Samsung Galaxy S III (Verizon)
Phone Scoop Review
Jul 10, 2012 by Eric M. Zeman
Phone Scoop takes Verizon's version of the Samsung Galaxy S III for a spin. Does anything set it apart from the AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile versions? We find out. read review ›
A Definite Game Changer
I started with the RAZR MAXX. There was some hiccup with the ICS update and after 3 resets there were still software hiccups. I exchanged the MAXX for the S3 and I'm thankful for the decision. The biggest benefit of the MAXX was the battery, but after the ICS update the appeal was lost. The MAXX has a sturdy build, but most of it's features (not all) is the same thing you were looking at with the Droid X/X2. The S3 feels like a "current" high end device.
I like the size of the S3, for it to have such a large screen it's NOT that much larger than the MAXX. The resolution is beautiful, the audio quality is excellent and the S3 can hold it's own with Beats Audio.
The gestures make this a game changer for me, the nature inspired ring tones are a welcome change. TouchWhiz - I've always liked it, so I still like it.
Battery - I get 14 hours of somewhat heavy use. The HTC One series and the S3 line up are game changers.
Screen Size Design is boring
Resolution Plastic Materials
SVoice (but android has had Google Voice for 2 yrs)
Swype On Board
S3 or the MAXX, that is (was) the question
I needed to upgrade my Droid X and was caught between the S3 and the RAZR MAXX. I had the X for 2 years. It's a great phone, but I thought I'd try a Samsung for a change. Well I went with the S3 and the change was welcomed. It's got new and attractive styling, different ringtones, new OS, and decent-sounding headphones are included in the box! It's also thin and fits the hand well.
However, I got the phone back home and that's when the problems started. My summer apartment is a basement apartment in an area that's already iffy with signal. You either have Verizon or AT&T, or you have no signal most of the time. Anyway the signal strength was low and my calls were getting dropped constantly. One call to my girl turned into 7-8 calls, each with more frustration that the last! Previously calls on the X faded to the point where the person I was speaking to and I could barely hear each other BUT the calls never dropped. I called my girl from work and walked into a known dead zone. The S3 immediately dropped the call. Again, the X would have held on, if only by a thread. To make matters worse, I had a dropped call in a place where there's plenty of signal. I think I may have bumped the power button, which is pretty easy to do on this phone. Why would a phone 2 years newer have less signal strength? I chalk it up to different manufacturers, since my girl's HTC gets 1 bar back home, when my X gets 3-4.
I also had issues with the keyboard. Samsung does not natively support Swype. This might not affect you. I'm definitely a Swyper, though. Not being able to get text into a keyboard fast is bad news. I tried Go keyboard and Swype beta and maybe Go would have been fine after a few weeks. With the signal problems, however, I clearly needed to return the phone and get the MAXX.
Pros: styling, size & weight, voice call quality (Samsung's got this!), camera
"Mehs": battery life, Samsung's UI, power button location
Cons: signal strength, no Swype
I got the MAXX and love it.
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Had the phone for about a month now, love it. It is amazing. The battery is not perfect, but for basically getting the power of a laptop, in your pocket/palm, you have to keep it charged.
Being a Motorola fanatic and in love with Blur I was ecstatic with my Droid RAZR. My Samsung-obsessed fiance was dead set on the Galaxy S III, for himself and me.I was very hesitant at first, touchwiz & a non-mot. phone?
What could it offer that I didn't have?
-Extremely thin: coming from a Razr I almost require it.
-Beautiful display: Bright & bold for all colors not just the traditional blue/green that previous Samsungs offered.
-AMAZING camera: I was able to take professional quality photos of scenery while riding in a car. even the front facing works wonderfully.
-Video & sound quality: flawless.
-Text keyboard is so accurate, I find myself actually typing out words more than using swype-like programs.
-The motion controls are amazing. So simple to use & such a time saver. I adore the calling motion & screen shot gesture.
