Boasting a large screen and supernatural battery life, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx has served as Verizon's flagship device the past few months. The $300 Maxx now has some competition from the Samsung Galaxy S III for top shelf status at Verizon - for $100 less.
The most obvious asset the Samsung Galaxy S III brings is a more spacious screen packed with a higher resolution. It also packs a faster processor and 2 GB of RAM so it can handle the most strenuous of smartphone tasks with ease. It comes armed with a better camera, and a removable battery which eases the charge-conscious minds of some. The Galaxy S III is a bit larger than the Maxx, but remains thinner and lighter.
But the biggest difference is in the software. Motorola and Samsung have very different skins over Android. Even in its ads Samsung seems less focused on hardware specs and more interested in spotlighting its S-Voice, S–Beam, Shareshot, and Allshare Play features.
S-Voice is Samsung's answer to Apple's Siri. Like Siri, S-Voice is a great starting point, but needs work.
It does some things that Siri doesn't, like open apps, but it doesn't recognize natural speech commands as well. Asking S-Voice "do I need an umbrella," did not get me a weather report. Thankfully, I found S-Voice missing of Siri's "humorous" replies to goofy questions. Though I admit most won't appreciate that as much as I do.
I didn't get time to test the sharing options during my stint with the review until from Verizon, but Samsung is pushing them hard to set it apart from the other big dogs in the Android pack.
Verizon's Samsung Galaxy S III is a great 4G LTE phone that delivers good call quality, excellent battery life, and a superb display in a thin package. Aside from battery life, it offers greater performance than its Maxx rival and at a lower cost. Nothing other than an iPhone 5 would stir Apple fans, but among the Android faithful the S3 has many reasons to be at the top of the list.
What makes us giggle
- Superb 4.8-inch display
- Good camera with rapid-fire capture
- Great battery life
Complaints and quibbles
- Like Siri, S-Voice needs improvement
- Loudspeaker could be louder
Operating system: Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Processor: 1.5 GHz dual core
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Display: 4.8 inches, 1280 x 720, 306PPI, Super AMOLED
Storage: 16 GB Internal, microSD card slot for additional space
Cameras: 8 megapixels front facing with LED flash and 1080p video capture, 1.9 megapixels front-facing
Dimensions: 5.4 x 2.8 x 0.3 in
Weight: 4.69 oz
Battery: Li-ion (2100 mAh capacity)
Talk time: up to 21.7 hours over 2G, up to 11.7 hours over 3G
Standby: Up to 790 hours
Price: 16 GB model for $199.99 & 32 GB model for $249.99 with a two-year agreement