[News] Samsung porting Galaxy Note features to S3

Based no doubt on the success of the Galaxy Note 2 and its many innovative (read: cool) features, Samsung has announced on their blog that some of these features will be coming to the Galaxy S3 phone as well.  These features will likely include Multi-Window and Page Buddy, two of the more useful of the Galaxy Note 2’s software bundle.  Multi-Window is just that, allowing multiple windows open on the screen running different apps.  Page Buddy is more along the lines of “smart actions” by executing certain commands based on related actions (launching your music player if you were to plug in headphones for example).

The size of the Galaxy S3 makes this an almost no brainer, and makes a great phone even more versatile and functional.  Now…the bad news.  So its pretty much being released by Samsung as the “Premium Software Suite” and will be available in the international market first.  And then it would be up to the individual carriers at some point to make it available to those in the U.S. market.  Sounds like it won’t be hitting anyone around here anytime soon.  But still…hope is a good thing.  And Samsung gets props from me for even offering this suite to begin with.  Good on you Sammy!

*Source: BGR


[News]Select T-Mobile Samsung Phones Free with rebate November 16th and 17th

T-Mobile is running a promotion November 16th and 17th where select Samsung smart phones are free with rebate on a two year “classic plan” contract.

It’s unclear exactly what Samsung phones are eligible for the deal, but the Galaxy S III (GSIII) is featured twice on the flyer, so it would be a pretty dick move if it wasn’t included.

It also appears the Galaxy S II (GSII) is part of the promotion, but if both phones are free why would anyone buy a GSII over a GSIII?

Despite these questions marks, if you’re a T-Mobile customer or looking to become one, a free Galaxy S III is a nice incentive.

[News] Galaxy S3 best selling smartphone in 3rd quarter

For the first time in a VERY long time, the iPhone isn’t the best selling smartphone in a business quarter.  For the 3rd quarter of 2012, that honor belongs to the Samsung Galaxy S3.  I don’t think I have to tell you how popular the GS3 is, especially if you’ve been reading this site for a while (which I know you have).  Selling 18 million units in Q3, the GS3 narrowly edged out the iPhone 4S, which sold 16.2 million units.  Of note…the iPhone 5 sold 6 million units in the quarter, so if you combined the line of Apple products, they were still #1 in sales – and the iPhone 5 wasn’t available for sale the whole 3rd quarter, so its possible this stay at the top for Samsung is short lived.  Still, I’m sure Sammy will take whatever small victories they can get.  

Until then…all hail the new king of smartphones!

*Source:  Engadget

[Op-Ed]Maybe Motorola does know what it’s doing after all (or how I was *mostly* wrong about the Droid RAZR HD MAXX)

Shortly after Motorola announced their flagship Droid RAZR HD and HD MAXX I wrote an op-ed piece asking “what is Motorola doing?”  Why would consumers spend $299.99 for an HD MAXX when they could buy a Samsung Galaxy S III (SGSIII) for $99.99?  The specs were nearly identical and the extra battery capacity didn’t justify the almost three times higher price tag in my view.  When Verizon officially announced pricing I wrote another piece about how overpriced both handsets were and again recommended the SGSIII.  After some hands on time with the HD MAXX, here are seven reasons why I was wrong and why it warrants consideration if you’re in the market for a Verizon smart phone:

1) It’s a great phone.  Bizarre reason, right?  In the era of quad-core processors and 720p screens it’s easy to forget that a smart phone’s primary function is to be an actual phone.  The RAZR HD MAXX continues the long Motorola tradition of excellent radios.  Measured side by side with the SGSIII, it continuously had better signal and pulled down faster data speeds.

2) The build quality makes the SGSIII look like a cheap toy.  Say what you will about the Motorola design aesthetic, but they certainly know how to make a premium feeling device.  The HD MAXX features a Gorilla Glass 2 screen, an aluminum side band and a kevlar back plate.  Compared to the cheap plastic used by Samsung, the HD MAXX just feels solid.

3) The pentile matrix 4.7″ 720p screen isn’t that bad.  In person it’s easily the equal of the SGSIII screen. While I think pentile screens should be banned, the average user would likely never know the difference.  Blacks are deep, colors are vibrant, and the screen is sufficiently bright.

4) It has on-screen buttons!  Google officially ditched physical buttons with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and yet a year later the number of phones that have followed suit could be counted on one hand.  On-screen buttons have more flexibility and look cooler.  I wish more Android OEM’s would follow Motorola’s lead on this one.

5) MotoBlur is one of the lightest OEM skins.  The version on the HD MAXX is very close to stock Ice Cream Sandwich.  Compared to HTC’s Sense or Samsung’s Touchwiz it’s nice to see something so close to what Google intended.

6) Amazon took care of the overpriced situation by dropping the price of the RAZR HD and HD MAXX almost immediately after launch.  Customers with an upgrade can get the HD for $149.99 while the HD MAXX will set you back $199.99.  This is what Verizon should have charged.

7) The battery life is simply stunning.  This is an actual HD MAXX battery log from an acquaintance of mine:

The RAZR HD and MAXX HD are not without flaws.  The camera is not nearly as good as the SGSIII and the shape of phone can make it feel large and unwieldy.  Still, the combination of excellent reception and amazing battery life is very attractive.  If you’re in the market, give it a look.  Sure it costs more than the SGSIII, but never having to worry about your battery dying during the course of a day ever again might very well be worth the premium.