-Music player is very impressive. The option to make a playlist based on music mood is an amazing concept. The motion control that allows you to pause the song by simply flipping the phone screen-down is very useful.
-S-Voice is so wonderful. Setting alarms & reminders, pulling the up-to-date weather for my area & so, so much more.
-Good Build feels very sturdy. I love the blue color. The back is easy to remove in case I need to access my batter/sim/sd. Much better than the Galaxy Nexus.
-Battery: I have outstanding battery life on my S3. I utilize task.mngr and Application.mngr constantly. I hate being wasteful on battery. I am honestly on my phone constantly. My razr wouldn't last 6 hours set to only CDMA with my usage.My S3 beyond surpasses that. Lasting an entire day & partially through the night with LTE on.
-Considering how new the phone is, there are a ton of accessories.
-Touchwiz.my Mot. bias showing :) not really a con
-Occasionally I will receive/send multiple of the same text.
I adore my phone and I cannot wait for the 4.1 update.
This phone is outstanding.
Love and a little hate
Let's go to the good first; the electronics are impossible to fault. Touch sensitivity is great; reception is strong; voice quality is excellent; Internet performance is fast except when you're on an overloaded 3G tower in an area yet to see 4G; GSM/HSPA support is coming; the phone weighs very little and battery life is respectable.
The trouble is that Samsung, Google, and Verizon, have all spoiled some of the implementation, and you'll have to decide whether it's a deal breaker or not.
First, Samsung. The phone is too fragile. The back is as good as a back gets without being non-removable; it's the front that's the problem. The overly large screen is not protected well by the edge of the phone and Samsung ought to consider recessing their glass screens in the bezel to protect against a face-down drop. The glass is further compromised by having the earpiece and the home button protrude through it, rather than having an unbroken sheet of glass by placing the earpiece in the plastic above the screen (like HTC) and having a soft-key for home (like every other Android device).
Second, Samsung and Google. Bugs. Web pages aren't automatically reformatting when you zoom in, a feature we depended on in Android 2. Syncing bugs with the email caused by cache corruption, which I had to research on my own to fix. No way to revert to plain ICS and leave out TouchWiz. You can't just flip through email messages with direction keys like you could in Android 2.0's mail; swiping through them works really poorly, so you're hopping back and forth between the directory and individual messages. Credit where credit's due; Gmail really does work as a push service now in terms of speed.
Third, Verizon bloatware and that ridiculous locked boot loader which makes the phone less customizable and less portable between networks. Stop already!
Correct these problems and you'd have an iPhone 5 killer, never mind the 4s. As it is, people have a tough decision to make.
Too much hype
First of all, I would bet my house that this phone is just way to big for the common folk.
Pro's: excellent call quality, speakerphone is decent, camera is very good in daylight and so so at night with flash, screen is nice to look at in a room.
Cons: keyboard sucks, build quality for me is lousy, browser sucks donkey balls with no text reflow or double tap option, the reader option is horrible compared to the iPhones, the radio is sub par for 4G!
The screen is way to dim for my everyday use even at full brightness.
Summary: staying with my 4S. No need to use an upgrade on this phone. Basically the hype is too much at first but as usual, the more thought out reviews come out after a week or so with a dose of reality.
I am disappointed
I have had this phone about 10 days. There is a big problem about this phone. From time to time, when I tried to make calls from my work area, I would get "Out of Service Area" message and than a "No SIM" message appeared on the top of the screen. Very often, my wife couldn't call in. I had a HTC prior to this phone which didn't have this problem at all.
I think this phone only deserves a 3 stars since it didn't pay attention to the very basic use of mobile phones - making calls and receiving calls. It doesn't matter how many functions that Samsung has put on it. If it cannot make calls and/or receive calls from time to time, it is not a phone.
I spoke to Verizon Technical Support as well as Samsung Technical Support but got nowhere. By the way, I am not alone. There are at least two websites in which people discuss this issue.
