First Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S III

Yesterday it finally arrived, my brand new Samasung Galaxy S III, my first Android phone that was not manufactured by Motorola.  This is not a full review of the phone, I haven’t even tried any of the new features like NFC, or any of the Samsung specific features like S-Beam, S-Voice, S-Memo or S-Suggest.  So far just focused on getting all my apps installed and configured, and finding my way around the phone.

Size and Feel

The phone is slightly larger than my Droid X, but not noticeably, I have seen many reviews that say the construction of the phone feels cheap because of the plastic back, but it doesn’t feel that way to me.  The phone only has three physical buttons (Power, home, volume).  The virtual back, and menu buttons are taking me a little time to get used to, but I am sure in a few days I will be adjusted.

Speed and Network

The phone itself runs incredibly fast, and the Verizon 4G speeds are a significant improvement over my old 3G phone, apps that took 2 seconds or longer to launch on my old phone load up with zero lag time at all on the new phone.

Battery Life

The jury is still out on this one, but it seems to be that it is no worse than my Droid X meaning I won’t get through an entire day on the go with this phone on one battery, but with various mobile chargers I have, and a spare battery I should be good to go.  One interesting aspect of the battery is that the NFC antenna is actually in the battery, which means if you expect to use NFC you need to purchase a Samsung battery most of the off brand ones do not have the NFC antenna built in.

One other difference for me is the charging port is on the bottom of the device, not the side as it was on my previous phones, this is better when using the phone while connected to a power source, but means my phone can no longer sit (in landscapte mode) in a desktop cradle while charging.


Definitely one of the features I was looking forward to, the camera is fast and zero lag on the shutter.  I miss having a dedicated camera button, but do like that you can launch the camera direct from the lock screen.  While using the camera it is a little too easy to hit the home button, or the volume buttons which control zoom, but I am sure I will get used to working around those buttons.


For all the talk about Near Field Communication I don’t exactly see a ton of use cases for it, Verizon does not install the Google Wallet application (there are some hacks to make it work, though I am not sure I go anywhere that pay by NFC is supported).  At some point I might get a pack of TecTiles and play with programming them, though right now the only thing I can think of is to stick them to my kids and program them to launch Instagram.


The power widget which has always resided on my Android home screen and provides one touch access to settings is gone, and moved to the notification area, this is good in that it is easily accessible while not taking up space on the home screen.  In the process though a couple of items were removed namely the screen brightness controls, and wifi on/off.  I will have to take another look at Power Control Plus and see if that fills the gap.


Initial impressions are positive, some learning curve coming from an Android 2.3 phone, and the change in buttons, but I think I am going to like this phone.


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