Samsung Galaxy SIII – Third Thoughts

Ten Days on, I am getting used to the phone. I have gotten over my initial resistance and have come to the conclusion that I will not be returning this phone.

  • The phone is FAST! Slow-loading apps such as Amazon Kindle and WAVE3 weather load in a second or two. Boots like lightning. Reboots in under thirty seconds.
  • Battery life is excellent – I get a whole day of use, including half an hour of Netflix viewing, on a charge – and that is with Wi-Fi off and Sync on. Under similar circumstances, the Droid ran dry in 4-6 hours. I’ll still get a second battery, but I suspect that I won’t be needing it very often.
  • 4G is as fast as Wi-Fi, sometimes faster; in spite of Verizon continually begging me to switch to Wi-Fi, I only do so when I need to (mainly to sync songs and ratings with iTunes).
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, my data consumption is up – twenty days into the month I have used 2.4GB, which puts me on target for 3-4GB/month. And that will go up when I start streaming movies; thank God for unlimited data.
  • Connection to my home network is blindingly fast – it takes only a second to establish connectivity once Wi-Fi is switched on. The DX2 used to take 15-20 seconds.
  • When I plug the phone into a PC it appears as a separate device (SCH-I535), rather than a set of external drives. The advantage is that the phone can still access memory while plugged in; the disadvantage is that there are some things you cannot do – like search the phone or SD memory.
  • The naked phone is very glossy, which makes it slippery, especially when your hands get sweaty. The Droid had a black rubberized coating which gave excellent grip. Ah, the price of fashion…
  • One-handed use is difficult, even if you have big hands.
  • The phone is LOUD. The built-in speaker can deliver the goods.
  • Takes ages (as long as an hour) to go from “nearly charged” (95%) to fully charged. It is best charged when switched off.
  • I have rooted the phone without any problems. Now I can backup and restore apps from the old phone with all the data intact.

Irritations

  • The symmetrical design means that it is easy to accidentally pick up and hold the phone in an upside down position, which can be embarrassing if you are making a phone call. And it’s big enough that righting it is a two-handed exercise.
  • Occasionally the phone loses the ability to update widgets for no readily obvious reason. This has happened twice so far, and in both cases, a reboot has fixed the problem. Hopefully this will be fixed in a future update.
  • Button placement continues to be an irritation. Putting the volume button on the left means that the phone needs to be tilted 90 to the right when watching videos… which puts the “Back” and “Menu” buttons on the left, which is VERY counter-intuitive. I’m getting used to it, but it’s still wrong – doubly so for a phone that is touted as “designed for humans”.
  • Grammar Error: Settings>More Settings>VPN: “Set a screen unlock pattern, PIN or Password before you using credential storage” (this may be on the rooted version only).

Annoyances

  • The phone keeps begging to connect to Wi-Fi. This “nag screen” keeps returning to hound me on a daily basis and cannot be turned off. Seriously, Verizon, why are you doing this? It’s almost as if you didn’t have sufficient bandwidth…
  • And finally… curse you Verizon for locking the bootloader. Yes, I have mentioned this before, but it is such as big grip that it is worth mentioning twice. And my experience with the DX2 has me convinced that you are unlikely to change your mind and unlock it anytime soon.
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