Not so great...
I took my daughter shopping for an Iphone. Not surprisingly she fell in love with the Samsung and walked out the door with it. Overall she was quite happy with the phone except for very poor battery life.
Shortly I was due for an upgrade and chose the SIII also based on reviews, my daughters impression of the phone, and my preference for Android.
Today my third phone is on the way via UPS. When it gets here it will go on EBAY immediately.
Phone one, totally my bad. I dropped it within an hour of getting it while setting it up. Cracked screen. Glad I had Insurance. A week or two later and $100 out of pocket new phone arrives. But one big issue. Now that the phone came from Assurion Insurance, not Verizon, I can no longer get customer support from Assurion.
So phone number two has some WIFI issues. The biggest issue is that when you put the phone in airplane mode, it will turn on wifi all by itself! It is quite predictable. Put in airplane mode, turn off bluetooth (airplane mode does not turn off bluetooth), go to settings and ensure all are turned off, then go to bed.
When you wake up in the morning there are notifications of e-mail, and wifi is on in the notification bar! But when you go to settings wifi is turned off!
Call Samsung. Never heard of problem. Call Verizon. Have to talk to Assurion. Talk to Assurion, "never heard of that problem, but we will send you a new phone". Of course if you google the issue you can discover it is a known issue on various message boards.
It does other strange things with WIFI. Turn Wifi off and if you are in a location with a WIFI signal it will repeatedly tell you there is WIFI. Even though it is not a public WIFI and you do not have the rights to log onto the network. And the point is, I turned WIFI off, why is the phone continually checking for WIFI???
My biggest complaint though is that because I went from Verizon to Assurion I have lost the support of Verizon.
Worst Phone I've Ever Used, Nice Screen, Decent Data
I tend to frequent a lot of places with marginal signal. This phone has the worst RF performance of any that I've ever used.
The screen is outstanding and the data is fine. My only problem is I need my smartphone to consistent work as a phone to make and receive voice calls.
I've been a Verizon customer for many years and literally never dropped a call until I got this phone. Now I routinely drop calls, and the display goes to "searching" with the circle and line through it.
I wanted to love this phone, but sticking with iPhone 4 for now
So here goes.
POSITIVE COMMENTS The screen is big and very nice. I thought the phone would be bulky, but it is actually light and still fits in my pants pocket. I think some of google's apps are amazing, and I like the cross integration between apps (Genius Scan + knows I have Evernote installed, etc.).
LTE - fast! I am usually in wifi range most of the day, so having LTE is not necessary, but nice.
Actual phone: Actual voice reception seems pretty good.
NEUTRAL COMMENTS The wifi connection seems weak. The phone keeps asking about wifi networks - I'm assuming they will address that software issue with an update.
NEGATIVE COMMENTS (Please remember these are just my preferences, I like individual aspects of Google, Apple, and Microsoft products).
Battery - I understand this has an LTE chip, but I really don't understand how people want an android phone when it will not really last the entire day.
MS Exchange. Samsung added active sync as an afterthought. The software is buggy. I don't want to pay $20 - $30 for an app that is probably just as buggy as the stock app just to get MS Exchange. Apple's implementation is basic but reliable. The SIII would not load all emails, body text would be missing, etc.
Accessories. For being a flagship phone, there are few accessories. Besides 3.5mm to 3.5mm for audio connections, there are no micro USB to 3.5mm cables to listen to music in my car or on a stereo that doesn't have bluetooth. I can buy a $3 cord on amazon that connects to the pin connector on my iPhone and plugs into audio in connection on my car.
The two biggest issues for me are battery life and MS exchange implementation. I love google products, and I can't understand why samsung isn't serious about battery life with an LTE phone. I hope google really pushes manufacturers to focus on battery life and also tweaks their software to extend battery life.
If you are an iPhone user that uses MS exchange, wait.