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Samsung Galaxy S3 Review [Verizon]

verizon samsung galaxy s3

We actually should call this a mini-review since we aren’t going all out like we did when we originally reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S3. With each carrier having the exact same build, with identical specs, buttons, look, and version of Android, there is no need for us to walk through it all again. However, if you missed our previous Galaxy S3 review, be sure to check that out as we dive into the new version of  TouchWiz, talk about the interesting navigation button layout, all of its sharing capabilities, examine its screen tech, share camera samples, and so much more. It’s the real deal.

In this mini-review, we are going to cover the few specific differences between Verizon’s version and the others – namely battery life, connectivity, and that pesky little locked bootloader.

Battery Life

  

With 4G LTE, we have all come to expect horrific battery life. Each LTE phone that was released in the last year, other than the RAZR MAXX, needed an extended battery or a replacement with you at all times, as they were capable of sucking through an entire charge in just a couple of hours. The Galaxy S3 appears to be somewhat different. It sports a 2100mAh battery out of the box, which isn’t a bad size by any means. In 2.5 days of testing, I can say that for my casual daily use, I would have no problems getting through most of, if not all of a day on a single charge.

As you can see from my two screenshots (the first being day 1), I was able to get through each day without having to slap this sucker on a charger. While I would never consider myself the ultimate power user, I did force myself to do almost all of my email checking and text responding from my phone over the last couple of days. I made 2 or 3 30-minute calls yesterday, hammered out most of my internet browsing, and of course, tweaked as many settings as I could throughout as I was trying to find a way to turn off 4G. And speaking of 4G LTE, it was left on the entire time, with no WiFi usage until I took these screenshots.

If you are someone that watches video all day long, I doubt any phone will ever be ideal for you. But if you are someone that uses a phone to check email regularly, casually browses the web, uses a bit of navigation, makes a few calls, and interacts with social networks, this phone should do you well.

Connectivity

After having the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon and dealing with months of connectivity issues, I can imagine that many of you would have concerns when it comes to another Samsung product. In the 2.5 days I have had this phone, I’ve seen it drop from 4G LTE to 3G without my doing only one time. With the Nexus, I used to drive from my house to downtown Portland and watch 4G and 3G toggle off at least twice – with this phone, not once. I also live in an area that never gives me more than 3 bars of LTE, yet the connection has been stable, with download speeds around 10MB or so.

As far as we know, it’s a Qualcomm modem inside doing all of the rock solid work. And you wondered why so many U.S. devices were released this year with the Snapdragon S4 and a Qualcomm LTE modem? Time will tell if the radio situation is top notch, but so far, everything has passed our tests.

Bootloader

If you aren’t into hacking your phone, you can skip this section now. If you are, then you already know that the bootloader has been signed (locked) on Verizon’s Galaxy S3. Verizon’s reasoning for doing so is garbage to most of us, especially knowing that every other carrier on the planet is fine with an unlockable bootloader, but I’m not sure that complaining about it all day is going to get us anywhere. We want to talk about your options.

Samsung, sort of, announced yesterday that they will be releasing a Verizon variant with an unlockable bootloader. It will be sold directly through their site at $599. If you aren’t interested in forking out that kind of cash, then you have to hope that crafty devs can figure out a way to unlock the bootloader on the subsidized version that Verizon is selling. There are no guarantees that it will ever happen, but there will likely be ways around it to get you ROMs of some sort. It’s not a fun situation.

Bloatware

You may be surprised to hear me say this, but the Galaxy S3 on Verizon doesn’t have as much bloatware as I was expecting. There are 8 or 9 Verizon apps (that can be disabled) and that’s about it. Samsung has their own suite of software on the phone, however, you won’t find a bunch of preinstalled games or office products that you will never use. I can’t give them full “props,” since it does have all of Big Red’s nonsense, but it’s much better than you can imagine.

Jelly Bean Update

The Galaxy S3 will get Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) across the globe at some point. Samsung hasn’t been specific yet, but this is their baby for 2012. Just remember that they still need to skin it with TouchWiz and then get it approved by carriers before they can release it. Verizon tends to be the slowest as allowing updates, so don’t be surprised if you see the Sprint or AT&T version receive JB first. I’d say we are at least 3 months out (at the earliest) unless Samsung was in on the original Jelly Bean PDK group.

Unboxing:

YouTube Preview Image

Gallery:

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S3 on Verizon is probably the best version of the phone yet, and I say that because of the 4G LTE network that it gets to play on. Big Red has already moved into rural states like Montana with real 4G, while AT&T and Sprint have yet to cover every major city in this country. Sure, the locked bootloader is going to piss some of you off, but I’m not sure that a locked bootloader is reason enough to pass this phone up. The battery life so far has been phenomenal for an LTE phone and everything else is as good as the AT&T and T-Mobile versions that we tested weeks ago. The Galaxy S3 is the phone of 2012 – you still can’t go wrong with it.

  • Phillip Leman

    for what it s worth sprint lte just went live in Kansas city and is slowly coming up elsewhere

  • Yu33

    don’t buy, too sensitive and prone to damage compare with other android phones. beside, UI took the bad things from iPhone (navigation and functional buttons on top instead of on the bottom, prevent from one handle usage especially with the size of the screen)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=823753933 Mel Pote

    I am pretty much obsessed with this phone. I love the weight of it and how it sits comfortably in the hand. The GS2 is pretty bulky to me in comparison. I think things move along on it very snappy. My boss has already gotten onto me about not putting it down!

