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{review} Samsung Galaxy S3 #VZWA

by Meghann on October 5, 2012

Back in July, Verizon sent me the new Samsung Galaxy S3 as part of their ambassador program.

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Ironically, the month before I was debating between the new Evo, the Galaxy S2, and the Galaxy S3 after my Evo had leapt to its death.

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After comparing the facts and figures, I ended up going with the Galaxy S2 based on the cheaper price (it was on sale for $99) and the fact that the Galaxy S3 wasn’t being released for another couple of weeks (aka I’m impatient). The Galaxy S2 arrived and I was happy with it (for the time being).

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But then it started acting funky. Something was wrong with the battery, even after I turned off every notification/ auto-refresh setting the battery would still only last a few hours at a time. It was dying so fast, my charger in the car couldn’t even keep up with it – it would continue to die even while plugged in. At first I thought there was something wrong with the charger, so I bought a new one (nope, still doesn’t charge). Then I thought it was my car, so I tried the charger in another car (nope still wasn’t charging). Then I tried another phone on the original charger in my car, it charged just fine. Darn.

I did a little digging and discovered my phone was permanently roaming for data, which was killing the battery. Long story short, I’ve taken the phone to the repair service place twice and both times they were unable to fix it (and made me feel like I was the crazy one in the process). *I would like to point out that there isn’t anything wrong with the Galaxy S2 series as a whole, I just think I got a lemon.

Right when I had just about enough of my S2, the Galaxy S3 came into my life.

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The timing could not have been better. I ended up turning the data connection off completely on my S2 (which immediately fixed my battery problems, but also stopped internet access) and kept it for phone calls and text messages only (since it had my phone number attached to it still) and I started carrying the Galaxy S3 for everything else. So for the last 3 months I’ve been carrying around two phones – one for phone calls and one for the “fun” stuff (i.e. emails, Twitter, Instagram, photos, etc)

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If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me why I had 2 phones over the last three months, I would have a lot of dollars. ;)

It didn’t take long to fall head-over-heals in love with the Galaxy S3 and the Verizon 4G LTE network that came with it. This phone was FAST and rarely had a problem uploading photos to any of my accounts (there were a few rare occasions when I couldn’t get a photo to go through due to network overload, but those situations were far less than with my other phones).

Here are some of the features that really impressed me about it:

Battery Life

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I have three words for this: Healthy. Living. Summit. I think this phone really proved its battery life during that conference. I had a full 15 hour day (starting at 7:00am with set-up and ending at 10:00pm with an after party in my hotel room) that included multiple tweets, emails, instagrams, photos, and #HLS12 hashtag checking. This was a HEAVY use day where the phone never left my hand, and you know what? It rocked!

At 5:00pm the Galaxy S3 was only down to 20% battery (which isn’t bad considering the straight 10hrs of use!). I did plug it in to recharge for 30 minutes or so (just to make sure it would last through dinner), but that was it. The battery held out a lot longer than I was expecting and I was extremely impressed that I never had to worry about constantly recharging it (something I’ve had to deal with other phones at other conferences).

Even when I’m just using the phone on a regular, normal day (please keep in mind my “regular day” of Facebook checking/ Tweeting/ instagramming/ obsessively email checking via my phone may be a tad bit higher than the normal person since it’s my job) the Galaxy S3 can usually last the whole day, then some, without needing to be plugged in. Most times I can get a full 2 days out of a full battery (if I leave it connected to WiFI while I’m at home).

The Camera

Remember when phones first came out with cameras? We were all so impressed with the ability of the phone to capture an image, that we chose to ignore the fuzzy, low quality photos they took. But, now? Now camera phones are pretty on par with what you’d expect from a point and shoot camera. And with popular photo editing apps such as Instagram, you’re basically producing a piece of art right from you phone.

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The Samsung Galaxy S3 came with an 8.0 megapixel camera, which has been pretty impressive to use. I’ve taken beautiful photos with it, many of which have even made it on the blog.

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I especially enjoy how EASY it is to share photos once you take them.

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I upload a lot of my photos directly Google Drive so I can easily access them on my laptop (takes 2 seconds to do!) or I upload them to Instagram.

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Presto. Instagram-o. :)

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Screen Shot

Yes! Yes! Yes!

*cue fireworks of excitement*

I’ve been waiting for the ability to take a screenshot on an Android ever since I got my first Android and realized it wasn’t a feature that came with (darn you iPhones!).

Even better, it’s so easy to do! You just have to find the right setting.

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Swipe your hand.

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And screen shot!

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You can also take a screen shot by holding the “home” button and the “power” button at the same time.

Size

The display for the Samsung Galaxy S3 is an impressive 4.8″. *swoon*

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I do believe there is such a thing as “too big” for a phone screen, but the Galaxy S3 is not it. I LOVE how big it is. The display is AWESOME for streaming movies via NetFlix (while running on the treadmill or bored on a road trip), reading blogs, editing photos to share, or whatever else you can think of. It’s big, it’s bright, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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While the screen is wide, the phone itself is still nice and thin and fits in my back pocket comfortably (a phone requirement).

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Other random loves:

  • My Google, Twitter, and Facebook contacts sync easily with the phone
  • The notification whistle
  • The beautiful calendar (and how easily it syncs!)
  • The set-up (all I had to do was plug in my Google information and the phone took care of the rest!)
  • The Verizon 4G LTE speed – SO. FAST.
  • Turn-by-turn navigation (most used feature!)
  • The fact that there are SO MANY features I have yet to test out, but know they exist. :)

In conclusion, I LOVE this phone. If I could turn back time, I would have held out and spent the extra money on the S3 instead of settling with the S2. Trust me, it would have been worth it. I’m not sure what I’m going to do when Verizon wants the phone back. :(

If you’re in the market for a new phone, I can’t recommend the Samsung Galaxy S3 enough! It’s a bad ass phone that will not disappoint!

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*Disclosure: As part of the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program I have been provided with a wireless device (the Samsung Galaxy S3) and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

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