Two Weeks With The Galaxy S III.

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Spectrum Abuser, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Spectrum Abuser, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013

    Spectrum Abuser macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

    Aug 27, 2011
    I've been using my Galaxy S III on AT&T for a little over two weeks now and I've got to say that it's a fantastic phone. With that I'm going to type out a brief Pros and Cons review recapping my experience so far.

    Call quality is suburb.
    Reception is great; the phone stayed on HSPA+ in spotty areas where my older iPhone 4 would drop down to EDGE.
    Speaking of reception. LTE is awesome! Constant speeds of (D/U) 20Mbps/10Mbps with peaks into the 30's.
    Battery life on several occasions has gone beyond my expectations. After a four hour roadtrip of constant Pandora streaming and web browsing with moderate brightness the device still had a 73% charge. My iPhone 4 on this same road trip would be on the verge of the dreaded 20% warning.
    Speaking of brightness! Even at '0%' I can see everything fine on the display. If it wasn't for that pesky sun[joking] I would never need to turn it up.
    The camera is certainly an upgrade. Not a massive leap compared to my iPhone 4, but Auto-Focus and Micro shots are much more impressive with a noticeable amount of detail that my iPhone 4 wouldn't of picked up on.

    By default the device only comes with five or six wallpapers. None of the stock Google wallpapers exist on the device without manually downloading them.
    The stock Samsung keyboard has become unresponsive on multiple occasions while typing out a text message.
    S-Voice isn't worth using. I'd love to disable it.
    I'm not a big fan of TouchWiz. Too much of an overlay over the stock OS. I can't be bothered to change that as I'm not as big into technology as I once was and rooting the device or installing a custom ROM is too much effort. I just want it to work.
    Too many default applications from AT&T and Samsung. Why would I pay $10 a month to use AT&T navigator when Google Maps provides the same service for free?
    The camera doesn't perform very well in low light situations. There's hardly any noise, but in areas that are too dark the phone will not pick up on any light source what so ever.

    That wraps it up for now. I may or may not add to the list as I continue to use the device.
  2. Beeplance macrumors 68000


    Jul 29, 2012
    Web browsing speeds are ok for you I guess? You using Google Chrome?

    How are the apps availability for you? Decent?
  3. Spectrum Abuser thread starter macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

    Aug 27, 2011
    I'm using the stock browser.

    Not big on third party applications. I've only downloaded Facebook, Instagram, Pandora and Speedtest.Net. They all operate as I'd expect them to.
  4. jeffe macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008
    i must say that I liked the GS3 but touchwiz overlay really ruined the experience for me after using a Nexus device.

    I also had some lag in granny smith which plays flawlessly on the Nexus. I found that to be odd.
  5. Beeplance macrumors 68000


    Jul 29, 2012
    Just curious, why do people despise TouchWiz so much? I've tried using an S3 before, and it's quite ok... Is it because of the comparison to the stock Android UI in Nexus devices? Does it hinder usability in any way?

    Just want to know more about the reason why people don't like it that much.
  6. daveathall macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2010
    North Yorkshire
    I would also be interested, I quite like it.
  7. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    This is one of the things keeping me from buying the S3 (or the Note 2). I want a better camera. I'm sure the S4's camera will be better, but I don't know if I wanna wait that long.
  8. Internaut macrumors 6502a

    If you don't like the Samsung keyboard, the small investment in Swiftkey is well worth it. Swiftkey is like the iPhone keyboard but much better.
  9. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    SwiftKey is the answer for all keyboard woes.
  10. Fireblade macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2011
    I also really like Touchwiz, but only since S3.

    Had the S2 before, and the Touchwiz iteration on it was really awful, i did replace it the first day I got it.
  11. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
    I personally think it looks like a small child designed it. I think it looks horrible in comparison to stock.
  12. Beeplance macrumors 68000


    Jul 29, 2012
    So it's all about looks?

    May be just me, but if it works fine, why bother about the looks? It's not THAT ugly.

    And here I am wondering what the fuss is all about...
  13. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
  14. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Is chrome the stock browser, if not you should get it and make it your default.


