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  1. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    I was nearly ready to get my first iPhone/smartphone, (I know, I am way out of synch with the rest of the US) when I came across the Samsung Galaxy either G3 or S3. You can tell that I have zero experience with smartphones, especially Android smartphones. I cannot remember if it was the G lll or S lll that is the latest Galaxy phone that has received great reviews.

    I ask for some help from people with a lot more knowledge than I have about this phone. I looked at the phone in detail (yea and I still can't remember which one it was), read several reviews on the smartphone, and checked to see who the carriers are.

    I would like to be able to have a smartphone that allows me to use it as a mobile hotspot too. One great benefit I had when I purchased a MIFI2200 when I signed up with Verizon was the ability to use my laptop on road trips.

    If there are some people who want to educate me on which of the Galaxy phones is the latest one and what you think about me as a new smartphone user going with this Galaxy smartphone opposed to the iPhone 4S (which I was ready to finally go out and get one about a week ago).

    If carriers can be discussed in these forums, I am interested in hearing if Sprint or one of the other carriers that have the latest Android Galaxy smartphone is better over the others. Hearing that Sprint is a better carrier for people wanting to use their phone as a mobile hotspot, I think primarily because they have not put the constraints on the amount of GB their plan can have.

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. damewolf13

    damewolf13 live~laugh~love VIP Member

    Welcome to Android Forums, Kooler!:)

    I have that new phone and it is the Samsung Galaxy S3.
    It is a really nice phone with all of the bells and whistles you could want on a cell phone. It does have the ability to be used as a hotspot, and depending on what carrier and cell phone/data plan you get, that hotspot can be pretty useful.
    I can not speak for the Apple products, as I have never used them, so I will refrain from commenting one way or the other on that, except to say that many people are very happy with their Apple products.
    I am going to move this thread into the S3 forum, so that you can read all about that phone, and be more able to make a decision on whether the S3 is the right phone for you.
  3. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    Ah, Ok so it is the S lll. Why are there reviews and ads for the Galaxy G lll and the Galaxy S lll? (Unless, I am seeing things that are not there.) I saw the S lll on Wirefly and Sprint and saw that it is NOT a 4G LTE on Sprint. Is that a big deal?
  4. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Well-Known Member

    It is if you care about having decent speeds and I assume you do since you're going to tether a laptop to it.

    Sprint's network is garbage where I am, so they're not a contender. I didn't care for my past experiences with AT&T and their pricing left me content with leaving it at that. Verizon has the best network here and overall. In most areas where I live, 4G LTE rivals my cable modem speeds.

    Since you'd be a new customer, have them subsidize the entire cost of the phone; I did.
  5. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    Rolo

    I had a Verizon MIFI2200 which was 3G about 2 years ago and it was pretty good with speed. It was actually better than the broadband I have now for my laptop. the service I have where I live for the house is horrible. I looked on Sprint's map and my address is NOT in the LTE area but it is in 4G. ATT I would not use because in my opinion they ripped me off before when I had them.

    I did not follow you about subsidizing. Sprint will pay for the phone since they do not have the 4G LTE where I live?

    I have Verizon now but they would not let me have enough memory to have the mobile hotspot on the phone to tether my laptop. That was such a great set-up when I had the little black MIFI2200 from Verizon when I would take road trips and be able to use my laptop anytime with this MIFI2200, but I would not be able to get more than 2 GB, which would not cover the mobile hotspot function for the phone. I have not looked into android phones, so I am not sure if the Galaxy S lll even has the mobile hotspot capability.

    Until I came across the Galaxy S lll, I was going to get the iPhone 4S. I have no idea how ATT says the iPhone 4S on ATT's network is 4G when the iPhone 4S is not 4G, but the speeds are pretty good from what I have seen.