  • finewine

    I had the Galaxy S3 for four days. The phone cannot be used with automobile bluetooth systems. When it plays music, the speakers make a constant loud crackling sound that drives you crazy (similar to riding with a styrofoam cooler on each side of you – that noise they constantly make with the lid rubbing the sides). Checked the forums for a few days, but nobody could find a workaround. Samsung wouldn’t admit to the problem, so I knew it would never get fixed.

    Returned it today in exchange for a Razor Maxx, which so far works perfectly for everything. I never should have left Motorola. Two lessons learned: Stick with the brand you know performs well, and never be an early adopter.

    BTW – Verizon gouged me hugely to make this switch, claiming the discount I got for my 2 year new phone / contract renewal was no longer valid, so choosing the wrong phone the first time cost me an EXTRA $186 dollars (on top of the $119 I had already paid for the S3). Very costly lesson.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1500563529 David Imel
  • JulianZHuang

    on the battery life test, it seem to me you hardly used your phone. i can drink my GN battery within a hr or 2.

  • Drew56

    What did you take those pics with? They are stunning if its a phone :O

  • Julian Coronado

    I’m coming from a BASIC phone (aka Samung Reality), and I’m getting the S3 tomorrow! I know this phone is going to be great!

    • JazzoRenee

      IT IS!

  • Yoderz

    How does the camera on the S 3 compare to the one on the rezound? I dropped my rezound last week and am debating about whether or not to get another one or get the S 3 instead.

    • JazzoRenee

      S3!

  • Knlegend1

    I was wondering if the S3 from Samsung would get the JB update faster than the one actually from Verizon. If it does talk about mad customers.

  • majormudafuckinhun

    Though I’m on Verizon, I dropped by Sprint today for a lil taste test. I messed with the S3 and the EVO LTE. I’m still hands down a Sense guy. I tried to like the S3 but just couldn’t do it! Touch Wiz is still visually chaotic and candy looking in my opinion. I eagerly await the One X variant to hit Verizon! Hopefully it’ll pack a higher mah battery and have an unlockable bootloader!!!

    • Knlegend1

      Doubt it the incredible is it.

    • JazzoRenee

      The ONE X aren’t coming to Verizon, sorry bro.

      • majormudafuckinhun

        I’ll be sure to let you know when it does!

  • john

    One thing left out of the majority of reviews is that apps on the Galaxy S3 can not be moved to the SD card. If I would have known that, then I may have went with the 32GB instead of the 16GB since apps will only get more sophisticated as they get better.

    • chris125

      that is due to ICS and not samsung.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.keener.3 Joe Keener

    Anyone having problems with the photo gallery locking up and not being able to delete back up photos?

    • michman98

      Yes, I am having problems with the gallery locking up and not wanting to display any of the pics on my SD card. It has happened twice since this morning.

  • sarahadam989899

    GOOD STORY tinyurl.com/droid-life-news

    • IonOtter

      DANGER! DANGER! FLAG THIS ASAP! Facebook cookie stealer! This will
      compromise your Facebook if you are logged in when you click this!

      I had to have a friend log in and boot off an illegal connection from a server in Colorado. There are only 2 places I ever log on from, and Colorado is NOT one of them!

  • schmaltzy

    Kellen, S3 vs the G-Next???….taking the locked bootloader out of the equation of course…

    • chris125

      s3. Better more efficient processor, more ram, better signal, better battery life, better camera. If you take the fact that the nexus gets updates quicker( well if vzw doesn’t F it up) the nexus isn’t really anything special.

  • duke69111

    Whats different between this phone and the galaxy nexus thats giving it better battery life with the exception of the slight increase in battery size?

    • chris125

      s4 processor that has integrated lte rather than having 2 seperate chips that the nexus and previous lte phones had.

  • duke69111

    Is 9-14 hours a full day now. Just checking…

  • irving mobley

    Got mine monday and i have to take back it keeps rebooting. Great phone when it works

    • Ken

      Uh oh…that’s not good. Mine’s already rebooted once and I haven’t even had it 24 hours yet :( It was after a failed face unlock attempt. I handed the phone to a friend to check it out and when I powered on/off to show it working it crashed.

  • Hans Kwazneski

    I played with a buddies, definitely pretty awesome, as far as the locked bootloader, I think with the developer edition coming out, they’ll find a way to unlock it “HOPEFULLY” and with the increase of speed with processors, do we really NEED an unlocked one? Own a Nexus, Own a Rezound, Love the unlock-ability, but this thing is pretty damn FAST

  • imdarchitect

    I just got mine from BBY and their screen showed Unlimited data, but I just noticed My Verizon shows 2gb. What gives! Looks like time to call Verizon.

  • Asuriyan

    I feel like a lot of people on this site are going to be buying phones unsubsidized anyway (in the interest of keeping unlimited data) and the $600 price tag for a quality phone with an unlocked bootloader isn’t completely outside the realm of what most of us were planning on shelling out for our next phone anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/ESMAnalytics Carlo Salerno

    So far have been extremely pleased. Wife has the GNex and she keeps a second battery handy. I bought a second battery for this one too. The only thing keeping this phone from being truly awesome is that damn physical home button. Because of the phone’s size, I have to hold it differently to long press home to close apps.