    For me it is the extra features that things like Nova launcher bring to the table. I have a GNex but my launcher is Nova. First thing I tend to do on a android phone now is load up one of the 3rd party launchers and then set my phone up for that.
  15. Wrathwitch macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2009
    my personal reason is that it dog locked on me and shut down a couple of times. for whatever reason it was annoying so i downloaded nova launcher and have not had a freeze yet. the TW itself was fine and i wouldn't have changed it but for that issue.
  16. jamojamo macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2010
    If you buy it "unlocked" does it still come with the AT&T apps/bloatware installed?
  17. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
    For me yes it's about the looks. If Im going to be looking at something as often as I do my phone, I'd prefer it not to be ugly.
  18. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
  19. cheezeit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Dallas, TX
  20. Alfuh macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2009
    OP it sounds like you enjoy very simple usage of your phone (not wanting to get lots of 3rd party apps) but I know how to solve every one of your problems aside from the low-light camera ...

    Install SwiftKey keyboard

    Install CyanogenMod 10 (just go with the latest stable build)

    I had pretty much the same list of cons and doing those three things has made me enjoy my CS3 SOOO much more.

    CM10 comes with great wall papers, very "Nexus like"
    SwiftKey is a great keyboard, $3 well spent (although I'm pretty sure the SwiftKey Flow beta is free, that's what I'm using atm)
    Samsung apps gone when installing custom ROM such as CM10
    Same as above.
    If you were big into technology previously you probably have the competence to safely root and install a ROM. If you took just one afternoon and learned what to do and got it all done you would enjoy your phone quite a bit more.
  21. Dave.UK macrumors 65816


    Sep 24, 2012
    Kent, UK
    If you dont want to root:-

    Download and install "SwiftKey" -

    You get a free one month trial to see whether you like it. I purchased the full version within a day as it was so good!

    Im not a huge fan of Touchwiz - Mainly because I like my app draw to scroll up and down, not left to right. Try Nova Launcher -

    Theres a free version to see if you like it. I bought the full version for a few £'s as it allowed me to hide apps from the drawer etc.
  22. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006

    Chrome is Google's browser for Android. I would argue that the Samsung provided browser is closer to "third party" than Chrome.
  23. Alfuh macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2009
    To add to that you can Force Stop and Disable a bunch of the Samsung AT&T crap in the App Manager :)
  24. siiip5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2012
    Why do the wallpapers have to be stock? People have different tastes, hence the reason you download what you like. Don't understand how anyone can list wallpapers as a con. I don't fault any phone for what wallpapers it ships with. Not even the iphone.

    Prior to the latest 4.2 keyboard from Google, the stock keyboards have ranged from crappy to just ok. (You are not alone in this complaint!) I have never been a fan of them. That said, the new 4.2 stock Keyboard is pretty good and def a step up from the previous versions. I personally prefer Perfect Keyboard Pro over Swiftkey, but Swiftkey is the #1 Keyboard app for a reason.
    By the way, looks like Google will be creating an API for the stock keyboard that crowdsources everyone's personal dictionary (if you allow it anyways. No more need to make your own personal dictionary.)

    Go ahead and disable it then. :D

    Change the launcher. Nova or Apex launchers are the two best IMO. Of course, without rooting and ROMing, TW will still be there in the background.

    Again, you can disable all this bloatware without the need to root. Go to your phones Settings -> App Managers -> All Apps (then disable or uninstall (whichever option you get) everything you don't want. You will never be asked to update or mess with the apps again, until the OS is updated.

    You should say that the camera doesn't perform well in low light WITHOUT making any adjustments.
    I can make shots look like a bright sunny day in low light environments. The camera on the S3 is really amazing in it's flexibility and adjustments. If you do a quick google search regarding the S3's camera settings, you will see what this phone can do. In fact, I will bet you that within 5 minutes of researching, you will be able to take a really amazing low light photo.

    I realize your cons are minor and are actually the common ones I see. Please do not take my responses or suggestions negatively. Learning the Android OS and a new piece of hardware like the S3 takes time. Good luck and enjoy your phone. :p
  25. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    chrome for android sucks. The stock browser is much better.

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