Samsung Galaxy S3, first experiences

First off, I think it is unfair to compare iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S3. iPhone 5 would be more fair, but I bet that most of the iPhone users are jumping from iPhone 4 to a Android ecosystem. And as far as I know, iOS is pretty much the same on iPhone 5 but with more speed.

Me likey

Customisation. Apple products are awesome for their simplicity. They are easy to use, intuitive, and very smooth to operate. However, if you ever want to do something which isn’t supported in an Apple Universe, you are out of luck. Unless you jailbreak your phone, which I don’t have patience or desire for.

In S3 (and Android in general), customisation is the default. Don’t like the way home screen switches to next screen? No problem, just install a different launcher and tweak everything you like (my current home screen on the right).

Ease of use. S3 is pretty damn impressive. iPhone was easy to start using, but S3 isn’t hard either. Just click click click please login to Google thx bam and here we go.

Google ecosystem. We use Google Apps for Business in Aucor. So far, it has proven to be awesome and scalable toolset for a small company. Due to this, transition to a Android environment was very easy. Mails, contacts, documents, tasks, calendars… everything just works from the start.

Speed an battery life. What can I say? Speed is blazing compared to a iPhone 4, and I have to fidget a iPhone 5 to make any comparisons.

Camera. I don’t know about the quality aspect, but for me, its important that the camera actually starts fast. I have lost countless of important moments because iPhone opens the camera so damn slowly. This is way better. And the photos can be easily streamed to your Dropbox.

Notification center. Its nice to see what is happening in a one place.

The bad

Google Play store. Using it on a Samsung Galaxy S3 it just doesn’t feel near as smooth as App store experience. There are lots of crappy products, and every one of them are rated for 4 or 5 stars. Come on, 80 % of the apps there are utter crap.

Good thing about the Play store is that you get an instant refund if a commercial app sucks. Much better system than in App store. This also encourages user to try more stuff freely.

Searching doesn’t work nicely: after selecting one search result and going back to search results takes you back to Play front page. Meh.

3rd party accessories seems to be lacking. My Sennheiser ear plugs didn’t work (mic & controls), so at the moment, I am stuck with the S3 ear plugs. I need to find some better though, these aren’t so good.

Settings and that left bottom little button seem to work differently based on an active app. It can be confusing at a times.

My favourite Apps so far

  • Nova launcher Prime. With this, you can customise icons, home screen, application listings and much more.
  • Gtasks. Nice task manager that integrates with Google Tasks.
  • WordPress. Like the name implies, you can administer multiple WordPress sites.
  • Analytics. Google Analytics tool. In addition, Analytics Widget is awesome! You can actually make widget to a desktop that automatically shows how many unique visitors you have had on a site during the day. And because you can have many widgets, you can add all of your favourite sites on the screen. Nice.
  • Eye in the Sky Weather Pro. Very nice weather widget. Simple, clean and it works smoothly.
  • Fonecta Caller. This is a crucial app for me. It shows the unknown callers number when the call comes.
  • Press. This is pretty nice Google Reader app.
  • Lucid Round icons. They are clean, simple and very beautiful icons. You can switch icons with Nova Launcher Prime.
  • Yeah, and of course Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Skype, Netflix, Audible, Kindle, Linode, Dropbox and Evernote Apps work too.

What I miss

  • Better mail client. So far I have tried K-9 mail and some other ones, but they don’t give the ability to archive the message with one click. At the moment, I use the native Gmail app. Its ok, but a bit too cluttered for my taste. If someone knows a good mail app, please let me know.
  • Better Google reader app. Press is nice, but there is too much sweeping needed to get where I want to.
  • Scoopinion app. I know that you can read the site using mobile device, but the site isn’t responsive the way it should be. Please guys, make an Android app for it or make the site better for all mobile devices. 🙂

Conclusion

Apple & Nokia/MS: you should be very afraid for your revenue on the smartphone market. Samsung Galaxy S3 is a pretty impressive gadget, and as an hardcore iPhone evangelist, I think that iPhone ecosystem needs to change pretty drastically to compete with Android.