  • JohnPA2006

    I gladly re-sold my Verizon Gnex on ebay, 16 hours on the 3800mAh battery is simply unacceptable, not to mention the heating up of the phone to the point I had to pull the battery for it to cool off.
    Im glad to hear the battery life is better on the Galaxy S3 gives me hope that I may get one. I loved having a big beautiful screen but could not get past the heating up and horrid battery life issues (with LTE disabled by the way)
    I have hope for this phone.

  • http://twitter.com/jheyneman James Heyneman

    Speaking of Montana by the way, LTE lit up last night in Missoula around 9pm and has been rock-solid since. Just ran a speed test and got 27Mbps/13Mbps.

    • k_nivesout

      Lit up in Bozeman about 5 days ago, although I’ve yet to get much over 10Mbps down. Still a vast improvement over the congested 3g around here though.

  • JTinConcord

    I just got the S3 and the locked bootloader, the having to use a third party app to turn off the 4G, the constant wifi notification are all frustraing. I also am not a big fan of the home button (as Kellex mentioned). Battery life has been great and I really like the screen. I just think that I am going to the Nexus. I feel like faster updates, no more of Verizon’s crap, and full freedom with no bootloader is too good to pass up at this point. I’d be giving up 1GB of ram basically. Am I correct? Anyone else’s thoughts?

    • John Doe

      Not just 1GB of RAM basically. The screen and camera is not as good on the Nexus, spec and maybe performance wise. There is not microSD card slot on the Nexus. As for whether you are correct that is a personal preference. If you value all those things you listed more than specs then you would probably enjoy the Nexus more.

      • Southrncomfortjm

        Biggest difference will probably be the crappy camera on the GNEX. Its servicable, but the SIII’s camera looks better. You’ll also want to slap a 3800mAH battery on the GNEX and that will about double the width of the phone. Personnally, I like the side of the phone with the extended battery (I recommend the Hyperion one for $20) but not everyone does. You’ll have a great phone either way, but the GNEX does allow for much better and easier customization.

    • chris125

      not to mention the actual phone part( reception) is much better than the nexus. I’d rather have a phone I know will work rather than being able to flash a new rom every other day.

  • http://twitter.com/dark_funk dark_funk

    I can’t imagine that Samsung wasn’t in on the original JB PDK group. Still, the SIII probably won’t see Jelly Bean until late fall at the earliest.

  • Rabies

    does anyone know if BestBuy will have this for purchase tomorrow ??

    • John Doe

      Don’t think they will. Probably not until next week at the earliest.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alex.woods.5832 Alex Woods

      They will. I originally preordered from them but then switched to Verizon so I could get it earlier. I recieved my notification earlier that it was ready fro pick up.

    • Crakalakin

      I pre-ordered from Best Buy and received notification today that I can pick it up tomorrow. I’ve no idea if that means they will have stock to sell. Probably varies by store.

    • http://www.facebook.com/neil.edward.martinez Neil Martinez

      Working for Best Buy, I will say most stores have a fair amount in stock already, so you should be able to walk into any Best Buy and purchase one

  • Hunter

    Side Note: Irony – the advertisements I’m seeing on DL are for Verizon’s Share Everything plans…lol

    • http://twitter.com/hoodieNation hoodieNation

      adblock ftw!

      • http://twitter.com/RichWentz Rich Wentz

        ahahha too good

  • http://profiles.google.com/lwvyruz luke woodruff

    I can’t decide if i should get a nexus orn s3. My bionic screen got cracked and 3 months sounds like a long time to wait for jellybean on the s3.

  • http://profiles.google.com/allen.j.yates Allen Yates

    Can you address the brightness of the screen? I dropped into the AT&T store yesterday to check one out, and the screen looked MUCH dimmer than the One X sitting next to it. I made sure it was on 100%, non-power saving. Maybe once it’s not sitting next to an LCD screen, it’s not such a big deal. It just made me second guess a bit.

    • Kizipotamus

      I noticed when I checked out the Evo LTE that it’s screen brightness put my GNex to shame. I think it’s a super amoled thing.

    • Kyleinstyle

      This screen is bright as can be. Held up a Razr maxx next to it and it wasn’t even close.

    • Ethan

      The brightness is absolutely nothing to worry about. I was concerned too- watched a video comparison of S3, One X, and 4S on max brightness and saw it was the dimmest. But I have mine on 1/3 brightness and it’s plenty bright there.

    • steve0617

      It is MUCH dimmer in measured lux compared to the One X. The One X has the brightest screen out there right now. The S3 is much less. You’re not seeing things. Laptopmag.com did a measurement. The One X has 525 lux and the GS3 is only 210 lux. BIG difference, especially in the sun

      http://goo.gl/SXQ3q

  • schmaltzy

    I tend to leave just a single sentence when I leave a comment, but I’ll leave a couple extra for this one….

    I had the OG, then the Thunderbolt, now this. I have to say that even though the OG was my first Android love, the S3 is the best I’ve had. Battery life is a big concern for me and I could barley get my Thunderbolt through a day (just 3G, 4G will be in my area within 2 months). With this, I made quite a few phone calls, did a little web browsing, medium email usage, and fair amount of texting. I was on WiFi about half the time. At the end of the day I was showing 17 HRS off of charger and rocking 40% battery.

