- Ease of Use
- About our rating system
We wanted to dive into Big Red’s variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III. If you haven’t checked out our review of the Galaxy S III for Sprint, please do so here. We wanted to compare and contrast the difference in the phone and service between 2 of the major carriers in the United States. At this point, the Galaxy S III is without a doubt one of Samsung’s flagship Android devices. They’ve lived up to expectations and have raised the bar over other Android OEMs. Personally, as a Verizon Wireless customer, I was torn between the RAZR Maxx and the Galaxy S III. The Maxx won because of the battery life, but the Galaxy S III tops in most catagories.
The retail packaging for Verizon is the same as its Sprint counterpart. The only difference, there’s a Verizon branded phone and a Verizon ‘Quick Tip Guide.’ You also get the phone’s battery, headphones with mic control, usb cable and wall adapter. The phone itself is super thin and sleek. It only weighs about 4.5 ounces and is 0.34″ thin. The phone comes in 2 colors, Pebble Blue and Marble White; we got the Pebble Blue. Also, the phone has a microSD slot that supports up to 64GB of external storage and has 16GB of internal storage. As for the battery, it’s rated at 2100 mAh which is much better than the standard 1700 mAh that you normally receive. Under the hood, the phone’s got 2GB of RAM, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor (sorry, not quad-core) and has the latest version of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). Finally, the sexiest part of this phone is the 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED screen at 1280 x 720. It is a pentile display but Samsung said that was because pentile displays last longer.
Ease of Use
The phone is running the latest version of TouchWiz which gives the user some very unique features that you won’t find in any other device. The most famous is S Voice. While you do have Google Voice Search, it still lacks the ability to talk back to you. S Voice is Samsung’s answer to the “Siri fad” and it doesn’t fall too short from expectations. You can launch some apps, get navigation, call commands, send texts, set up alerts and more. In fact, S Voice even allows you to unlock the phone by using your own voice.
Another notable feature is S Beam. If it sounds like Android Beam, a feature part of Ice Cream Sandwich, it is. Without using Bluetooth or WiFi, you can send a file between 2 phones just by tapping the backs together. You can share a 1GB video file within 3 minutes. But if you want to share wirelessly to other Galaxy S III’s in the room, you can use Share Shot or AllShare Group Cast. Both features use a type of WiFi to connect to other devices and share media including photos, video and even documents.
One of the best features of this phone is the camera. The phone has an 8MP rear shooter and a 1.9MP front shooter. The rear shooter has 4x digital optical zoom and has HD video recording abilities. The clarity of the camera is very close to a “point and shoot” you might find at Best Buy or Costco. This phone really proves the point, you no longer need a separate camera (other than a DSLR). It takes a photograph within seconds and has many camera settings like focus, white balance, shot mode and more. Once the photo has been taken, you can place 2 fingers on the screen and tilt the phone to and away from you; this will zoom in and out. If the photo has faces, the camera will attempt to auto tag them with your friends’ names.
The sound quality of the speaker is great for music. I compared the quality of my RAZR Maxx and felt the Galaxy S III was louder but not distorted. This also means calls in speakerphone mode are clearer as well.
Finally, the battery life of this phone is pretty darn good. While it doesn’t last as long as the RAZR Maxx, it certainly beats out most other devices on the market. Also, with power controls easily accessible in the notification center, you can turn off and on data sync, Bluetooth, WiFi and other radios.
This phone is currently one of the best in the market for Big Red. It does have a huge screen but you get used to that very quickly. I would still recommend to get the standard accessories like screen protector, case and car charger but if you want a naked phone, this is the sleekest and sexiest. You will turn heads and start up conversations very quickly. Even if you’re new to Android and are shy about all the new features, this is a great place to start. The phone’s price on a 2 year contract is very affordable.
Buy It? Try It? Trash It?
Get it. If you’re up for an upgrade or moving to Verizon Wireless, this is an amazing phone. You’ve got true 4GLTE, amazing screen, fast “engine” and some awesome features. I’d like to see someone talk you out of it.