    I am so confused what to do I have not even had the privilege to use a smartphone or iPhone yet, so that is what I call behind the times.
  6. damewolf13

    damewolf13 live~laugh~love VIP Member

    I have to agree with Rolo that in many places, Sprint's data speeds are so slow that you would be more than willing to pay off your contract to move to another carrier.
    If you choose to get an S3, it would be wise to get a network that can offer you the 4G speeds that this phone is capable of utilizing. You may not get the cheapest plan, but having 4G data speeds make it worth it, imo.
  7. RickyDavis1051

    RickyDavis1051 Well-Known Member

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Don't go to Sprint!!!!! It is horrible my friend! Stay away from them and T-Mobile. If you don't mind shelling out the money its easy; Verizon, AT&T, T-MO, Sprint. ^^They covered everything else.
  8. zemerick

    zemerick Well-Known Member

    First, a bit of a lesson on "4G". Unfortunately, it's a bit of a mess.

    The original standard for 4G was substantially higher than anything the various carriers were going to put out for a considerable amount of time. However, there were several new technologies coming up that had a substantial boost over 3G speeds. The 2 main contenders being HSPA+ and LTE. HSPA+ would be easily deployed across an entire existing network, while LTE would require a new network. LTE however would be substantially faster than HSPA+ ( though still well short of the original 4G requirements ).

    Now, the organizations in charge wanted simple terms for customers to differentiate the generations of networks, so they did not want to go with something like 3.5G or use HSPA+ vs LTE vs 4G. So, instead, they opted to change the requirements for 4G to include both HSPA+ and LTE as they were.

    So, you should notice something here already: LTE IS 4G ( at least as much as anything currently is. ) So, you being in a 4G area on Verizon would mean you ARE in an LTE area. LTE is just Verizons version of 4G.

    Also, this is how AT&T can claim 4G with the SGS3 when they don't have LTE. Technically, HSPA+ is considered 4G even though it's just a minor upgrade to their current 3G network rather than a new network generation.

    Currently, Sprint and Verizon are both going with LTE, though Sprint is taking ages to do it. AT&T went with HSPA+ but is starting to roll out LTE as well. As mentioned, HSPA+ was just a minor network upgrade, and this is why AT&T frequently claims "Largest 4G network". Technically true. Verizon likes to claim "Fastest 4G network", because LTE is substantially faster than HSPA+.

    Currently, Verizon tends to activate new 4G regions about 3-4 times for every 1 time AT&T and Sprint add somewhere, and Verizon also tends to add more each time than the others. Basically, if you want good 4G this year and aren't in a prime area of one of the top 10 or cities in the US, your only option is Verizon.

    Also, Sprint seems to be running into serious issues in upgrading their networks to LTE. There have been quite a lot of reports of issues on their 4G, as well as their 3G in those areas fairly falling apart. This might be why they are moving so slowly to upgrade.

    Unfortunately, as you mentioned, for a new customer Verizon and AT&Ts data plans are pretty pitiful...doubly so if you plan to tether. Not much I can help you with here.

    This kind of sucks, but your current options on the big 3 appear to be: Crumbling network (that might get better) at Sprint, Spotty network + Slower Speeds + Capped data at AT&T, Capped data at Verizon. It would seem the golden time of smart phones is ending...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tethering:

    This is really simple on Android. It's actually built into stock versions for awhile now, and there are a number of apps for it in case the carrier has chosen to disable it. Verizon tried to block these apps, but has been ordered by the courts that it can not. As such, the other networks will likely not try to block those apps either, as this would open them up to lawsuit very fast.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In regards to the Galaxy S3 name, you probably got confused by some using a variation of SGS3 or Samsung GS3. In these cases, they are simply abbreviating. The G stands for Galaxy. All versions of this phone are the "Samsung Galaxy S III". Previous versions of the Galaxy did indeed have differing names for different carriers, but not this one.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now, for my final thoughts on a phone for you.

    I am not sure I could recommend getting a current top of the line for you. Smart Phones are a world apart from feature phones, and the learning curve can be steep. The higher ends ones tend to have the steepest of the curves. Android potentially even more so. ( This is simply due to more capabilities. Apple limits as many options and configurability as possible to keep things running the way they want. Google/Android believes a lot stronger in letting the user do what they wish, which means giving a lot more room for the user to get themselves into trouble.

    So, if you still want a top end smartphone I would say this: If you have the patience and willingness to learn something new, and are capable of learning from your own mistakes, definitely go with Android and the Samsung Galaxy S3. However, if you get frustrated easily by computers and such, the iPhone would be a better option.