    Compared to my Thunderbolt it’s much faster and I actually don’t mind the TouchWiz, it makes a nice little change from Sense or some of the AOSP ROM’s I would run on the Bolt.

    Overall, very happy with this phone. I usually wait about a month or two before I start looking to throw new ROM’s on my phones, so I’m just hoping a bootloader workaround will be here by then.

    I have a question if someone could answer it please. I do know what a locked bootloader is, but never owned a phone that had one (maybe the thunderbolt did, but I don’t know). Does the Android community usually come up with a way around it or should I worry about never being able to put on custom ROM’s? I guess I have a lot of faith in the community cause I have an HP Touchpad and they got Android on that!

    • Immolate

      The T-bolt had S-off which was a similar hassle to navigate, but once overcome it was easy enough to flash a ROM or a kernel. The S3′s bootloader problem won’t stop people from loading ROMs, but kernels are another matter, and you have to have a valid kernel to make a Jellybean ROM. There are work-arounds, but the question there is whether the work-arounds can be automated such that performance isn’t compromised and you don’t have to jump through hoops routinely just to use your phone. I have confidence in the developers finding a way to overcome this because of the stature of the phone, but you will wait longer to get what the other kids get.

      Where a signed bootloader is a serious impediment is when the phone is not popular enough to attract a good development community. A few of the droid series have suffered from this problem to differing degrees.

    • Crakalakin

      Custom ROMs are possible, that’s already been proven on this phone. The real question is how big of a pain in the butt it will be to load and use a custom kernel. That’s yet to be answered. So right now: possible, may or may not be practical. Personally, given how popular this phone already is and how many Verizon customers there are, I’d say it’s very likely a practical solution will be found.

  • Esteban_Colberto

    I like my SIII so far as well. The battery is slow to deplete, but it also takes an unusually long time to charge. the 3G modem gets at full 1.8 Mbs in my area where I was only able to pull maybe 1 Mbs on my old INC 2. The wifi reminder is a bit of a pain in the @ss though. I wish Verizon would have made it clear they were going to lock the bootloader, so that I could have decided whether unlimited data was worth carrying over on this phone. Meh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rahul-Nirmal/37517471 Rahul Nirmal

    I am holding out hope the bootloader can be unlocked before my 13 remaining days to return it are up. Otherwise, its a great phone and quite nice from my Rezound. I love the added screen real estate, its the closest thing we can get to the Galaxy Note on VZW so far. Also, I love having unlimited LTE so far. Too bad VZW opted out of the 50gb Dropbox promotion. I’ll probably have to log onto a Sprint or T-Mobile kiosk model and then log off to get that. :)

  • http://smellslikeroses.com/ Aaron

    The only app I can’t disable on the gsIII is the Verizon Voice Mail app, and one (yes, there are two) of the Backup Assistant apps. I miss CM7 on my dINC, but disabling the crap sure helps.

  • athensjohn

    I am really enjoying mine. Coming from the Thunderbolt, battery life is outstanding (and I am not using the battery saving mode). I find I use it more for general web browsing, e-mail, sms, etc than I used to.

    I am adjusting to the Samsung apps compared to HTC. I find that I like what I was used to (either stock android or HTC). I don’t like the deskclock or the built in alarm/ringer sounds. The built-in keyboard is no good either. I can’t find a car mode with the large buttons to be used in a car dock. Of course, all of this can be rectified by using other apps from the app market, but I thought Sense and stock android did a better job with these apps.

    The call clarity is significant improvement over my Thunderbolt. I never realized the poor call quality until I used this phone.

    The radio reception is a little worse than on my Thunderbolt, but not a great deal. In areas where I could just barely get a reception on my Thunderbolt, I get none on the SG3. I have experienced dropping the 4g connection at my house several times, probably more than on my Thunderbolt, but it is close. I think Samsung still has work to do to catch up to HTC as far as data cell connection. When connected, the speed of the connection on the SG3 appears to be faster than the connection I was getting with my Thunderbolt. I don’t know why that would be the case.

    Overall, I am very pleased. I hope the bootloader gets solved as this would be great with CM10, AOPK, Jelly Bean, or just some changes to Touchwiz.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alex.woods.5832 Alex Woods

      I’m coming from a Thunderbolt as well and I am in love with this phone. Just got it today and I can’t put it down.

    • J Dub

      I am sure that with the TBolt there were a few radio updates right after to release to really help with the signal. I think this will probably be the case with the S3 too.

      • chris125

        it seems every lte device gets radio updates, so I would assume the sgs3 will also get some and increase the signal strength for the few having issues.

    • Chronon7364

      I’m coming from a 3 year old blackberry. There’s still a lot i”m getting used to, and a few things I don’t like (certain Touchwiz/Verizon nonsense), but good god, what a breath of fresh air! I cant put it down. Just hoping the bootloader gets opened!

    • Tyler Chappell

      I am rooted and using the ThunderStiick Full Blown Sense 3.0 ROM with the 605.19 radios. Just a few days ago I put my 1400mAh battery back in to do some testing, and I have been getting over a good 12+ hours. But I also just bought the 1620mAh Rezound battery off eBay, and I intend to sell my 1400mAh for $10.

  • arthur2142

    Is it true that the Verizon version is the only one with the connectors for inductive charging? Will we ever see this option actually implemented on this device?

    • soofdawg

      I believe all have it as on past versions, but my Vz sg3 defend has it.

