I’ll preface this review by admitting that I’m an avid iPhone user. I’ve been using the iPhone for over 4 years. I’ve always wanted to try an Android phone, however none of them ever appealed to me enough to make the effort. With the release of the Samsung Galaxy S III, I finally became motivated to get my hands on one and try it out for a couple of weeks.

It didn’t take too long before a rapidly growing list of better features was developing in my head. I had originally surmised that I would find five features that were more useful, but that list quickly grew and before long and I had a list of over 20 reasons. I decided to narrow that down anddiscuss 10 features that were either better on the Samsung Galaxy S3 or missing altogether from the iPhone 5.

1. Larger Screen

Its the absolute first thing you notice when you turn on the Samsung Galaxy S III for the first time. The massive screen is simply stunning. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 4.8″ 1280 x 720 pixel display compared with the relatively small 4.5 640 x 1136 screen of the iPhone 5. While only 27% larger in area, it affords the user with a superior viewing experience. Text is slightly larger, making it easier to read, there is more room to display feeds without scrolling as much and watching movies is a treat on the larger screen. For anyone who complains that the screen on the iPhone is too small or hard to read, this device is for you.

2. Upgradeable Storage

While both models are available in 64GB versions, the Galaxy S3 offers a microSD expansion slot. With microSD cards currently available up to 64GB and rumors of 128GB coming, thats a lot of storage for movies, music, and projects. I dont always want to be worried with whats in the cloud, and sending large files back and forth can be a time consuming. If the Internet coverage is spotty, or time is of the essence, it may not even be possible. The added bonus of additional storage is being able to swap out an SD card in an instant if more storage or different files are required.

3. Replaceable Battery

Battery life on the SGS3 is not too bad, about on par with my iPhone. I still need to charge them every second day at best, but when the battery does run out on the S3, you can easily pop in a second battery and continue on with your day. I really like this option because I often use my phone for extended periods of time in places like an airport waiting area and do not always have access to a charger.

4. Standard Charging Port

So if you didnt buy that second battery, all you need is a microUSB cable and you can plug into any USB outlet to charge your device. If you lose it, there’s no paying $30 for a replacement; you can pick up a microUSB cable for next to nothing and usually someone always has an extra lying around. A USB port is essential, as you can connect the device up to an external hard drive, card reader or other USB device for file transfer, gaming, printing, or adding an external keyboard. This is a great feature for photographers who may wish to download their photos quicker than using a WiFi connection.

5. Pull Down Shortcuts

On the Navigation Bar, THIS is a crucial feature where the Galaxy S3 shines over the iPhone and iOS. Its essential to have instant access to WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and other important settings without having to leave an application. So much easier, quicker, and once again, more convenient.

6.NFC: Near Field Communication

RFID technology is already here and its here to stay. Were already used to Tap-n-Pay at gas stations, convenience stores, Tim Hortons and at McDonalds locations in the US. Its so convenient to just pull out your phone and pay by touching a sensor. It is used on transit systems around the world and its been widely in use in Asia for several years. It is also the technology behind Samsungs S-Beam where you can just touch phones and share a picture, song, or file.

7. Google Maps

Not much to be said here. Everyone knows the accuracy of Google Maps and how easy they are to use. An added bonus is the integrated turn by turn navigation feature which is accessed directly from within the app. Its accurate, works well, and guided me perfectly to a couple of different destinations when required. Apple Maps, well, isn’t exactly working.


Widgets are awesome. There are so many choices, they are customizable, and you can display them anywhere you wish, including the lock screen. In many cases, you can use them without even having to open the app itself. Examples of widgets are Weather, Gmail, Calendar, Audio Player and Assistive Light. Many apps you download from the Google Play Store come with a widget and include the option to install to any screen you wish.

9. Notification LED

I really like the fact that even when your phone is in standby, you can see whether you have a notification. Red for emails, blue for others like Twitter and Facebook, and green for fully charged.It’s a simple feature, but very useful.

10. Lift to Face to Talk

I originally regarded Lift-to-Face-to-Talk as another gimmick, but in reality, it saves time and is one fewer click for the end user. If the contact is open, simply lift to your face and voila, it will call the default number for your contact. Another practical variation of this feature is swipe the contact name to the right, and it will call the default contact. Swipe to the left, and it will open up the messaging window you can send a text message.

Bonus: Pop Up Play

Much like Lift to Face to Talk, I didnt care much for this feature until I actually used it. If you are watching a movie, and you need to quickly respond to a message or look something up, the video floats over the app in use, allowing you to not miss a moment. A great example is watching a video or presentation and being able to make notes at the same time without pausing and switching between apps. Pop up Play works very seamlessly, is easy to use and is one of those fun features that definitely give it the Samsung experience.

iUsers Should Give Android a Try

This was the best smartphone I’ve ever had the pleasure of using and its specs list will keep it current for a couple of years to come. I for one will be very sad to see it go and really wish I didn’t have to send it back. Everyone has their own reasons for liking or using a phone, but if you use your phone for more than just Foursquare, Facebook, or gaming, these are some very convenient and practical features that elevate the Samsung Galaxy S III above the rest, including the iPhone 5.

Should you break your contract and run out and get the Galaxy? I’m not saying that, but if you’re in the market for a new smartphone, you should really take more than a considerate look, and purchase the Samsung Galaxy S3… you won’t be disappointed.

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