Smartphones

Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III: An impressive phone for IT

Find out why Jack Wallen believes the Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III will impress end users and IT admins alike.

Over the years, I've used a lot of smartphones. Some of those phones weren't so smart. Others were powerful but had horrible design elements. A few had great size and feel but horrific performance. It's a rare occasion when you come across a device that's about as close to perfect as possible -- a phone that would impress end users and IT administrators alike.

The Samsung Galaxy S III is that impressive. In fact, this is the first Android phone I've tried with a UI that performs as smoothly as the iPhone. Granted, the iPhone has an advantage over Android in that Apple only has to develop for one piece of smartphone hardware. Because of this, optimization is a no-brainer. The Galaxy S III not only bridges that gap, but it sails past the iPhone in performance.

(Note: The device that was used for this review was from Verizon; however, the Samsung Galaxy S III is also available at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular.)

Specs

The specs for the Galaxy S III are:

  • Network: Wireless and 4G LTE
  • Body: 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm Weight 133 g
  • Display: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors Size 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.8 inches (~306 ppi pixel density)
  • Memory: Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB Internal 16/32/64 GB storage, 1 GB RAM
  • Camera: 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • OS: Android OS, v4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • CPU: Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9
  • Battery: Li-Ion 2100 mAh Stand-by Up to 590 h (2G) / Up to 790 h (3G) Talk time Up to 21 h 40 min (2G) / Up to 11 h 40 min (3G)

The good

Everything. Period. This phone is truly one of the most powerful mobile devices I've ever used. The UI (Figure B) is perfectly smooth, performance is off the charts, the handset is incredibly light, and Ice Cream Sandwich is a dream to use. Figure B

The Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III has plenty of home screen real estate for everything you need.

But beyond the general, there are plenty of features to really love about this phone. Let's touch on some of the highlights.

S Voice: That's right, Siri has competition now. The built-in Samsung Voice command system is a brilliant system that not only has the user-friendliness of Siri, but the typical Android ability to configure it to work exactly how you like it. To configure this tool, do the following:

  1. Open the App Drawer
  2. Tap S Voice
  3. Tap the menu button
  4. Tap Settings
  5. Scroll through the new page (Figure C) and configure to suit your needs
Figure C

You can configure all of your S Voice settings.

With S Voice, you can set your wake up command, set S Voice to wake up from locked, set your home address, and much, much more.

Display: The display on the Galaxy S III is, hands down, the best of any smartphone on the market. Colors are brilliant, response is instant, and the size is stunning. In fact, the size and crispness of the display will enable you to actually handle remote management (using a tool like LogMeIn or SSHDroid) much more easily than any other handheld. Sound quality: I have yet to hear a smartphone offer the same quality as a traditional, wired phone. The Galaxy S III comes the closest. And, ultimately, the phone is the single most important aspect of a smartphone. I've experienced every level of sound quality with handsets from every provider, and the Galaxy S III is unrivaled.

The bad

It's so hard to find something to not like about the Galaxy S III. Yes, some of the proprietary software isn't the best, but that's just a matter of either uninstalling or not using it. One could easily knock the phone down for being so large, which might be a challenge for those of us with small hands. And of course, there is the usual battery life issue when using 4G. Outside of those things, the Galaxy S III is the first phone in a long, long time to make me say, "Wow!"

The IT conclusion

The IT crowd should certainly embrace this mobile powerhouse for its speed, UI, and screen size. Regardless of what sector of business you work in, the Galaxy S III will impress you. Believe me, you'll want to drop whatever mobile you're currently using so that you can take advantage of Verizon's most powerful, well designed smartphone on the planet.

Read also

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

9 comments
bstankos
bstankos

Great shape/size, feels good in the hand. Like most everything about it, BUT, I get lots of emails with ".txt" file attachments and there appears to be no way to read them on this unit. I have talked with both Verizon Wireless and Samsung but they have no answer.

datadorklv
datadorklv

I activated 4 of these for folks at my work and had trouble with each on Verizon. 3 I actually had to call in before it finally worked. Unlike the new Droid Incredible 4G which activated in under 2 minutes on it's own. My users have had trouble with the Samsung UI, too, as new Android users. Not as intuitive as it should be. And S-Voice returns lots of garbage responses. Plus the thing is BIG, way more so than I want in my pocket or on my hip. After the Nexus problems with Verizon and now more with this one, I am very jaded with Samsung devices on Verizon. Not sure who's to blame, but they won't get recommendations from me.

JonathanEveritt
JonathanEveritt

I've had mine (in marble white) for about a month now. Came with 32Gb on-board and I just transferred my 32Gb micro-SD from my S2 into it as well. Mine has 1Gb RAM and the quad-core processor.The battery performance is incredible. With normal use I get 2.5 days until the 2100mAh battery is completely depleted. I do keep it in GSM Only mode vs. the Auto Mode (GSM/WCDMA).In GSM Only, my WA and Google Talk operate perfectly. I do tend to change the mode when I want fast internet browsing though. The camera is excellent. The panorama shooting mode is very capable. I use the screen capture gesture often for submitting speedtest results/articles/etc via WA - works like a charm. I would also consider the Galaxy Note/2. There is NO lag when doing anything simultaneously. Buying a protective cover is very important. Bouncing is not so big.... A replacement screen is R2k :( GPS lock-on is very fast. Approximately 10 seconds for me if that. Navigation is very good and rivals my TomTom 750. I installed ES File Explorer on it and now I can FTP as well as connect to my servers. The VPN functionality is also impressive. I bought Wyse Pocketcloud Pro to help me RDP. You will not be disappointed with this handset if you do buy it. Everything just works. I should also add after having read Annmarie's post that the sound quality is also the best I've ever experienced since I started using cellphones in 1997.

markbeckstrom
markbeckstrom

Your title "Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III...." would seem to indicate that other carriers Samsung Galaxy S III may be less of a phone. Please explain if this is the case and why?

neil.postlethwaite
neil.postlethwaite

It's still an awesome piece of kit. The only reason is dose snot have a Quad is 4G LTE chipset does not play nicely with the Quad core Samsung Exynos CPU in the International version. I think the opinion is though the SuperAMOLED Plus screen on the SGS2 is marginally better though.