I honestly believe the SIII will be a great phone
Wow. Your questions show how differently people use their phones! I have the SGS III on AT&T and the only thing that I can say is that the battery life is good. I've had it for less than a week, so maybe I'd be able to answer some of your other questions later.
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I've gone hands-on with a US version of the SGS3 already (granted it was on Sprint so no 4g LTE, but still...) and it is truly an incredible device. The performance is best in class, the battery life is almost as good as the Droid Razr Maxx, the screen is good (but not great, since it's a Pentile display and thus, not as brilliant as, say, the HTC One X), the camera is nothing special but on par with everyone else, etc.
Samsung's custom additions are hit or miss. S-Voice is just Siri but so much worse (and since Siri is pretty terrible to begin with, yeah...), but when the SGS3 gets Jellybean and has access to Google Now and Google voice search, S-Voice will become entirely unnecessary (and I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung strikes it in the Jellybean update package). S-Beam is kinda cool but not exactly an everyday use thing. The TecTiles that Samsung has for making different surfaces in your environment correspond with different actions on the phone, initiated by the NFC interface, are VERY cool. You can program a TecTile to sit on your bedside table and when you put your SGS3 down on it for the night, it knows to change your ringer to silent, turn down the screen's brightness, etc. The custom gestures, like the "camera flip" (hold bottom right corner of phone between thumb and index finger, then flip from portrait to landscape mode to quick start the camera app), the "screenshot swipe" (blade of the hand slides from one side of the screen to the other to take a screenshot), etc., are neat but not exactly "must-have" in terms of your smartphone comparison shopping experience. The custom UI is nice. Having all of those toggles within the pull-down notification screen is very nice. It definitely saves home screen real estate for people who would otherwise need toggle bars like Widgitsoid and other third-party bar apps.
The keyboard? Garbage. This is something easily remedied though, since there are tons of downloadable keyboard replacements, most notably Swype and SwiftKey, available on Google Play, and even with phones that have actually pretty decent keyboards installed stock, users tend to replace the stock keyboard with the third-party board of their choice. Might I mention that the current beta version of Swype is VERY nice?
Overall, it's the best Android smartphone that you can get right now, in my opinion, since the HTC One X isn't on Verizon and so it can't really be compared, being on a lesser network. That being said, I strongly believe that the SGS3 will be knocked off the top of the heap by Motorola's first new flagship phone since having its acquisition by Google finalized. I think that Google and Motorola are working on some crazy amazing Nexus phone with Jellybean stock, a quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and all sort of awesome bells and whistles. BUT, since I had my unlimited data being axed unless I renewed my contract before June 28th, I went with the SGS3. Even if Moto and Google release such a crazy awesome phone, the SGS3 will still be an incredible device.
Samsung's custom additions are hit or miss. S-Voice is just Siri but so much worse (and since Siri is pretty terrible to begin with, yeah...), but when the SGS3 gets Jellybean and has access to Google Now and Google voice search, S-Voice will become entirely unnecessary (and I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung strikes it in the Jellybean update package).
When being the key word. It'll be a while before the majority even gets to taste Jelly Bean on the Verizon GSIII. Samsung's update track record aside, the phone just blows the competition away. Played with one yesterday at the Sprint store and I'm in love, lust or whatever you want to call it. lol
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i played around with one yesterday (the tmobile version) and it really did seem to be as nice as the hype indicated. i only played with it for a few minutes, but it was fast and snappy. i do have to say though, that i did notice the pentile display. i know most reviews have said you really don't notice and that it's no big deal, but i noticed it (i had also just played around to tmobile's version of the HTC One, which seemed like a more brilliants display to me). i've never been a fan of samsung, but i've even been considering this phone. one thing for your to consider is that i would assume you have an unlimited data plan since you have the incredible. you will lose this now. i don't know what your data use is like so it may be no big deal at all, but you will have to select from the share everything plans, or renew your plan, but be limited to 2 gigs/month, if you upgrade at the subsidized price. if unlimited data isn't an issue for you and you have an upgrade, then the sIII is the best phone on verizon right now (and will be for a while). as far as I know, there is no restriction on the use of a 64gig sd card either. obviously, a higher class (8 or 10) is going to perform better than a lower class, but unless you store hd movies on it or stuff like that, then it won't matter much what you put in there.
since verizon is launching the incredible 4g in 2 days, i don't look for a new htc for a while. the Inc 4g may be worth a look for you, if you like your incredible and don't need a huge screen. it's definitely a lower end device than the sIII, but if you wanted something a bit more similar to what you have now, then it's still a nice device. it's a bit cheaper as well, if that is an issue. for $50 more, i'd get the sIII.....but the inc 4g looks pretty decent.
I haven't heard anything about a release this year from Google+Motorola but then again I'm sure they're keeping things tight. When do you think they'll release their first flagship phone? It sounds like early to mid 2013 to me.
How's the framerate/quality when you record video/shoot pictures in 1080p?
Also this is probably an easy question, but I'm assuming there's a T9 option for the texting keyboard? I've never really gotten used to QWERTY or Swype because I have big fingers, even though I guess I should start some time.
I'm probably gonna get like a class 6 32GB sd card as they're more reasonably priced than any classes above that. Anyways, I think I'll end up getting this phone, I just wanted to be sure before I'm stuck with it for two years. Thanks again for your feedback.
I've read that the camera is fast....very little shutter lag, but that its not necessarily a spectacular cam. From what I've seen its comparable to any of the better phone cans out there. You can take stills while recording and take a 20 shot burst and pic the best one. Looks pretty cool. Not sure about t9 but there's gotta be an app for that is the option isn't built in, and really, you should just learn the QWERTY.....LOL. not sure how much longer you'll find any form of t9 on any phones.
In response to your original post, the SGS3 is well worth the money and the upgrade. Speaking from personal experience as a new owner of the SGS3 on Verizon, I have put this flagship smartphone through the paces. I can respond immediately to a text while on a phone call, stream Pandora while surfing Facebook, and watch YouTube in HD with extremely minimal buffer times. The US version of the phone is different from its counterparts. There is a 1.5Gb Dual Core Proc with 2GB RAM which makes this the fastest device I've ever owned. It's speed in opening pages even exceeds my new laptop. (Sad but true). There is zero lag between applications. Items open faster than I've ever seen and I have yet to have any of them lockup or kick me out.
The battery life is amazing. I spend the whole day with Facebook, Words with Friends, Scramble, texting, and the occassional phone call. After 8 hours of use (pretty heavy use even with WiFi turned on), I still have more than 35% of my battery remaining. I know movies and streaming music tend to burn battery life, so I keep an extra cable handy for when I am just sitting at the desk and listening to Pandora or watching a movie. As for the expandable memory. I have the 32GB device with a 64GB SD Micro inserted giving me a total of 96GB of storage. I have well over 600 songs, 25 movies, 100 apps, and 400 photos. Did I mention I have barely used 70 of the 96 gigs? I waited 3 weeks for this phone after pre-ordering as every other device on the market failed to hit the benchmarks for which I was looking. I can promise you, purchasing this device will be your best smartphone decision yet. Hope this helps!
great phone to use, feels great in the hand, and above post about app speed is true.
my screen cracked in my pocket today under very light use. verizon called it a pressure crack and informed me my only course of action is insurance.
i would not suggest to anyone to use this phone without a decent case on it. If verizon is right and pressure cracked this screen, the body of the phone allowed it to flex significantly in my pocket, while standing at a counter an answering phones for 3 hours. If they're wrong then i had a odd defect in my phone that they will not help me with. either way, get a decent supportive case and be very gently with the thing.