Metro Man & Metro Home

By Tony Sabatini

What can you say about perfection? The Samsung Galaxy S III is as close to perfection in a smart phone that you are going to get at this point in time. Samsung has scrutinized every feature of using a phone and come up with the best phone on the market by any manufacturer (worldwide Samsung sells more smart phones than anyone else).

With most mobile phone manufacturers using the same Android operating system, it is up to the manufacturer to create hardware that will really stand out and Samsung has paid very careful attention to the how the phone feels, and its usefulness. They started by including the biggest screen of any smart phone (4.8”) but amazingly did so by not increasing the width of the phone or the weight (it is one of the lightest), just a tad longer in length.

Even so it actually feels smaller because it fits better in your hand thanks to its curved back. The phone sports more rounded corners than others in its class so my diminutive wife could easily slip it in and out of her jeans pocket. Also, with the face of the phone being made of Corning Gorilla Glass 2 most of the worries about breaking the display go away.

The display itself is gorgeous as only an AMOLED display can be (the display itself emits the light, there is no “backlight” and color mask as in other displays). It is a full 720P HD wide screen display like your television, so movies and videos look fabulous and occupy the full area of the screen.

What really sets this phone apart when using it is the three buttons at the bottom of the display: a central physical bar shaped button which when pushed returns you to the home screen, and two soft lighted touch buttons on either side, the right one being “go back a step” and the left one being menu or “what can I do from here.” Although Android 2 phones had these and one more (a dedicated “search from here” key – after all, Android was written by Google), Android 4 only requires the “Home” and the “Go Back” key; it is a real credit to Samsung and a boon to ease of use that they have retained the “menu” key.

Samsung has thought about longer term issues also. The phone’s battery is easily user replaceable and the phone has a slot for a micro SDHC card allowing the user to save pictures and store them offline or to move music between devices. The micro SDHC card can also be used to completely back up the phone ( MyBackup Pro from the Google Play Store is highly recommended) and then save that information offline in case the phone is lost. In a feature that amazed even me, a software update came out a week after the phone was delivered and the phone silently and automatically downloaded the update, and then when it was ready, it asked if I wanted to install the update. The phone updated quickly and flawlessly without being anywhere near a computer, entirely over the air. Since Android keeps itself and your apps and information separate, you do not have the issue of having to unload everything on the phone, update the phone and then copy everything back.

As far as the latest features it has everything you could want: “near field” communications so you can use your phone in place of a credit card or instantly transfer pictures or documents to anyone else with a Galaxy S III or similarly equipped phone; Voice command so you can tell the phone what to do or who to call; Group sharing of presentations such as PDF, Power Point or Pictures. A really cute feature that if you are texting someone and put the phone up to your ear it dials the person.

One extremely important feature for my wife — the online editor, and many of you out there in social media — is the camera function. The camera is fabulous, and at 8 Megapixels it is higher quality than the first three dedicated digital cameras she bought. It has automatic face detection for focusing and a really good flash. It also has two great features if you are photographing objects as opposed to people, a macro mode so you can do close ups and a “tap to focus on this” feature incase what you want to focus on is not in the center.

Am I in love with this phone? No, I am in love with my wife but this phone certainly the best phone I have ever seen and as an IT professional, I eventually get to test and play with all of them.

Originally published November 2012
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