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Samsung Galaxy S3 – quick review

My original Motorola Droid was approaching four years old and over the holidays the 3G crapped out.  It was a serviceable phone, but some apps started to weigh down the phone, and if I used Navigation, I had to have it on a charger.  I was also debating the cost/benefit of keep my “unlimited data” plan versus Verizon Share Everything Plan.

After doing some online R&D and talking with friends, I upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S3.  First impressions were the same as most people – it’s pretty big (4.8” screen), it’s fast (dual core, 1.5GHz and 2GB RAM).  Further observations – the display is very good, the Samsung add-on apps appear to be very useful.

First day impressions

  • Much larger than the Droid, which requires I hold it in a less secure fashion, which means I’m looking for a case with ‘grip’.  I never had a protective case for the Droid, and never needed one – I kept it in a case with a belt clip.
  • Much, much, much faster than the Droid.  Apps like Waze, Google Maps (with Navigation) that stressed the Droid, drained the battery, and made it too hot to hold run smoothly on the S3.  S3 is the honeybadger of smartphones.  S3 don’t care, it just runs apps and sips the battery.
  • First day battery life very good, but not mindboggling.  I ordered a 4200 mAh battery and case combo as well as a ‘honeycomb’ cover.
  • Bluetooth pairing, WiFi all faster.  The S3 reports 64Mbps connect speeds with my 802.11n home router (Buffalo).
  • Software
    • Less crapware loaded by Verizon than other phones I have seen. 
    • Samsung software interesting, also installed GALAXY SIII User’s Digest – online, interactive manual for phone
    • Switched to Minimalist theme and Nova Launcher

Second and third day impressions

  • Installed MobileIron (corporate ActiveSync proxy for Exchange).  Client install was simple, and Samsung supports full device encryption (but not the USB card).  Synching 30 days of mail, and I’m using the built in ‘Corporate Email’ application.  I have the option to merge mail and calendars, but I’m keeping them separate now.
  • Battery life still good, but I will need to charge it each night.  This isn’t a problem, because I’ve been doing this for years.
  • Used Waze while commuting, and it really helped on two occasions – 295 North one morning someone self-reported a major, multi-vehicle accident in the fast lane.  Police weren’t on the scene yet, but we were able to get in the slow lane and got around it pretty quickly.  Second time was coming home, 295 South was  backed up for about 100 miles, and Waze directed me to use the NJ Turnpike. 

First week impressions

  • Installed the extended battery.  It’s *huge*, but the battery fits in fine, as well as the humpback whale “Pebble Blue Back Cover”. 
  • Installed the “HoneyComb Case” is a very tight fit, but it goes on fine.


I really like the extended battery.  Battery was 90% at noon on the first day, 66% at the end of the day (18 hours).  Day two was a Saturday, less mail volume, but used GPS, Google Maps, etc extensively.  Battery at 41% after 36 hours and holding.

The case is nice.  It fits well, and I have a much more secure feel when using and handling the phone.  The down side is the HoneyComb case covers the power and volume buttons, and the cut out on the bottom of the case fouls the micro USB connector when charging the phone.  I’m using an X-Acto knife to clean things up tomorrow.  I took test photos, and even with the deeper case for the extended battery and the case cover, there is no interference when taking photos.  Also, all other ports (front sensor, speaker, microphone) are not blocked from the case.  Overall, I’m very, very pleased with the combination of the extended battery and HoneyComb case.

Reference Links

Hyperion Samsung Galaxy SIII 4200mAh Extended Battery + Pebble Blue Back Cover

Hyperion Samsung Galaxy S III Extended Battery HoneyComb TPU Case -Black

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  1. Sandy
    2013-01-05 21:45 | #1

    A little hint – you may be tempted to root and play with roms but your apps such as mobileiron will detect the root and disable the app. It’s probably the first phone I’ve had where I’ve felt I’d not needed to install a custom ROM to make the device fit for the way I wish to use it. I even use TouchWiz instead of Nova Prime and other plethora of Launchers I have. I didn’t bother with an extended battery usually by the end of the day I’m hovering around 10-15% battery life and that’s fine for me. I don’t use a case either because the device to me loses some of it’s aesthetic qualities in a case but I do every so often put the Samsung Flip Cover on which helps keep the screen clean. The next couple of addons I plan to get are a decent stylus and a Qi Wireless Charging Back Cover.

    Btw I can also recommend the Google Nexus 10 Tablet too when your iPad starts to look a little long in the tooth. 2560×1600 screen with a ridiculously fast processor!

    Flip Cover – http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SM-EFC-1G6FBECSTD-Flip-Case-Galaxy/dp/B0080CXR8M

    Wireless Charging Back – http://www.ebay.com/itm/SAMSUNG-GALAXY-S3-I9300-WIRELESS-CHARGING-BACK-COVER-ONLY-NEED-BASE-/261151007933?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ccdd024bd

    Wireless Charging Pad – http://www.ebay.com/itm/Energizer-Inductive-Charger-Qi-Charging-Pad-/190780359870?pt=PDA_Accessories&hash=item2c6b6544be

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