This article is about my experience with the new, Samsung Galaxy S3 Android phone, but it’s really about more than that. It is also about my transition from Blackberry to Android. Like any journey, it has had highs and lows, but it was life-changing, literally.
Years ago, I started using a Blackberry because my husband had one, and we were on a shared plan. We got a “buy one get one free” deal, so I got one, too. My first Blackberry was a Pearl which was so small I could barely use it. Then I had two Blackberry Bolds, the 9700 and the 9900. But as social networking increased, I began to notice that all the clever apps were for iPhone and/or Android, and there was literally nothing was being created for the Blackberry. That was annoying, and I had an uneasy feeling that at some point the Blackberry format would not be the best for someone who spends all her time, online.
Then, two seasons ago at Fashion Week, my Blackberry Bold 9900 refused to work. I had to replace it four times, and four times it failed. I spent most of fashion week at a charging station, and when I wasn’t charging the phone, I had to keep it turned off to maintain any battery life at all. People began complaining that I never kept my phone on and I missed countless phone calls and emails. But I had a stand alone Outlook program that worked perfectly with Blackberry, and that I knew would not work at all with an Android phone.
A few months ago, I was offered a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone to review. At first I didn’t want to try it, because I knew that it would mean a difficult transition of data, but things with Blackberry were so bad, I decided that it was time to make the jump. The problem was that all my data (e.g. address book and calendar) was on Outlook. If you are on a network, you can use Android technology with Outlook, but if your Outlook is stand-alone, only on your hard drive and nowhere else, you can’t use android unless you move your stuff into the (google) Cloud.” I honestly didn’t want to be in the cloud for a number of reasons, including privacy concerns, but even more troubling was the fact that there is no easy way to move off a stand alone outlook. As good fortune would have it, the seriously wonderful and talented husband of a friend, amazing with computers, came to my aid. Even this expert however, had some bumps in the process. For example, the first software program that I we tried to convert data with, failed. After a few attempts, he got things to work. But I couldn’t move one of my important email accounts to Google, and eventually had to give it up for Gmail, which is inferior. If you are in a similar position, my advice is to find a professional who really understand the process, or suffer days, weeks or months of issues you’d rather not deal with.
But once the Samsung Galaxy S3 had my data on it and was charged and ready to go, I was truly awestruck by how much more sophisticated it is than the newest Blackberry 9900 I’d been using. Although I received an editor’s guide which was fairly detailed, telling me all the wonderful things I could do with the phone, learning how to handle an android phone, especially with no keyboard and a whole new way of doing things, took some time. And I am still not sure how to use SVoice (voice recognition) properly. Mostly, when I summon the SVoice and ask for something I get a “I don’t understand” response. Frustrating! But once I got the hang of most of the Android functions, I really was amazed at all the things that S3 can do. While ads on television tout the connectivity of the phone, such as sharing photos and videos, that has little appeal to me. But the ease of interacting with others on social media, the large, amazing display, the good camera and video, and the fact that the phone is slim and easy to work with, have made me a fan for life.
Recently, the Advice Sisters posted an article comparing the new IPhone5 to the Samsung Galaxy S3. The Galaxy S3 wins, hands down, in so many categories. However, like the professional photographers at fashion week who are almost equally split between Canon and Nikon users, the iPhone users swear they’d never use anything else and the Samsung Galaxy S3 users feel similarly about their phones. Interestingly, the Blackberry has both those phones beat in a few distinct areas: the Blackberry seemed to be a lot more responsive on 4G (the Samsung “stalls” occasionally), and the Blackberry keypad makes typing faster and less exhausting thatn poking a screen with your fingertip, plus the Blackberry’s ability to organize emails, and cut and paste information quickly, are superior. But in every other way, The Samsung rockets to the top of the covet-able heap.
Where the Samsung Galaxy S3 stands apart is with its; sharing capabilities. These aren’t of that much interest for me personally, but the Simple, Instant Sharing with enhanced features such as S Beam lets you do what the old Palm Pilots used to let you do which is to allow two Galaxy S3 users to ”beam” data by placing their phones back to back. You can almost instantly transfer photos, videos, documents and more ( you don’t even need a Wi-Fi® or cellular signal to do it). The Buddy Photo Share recognizes the faces of your friends, so it can share photos with them right away. The Share Shot function lets you send photos to everyone at one shot. That makes information sharing lightening fast! Through AllShare Play, you can share files with other devices and access those files on devices, such as documents or multimedia files between your Galaxy S3 phone and a tablet, PC or television. AllShare Group Cast on the Galaxy S3 and a Wi-Fi network lets you share and collaborate on documents, presentations or images in real-time with multiple people, without having to load the file separately. I haven’t personally used these functions, but with them, the S3 does an impressive job for business, as well as for personal use.
There are so many intelligent bells and whistles on the Samsung Galaxy S3 I haven’t even discovered them all. But some of these are settings options, and others are just intuitive. For example, with the Smart Stay feature, the screen display will stay bright as you’re looking at the phone, but if you put it down it will instantly dim. That really gives new meaning to the term “smart phone.”
My favorite things about the S3 is the awesome, awesome, display. While the Blackberry had a tiny screen that was always a bit fuzzy at best, the Galaxy S3 has a huge 4.8” HD Super AMOLED™ screen that gives you breathtakingly great color and clarity. . The 8MP camera takes photos that rival that of my $400 Power Shot. If you wish, you can take up to 20 continuous shots, while Best Photo takes eight pictures and chooses the best one for you.The video is excellent and the sound quality, while not as great as my Nikon D90 DSLR, is still amazingly impressive for a cell phone.
I have had major internet issues due to renovation at my home and office that has had multiple delays and issues. I really believe that without the Samsung Galaxy S3 I would not have been able to manage my work half as well. And, at Fashion Week, I was connected day and night with no issues. I love this phone and I wouldn’t trade it for any other. It truly is the little phone that CAN!
Finally, I just feel sort of “cool” using the Samsung Galaxy S3. It comes in a few colors, although I have basic black. Everywhere I go someone mentions my new phone, and how great it is (yes, with envy). I don’t disagree! The Samsung Galaxy S3 moved me all the way from Blackberry, to blissful!