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Samsung Galaxy S3 IndyEyes Review

Samsung galaxyS3 white-webSamsung Galaxy S3 Smart Phone - First look

I guess like so many, I have to admit that one of the greatest advances of the last 5-6 years has been the smart phone. The freedom of access that these devices provide and the enjoyment through some of the millions of apps and games has transformed my life and I am sure the lives of many other VI's. But as we all know, manufacturers and software providers have a long way to go to understand the life of a severely sight impaired or blind individual and provide features that are simple to use, operationally astute and useful to us. So when I came to replace my old smart phone of some four years old, I wanted to find out what the best smart device would be for me. And do you think I could find out any useful information on this out in the webasphere?

That's right; a resounding NO. So I had to go out on a limb and make a decision based on conversations with those around me, who, although well intentioned, could not understand my dilemma in making an informed choice on a suitable device. So I took the plunge and changed from the popular iPhone stable, much to the disgust of many of my peers and colleagues, and went the Android route in the shape of the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Right off the bat I have to praise the larger screen and, most importantly, all the immediate features, phone, text, which are presented in high contrast. So even early in the morning I can see who is trying to communicate with me via SMS or voice; without having to take endless screen shots and opening these pictures to see what function I have hit by mistake or to check the message from the sender.
It took a while to get comfortable with the navigation of the S3 but it all makes sense when you realise how intuitive the functionality of the three main navigating buttons are. There is a back button, simple enough, which takes you back a step at a time no matter where you are in screen or in app. The menu button selects a list of actions depending on what you are looking at, so you can easily make changes to settings related to the screen you are in. Finally, the third navigation button, "Home", provides a short cut to the home page from anywhere in the app you are using, plus doubles up as the S Voice activator. The power and volume controls complete the suite of function buttons.
When you handle the phone and wake it up from sleep, there is a super big clock that greets you, nothing to set it apart from its nearest rivals but very useful. A simple swipe across any part of the screen will activate the unit, or if you have a specific instruction from or for the phone, the option to swipe from the application icon you require in the taskbar at the foot of the screen (phonebook, camera, internet or whatever you have preselected) will take you immediately to this app. An SMS or missed call will be revealed via an icon on the main screen where you can swipe from to access the message or caller detail. These basic functions I find very useful. Another intuitive feature for making calls is that by just lifting the handset to your ear, having selected the contact or number you wish to communicate with, automatically triggers the call mode. This is really useful in outdoor lighting where sometimes the call/text/video call keys can be difficult to see.
So with all the main communication facilities really easy to access and see - except in bright daylight, but I guess I can't blame the manufacturer for this - I now want to examine other features in high contrast.
As with all mobile devices I have used, HC does not exist in its purest form, unlike with a PC, but accessibility options provide you with Negative Colours. This feature can be useful in some apps, but as we Vi's know, it can be just as frustrating, with text dropping out or changed to such faded colours as to make it virtually impossible to  read. I have found though, that by using the accessibility shortcut mode on the S3 you can quickly switch between non negative and negative whilst in app. This is very cool and has allowed me to start using functions I would normally stay away from, such as calendar and some web pages. I am going to explore this more, but it is an advantage over my previous smart phone.

I am a happy customer, Mr Samsung, and will share some further experiences on this device very soon, such as S Voice - a voice activating operating system for the phone, and text to speech output. But if you have anything you would like to share on this device or other technology, let us have it.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Matt O'Byrne)

    Nice review. I also have this phone and have been impressed with how you are able to customise the display settings for different applications. The large screen is great - much better than the small screen on my old iPhone!

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