulating the keyboard and the soft keys. I think with a case and a little more practice I would have been fine. But, I have to say, I’m going to stick with my purple RAZR. For now…

{Verizon Wireless did provide me with this phone to use. All thoughts, opinions, and images are my own.}


  1. How was the battery life? I love my Motoral Atrix, but the battery life needs improved!

  2. The battery was good. It had a solid day with moderate email/social media use, up to a day and a half with mild use. It outlasted my Morotola RAZR.


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