    Cheers, and good luck with whatever decision you make! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
    Kooler and damewolf13 like this.
  9. damewolf13

    damewolf13 live~laugh~love VIP Member

    Well said, Zemerick.:)
    The only thing I would add to that, is that I live in the middle of a decent sized city with an S3 on the VZW LTE network, and another S3 on the AT&T HSPA+ network, and I inevitably get faster data download speeds on AT&T HSPA+ network, than on the VZW LTE network. It just depends on the variables of your location, etc.
    Kooler likes this.
  10. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    Thank you all for your input.

    The Golden time for smartphones might be ending, but the interesting part of it all is I spent the whole time researching and finding a problem, until I find myself at this time never having experienced a smartphone. I do not think the time has ended, what apparently has ended is allowing anybody who wants the data and can afford it to have it. I can remember when Verizon's service was where Sprint is now. They will grow, allowing people to have the data they need while the phones that require more data come out and the cycle just goes on.

    I have not gone to any one carrier yet. I am still with Verizon but I have my flip phone and never have had a smartphone-feature phone or smartphone.

    This is the problem and why after however many years smartphones have been out, I still have a flip phone. I come close to thinking I found a good match, and then a post is made (the first time I have ever looked at Android phones, but when I read about the Galaxy s lll I thought this is my phone) and these points are made that make me put things off and another several months go by until I go through the whole process again.

    I used to let the "complexity" of smartphones scare me but with all the resources I have found, there is really no need any longer for this to keep me from these phones.

    what it all boils down to for me is a phone, any phone, that has good reviews and good reviews from users. I am thinking highly that the Galaxy S lll is the one for me, but this will mean I might have to use these forums more, but the real work is finding the match---the carrier for the phone in my area.
  11. zemerick

    zemerick Well-Known Member

    Ah indeed. Should have mentioned that. It is perfectly possible to have a 10mbit/s cable connection be faster than a 20mbit/s connection due to local network stresses and variables.

    1 thing that can help here: Ask your friends/family/coworkers in the area.

    I have indeed loved the Galaxy S3, and it is a fantastic phone. Also, as you probably see, we have a large group of people here that are always glad to help with everything we can for this phone. Luckily, the S3 is available pretty much wherever you might want to go! Just try to be careful making your decision: If you want the phone subsidized, you will be getting a 2 year contract...and it can be extremely pricey to break out of that. ( IIRC $350 on VZW ) Unfortunately, an unlocked S3 is also very expensive up front. Something like $700.
    Kooler likes this.
  12. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Well-Known Member

    Kooler likes this.
  13. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    Rolo-

    I spoke to a supervisor at Sprint about subsidizing my phone (the Galaxy S III) and he said NO. I will leave it at that, but he was not the most customer-oriented person I have spoke to.

    As far as how much data I use/month, I have no idea. I have never had a smartphone or iPhone before. As far as the Galaxy S III phone, I would get the 32 GB version just because I know I would take a lot of HD videos and put my video camera to rest. As you know I do want to tether my laptop using the phone too. Not sure how this will work with Sprint. I have not left Verizon left, but the prices to do what I would like to do would be very high. Just the basic flip phone runs me around $80/mo. the checking I have done with Verizon and the iPhone 4S, the costs are high, especially if I want to use the phone as a mobile hotspot.
  14. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    Thanks again for all the help and information you all gave me. I have strange work hours and I do not use the computer at work for personal use so I kind of disappeared for awhile.

    I want to go over each post again, but read them slowly this time.

    I am still lost, as far as what I should do. I am thinking since I am new to the whole smartphone, and technology is not an easy area for me, I might stick with an easier phone to use.

