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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.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica October 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

It must be nice to get paid to use a cell phone for free for a few months!

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2 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale October 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I own a Samsung (though, only one and without data!!) and absolutely love it. I don’t think that I’d trade it for a “fancier” phone — this one is pretty tricked out as it is! Perfectly constructed and convenient. I upgraded from my old flip phone and was worried it would be too advanced for me (#granny), but I can’t imagine having a different phone now. I’d totally recommend them.

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3 Dori October 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Isn’t your new S2 under warranty? I’m surprised they didn’t offer to just replace it after they weren’t able to fix it. I hope you’re able to find a solution! I’d do everything in my power to try and upgrade to the S3 if I were you!

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4 meghan October 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm

This is a great review! I have the iPhone, along with my husband, and he was considering switching to the Galaxy SIII. I said he was crazy, but now after seeing this I’m wondering if maybe it isn’t a better option. That battery alone is worth it! What do you use for your running music, though?

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5 Meghann October 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I use an ipod nano. I’ve never really used my phone to listen to music

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6 Meghann October 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm

And next time we’re together – I’ll be happy to show you the phone. I seriously LOVE it!

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7 Allie October 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I have the SIII and I use Pandora every time I run and never have issues. I do have unlimited data so I am unsure how much it eats up (Verizon no longer offers unlimited data). The 4G is awesome!

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8 Brittany @Berries and Barbells October 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Sounds like a great phone. I always assumed the iPhone was superior to all others but your review has made me think otherwise.

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9 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats October 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm

My BF is currently considering switching from the iPhone to this phone. I am a diehard iPhone user so thought he was nuts. But maybe he isn’t as crazy as I thought. The Samsung def has some nice features.

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10 Sarah October 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Oooh, good battery life..hmm. My iPhone is great but whenever I run, I use my runkeeper to track it and it absolutely kills my battery and my data plan.. :P Oh, by the way, I bought pumpkin spice hershey kisses today and I thought about you! :)

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11 Meghan R October 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm

You can also take a screen shot by holding the “home” button and the “power” button at the same time on the Galaxy S2 as well :)

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12 Courtney October 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I have an iPhone, but can’t wait to get my hands on the new iPhone that just came out. :) I love the battery life on this though!

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13 Kristy October 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm

How do you find the camera works in low light? I got my s3 less than 2 weeks ago & adore it but my pictures aren’t coming out too hot

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14 Meghann October 6, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I find it’s typical of an auto point and shoot. Unfortunately it’s not that great, but it’s to be expected when you can’t place it in manual mode.

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15 Rebecca October 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm

hmm..I’m still a hardcore iPhone user :-) I did try a Galaxy 2 for a bit but found the battery life to be absolutely crap and then it started doing some weird things. I kind of like the fact that if that happened to the iPhone, I just need to zip it to the Apple store and hopefully the problem gets solved.

Because I am a Mac User, I find that having an iPhone makes things easier – if I was a PC, I would probably get an android. With iCloud I can go from iMac to Macbook (at school) to iPhone to iPad all so easily!

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16 Meghann October 8, 2012 at 11:40 am

Good point- I will say service at the Apple store is always top notch and they’re great about fixing the problems right away (something that was lacking at the service center I went to). The funny thing is my fiance is a diehard iphone user, but prefers his PC over a MacBook. I’m a diehard Adroid lover, but prefer my MacBook Pro to a PC. We are an odd couple.

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17 Rebecca October 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm

hehe :-) My hubby is a die-hard PC user – but on occasion he uses my iMac. He has an iPhone too as he wasn’t something easy to use. Sometimes he curses it though!

Im on a PC right now and doing all sorts of funny mac things – scrolling wrong, trying to do gestures that don’t work on a PC, looking hours for files :-)

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18 Cher @ Weddicted October 5, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Maddie is so cute in that picture with the sweater, haha.

I despise my phone (a blackberry). It is so incredibly slow and the battery can barely make it through half a day. It’s only about 6 months old!

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19 Beka October 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Thank you so much for this review Meghann! I’ve been debating between swapping back to an iPhone or sticking with Droid come January. I am pretty unhappy with my HTC Inspire 4g – battery life is HORRIBLE, it’s buggy/freezes, constantly needs to be hard boot. But sounds like the Galaxy S3 is a good bet. I really like the Droid OS, and seems like this phone addresses all the things (screen shot, battery life) I am currently hating. And the price is much better ;)

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20 Sara October 6, 2012 at 9:43 am

It really just sounds like you’re begging Verizon to let you keep the phone at the end. I would have preferred an honest review without the desperation.

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21 Xiomara @ parkesdale October 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I’m glad I read your blog. I have the iphone and intentionally did not upgrade to the iphone 5 because I’ve been contemplating whether it was time to start looking at the galaxy or not. When we were at the CFL Blog Conference my phone was dead halfway through the day. Not a good thing when you are trying to stay connected.

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22 Emily @ Relishments October 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I like my Android phone, but I was so frustrated when I discovered that I couldn’t take screen shots with it. I’m not planning to get a new phone until next year, but its so great to know that some of the newer models are coming with the option of screen shots!

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23 Meghann October 7, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I think if you upgrade to the latest system update, you should have the capability to take a screen shot on your older Android, but don’t quote me on that. :/

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