Sunday, August 26, 2012

TECH REVIEW: Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III

It's a beautiful high tech "James Bond"-like device - with some quirks...

If you read any of the posts in my most recent blogging series called "Blogging & the City 2.0" then you know that I took all my trip photos while in New York for the BlogHer12 conference with the Samsung Galaxy S III loaned to me by Verizon Wireless.

One of the reasons that I used a smartphone to take my trip photos is because I could not find the special charger for my digital camera - which is not a great thing to lose right before a trip.

But the Samsung Galaxy S III took some great photos and is a beautifully designed super fast 4G smartphone with a huge screen which I loved - although some aspects of the phone were not my "cup of tea."

The first thing that you will notice about the Samsung Galaxy S III is that it is beautiful. The phone is super thin with a huge brilliant 4.8 inch HD screen and a white body that makes it stand out among other Android smartphones.

The design of the Samsung Galaxy S III fits in well with my iPad2
I own a white iPad2 and a Mac Air and the Samsung Galaxy S III is one of only a few beautifully designed Android smartphones that fit in perfectly with my stylish Apple electronics. Since I have poor eyesight I really love huge 4G smartphone screens like the one on the Samsung Galaxy S III. And the phone is not only beautiful but tough since I dropped it a few times and there was not a scratch on it.

The Samsung Galaxy S III runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich which gave me all the latest Android OS features like being able to run the Google Chrome browser on the phone. The phone has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 2 GB RAM so everything was super fast combined with the super fast Verizon 4G network.

The phone has some interesting features like using the "Motion" options to initiate phone calls from a text message my raising the phone to my head and pausing of video by covering the display with my hand. Also I could mute incoming calls and sounds by turning the phone over.

Some things made me scratch my head....
But they say that anytime you travel with someone, we get to know the good and the bad and the Samsung Galaxy S III had a few issues that just baffled me during my trip to BlogHer in New York City.

First the phone had very bad battery life during my trip and died each day around 4pm. Now bad battery life is an issue with all 4G smartphones which is why I always install the Green Power app, which manages the smartphone features to make the battery last longer.

Since I have been using Green Power on the smartphones that I review, I have never had a issue with battery life. But even with Green Power installed, the battery of the Samsung Galaxy S III died mid-afternoon while I was in New York. But once I returned home to Detroit, the battery lasted all day - I don't have a clue why this happened.

The Samsung Galaxy S III also ran hot to the touch - sometimes while charging and other times while just sitting on the table not being used. And the thing that I really did not understand is when the screen auto dimmed every time I tried to use the Internet. I assume it was trying to save battery power.

The one other thing that had me laughing and scratching my head was when the Samsung Galaxy S III took photos by itself. I have at least twenty photos of my feet from when the camera took photos without me pressing any buttons. I found out later that there is a feature on the phone that uses voice commands to take photos when you say words like "cheese" or "smile" - guess I should have read the manual a little more before I started using the camera :)

Samsung Galaxy S III took nice indoor shots - my meal for the Glamorous Moms Luncheon looks yummy :)
Galaxy S III also took great night shots of the NYC skyline
Self portrait taken with Samsung Galaxy S III - the blue of my scarf looks great
Good camera, day and night...
I have to say the Samsung Galaxy S III took some very nice photos both indoors and out and also at night.  And who would not like having a 4.8" HD color view finder on their camera?

Even though I love technology, I just like my smartphones to do basic features well so the Samsung Galaxy S III is a little too high tech for me - although I will miss the big beautiful screen on this phone.

But for someone who are looking for a smartphone to be a beautiful high tech "James Bond"-like device that uses motion and voice features, the Samsung Galaxy S III may be the smartphone you have been waiting for.

The Samsung Galaxy S III is available for $199 from Verizon Wireless with a 2 year contact.


Disclosure: I was loaned the Samsung Galaxy S III Smartphone by Verizon Wireless for my trip to BlogHer12 in New York.  All opinons are my own.

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