WEB MASTER TUCKER HOTTES is not fishing. He’s been shopping!
The joy of that new phone smell
Ahh, I love that new phone smell. Well, there’s not really a smell to it, but there is an undefinable pleasant aura that comes along with getting a new device. I wound up following through on last week’s threat to ditch my quickly dying Motorola Droid X in favor of the new Android darling on the block, the Samsung Galaxy S3. I was mildly surprised to find they were in stock when they were released last week (although Verizon did push back the original launch date by a few days — perhaps to ensure better supplies on hand). I opted for the 16gb version and started out with my Droid X’s 16gb microSD card in the expansion slot, but soon swapped that out for a 32gb card I got for 15 bucks on Amazon. Do I need 48 gigs of space on my phone? Probably not, but it sure feels nice.
One slight bummer about upgrading and getting the subsidized phone price was that I had to ditch the unlimited data plan on the account. It’s a shared account with two lines, though, and the new data plan tiers include pooled data between all the phones on the account. I had the account rep run an analysis on how much data we actually use per month, and it came out to less than 1gb on average. We signed up for the 4gb allowance, which should be more than enough, and it actually winds up saving about 20 bucks a month. Even if we bump up to six gigs, it’ll still come out to a savings of $10. So while a lot of people were grabbing torches and pitchforks over the loss of unlimited plans, in reality it doesn’t wind up affecting me much and saves some cash. No complaints there!
Speaking of data usage, this is my first experience with Verizon’s 4G LTE network. There’s really not much to say other than “holy crap, this is blazing fast mobile data.” While writing this, I ran a speed test from my desk deep within the Times building where I get two or three out of five bars of service, and clocked 11.7mbps. The other night, I was at AuRant’s with a full signal. Out of curiosity, I ran the test under those prime conditions, and got a staggering 20mbps. For reference, my cable connection at home usually tops out somewhere around nine or 10mbps. Yes, that means my phone now downloads as quickly or faster than my Internet connection at home.
As for the hardware itself, it’s the thinnest, lightest phone I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding. In fact, for the first few days, I kept thinking I left it somewhere when, in fact, it was in my pocket. The absence of the weighty bulge of the Droid X threw me for a loop. I’m also really impressed with the battery life so far. Somehow, Samsung crammed a 2100mah (aka huge), removable battery into thing. I’ve been using it pretty heavily, and so far the battery life is on par with the extended battery in my Droid X, meaning I can easily get through a day’s worth of normal usage with a little juice to spare when I put it on the charger before bed. All told, it’s the phone upgrade I’ve been waiting for, and makes me excited about Android all over again.