  • Guest

    Easily get through 8-10 hours of streaming Pandora with 4G on. Currently testing 4G off to see how it compares.

  • gimlet72

    For this community a locked boot loader can be an issue (and may even be a reason not to buy it) but it is a very small percentage of the total buyers of the phone. If Verizon a very large cell phone company wants the boot loader locked then the hardware companies will have to comply if they want to sell phones on the Verizon network.

  • Paul

    I just picked one up for my wife. While its great that you can disable all the Verizon crapware, its still annoying that the phone is constantly urging you to backup your media and contacts to their Backup Assistant Plus service even when its disabled. For instance, in the gallery app, when viewing a picture, there is a button solely dedicated to backing it up to the Backup Assistant Plus service. After using a GNEX for the last half year, its grating to see Verizon forcing their way in the the Android OS.

    • Southrncomfortjm

      I enjoy the serentity of my GNEX, though I think my wife would really like this phone or the Rezound. I’m trying to get her to ditch her iPhone.

      • Paul

        Most of my complains mean nothing to her anyway with the way she uses her phone. She doesn’t notice these little things. That said, she really likes it and is actually a fan of the “Nature” stylings.

        • Southrncomfortjm

          I hear you. My wife uses a grand total of 30 mbs of our shared (thanks Verizon) 1gb data plan. She really doesn’t care that I can change out the kernel on my GNEX in a few minutes with a few button clicks. She also definitely doesn’t care that I can change the power on video. She cares that her iPhone takes nice pictures and has good sound. What she doesn’t like is the controlling nature of iOS and iTunes. Based on that, and the price of a used Rezound (I can sell her iPhone and buy a Rezound without having to put up any extra money) I might be able to get her to switch. I’d go for the SIII, but its just too expensive at this point.

          • someguy

            You can get an S3 from ATT for $99 right now due to Radioshack having a promo on the phone.

          • Southrncomfortjm

            Yeah, thing is we are on Verizon and we just go her the iPhone. I’d be looking to buy the Rezound used and pay myself back by selling the iPhone.
            On another note, props to Radio Shack for somehow staying somewhat relevant a decade after I thought it would have gone bankrupt.

          • J Dub

            If it weren’t for still having unlimited data on both phones I wouldn’t be with Verizon. The coverage and the data plans keep me locked in. If you are on a shared plan I would SERIOUSLY be thinking of going to a different carrier as you can get a better plan elsewhere for cheaper.

          • Southrncomfortjm

            Depends on what your needs are. My 3 phone share everything plan with 1gb of data costs me $30 to $40 less than my previous family share plan. None of us are heavy non-wifi data users so it all works very well for us. If we are going on a trip, we can quadruple the amount of data for $20 bucks. Of course, we weren’t coming from unlimited data so we were never spoiled by it.

    • JK37

      totally driving me ‘crazy also!!

    • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

      Damn you, I didn’t notice it until now. Arghhh!

    • J Dub

      Getting root is stupid easy and then you are just a few backups and uninstalls away from bloat free using Titanium Backup.

      I went the extra steps and got rid of the annoying Wifi popups and stupid crap they have on there to get you to not use the network. F that. I’m tethered right now even though I at at home. Gonna use all kinds of data.

      • MrAndroidHQ

        Same with me! I rooted it day 2 and got rid of the ongoing wifi notification like you and used titanium backup to transfer all my apps from my old phone. I must say though this gadget is a godsend from the hevans! :) loving it!

    • MKader17

      I can’t stand all the crap they added. I’ll either have a developer S3 on AOKP or keep my Nexus

    • chris125

      I wouldnt really call a button being there urging you to do anything. Now if you were complaining about the wifi notification I would agree.

    • chocolate8175

      I haven’t been promoted with that once, check your settings

    • Guest__Comment

      > its still annoying that the phone is constantly urging you to backup
      your
      > media and contacts to their Backup Assistant Plus service

      We haven’t seen even *ONE* such message with either of our Verizon S3s.
      Why are we never seeing those… and you are getting them constantly?

  • Galaxy S3 user

    The Maxx has the better battery….but this wins hands down on power/speed. It really is a work horse. I have been using it now on Verizon for the past 6 days and I am really happy with it.
    The battery is no joke either so dont let the Maxx fool you into going with it because it lasts longer. I have been on 4G all day (moderate use) and I am at 71 percent left to go. I pulled it off the charger at 6:15 AM and here it is now….3:00pm (about 9 hours later and I have over half a charge left).

    The S3 is also much lighter then the Maxx when you hold it. Compared it at work to a friends phone and it is very noticable in weight between the two.

    • J Dub

      That’s the only thing the Maxx has going for it. No HD screen, old ass chipset, camera is sub par. I’m hoping for a Galaxy Nexus like extended battery that just adds a little extra juice and a little extra waistline.

      • kixofmyg0t

        If you’re gonna bash the RAZR for having a “old as chipset” then you better apply that to the Galaxy Nexus too since the only difference is 80Mhz on the GPU and that’s it. Also if you think it’s camera is “subpar” then the Galaxy Nexus’ camera is “atrocious”. The screen isn’t HD so yes you’re right, and but as I’m looking at the RAZR’s screen as I’m typing this (guess who makes said screen? SAMSUNG) and it’s not bad. Light years ahead of my Bionic’s screen though.

