What’s Wrong with the Samsung Galaxy SIII Phone?


1343224931_samsunggalaxys3img0044No, this is not yet another smartphone review, let alone a review of a now-obsolete phone!

And the short answer is that there’s nothing wrong with the Samsung Galaxy S3—except the fact that it runs on Android!

I acquired my phone in July, 2013 and wrote a post about it on July 12, with an update following a few days later.

I Love the Phone and HATE Android!

I’ve managed ok with Android for the last 6 months, putting up with its annoying quirks. There are many, many examples of these, but to pick one that is especially troubling, I had installed the wonderful Swiftkey app—a real time saver! However, at seemingly random intervals, Swiftkey would become disabled, and the phone would want to know which input method I wanted to use. This would not be so bad, except that while the phone was in this state of ‘not knowing’ which input method to use, whenever I opened email (in my case, that’s all the time!), the default Samsung keyboard would appear, even if I was not replying to or creating a message. Even with as much screen real estate as the SIII provides, this obliterated almost half of the screen with a keyboard I did not need or want to use.

A quick scan of help forums and the Swiftkey web site revealed that:

  1. This was a well-known, common and very annoying problem for many, many users!
  2. Swiftkey could not fix it—it resulted from a flaw in Android.
  3. It would be fixed in a future Android release.

Along Comes Android 4.3!

I reluctantly lived with the problem. I thought of ditching the Swiftkey keyboard many times, but an hour or so with the default keyboard convinced me that the pain of the bug in Android was worth living with the get the productivity gains of Swiftkey. But every now and again I checked to see if the problem had been fixed.

Last week, oh joy of joys, I discovered that Android 4.3 fixed the bug! So I installed it.

Not So Fast, Tonto!

What a nightmare!

  1. I’m not sure if the keyboard bug has been fixed, but I can’t be certain because the upgrade to 4.3 has introduced so many new (and serious!) problems that I can’t tell if Swiftkey now works as its designers intended.
  2. My phone now behaves in all sorts of weird ways. Notifications seem to vary with the weather, and I’m subjected to bird tweets, camera flashes and seemingly random bugs.
  3. Everything on the phone has slowed to a crawl.
  4. The phone is constantly warm, and sometimes hot.
  5. Battery life is reduced (and the SIII always was a little thirsty!)

Again, a search of support forums revealed that I am not alone in experiencing all this grief.

My Apple vs. Android Experiment

I’ve been a very loyal and mostly happy Apple customer for years, with several iMacs, a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPad an a couple of iPods. An iPhone was the logical choice for me, but I was tempted by the Galaxy’s screen size (which I do love!) and the ‘freedom’ of the Android platform

I’m now seriously considering taking advantage of either Verizon’s or T-Mobile’s current generous courtship of AT&Y customers such as me, and switching to an iPhone.  There, I’ve said it. (I never thought I would!)

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5 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with the Samsung Galaxy SIII Phone?

  1. I have actually experienced some of these issues, and while I understand the dilemma, I would want to point out that it is because of “Samsung’s” implementation of Android. The problem with open platforms, is anyone can mess it up if they want.

    I have been a loyal Android user from the beginning and up to the point I transferred from my HTC device to the Samsung, never saw these types of issues. While I like my Samsung S4, I do have to put up with some of their strange quirks that I never saw on the HTC (or other devices I had before). For me, I won’t leave android as I am a loyal Swype user and can write long emails easily using this feature.

    Hope you fix it, or sorry to see you go :-)

    Reply
  2. Ed, thank you for the comment, and most importantly, for the clarification! I’m glad I titled this post “What’s Wrong with the Samsung Galaxy SIII Phone?” and not, “What’s Wrong with Android?”

    Reply
  3. Pingback: What's Wrong with the Samsung Galaxy SIII Phone? | IT ... | newsnews

  4. I agree on Android. I’ve had both Motorola X and LG Droids, and in addition to the quirks like Swiftkey, I hate the length of time waiting for it to boot. Especially compared with en iPhone. Although I love Android’s open architecture, it pales against Apple’s superior OS.
    Sounds a bit like MS/Windows vs. Apple :)

    Reply
  5. Rocco, sorry to hear you agree with me! Well, I’m pleased that my view is validated, but it’s a pity that Google and Android are missing the boat in terms of user experience!

    Reply

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