11-14-2012 05:18 PM
28 12
  1. paintdrinkingpete's Avatar
    There are really two questions being asked here. "How long will the S3 be considered a "hot" phone?", and then you have the "how long will the S3 be considered decent and not be some old and slow POS compared to newer devices?". Obviously the Note 2 takes a bit of steam out of the S3, but the Note 2 also costs quite a bit more on contract, so the S3 will continue to do well. The S4 will make the S3 the "old model", but 2GB of RAM will keep the S3 going strong overall and keep it useful, even when it is no longer a cutting edge phone.

    Most people can handle not having the absolute best device, but they don't want a phone that will be obsolete and a piece of junk within a year of buying it. The S3 SHOULD be fine through the end of 2013 at LEAST. I don't see phones NEEDING 3GB of RAM until 2014 at the very earliest. Once we get Jelly Bean(4.1), the big question then becomes if we get Key Lime Pie or not, and that has not been mentioned by ANYONE. I expect that even if Samsung doesn't do it, the community WILL make it work on the S3, so be prepared for THAT. At the least, we should have THAT way to go.
    My last phone, the HTC Thunderbolt, I bought in March of 2011. At the time, it was the first VZW 4G LTE phone, and the specs were above and beyond anything else out there. In late August of this year, I picked up the S3, and while my Thunderbolt was still "usable", the S3 obviously blows it out of the water. 18 months. By next next spring when that phone turns 2, it will be completely left in the dust by ANYTHING out there.

    It's hard to judge what resources a phone will NEED based on CURRENT technology, which is evolving at an incredibly rapid pace. For sake of argument, let's define "needing" as minimal recommended requirements to run the latest Android operating system, and "relevant" as a phone that meets those criteria. I'd say as early as next summer and definitely next fall we'll already be seeing phones with 3GB+ RAM -- which will probably be the standard for running whatever the next iteration of Android is, whether it be KLP or something else. I don't disagree that the S3 should still be able to handle at least 1 more Android version upgrade, but after that history is not on it's side. There's also other hardware variables to consider, most importantly the processing power.

    Bottom line? In my opinion, 12 months is about what you should expect for a phone to remain "relevant", i.e. able to be upgraded to whatever the current Android version is (though there's never a guarantee your device will get an official upgrade), and then probably a 6 month usability window past that... 18 months.

    The S3 came out for Verizon in July, so... it should be a capable device through 2013. After that, and it will be pretty much obsolete -- not that you wouldn't be able to use it, but it will be lagging behind current technology. Keep in mind that by my own criteria, most people do use phones well after they've become obsolete...that's just the nature of the 2 year contracts we're forced into...

    (And for what it's worth, I do actually believe the S3 is a powerhouse that will actually defy the normal limits of becoming obsolete...but it will happen)

    If you were to buy an S3 now, you'd probably be content with it through until your next upgrade -- and let's face it, you can play the "Should I wait for xxx device rumored to come out soon" game for the rest of your life, but there are certain specific times of the year when new phones get released (i.e. Black Friday), so if you're coming up on an upgrade, waiting for a few weeks may not be a bad idea.

    So...if you're thinking about getting a new phone *right now* and not 100% sold on the S3, *and* if you're a bleeding edge tech guy like I am... you're probably thinking that as we are already in November it may be best to wait to see what new devices the Christmas shopping season has in store. At the very least, the price of S3 is probably gonna drop a bit once the new phones like the HTC DNA force it off the top of the pedestal.
    11-14-2012 09:37 AM
  2. Targon's Avatar
    paintdrinkingpete, I have to disagree with you about the memory REQUIREMENT going up by that amount. We may see flagship phones with 3GB of RAM, but I doubt it will be NEEDED, except for those who refuse to close apps they have not been using for several hours. On my S3, I have caught my memory usage at over 1GB ONCE, and that really was because I had apps that were open for DAYS that I had only checked out once.

    I was really trying to isolate the real question the OP was asking. Will I WANT a much better phone next year? Of course I will, but I don't think I will feel a true NEED for a new phone until at least the beginning of 2014, and even then, will that be because the features are so much better, or will it be because a new version of Android came out that even an unofficial firmware version won't allow us to install on the S3?

    When devices are too slow for our needs(and for a phone, games are not a NEED for many people), that is when people feel they need to upgrade, or when new OS versions come out that won't run on existing devices. People like myself who are refugees from webOS have NOT left due to the OS, but because HP abandoned the platform, and made sure that even with a new OS version, it won't make its way onto existing devices PLUS no new devices being released. A Palm Pre Plus overclocked to 1GHz was actually fast enough for my phone needs, but knowing there would be zero OS updates and zero new devices released just made be leave the platform. I upgrade when features I want/need are not available on my existing phone or when my existing phone really is too slow due to increased demands placed on them.

    For others, the Galaxy Note 2 would be the phone to beat IMO.
    11-14-2012 05:07 PM
  3. s14tat's Avatar
    For what its worth, my original Galaxy S was able to run ICS pretty decently and people are running JB on it with even better results. So that phone started life on 2.1, than 2.2, 2.3, 4.0, and finally 4.1. These are all on a rooted device though. Samsungs always packs the best hardware, and is super easy to root so if your willing to run a custom rom you will be good for a 2 full years. I am willing to bet that our device stays relevant longer than the newest batch of moto phones since they all run on the same S4 chip but we have 2 gigs of ram vs 1 gig.
    11-14-2012 05:18 PM
28 12

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