While I am a Windows gal and all of my devices that I use the most are Windows based, including my smartphone and tablet, that does not mean I think other operating systems are worthless. Everyone always has to find what works for them best. Hubby happens to be an Android kind of guy. That is the operating system he is most comfortable with and he uses Android smartphones and Android tablets. Of course, since the devices are in the house (I usually bring them in as a matter of fact) I get to use and try them (and help Hubby use them) fairly often too. By far I think the best of the Android operating system devices are anything from the Samsung Galaxy Line.
Disclosure: Many of you already know I have been working with Verizon Wireless for several years now and they have provided me some of the following devices to use or I have seen presentations at events. Opinions are always 100% my own about the devices.
Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S3 Smartphones
We have both of these phones and I find them to be excellent. Fantastic battery life, well made (though not indestructible), fast processing, and lots of extras from the phones themselves, not just the operating system. While there are improvements in the Samsung Galaxy S4 (the latest), the Samsung Galaxy S3 is still a great option too if price is more of a consideration for you. Another plus with this line of S-series phones is the ample availability of accessories. I can find cases and other extras for the S3 and S4 in almost any store. The Air Gesture and Air View features that allow you to use your hand or eyes to control the screen – without touching – are some of the coolest extra features on the S-series smartphones. The 13MP camera takes really nice photographs (although I still like my Nokia Lumia 928 for the best smartphone photos on devices I have used). For Hubby one of the best features of the Android operating system is the huge customization potential using apps and widgets. He really likes the very rich featured ones which use some of your phones resources and he has found that the Galaxy S-series of phones can always handle any of these customizations while not detracting from the ability to use any other social, game, or other types of apps too.
Samsung Galaxy Note Smartphones
If you want an even bigger screen size plus a built in stylus (S Pen) that you use like a pen right on your screen. A bonus of the S Pen on the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is that it makes a super cool lightsaber on sound when you take it out of the case, and a lightsaber off sound when you put it back in! My friend, Rachel Ferrucci, took an Instagram video of me showing this at a recent Verizon event.
Cool, isn’t it? Now this is in the Note 3 which has some amazing new features but the Samsung Galaxy Note II is also still a great device if money is more of an issue for you. If you are really a heavy smartphone user for everything in your life, not just social media and email, this would be a great fit if you want an Android device.
Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tablets
These are the largest of the Samsung Galaxy tablets and the only size I have had or used myself and they are excellent. They have an excellent feel to them when you hold them, not too heavy but still they feel firm enough. The displays are crystal clear, the few buttons are easy to reach, and an overall well thought out design like the rest of the Samsung Galaxy line. Hubby has been using his Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for quite some time now and there have been zero problems with it. As a matter of fact, not long after I gave him this tablet he decided to go computerless – no desktop or laptop for him. Every once in a blue moon he may borrow one of my computers to do something, but it really is very rare. He takes his tablet with him everywhere and uses it all day long. It is even his alarm clock (Dock Clock app).
Samsung Galaxy Gear
I saw this item in action recently and it is very cool. For some the concept is a bit hard to understand at first, but if you (or someone you know) is a gadget nut it makes sense. The gist of these “watches” is that it connects via Bluetooth to your Galaxy Smartphone and you can see, read, and control much right from the Samsung Galaxy Gear “watch” rather than having to keep taking your phone out all the time. Hubby has a Sony SmartWatch that he really likes using, but he is anxious to get this newer Galaxy Gear which has more options and will pair nicely with the other Samsung Galaxy devices.
Samsung Galaxy Camera
Cameras are another item that you really have to find what works for you but the Samsung Galaxy Camera is really one to consider. Several people on the #VZWBuzz team have this camera (and they have let me try it out too) and it really takes remarkable photos. On top of that, you can add it to your Verizon Share Everything plan for just $5 a month which allows you to upload your photos right from the camera – no wires, no other Wi-Fi connection, etc. needed.
BONUS – Samsung Link
One of the bonus features with having multiple Samsung devices is the use of Samsung Link which allows you to share and view your content across your devices wirelessly. We have a Samsung TV as well so if I want to see a video I have on my Galaxy S4 smartphone on a larger screen to share with others I just easily tell it to play on the large TV. The same can be done with the Samsung Galaxy tablets. Now I know there are other apps and things on different devices that you can do this with too (I can do it on my Windows devices), but if you do have a series of Samsung products the Samsung Link feature is seamless and simple to use.
Samsung LED HDTV
This is not part of the Galaxy line, but I just wanted to add in that we have had a Samsung LED HDTV Smart TV (model UN46ES8000) for a little over a year now. As mentioned above, the Samsung Link feature is amazing with it. Hubby and I still are amazed with this TV even after all this time. The picture quality is amazing, even when you watch old TV shows they look 1000 times better on this TV. On top of the picture it has a gazillion other functions including voice command, apps, games, and even interaction that can see you and control the TV and features). We are going to have to get a new TV for the bedroom soon (it’s not this brand) and I will definitely be buying a Samsung LED when we do. If you are looking at TVs this holiday season I highly recommend the Samsung line.
I have not included prices here because frankly they change often, especially this time of year, and there are various models to pick from on many of them. For many of the devices, especially the smartphones you can get a better price if you include a 2-year contract and on Verizon they have the Edge program which lets you get many phones for $0 up front – payments are added in to your monthly bill (a very cool deal). And while I personally use Verizon Wireless and recommend them based on my personal use (not because I work with them), you can get some of the Samsung mobile devices on other carriers.
So, again for the best Android devices I really love the Samsung Galaxy line of products and I threw in some of the other great Samsung products that we use. This is a brand that I really do like and would recommend to others without missing a beat.
Are you in the market for any of these types of products for yourself or a gift this season? Which of the items I talked about would be at the top of your personal wish list?[signoff]
© 2013, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.