    It seems also that the Galaxy series is best used with the Infinity package. I see it in those ads a lot and the way you can use it with your TV fairly easy. The size (screen) is a bit small, which makes it ideal to use with other larger devices. I could be wrong, but I am learning. I wish the iPhone 4S was the size of the Galaxy S III. Most people in the Apple forum think I am stupid when I say this, but that is just from using other's phones.
  15. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    On Sprint's map, my home address (and entire Salt Lake City) has the 4G but not the red color which means I would get the 4G LTE. That is what I meant by "does it matter" I said in an earlier post. On Sprint's map I would be in an entire dark yellow area and the legend days that is a 4G (WiMax) or something like that. I am not sure what the difference is, but I will check that out.
  16. Funnyusername

    Funnyusername Well-Known Member

    I wish you would have upgraded your plan to a smartphone with Verizon before they moved their plan over to get rid of unlimited data. Right now, I have Galaxy S3 and I can tether my laptop and ipad for no extra charge with unlimited data. Its nice and I am dreading the day I have to give up my plan.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that if tethering is a must have feature, then having the S3 would be a great first smartphone. However, if having a limit on data is a problem, it could be a deal breaker. And it all depends on your usage. How much tethering would you do a day? And why are you wanting to tether? If you went more into detail about that it would help me understand your usage. Getting the new iphone 5 when it comes out in September would be a great first smartphone. It would be the best phone to have, in terms of the easiest transition into a smartphone. To be honest, going right in to a S3 would be a little challenging if you are the kind of person who has never used one.
  17. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    If I am still with Verizon, is it too late to do that? I am not under any contract, but I stayed with Verizon thinking if I ever get my act together I would want the same phone number. it sounds like Verizon might even be the best despite their limitations on plans. I am not sure, but that seems to be what I am hearing. I just know that having the ability to use my laptop when I travel and not have to pay more for an internet connection in the rooms, or looking for a hotspot, being able to use the laptop while traveling are all things I think about. As far as being able to use the phone to surf the internet, it is so small and the websites are all different. Hunting for my reading glasses to read the webpage would be a hassle.

    I have never had a smartphone (in case you missed me saying this about 10 times), so this will be all brand new to me. Just having the ability to use the phone as an internet connection seems like a must for me.

    I was going to get the iPhone 4S but then I saw all these phones and the only one that caught my eye besides the iPhone 4S was the Galaxy SIII. Now this is Android, a completely new area for me. I have only had Apple computers, so just having that knowledge helps in the phone area and will make using an Android phone a bit more difficult for me. Plus, this stuff does not come natural for me, especially since this will be my first smartphone.
  18. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    Funny?
    Do you think I should wait for the iPhone 5, if there is not a set date opposed to getting the iPhone 4S? Would it be a waste getting the iPhone 4S and have the iPhone 5 come out in a month? I think it might even be able to upgrade to the iPhone 5 OS if one recently purchased an iPhone 4S.

    Are you familiar with the data plans with Verizon for smartphones now? do you have any idea how much an unlimited plan would be and the capability to use the phone's mobile hotspot?
  19. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    I am not worried about getting frustrated. I am worried about trying to get help in a forum where the users are frustrated with me because they are trying to rack-up the points. I am not sure if this forum has "prizes" for the best/better answer, but in Apple's forum, I frequently see that getting in the way of people really needing basic help.

    I have a jump start with Apple being that all of my computers from my first desktop about 15 years ago was an Apple to my latest laptop being an Apple too.
  20. I suggest you wait until September and get the iPhone 5. Apples makes clutter free, super easy to use devices. Android might be hard to get used to if you're a smartphone virgin. Ever wonder why every university asks for a 2000$ macbook pro? Ease of use and reliable. Androids are awesome too!
  21. Funnyusername

    Funnyusername Well-Known Member

    Definitely wait to get the iphone 5. Apple never lowers their prices, so if you got the 4S today, your paying top dollar for a year old smartphone. The 5 is coming out this September. If you want Apple, please wait for the 5.

    If you want Android....read below.

    Yes I am very familiar with the data plans. The reality is that the day of unlimited data are gone. The only reason I still have my unlimited plan, was because I had a smartphone before they switched to plans with a data limit. So I can keep it if I never buy a discounted phone from them ever again.

    Now, if you upgrade to a smartphone, and say you get the Galaxy S3. the 32GB one is $250. Now, they are going to switch you over to a "share everything" plan. Just having the smartphone will cost $40 a month (unlimited talk and text). Now, its time to pick your data plan.

