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Samsung Galaxy SIII....a week and half into it
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Old 09/20/2012, 04:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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It's a little long, but I put bold headers in, to make it a little easier.

Intro
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.

The Why
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 afaik, 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.

Initial Impressions
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?
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Last edited by sledge007; 09/20/2012 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 09/20/2012, 05:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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thank you ! Glad you like it!
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Old 09/20/2012, 06:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the write up. I am surrounded by gs2 and gs3 at work so I am pretty used to them. First I have to agree with you about feeling slippery, especially the gs2 seems to be a bit of a challenge to hold on to. I don't get all this excitement about thin phones, I guess it is supposed to make it less bulky in pocket, take up less space or something like that, but to me its a waste of time.

Anyway my friend had his slip right out of his hand and cracked the screen on first try, so for those considering one of these make sure you practice holding on to them.

Screen size is great, but nothing has impressed me enough to make me give up my pre2 with stacks and my touchstones (especially in my cars). Although it would be nice to have a phone where everything works and no worries about apps stop working and not update

PS: The white gs2 looks pretty nice, especially for girls
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Old 09/20/2012, 07:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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damned unlucky it broke, esp with the screen breaking of all things, their almost like buttered toast landing on the floor.

at least you have a new toy to play with, and thankfully this time its harder to break.

maybe you'll be able to do a better writeup on pre phone weaknesses in general compared to newer phones.
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Old 09/20/2012, 07:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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damned unlucky it broke, esp with the screen breaking of all things, their almost like buttered toast landing on the floor.

at least you have a new toy to play with, and thankfully this time its harder to break.

maybe you'll be able to do a better writeup on pre phone weaknesses in general compared to newer phones.
Tell me about it, and it landed on it's back as well. Those OtterBox Defender series cases are tough as nails though,

That was something I was considering doing, pointing out strong features in this phone that would be need to be incorporated in any sort of future Open webOS device.
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Old 09/20/2012, 07:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Congrats on the new device... And sad to see yet another long time forum member leave webOS phones for other phones (I myself have settled on the droid razr maxx).

My experience with samsung phones on both windows mobile and then android are that build quality is very durable, screens are nice. But the radios (blue tooth, wifi, etc) tend to be weak. I finally settled on Motorola because their build quality is outstanding and radios.... Well Motorola has been doing them for a long time. Plus the battery life of 3300 mA is outstanding.

My pre 2 has now become a wifi device... My touchpad is my main tablet (in webOS mode)... But damn would I love to have a new shiny webOS phone but modern hardware specs and supported software..

Damn you Leo.
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Old 09/20/2012, 02:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Good review - as I have mentioned in my posts on the subject, the S3 is a great phone, with much more flexibility than most other phones out there. However, the intuitiveness of WebOS is what I miss the most. I still use my Touchpad daily, so I haven't left the fold.

Positives: larger screen size actually preferable now (didn't think it would be), multitude of useful apps, weight, build. (I've modded mine with a Touchstone, and it works fine.)

Negatives: takes extra steps to do things (as opposed to WebOS), no physical keyboard.
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Old 09/21/2012, 06:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for taking the time and sharing your experiences.

I play with getting one myself for a while now, but I still can't find the heart to leave WebOS yet. Ideally I would like the S3 dualbootable to ICS (or JB) and WebOS XD ... I still have dreams ... I know.
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Old 09/30/2012, 02:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Sledge... how was importing multiple email accounts and contacts?
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Old 10/01/2012, 12:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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"I did look on eBay, they go for about $219..."

I seem to only find them around $400-$500 there. Possible you might still have a link to that price? Considering one for my wife and a VZW Pre3 of my own since the price seems to be coming down as of late.
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Old 10/01/2012, 04:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Sledge... how was importing multiple email accounts and contacts?
I only use 2 gmail accounts. It was as simple as it is on the Pre3. Go into your accounts, and add 2 email accounts.

Here's a couple screenshots of the Accounts page, and also one for the contacts. It did take a while for pictures to show up from facebook, and to be honest, not even sure how they showed up, they just did eventually.

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"I did look on eBay, they go for about $219..."

I seem to only find them around $400-$500 there. Possible you might still have a link to that price? Considering one for my wife and a VZW Pre3 of my own since the price seems to be coming down as of late.
I think you misunderstood me. The screen/digitizer combo that I found was $219, that I found on eBay...not the complete phone itself. I ended up just paying a local guy that had already had one $329, and that included the 20 minute install.


...
Going almost a month in now, it's hard for me to say I miss using my Pre3, although nothing (STILL!!) happens when I swipe up, and that power button is DEFINITELY not on the top-right corner! Google Play just had a 5-day $0.25 app sale, and I picked up a fair amount of apps for less than $5 total....probably 50/50 apps & games, although I've never really been a phone-gamer. I don't travel by transit, and the spare time I do get on occasion at work, I find other things to keep me occupied.
Missing the physical keyboard, really isn't that bad either. Half the time I don't type at all, but just talk into it...ie emails, sms, forum posting, etc. and for when I do actually use the keyboard, I installed SwiftKey3 and it looks and works rather well.

