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Why I Didn't Buy An iPhone 5

How the Samsung Galaxy SIII was the clear choice when my Verizon contract was up for renewal.

My old HTC Incredible smartphone with 3G speed and the Android operating system had been acting up for a several months. Unfortunately I had to wait a while until my 20-month Verizon contract ended to get a new device. This happened recently.

I like Verizon’s network and have never had problems on my many business and vacation trips. I have spent a lot of time recently in the New York and New Jersey area, Ohio, Orlando and Las Vegas. The Verizon network also worked at Boy Scout Camp Chawanakee, elevation 4,000-plus feet in the Sierra National Forest near Fresno.

I also used have a BlackBerry Curve on the Sprint network, loaned to me by my last employer, IBM. It had nice reception on business trips. It was easy to use and lasted many years without breaking and it was just rock-solid reliable. It was strict about asking for a password before I did anything, however, that may have been because of company policy though.

Friends who work there still tell me that IBM now encourages employees to use their own mobile devices for work. The company has always been a supporter of employee mobility which has a ton of benefits including happier workers. I’m also fairly certain that IBM still supports all major mobile devices and operating systems now, like they did when I worked there.

I also used to have an iPhone on the AT+T network. That phone did not get reception at some big hotels in Las Vegas which is why I’m loyal to Verizon’s network now.

An awesome network is important, especially to a power Facebooker like me.

Another thing that bugged me about that old iPhone, which I had bought at an Orlando Walmart years ago for only $99 was that it just died after only 11 months. My husband says that his old iPhone has been working for five years, but he does not use his device as much as I used mine.

I think mine broke so fast because I took photos of rainbows while standing in the rain so I can’t blame Apple Computer for its brief but happy 11-month life. But I’ll have to admit my rainbow pictures were awesome and they got a lot of likes on Facebook.

And the winner is ...

I chose the Samsung Galaxy SIII featuring the Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. This is the latest version and true to its name, it’s sweet. So far I love it and I recommend it. By the way “smartphone” just means it’s a mini computer.

Before I bought the Samsung I tested every camera at the Verizon store near OSH where my favorite phone experts hang out. During the tests, I realized that my current camera stinks and that any phone in the store was way better than mine. 

Only one Android phone had a camera problem. I couldn’t find the camera icon. Even the Verizon worker could not find it. I can’t remember which one it was, but make sure that you always test how long it takes to find the camera icon and start up the camera before you buy a phone. Or just know how to move the icons.

In any case, I checked out every phone, narrowed it down to Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy SIII and then took a break to think about it and ask my friends what they thought.

A ton of friends said they liked the Samsung Galaxy SIII for a variety of reasons including the look and feel and just how well it works.  Additionally a lot of my friends loved their iPhone 4’s. I then thought that if I could just stop taking pictures in the rain, maybe I could get another iPhone and it would last as long as my BlackBerry and my husband’s iPhone.  So I decided on the iPhone 5 in order to get the latest features like 4G. With the exception of my technology reporter friends, and I have lot of them, not a lot of regular friends had iPhone 5 devices yet.

Say it ain’t so! A two-week wait for the iPhone 5?

But when I went to Amazon.com and the Verizon store, I learned it was a two week wait for the iPhone 5. That wouldn’t do so I quickly switched to the Samsung Galaxy SIII. I ended up getting it at a great price for the re-up of the 20-month contract and around $200 plus a small-can’t-remember-what-it’s-for-random fee and the tax on the full price of the phone. The final cost was around $300. It would have cost around $700 without the contract re-up. 

I also needed a mood-boosting protective pink cover, screen cover and car charger which I picked up for $50.

Samsung Galaxy SIII Scores a Respectable A-

So far I give the new Galaxy smartphone a nine out of 10 so that’s an A-.  

I like that my son can play Angry Birds without it crashing or stalling like my old 3G HTC phone used to do.

The camera rocks and I can take a whole bunch of pictures in a row mega-fast .

Facebook uploads and doing email are both pretty easy and the icons are easy to find. The screen is big and the look of the Yahoo e-mail and text messaging are bright, colorful and clear.

I like the on-screen keyboard. 

Stuff that Bugs Me about the new Galaxy Smartphone: Advice Welcome

The battery drains faster than I expected.

The text messaging auto correct stinks. My brother in law texted about the snow in Jersey and I tried to say “brrrr” but I had to re-type it 10 times because the device was convinced that I wanted something else. How does it not know the word “brrrr?”

Also negative is that I still, after a couple of weeks, can’t figure out how to “see” the photos after I connect my camera to my PC laptop or iMAC. I can upload a photo to Facebook okay though. I have never had this problem with any phone on any of my computers. I plan to go to eHow.com or visit the store to figure this out this week. By the way, I can see the device icon fine on the computer screen.

In any case, I’m very happy with my choice and despite a couple of fairly small issues which will likely be solved soon, the Samsung Galaxy SIII rocks.

Blogger's note: Although I do consulting for high tech companies, I do not work for Samsung.

 

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ethan Harmer November 09, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Great choice!! The SIII has a lot of pluses and is a hybrid in this laptop, table and phone world.
AR November 10, 2012 at 03:52 AM
if you don't care about auto-detection of your location, turn off automatic gps update. this is a big battery drain....and applies to any phone
Michelle McIntyre November 10, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Thanks, AR for the power saving tip. Additionally, I've found a few more features I like including the "crop" function that you can use right after you take the photo. It was on my HTC Incredible too so that's not really a differentiator, but still it's nice to have.

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