A Few of my Favorite Things: Samsung Galaxy S3

Before Verizon sent me the Samsung Galaxy S3 to tinker with for 3 months, the cell I have been using is an iPhone 4. I’ve had the iPhone for almost 2 years now. I remember when I finally broke down and bought it which was definitely on a whim.

I had a phone through my current job at the time, an HTC Android of some sort, but knew I needed to really get a personal phone.  One day Adam mentioned he could add me to his plan. Woah, this was a game changer. OK deal! (Boyfriend perks!) We headed to the AT&T store THAT DAY and I got “hooked up”. I still pay him for my portion of the phone, but it’s a lot more affordable this way. I got my phone about 2 hours before we got on a plane for Chicago to visit my parents for Easter (and I still needed to pack), so essentially, I enjoyed about 10 minutes to play with it between packing. Plus I almost made us late for the flight.

Having had a smart phone for quite some time now, I am surprised that the Samsung has influenced me to make a resurgence out of some of the things I used to do on my phone, but just haven’t recently for whatever reason. So in general this is a collection of some of the things the Samsung has inspired me to check out, new apps I like, and also, a comparison in some cases to the iPhone. Since I have an iPhone, it’s almost impossible to avoid a comparison or two!

Mobile Hotspot

To say I’m obsessed with the mobile hotspot would be an understatement.  I use this all the time, especially on trips! I’m able to get a lot of work done riding in the car which made a 2+ hour drive to Tallahassee or Titusville a lot easier. It really made the train ride from New York to Connecticut a lot easier over labor day!  It also saved a presentation I had a few months ago when the venue’s wifi was being wonky.


I was able to find a really simple Podcast app, Podkicker,  to listen to right off the bat. One of my absolute favorite Podcasts is the Today Show.

In the mornings, I typically get ready in a flash, am at the gym, or am commuting to work, so I miss the Today Show since it starts at 7 a.m. my time. Several years ago, I learned the Today Show uploads their first hour of their daily broadcast as a Podcast. The iPhone didn’t have a good app for Podcasts (I’d checked several times). I actually had to download the podcast to my computer and sync my phone each morning. This was kinda annoying, so I stopped watching/listening to Podcasts.

When I got the Samsung, one of the first things I did was download a Podcast app. Unfortunately, this was when the Olympics started and the Today Show wasn’t uploading their first hour. Argh. I checked back once the Olympics were finished, and they were again. Jackpot!

Coincidentally, during the past few months, iPhone updated the IOS and magically a Podcast app has appeared.


There is no ignoring the screen size of the Samsung S3. It’s really impressive (and it’s even their biggest phone)! The size makes several things easier to do. If you would have asked me before the Samsung arrived, I would have said it would be too big of a phone.  Since using it, I think the screen size is great. It really makes watching movies and reading a lot easier. Plus it is really slim so it doesn’t feel clunky at all.

One thing that DOES drive me a bit batty, is the buttons. I seem to accidentally hit the buttons on the bottom and sides of the phone all the time. They’re very responsive. I really think this is mostly due to the fact I don’t have a case on the phone.


Since the screen size is so awesome, I’ve definitely taken advantage of watching TV Shows on Netflix. After Adam and I went to New York City for the first time over Labor Day, we’ve been making a mental list of all the shows and movies we want to watch based in New York.  (Yes, Sex and the City is up next, but NOT on Netflix Instant. Boo.)

My current obsession? I admit, I’m watching all the episodes of Felicity. Felicity used to be my favorite show, but now I can’t believe how obsessed with it I was. Felicity is so annoying sometimes. Just stay out of other people’s crap, geesh! Plus the whole Ben…Noel…Ben…Noel saga. Plus the last season, the show went all scifi, which I’m dreading. I know it’s coming.


I received a Kindle a few years ago for Christmas (pre-smart phone), and I really do love it. It’s great for traveling in the car, reading outside at the pool, or even while doing my hair. Problem is, it’s another device I have to carry. I just never seem to remember it.  I’ve read books on my iPhone, but it’s just not the same as the easy to read Kindle screen. With the Samsung, the screen is so big, it makes books really easy to read.

One itsy bitsy (ok massively huge) complaint I have is the screen just does not get dark enough. I love to read in bed before I go to sleep, and it’s just too bright. Comparing it to the iPhone, it really is a LOT brighter. (& I think my iPhone screen is too bright!) You’ll have to take my word for this because I couldn’t get a picture to come out clear enough to demonstrate.

Google Reader

I use Google Reader a lot. I have about 10+ blogs I read daily, and several others I read occasionally.  Google Reader definitely lets me keep up with everything without having to individually pull up each website.

Huge time saver and it’s really mobile friendly. Since the Samsung is Android, it’s google-friendly, so I can actually download a Google-branded app. (On the iPhone, I use Byline which integrates with Google Reader) I mean, it’s not a HUGE difference since Byline works fine, but it’s nice to use the actual app for the website.


All I have to say is “Wow!”.  It’s REALLY bright.

Free Wallpaper

Every day the Verizon app updates and provides a new wallpaper that can be downloaded free-of-charge. I know this doesn’t justify buying the phone by any means, but it’s a fun perk!

Easy Brightness Widget

The android allows you to install not just programs but “widgets”. These are essentially short cuts for apps which help save time or fun features. Some widgets scroll through a display of photos while others make it easy to play music or see Twitter updates.

Personally, one of my favorite widgets is the Brightness widget which allows you to update the brightness on the phone in two easy steps without having to dig into the settings options. Because I read at night, I’m constantly darkening and brightening my screen. This is REALLY nice to have. Just a quick click, and I can easily change the brightness of the screen using one of the presets or custom set it with the slider.



Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

2 thoughts on “A Few of my Favorite Things: Samsung Galaxy S3

  1. So, I’ve been considering the GSIII but I have been concerned about two things: battery life and the size. I dont’ *want* a massive phone, but my options are limited if I don’t get an iphone. Can you still text and type one-handed? And does the battery suck? I have a terrible battery now on my super old-school Droid 2. Oh! And I have another question, with using tethering and whatnot, how is your data? We’re grandfathered on the unlimited data plan on Verizon, and when I get a new phone we’re going to lose it, and I’ve been worried we’re going to blow up our data plan.

    1. The battery life seems pretty good. I still need to charge it daily, but then it lasts pretty long. I honestly have chargers everywhere (on the nightstand, in the car, at my desk at work..), so battery life isn’t a HUGE problem for me normally, but I still think the battery lasts a while.

      Yes, I can text & type one-handed. One thing I didn’t mention is the phone has swype. Instead of punching the letters one-by-one, you drag your finger across the keyboard and the phone gives several guesses of what you’re typing in. It does a surprisingly good job too.

      As for the data, I am almost constantly connected via wifi whenever/wherever possible to try and keep my data down. On my iPhone, I’ve gone over my plan several times in the past year, so I’ve gotten REALLY careful about waiting to do things until I’m connected to wifi again.

      Maybe we could meet for coffee or lunch again sometime so you can test drive it yourself? Feel free to ask any questions you have.

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