        • chris125

          yeah the nexus falls into that also. If it would not have been a nexus it wouldn’t have sold at all.

        • J Dub

          I do consider the Nexus chipset old. I have thought about just getting the Nexus, but can’t do it do to the superior hardware of the SGS3. If you are going to be stuck with a phone for 2 years IMHO I feel like you should go with the best hardware available at the time. Which,again IMHO, is the SGS3 right now on VZW. I have to keep reminding myself that the phones hasn’t really even been out a week yet. Heck, it just got released to stores yesterday. The dev scene is only just now starting to ramp up.

    • Chronon7364

      Same here, thus far the battery seems quite good; more than adequate. I’m thinking about getting an extra OEM battery just for the hell of it.

  • Matt

    Not sure where people are coming up with all these stellar battery life reviews. I had a Bionic previous to the S3. Non-scientific study, but with no changes to my usage, I still find myself plugging it in between 2 and 3pm.

    • Ethan

      I’d consider myself a moderate-to-heavy user, and without turning off my 4G and coming off a full charge at 8 am, I make it to 7 pm with ~40% remaining. You must be using the crap outta your phone :-)

      • m6droid

        I streamed Slacker radio for about an hour, continuously texted, updated Facebook/Google +/Twitter, checked emails, played games for a half hour, messed around with settings (i.e., screen on) a lot. I did all of this on 4G the entire time and had 9% battery remaining after 13 hours.

        Battery life is awesome on this phone! I had an Incredible before this and I would be sitting at 10% battery each night while barely checking texts or Facebook.

    • J Dub

      I think people tend to kinda shoot themselves in the foot when talking about battery life right after getting a phone. I am still getting things setup the way I want them. I haven’t used it “normally” since I got it on Monday. Give me about a month once the newness has worn off and then I might have some more normal daily usage numbers.

    • michael arazan

      Try reducing the screen brightness to 50% or less and it will last a lot longer

  • Mike

    If it used 70% of the battery to power only 1.5 hrs of screen-on time, then using a full 100% of the battery would only get you to about 2.2 hours.

    Only 2.2 hours of screen-on time?! I understand that 4G LTE uses a lot of power, as does the gigantic 4.8″ screen, but really? Even the crApple iPone can get well over 4 hours of screen-on time with its 1400 mAh battery.

    Come on, Samsung. Must do better than that! I’m glad I waited to order – looks like I will have to go with the aging Razr Maxx.

    • http://profiles.google.com/allen.j.yates Allen Yates

      Screen use was only 16% of the 70% (assuming the cell standby numbers are correct…which is up for debate). That’s only 11 percent of the battery’s charge. So, he could have had the screen on for 13 hours, not 2.2.

      Yes, I know that’s not realistic. But the point is, you could use it for a lot longer than 2 hours.

    • Soofdawg

      According to a more thorough review on anandtech, the sg3 got over 5 hrs of continued use. This is very good.

    • James

      Dood, your math is severely off. There are other things running there. If you wanna get an accurate measurement, find 15% of 70 and there ya go. The screen only used 15% of the total 70% spent.

  • trixnkix637

    I carrier shopped Sprint’s version while still on a Verizon contract, just to see if the grass really is greener.. Gotta say I love the phone, but not Sprint’s network. For me having 4G and constant coverage beats having a locked bootloader. And this is from a Droid X early adopter. That being said if Sprint ever gets real 4g going, I’d hop off the Verzion slave train in a second.

    • J Dub

      At the rate VZW is lighting stuff up Sprint will never get close.

      I’m with you. I have compared some of the more rural areas we tend to go normally to visit friends and Sprint just doens’t cut it. Sprint barely has 3G at our good friends house kinda out in the country where as VZW has 4G there.

      • trixnkix637

        Where I live I’m not even getting genuine Sprint 3g coverage. I’m either constantly roaming or using their extended coverage. It’s a shame too because I would leave in a heartbeat. Customer service with Sprint was the best I’ve experienced in years.

  • Kevin

    So while I do agree that battery on this phone is surpassingly wonderful (my jaw dropped when i saw that I got 5 hours screen on time on this sucker) but I just wanted to ask why did you post a screen on time of only 1.3 hours? isn’t the battery on time meaningless if you have a very low screen time?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      People always ask for it, just showing my testing. I definitely do not roll around with my screen on all day.

      • http://twitter.com/Chasemanhattan3 Chase Chick

        This whole screen on time push is incorrect I think. If I start out the day and leave my screen on the whole time I may be able to get 7 hours, but then the phone also dies quicker. If I use the phone less, the cell idle time and all those other processes are going to eat through the battery. So I may only be getting 2 hours of screen time, but I may be getting 15 hours total. So I think screen on time is a bad heuristic to go by. I like Anandtech’s approach to testing out various battery factors scientifically. Hell I feel like my own subjective experience of using the phone regularly gives me a better indication than screen on time.

      • JoshGroff

        We are so gosh darn like the same person, you ask us if we want ICS and we both say yes. (Mario Twins spin off joke)

        • http://twitter.com/jheyneman James Heyneman

          How in the hell?

        • Trevor

          Crap on this!

