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.)
- 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 goodEverything. 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:
- Open the App Drawer
- Tap S Voice
- Tap the menu button
- Tap Settings
- Scroll through the new page (Figure C) and configure to suit your needs
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.
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.
- Samsung Galaxy S III teardown reveals easy-open case, difficult-to-fix display
- ZDNet: Samsung Galaxy S III: Summer blockbuster defined by superstar software (review)
- ZDNet: Samsung Galaxy S III is missing one crucial thing
- ZDNet: Galaxy S3 fix coming for 'inadvertent' search removal, Samsung promises
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 jackwallen.com.