    2GB = $60 / month
    4GB = $70 / month
    6GB = $80 / month
    (theres more, I just picked 3)

    Now, say you picked to have 4GB a month. Thats now $110 dollars a month, to run your phone, and use data...for just you.The Galaxy S3 has a mobile hotspot feature, and will allow devices to connect to your phone. When you do this it will take data away from that pool of data you picked, in this case, 4GB. Or if you don't want to have your phone as the hot spot feature, you have to buy the Verizon Jetpack things, that will connect devices to the internet. They will cost an extra $20 a month (plus whatever the device itself cost) and will take away data from your 4GB plan.

    I don't know if anyone else is on the plan, but lets say you have two smartphones and one basic phone on your plan, thats $110 dollars. Then you add 4GB of data, thats $70. That is $180 a month for three people on a plan, and all share 4GB of data.

    If its just you on the plan, it will cost $110. Assuming you pick 4GB of data of course. If you want 2GB of data, it will be $100/month. Thats $20 more then your currently paying it looks like.

    That sums up what will happen to your bill if you want to go with Android and want to tether your laptop as well. Pretty much the same price if you go with an iphone as well.
  22. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Well-Known Member

    If travelling is your only concern, then your data usage is a function of how much you travel/data you exchange and lack of WiFi availability. These days, it's pretty hard not to be in a free WiFi area, especially with hotels (they give you the WiFi password when they give you your room key; it's standard now).

    Here's a lark: Is Virgin Mobile (they're the pre-paid version of Sprint) in your area? If so, head to Best Buy and pick up a VM htc Evo V 4G. Try it for <30 days; if you don't like it, factory data reset it and return to Best Buy for a no-questions-asked refund.

    This will let you try Android and gauge how much data you consume without comitting. It can also hold you over until the iPhone 5 (if you're already a Mac user, I don't see not getting the iPhone). Additionally, VM also has the iPhone 4S if you want to try that.

    It runs on Sprint's WiMax network (WiMax is a different protocol than LTE, not interchangable) and has unlimited data (they throttle you after 2.5GB/mo) and it costs $35/mo for 300 minutes ($45/1200, $55/unlimited) and doesn't have all the extra fees tacked on (my bill was <$39).

    Caveat Emptor: I switched primarily because there's a firmware bug in the Evo V that affects a small number of users (wife and I were among them) that caused intermittent signal loss.
  23. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    McBuzz- I know people are saying the iPhone 5 is coming out soon, but I have not seen from Apple where September is the date.

    where did you get September from?
  24. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    Rolo-Wow you have a lot of tricks up your sleeve&#8230; I am not sure but I did ask the Sprint supervisor to subsidize the Galaxy S III but he would not do it.

    I am confused about why you switched and are you saying that you switched from the iPhone to an android phone? You lost me.

    also, I am not the type that will go through the process you mention in your last post. If I had a lot of free time and was experienced in this technology I would try this type of stuff. However, what you described sounds like a lot of work and something that would take time that I do not currently have.

    I went and saw the Galaxy S III (blue 32 GB) again at a Verizon store. Not having unlimited data really is a downer for me. I loved having the MIFI2200 when the 2200 first came out on 3G. the 4G MIFI by Novetal does not get the best marks so I am going to activate the phones mobile hotspot in the hopes the speeds and connection are decent.

    thanks for your suggestions.
  25. Kooler

    Kooler Member

    Funny-

    Just to clarify some of your prices, since I have $75 in NE2 coming to me and another "rebate" for my MiFI not working the last year even after the Verizon techs could not fix it a supervisor has issued me a credit.

    the Galaxy S III 32 GB will cost me $49.99. I have no idea where you get $250. For any existing Verizon customer upgrading if their contract has ended, I do not think they will have to pay that price for the Galaxy S III. the other costs I am not sure on but will take your word for it.

    I am not sure what will happen. One day soon I will have a smartphone. it might be a Galaxy S III or the iPhone. As far as waiting, if I heard that Apple had a date I might be more able to wait, but as far as I know Sept. is just speculation.
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