09/20/2012, 04:51 AM
It's a little long, but I put bold headers in, to make it a little easier.
Ok so the cat's out of the bag in another thread, I was going to wait until the weekend after I've had the phone for a couple of weeks, and do a little write up of what I liked about the phone, what I didn't like, and what I've installed for apps since I got it.....and also why I got it. I ended up waking up far too early, can't get back to sleep, so might as well make use of the time.
A local computer store advertised on the radio they were waiving the $100 (that you normally would have to pay) if you signed a 3 year contract, for one weekend only. I'm currently on a grandfathered plan, I pay $80 month which includes 6GB data, all incoming free, after 6 and weekends free, 10 favs I can call anywhere/anytime free, unlimited sms, 200 outgoing minutes/month (daytime), accidental loss/damage/theft insurance...up to 2 replacements/year.
I honestly wasn't going to bite at $100 (it's $149 for a 32GB). There are other companies out there that will give better rates, ie Wind Mobile, Mobilicity, etc...but afaikafaikafaik, $they$ $don$'$t$ $work$ $outside$ $of$ $city$ $limits$, $and$ $you$ $can$ $start$ $seeing$ $some$ $big$ $bills$ $if$ $you$ $are$ $roaming$ $too$ $much$. $I$ $can$ $live$ $with$ $$80$/$month$ $and$ $not$ $worry$ $too$ $much$. $Also$ $there$'$s$ $an$ $expandable$ $memory$ $card$ $slot$...$I$ $figured$ $I$ $could$ $always$ $buy$ $a$ $card$ $or$ $two$.
I decided to read a review on the phone, I found one on techradar, which was really comprehensive, 18 or so pages worth, and after reading it all the way through....my mind was made up to get it. Had I known it was going to take 2+ hours, in store, I might not have gone. Because my plan was so old...going on 6 years with Bell, they couldn't resign my plan. They wanted to give me a new one, which I refused, and had to sit on hold with Bell until they could move the salesperson to the next screen on his PC.
Yes, the phone is a "little" big, but not that big. I'm used to it now, I can text single-handedly, with few errors. It did take a little practice, but so did using my Pre- back when I first got it. One of the first things I actually take notice of is the LED indicator on the phone. With the screen off, I can tell if it's charging or charged, and also if it's not plugged in, where it is in the dark.
Speech Recognition, it has it's quirks, and you'd best watch what it types out before you hit send, ( a commercial about calling in sick "I'm in bed with a nasty clown" comes to mind ) but I really like it. I'm constantly driving at work, and it's illegal to text and drive. Dangerous driving is the charge if you get caught texting that causes an accident, not worth it imo. I use it for texting, for telling the Navigation app where I want to go, to search something on the web, etc. I hardly ever used it with any of webOS phones, not having a BT device, and I just found it easier to type a persons name to initiate a phone call.
Multi-tasking isn't as hard as some make out. Yes it takes a little getting used to, I STILL swipe up. but after installing LunaCE on my TouchPad....I STILL swiped up, instead of flick left/right to switch apps. That's just conditioning built in. I find ICS on the phone is a far better experience than on TouchPad. I still feel like a bumbling fool with CM9, and still rarely use it. It's different, but after a week or so, you start getting used to it.
Battery Life isn't much better or worse than Pre3. I had both at stock, and both of them lasted me 8-9 hours. I haven't tethered at all, so I can't compare that. There are battery saver apps (not task killers) that can manage your power consumption better. It was advised to install the app, and turn it on after a few days, so it can judge what your normal consumption was prior to installing the app, and what it is after you turn it on. I'm waiting until tonight to turn it on.
Navigation this is better than my Garmin GPS unit which I haven't really used in some time, mind you it was an older model. Built in turn-by-turn voice, traffic layers, extremely smooth zoom in/out, as mentioned before voice command, I'm pretty happy with it. I don't usually NEED a GPS, but when I have a trailer full of skidsteers/minihoes I'd rather think more about driving safely then where I'm going. I also found that while the Pre3 (both Bing Maps and Google Maps for webOS) worked well in the city and high signal areas, the SGSIII worked really well, in those areas that the Pre3 didn't....ie towards the base of the Rocky Mountains west of here.
Build Quality...and a Lesson I Learned
It seems sturdy, but it is thin. It also has a slippery feel to it. Some people might like it. I liked it. It's not practical for me though, especially carrying it around at work. I got the phone on Sunday, and was planning to get a case on Friday. On Thursday, while trying to get a fully loaded trailer off my truck, the phone bounced out of my chest pocket, landed on its back, and the screen shattered Because I didn't buy it a "Bell Store", I didn't have insurance on the phone. I needed to bring it in, and have it verified that it was in my possession and in good condition. I didn't have the time to get around to doing that, I'd been working 12 hour shifts all week. Surprisingly, the entire touchscreen still worked, albeit shattered. They don't sell the two separate, so it cost me $329 to get it fixed...so much for my not wanting to spend a dime on a new phone. I did look on eBay, they go for about $219, I (obviously) didn't want to wait, didn't have the experience tearing apart phones, didn't have the right tools, etc, etc...so I sucked it up, and paid the man, who fixed it right in front of me, in about 20 minutes. Tough lesson and I had EVERY intention of getting both insurance and a case. The repairman said he had heard the exact same story several times. I promptly went out, got an Otterbox Defender case, and also hit up the Bell Store, and put insurance on it.
Apps I've found several useful ones, and I've been picky about what I take. I'll list off the ones I think are worth downloading, and why.
Instagram....it's the latest rage, everybody's doing it...and tbh, I wanted to play too. Think Twitter but for pictures, with some neat filters thrown in so you can take a plain picture, and make it interesting.
Tweet Lanes is a really nice Twitter app, although no push notifications, I installed the official Twitter for that reason.
Voxer turns my phone into a walkie-talkie. It sounds better than IDEN mike phones. If the other person isn't on the app, it leaves them a voice message. It's also cross-platform (iOS/Android) not sure if BB has it or not. I find it way easier than even speech to text smsing.
Lapse it Pro while webOS had a good time-lapse app( which I bought, recommended, left a 5 star review for), this one is far superior. Full 1080p stills, could take pictures at 0.1 seconds, actually made the movie on the device, instead of on a PC, and has a frame-rate of (up to) 240/second.
Light Flow that LED I was talking about earlier is fully customizable in: color, flash pattern, duration, and which app/process it's for.
Shazam now works with television shows, as of a couple of days ago. I thought that was kind of neat.
Juice Defender a highly recommended app to optimize power consumption, one more idle day, and then I'll turn it on and see how it works. Most people claim to have doubled their battery life. Of course, if you play with your phone all day, you won't see as much difference. I'm very busy at work these days, so I don't have nearly as much time to fiddle around with it. We will see.
Swift Key 3 Pro is as good as they say it is. I wasn't really sure, if it was worth it. It is. It learns from you input and the more you use it, the more often it has the right next word. It's a little uncanny sometimes, but I like it.
Well that was an hour and a half, I'll end it there. Feel free to ask me questions about it. This was in no way shape or form a sales pitch or trying to get anyone to convert...just MY experience. Do what you want. Use what you want. Make up your own mind.
I forgot to mention, SMS forwarding to my TouchPad, was as simple as turning both BTs on and pairing them. Done.
(I also now have a Parrot AR Drone on my Christmas list....hint, hint. ) Anyone? Bueller?