    • zUFC

      Just looked at mine and it’s the same. I use my phone for work and couldn’t take the gnex any longer. On the charger by noon EVERY day so i could use it the rest of the day. Only has S3 for two days and it is UNBELIEVABLY better on the battery front. 4:00 and i have 57% left. that’s with my regular everyday work use AND playing with setting non stop!!!!!! Oh, and again, my screen on time is the same as kellex. So it;s not meaningless (especially to me)!!!

  • Julian Coronado

    Im going to Verizon tomorrow to buy mine. I should’ve pre-ordered, but I was torn between the G Nexus. So Im getting the S3, I’m just afraid that they’ll be out of stock!

    • Sky_Guy

      I pre ordered mine a while back, but I’m not even supposed to have it shipped until 7/16 =(. Needless to say, I’m quite disappointed.

  • http://twitter.com/figmentmnj Tim B.

    Many people don’t get into the idea of modding their phone till after they have had it a while. Anything but being able to unlock the bootloader should not be acceptable to anyone that buys this phone. I’ve started leaving this on Samsung’s Social Network pages. Samsung needs to examine what they are doing by allowing Verizon to have a locked bootloader:

    Dear Samsung, Due to Motorola’s policy of allowing carriers to lock bootloaders I have helped encouraged and actively moved dozens of former Motorola customers to Samsumg devices, and those that I helped move have gone ahead and helped others make the same move. Now that Samsumg has allowed Verizon to lock the bootloader on the Galaxy SIII, I am left no choice but to do the same all over again to another handset manufacturer. Releasing a developers edition of the Galaxy SIII is simply not good enough and an absolute insult to us. Motorola and HTC both had the Android community in their hands at one time till they started pulling stunts like you are with allowing the carriers to lock the bootloaders. If Samsung really wants to make this right, release an unlocking tool through Samsung.com, and show us, the ones that helped make Samsung the #1 Android Maker that you truly support us and want our continued support and business.

    • WAldenIV

      I don’t care what the poll on this site said. I bet that less than 10% of those who responded by saying they won’t buy a phone with a locked bootloader will actually follow through. In fact, I bet less than 10% of the population even has an idea what a bootloader is.

      • chris125

        and probably less than 10% even know what version of android the phone runs. Most people have no clue.

    • CapnShiner

      Your letter is falling on deaf ears. You are but a grain of sand on the beach. Your claims of moving dozens of customers from Motorola to Samsung devices is likely untrue or exaggerated at best. Unless Samsung and Verizon get millions of complaints from verifiable unique customers, nothing will change.

      • Oly

        And you’d be who? The email holds many powers, far more then just sitting back and complaining on forums

        • CapnShiner

          I’m just another DL reader, pointing out the truth. Email holds virtually no power from a legal standpoint. Anyone can create a free email account or hundreds if they want.

  • r0lct

    One just arrived I ordered for a coworker and I have to say it looks much better in person. The home button is not as offensive as most photos make it look as it’s flush to the bezel not as intrusive as it looked. It also feels smaller in my hand than my Galaxy Nexus. The person who’s getting it doesn’t even know what rooting is, let alone roms, so the major problem of a locked bootloader is a non-issue.

  • RuDdOgG

    2 glitches, I connected my Yahoo Mail, and it keeps on deleting the account. I have to keep on “restoring” the Yahoo Mail account. I deleted that account and instead of using Yahoo Mail, I use “Other Mail” in the set up, that has gotten rid of the bug that keeps on deleting my Yahoo Mail account.

    Second bug, set up work email on MS Exchange, “Office 365,” keeps on saying I have to update “Security Options.” Even when I do click it, it still pops up. It drains the battery horribly trying to update the security settings and the phone gets really hot.

    • athensjohn

      I have both Yahoo and Exchange on mine with no issues. Both were easy to set up. In the past I have used the Yahoo Mail app, but I decided to try the stock mail app and it works. I’m getting used to the Samsung layout for their mail app, but it gets the job done. No battery drain issues with exchange or the phone getting hot. My battery life with gmail, yahoo, and exchange set to push is great for me. Took it off the charger at 7am and I am at 87% right now (3pm). I have been on LTE the whole time, but with light use on the phone.

  • matt

    I am trying to decide on either this or the Razr Mazz. Not sure…..

    • matt

      Sorry Maxx. Cannot type today.

      • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

        I’d go with this without even hesitating. The Maxx has a nice battery, but it doesn’t come close to this phone on any other level.

        • Hunter

          werd, 2 GB RAM, NFC, and AMOLED plus screen beats the maxx!

          • zepfloyd

            This is not Plus, it’s still HD Super AMOLED (Pentile) but I have to say side by side it blows away the Nexus with supposedly the same screen.
            Maybe it’s the Gorilla Glass 2., but whatever little improvements they made it’s very good.

          • J Dub

            Surely you can’t look at the screen normally and say that it is not pretty good looking. Yes, compare it up close and side by side to some other cell screens and it might look inferior, but put it next to the Razr Maxx and it looks great. The pentile matrix issue is kind of like the fragmentation issue. It’s only been made into a big deal. All of this is IMHO.

          • zepfloyd

            We’re on the same side of the argument here. :) I’m just saying factually GS3 is not HD SAMOLED+, and no I couldn’t care less either. I’m just surprised how much better it is to a phone with supposedly the same screen tech. Samsung definitely learned a thing or two this go around. It’s not so much the Pentile that’s wrong with the Nexus, but the coloring and gamma, and even after custom tweaking it, it’s still not right.

