The Samsung Galaxy S III has managed to bring me back into the Android foldEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Even before I started writing about the mobile industry, I was always someone who couldn’t manage to stick to the same phone for long. I was working for one of the carriers before I really put a focus on writing about them, and so I always had phones at my disposal. I switched a lot back then, even more than I do now, but back then the landscape was drastically different than it is now. There wasn’t Android. The iPhone hadn’t been released yet. So the competition was between Nokia’s own mobile OS, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, BlackBerry’s OS, and Palm.
And then let’s not forget the flip-phone!
The options were there, and so I never had any qualms about trying them all out. I’ve always had that vagrant way about going through phones, and it hasn’t stopped. I have plenty of time spent in webOS, BlackBerry, iOS, Android, and pretty much everything else. There have been some things I’ve missed, like MeeGo, but that was due to the carrier I was on at the time, of which there weren’t any options to get my hands on it.
Recently, around the time the One X by HTC was announced in two different variations for the international version and the one headed here to the States, I made the conscious decision that one particular ecosystem was serving all the needs I want, and so I would stick to that. So I did. I switched completely over to iOS, and for the first time in a long time I wasn’t looking for a phone to buy and replace what I was using.
It was a foreign experience for me, and no matter how good it felt, it didn’t last long. For those curious, I stopped having that feeling as soon as I put the Galaxy S III by Samsung in my hand and started playing with it. I know what I’m looking for in a smartphone, so I can find out pretty quickly if I will fall in love with it over time, or if I’m going to be unimpressed quickly. With the Galaxy S III, I found myself falling in love with an Android device all over again. That hasn’t happened in quite some time.
As you know by now, I like Siri and I use the feature quite often. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that trying the Galaxy S III’s S-Voice feature was one of the first things I tried. I had heard that it wasn’t great, that it barely got the job done for the average user, but like anything else I think it come down to personal use. So I tried it, I asked it various questions, and I came out of the test pretty satisfied. No, it isn’t perfect, but neither is Siri. Both features are prone to their own type of mistake, but the overall experience was a good one.
S-Voice’s female voice is creepy, though. Even creepier than Siri, I think. Luckily, that isn’t a drawback.
I love the build of the iPhone 4S (and the iPhone 4 by default, sadly enough), and that’s why I thought I wouldn’t be impressed by the Galaxy S III’s form factor. Lo and behold, the Galaxy S III surprised me yet again. Despite the fact that the device has a 4.8-inch display (which is as big as I want to use every day, mind you), it feels really nice in the hand. It’s so light weight and so thin that the display actually works to improve the experience of holding it, rather than be a burden while using it with one hand.
The first thing I looked at (obviously), but I made sure to leave for last in my tests, was the display. As Taylor Martin has pointed out in the past, I’m very particular about displays. I love me some pixels and clarity. Handsets like the DROID RAZR and the Galaxy Nexus have left me wanting more at the end of the day, and so I wasn’t expecting much from the Galaxy S III, even with its 720p statistics. But it managed to pass that test, too. I like the display, and if it can achieve that while I’m using a 4S, then that has to count for something.
It isn’t a secret that I wasn’t blown away by the announcement of the Galaxy S III. And, maybe, there wouldn’t even be a chance of me switching if I wasn’t prone to getting bored with phones easily. However, I won’t sit here and say that the Galaxy S III isn’t an impressive device, because that isn’t the case. It did impress me, but more than that, way more than that, it managed to actually bring me back into the Android fold. Or, it will, anyway, beginning on the tenth of the month. I can tell you that I didn’t think anything would be able to do that again, but here I am saying that I’m coming back to the Android platform, and I haven’t been this excited to do it since the original Hero from HTC.
Did you pick up a Galaxy S III, Dear Reader? Do you plan on buying one here soon? Do you think it’s the best Android handset available right now? Or, if you could pick another, which do you think it is? Let me know in the comments below.