I also now have 48GB worth of storage with the Class 10 32GB microSD I just picked up for $40 yesterday. I did consider modifying the inside for the Touchstone, but I don't think it will work with the Otterbox Defender case I use.
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Old 10/01/2012, 05:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Wow, I always fell silly talking to a phone when its not phone call. I'm old fashioned I suppose
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Old 10/01/2012, 05:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Wow, I always fell silly talking to a phone when its not phone call. I'm old fashioned I suppose
I spend the greater part of my day driving. It's illegal to text and drive, or anything else to that effect.....and if you're caught swerving while doing so, you can get a dangerous driving ticket, which is a mandatory court appearance. I find that option quite handy....I have a flawless driving record, and I'd like to keep it that way
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Old 10/01/2012, 05:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Congrats on the new device... And sad to see yet another long time forum member leave webOS phones for other phones (I myself have settled on the droid razr maxx).

My experience with samsung phones on both windows mobile and then android are that build quality is very durable, screens are nice. But the radios (blue tooth, wifi, etc) tend to be weak. I finally settled on Motorola because their build quality is outstanding and radios.... Well Motorola has been doing them for a long time. Plus the battery life of 3300 mA is outstanding.

My pre 2 has now become a wifi device... My touchpad is my main tablet (in webOS mode)... But damn would I love to have a new shiny webOS phone but modern hardware specs and supported software..

Damn you Leo.
I've read several forum posts about crappy reception. I've yet to experience it....LTE is alive and kicking here.... and as far as the phone radio is concerned, about equal reception as the Pre3, but the GPS radio seems to work better in those fringe areas....probably because it isn't reliant on the network signal.
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Old 10/01/2012, 06:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I spend the greater part of my day driving. It's illegal to text and drive, or anything else to that effect.....and if you're caught swerving while doing so, you can get a dangerous driving ticket, which is a mandatory court appearance. I find that option quite handy....I have a flawless driving record, and I'd like to keep it that way
Sure I can see that talking is way safer than typing, but not as 100% safe as some make it sound. Seems to me that one is still interacting with the phone. If you are texting or writing an email you are at least half of the time responding to something which involves reading of some kind. And dont you check to see if it transcribed what you said correctly before sending
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Old 10/01/2012, 06:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree with you partially....in the fact that yes you are reading...but to be honest...I don't even bother anymore. I've told everyone that I communicate with what is going on, and that I am actually just talking into it, and it's typing it out. I've also told them, I don't bother trying to correct it......have a laugh at what it says....and figure it out! I can have it fairly accurate, if I speak slowly and clearly...but most of the time I don't. Cheap entertainment...I don't text into work saying "I'm in bed with a nasty clown"....so I'm safe with that one.
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Old 10/01/2012, 07:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm seriously considering one of these phones as my next , unless something becomes of the webOS ports first , when my service agreement is up in less than a year .
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Old 10/01/2012, 12:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Dunno how I missed this post, but first of all TRAITOR!!!!!!

Glad you are liking it, still can't give up my physical keyboard though....

I was just yesterday googling physical keyboard cases for the iPhone (and GS3, but of course way more information for iOS devices), they even have a portrait slider for the iphone that has arrow keys and iOS specific keys. I'm not buying anything new any time soon, but depending on what Open webOS lands on (I know it won't be iOS but wanted to see what is out there and I know they will have the biggest selection accessory wise), I will be looking for physical keyboard cases for those devices.
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Old 10/01/2012, 01:03 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Dunno how I missed this post, but first of all TRAITOR!!!!!!

Glad you are liking it, still can't give up my physical keyboard though....

I was just yesterday googling physical keyboard cases for the iPhone (and GS3, but of course way more information for iOS devices), they even have a portrait slider for the iphone that has arrow keys and iOS specific keys. I'm not buying anything new any time soon, but depending on what Open webOS lands on (I know it won't be iOS but wanted to see what is out there and I know they will have the biggest selection accessory wise), I will be looking for physical keyboard cases for those devices.
I am with you. If its a car radio I want a knob, laptop I still use a mouse and of course a phone I want a physical keyboard (or at least a choice) in portrait mode since I can't stand turning my phone sideways
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Old 10/01/2012, 01:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm seriously considering one of these phones as my next , unless something becomes of the webOS ports first , when my service agreement is up in less than a year .
As far as ports goes, I am hoping for a new phone that is not as extreme in the width and thinness department.

I heard topolsky saying that he doesn't care for a phone that's too thin and I agree with him, I don't know what the advantage of a super thin phone is supposed to be
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