        • D Rock

          How does it compare to the Maxx in reception? I had the Galaxy Nexus and absolutely loved the phone other than reception. My experience is that Motorola KILLS Samsung in that department.

          • Liderc

            I still don’t get this, I was up in the mountains recently with my family and my father’s Maxx could barely hold a signal and my Nexus more times than not was still getting decent 3G. I was tethering it to my laptop to use the internet for 3 days.

          • Droidzilla

            That’s not really a significant sample size. The majority experience seems to point to better reception for the RAZR than the GNex.

          • Liderc

            But real world experience doesn’t count for anything? I’ve never even seen someone do a proper comparison, yet I do one and it’s insignificant?

          • Droidzilla

            Real world experience certainly counts, and your compro is certainly significant; just not statistically so. If we have a few dozen people that report better signal reception under the same conditions for the RAZR over the GNex, it outweighs a single report of better reception for the GNex over the RAZR. I have no doubt that, in that particular stretch of mountains with your specific GNex compared to your father’s specific Maxx, the GNex radio was receiving a stronger signal than the Maxx (I assume you were looking under the dBm in the devices’ settings). This doesn’t account for all kinds of variables/confounders such as cases, the way a device was being held, where it was pointed, software optimisation, software data corruption, poor soldering on a specific unit/other quality control measures, etc.

            Based on the majority of information I’ve seen (and my own anecdotal evidence, which has far less weight), the Motorola LTE radio in the RAZR is better than the Qualcomm unit in the GNex.

          • Liderc

            Not only was I looking at DBM, I was looking at actually being able to tether my laptop to the phones. I assumed when we got there that I would be using his MAXX to tether my laptop to(I work in media) and yet it was my Gnex that I used the entire time because I could rarely get the MAXX to keep a signal.

            It just proves that real world experience can vary and believing the sound bites everyone likes to throw around here isn’t exactly wise.

          • Droidzilla

            I guess that’s what I get for writing a carefully crafted reply on the internet.

          • Liderc

            I’m not 100% disagreeing with you, I’m just pointing out that people throwing “Gnex radio sucks” around here have no clue what they’re talking about. I assumed I would be using the Razr as my tether, then I ended up being forced to use my Nexus as my internet access. Trust me, because of what I hear around here I was just waiting to be depressed by my Nexus’ performance in the mountains, but it was the Razr that was embarrassed.

          • Droidzilla

            I have never accused the GNex of having a crap radio; Qualcomm does good work (evidenced also by the fact that the RAZR uses both Moto and Qualcomm radio parts). I actually really like the GNex and would consider trading my RAZR for one (though I might chicken out; love my RAZR). I’m only saying that you’re far more likely to have a better signal with the RAZR than with the GNex. As with every manufactured device since the advent of manufacturing, there will be exceptions.

          • Liderc

            My REAL LIFE evidence has proven otherwise, sorry.

          • Droidzilla

            df.hv3q5p9gq9;qen9;vep9t8agv
            ^^That’s me bashing my head against the keyboard. I’m done wasting time on this; it’s like trying to talk reason into an iPhone fan.

          • J Dub

            Kellex might be able to answer. For me though I see that this has the all-in-one Qualcomm S4 chipset in it and it speaks quality to me. Others maybe not. Having everything on one chip means more battery life.

          • chris125

            my sgs3, sitting in the same spot holds a 4g signal better than my maxx did. Others have reported differently but for me the sgs3 holds onto 4g better it seems and does not drop to 3g near what my maxx did.

        • Matt

          Thanks Kellex. I think I am sold.

      • http://twitter.com/AndrewInCali Andrew Elliott

        I have the GNEx and just got the Razr Maxx for my GF. The radio in the Razr is fantastic compared to my GNex. I don’t even bother with 4G anymore on the GNex. Where I get poor 3G she gets excellent 4G. And while the screen is not HD on the Maxx it is still beautiful. In everyday use and normal viewing distances you’ll not notice the difference. And the battery – the Maxx’s battery is stellar in its longevity. Motorola did a great job on the Razr and I’m looking forward to the next version after my contract is up. The only reason I went with a Samsung phone is because it is a Nexus (Previous phone was Nexus One). The Razr will definitely be in the running for my next phone. P.S. Always check Amazon prices before buying in a store….

    • Kyleinstyle

      From personal experience it’s not even close, S3 all the way

      • Chronon7364

        Go with the S3. Guaranteed you wont be disappointed. Its a very nice phone.

    • chris125

      I had the maxx before the sgs3 and the sgs3 is leaps and bounds better. After ICS the maxx was laggy as Shi* and the sgs3 is just so smooth and lag free. Better screen, camera, processor and pretty good battery life for a device with a nearly 5″ screen.

  • http://www.kovdev.com/ koveleski

    TLDR; Locked bootloader.

    • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

      TLDR; not a Nexus. ;)

      • Doan

        Neither are the Galaxy S III’s on every other major provider in the US, which all have unlocked bootloaders.

        • http://twitter.com/DannyAree DannyAree ? ツ 

          Or the OG Droid.

      • Morlok8k

        TLDR; its a samsung phone.

        • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

          TLDR; It’s on VERIZON.

        • kixofmyg0t

          I lol’d.

          It’s no secret that I don’t like Samsung products but I like the S2 and S3.

          • SteveJobs

            TLDR; It’s Android!

    • trixnkix637

      tldr; yolo