When the new pocket computer was received, I checked out these features.
Initially I used the Samsung/Verizon image of Android 4.0.4
Ice Cream Sandwich.
Later I installed CyanogenMod-10 based on Android-4.1.2
This is beta level. The first
Stock, gives the
out of the box experience with
very little hacking; the next one is for CyanogenMod-10.
In summary, every one of the features that the pocket computer is supposed to have, performed with no hassle out of the box. (You need to install a player app to play streaming audio from outside sources.)
Details of some of the checkout tests and other miscellaneous items may be found on the Checkout Details page.
out of the box, or after a clean installation of CyanogenMod.
|Conf||It needed editing a configuration file or running a setup GUI.|
|Add-On||Needed additional or patched software: download it; follow instructions to compile and/or install it; it works.|
|Fiddle||As with |
Add-On, but it required some workarounds in the procedure, which might seem minor to an experienced user but which might prevent a newbie from making it work.
|Hack||So you call yourself a guru? This one will challenge your skills. But this guru eventually got it working.|
|Fail||I wasn't able to get this one to work, at least so far.|
|*||A prerequisite did not qualify for the |
Confrating, but once that was set up, the listed component worked with no further hassle.
|Check dimensions and mass||Box||Box|
|Mass (measured, with battery): 132 grams. Battery: 38 grams. Bounding box: 135 x 70 x 8 mm (9mm counting camera). Vendor quotes it as 136 x 70 x 9mm. Density (based on bounding box): 1.56 g/cc. It will sink like a stone. Wikipedia article refers to a video on CNET showing the phone surviving a water immersion test in a fishtank, but the phone does not have real waterproof sealing.|
|Does it charge OK?||Box||Box|
|How long to charge? 14% to 86% (72%) took 116 minutes (almost 2 hours); 86% to 97% (11%) took 32 minutes; estimated 0 to 100% time is about 3 hours, which is typical for a polymer LiIon battery. 80% to 100% typically takes 1 hour. This was using the 1 amp USB charger that comes with the phone.|
|Does it boot at all?||Box||Hack|
|Yes. On first booting the stock image you have to go through the usual setup procedure. The procedure to install CyanogenMod is of course rather more extensive and fraught with peril. But after careful research, I was able to get it right on the first try, so the pocket computer booted into CyanogenMod-10.|
|Ambient Light Sensor||Box||Box|
It works, and influences the display brightness if turned on. On the north edge to the east (right) of the speaker there are 3 holes, and the middle one is the light sensor. See here for ambient light sensor details. Dynamic range is 107000 lux (direct sunlight) to 1 lux (dark closet).
|Processor (details tested on CM-10)||Box||Box|
|Voice chat (Verizon, CDMA or LTE)||Box||Box|
|Verizon does not use a RUIM (CDMA equivalent of
SIM); they cue directly off the MEID. But 4G LTE uses a SIM.
|Cellular Data (Verizon, CDMA or LTE)||Box||Box|
|Wi-fi in Master Mode||N.T.||Setup|
The Wi-fi driver for the Galaxy S III can be put into master mode, allowing your pocket computer to act as a Wi-fi access point. In documentation this is referred to as Wi-fi Tethering. Check your cell plan's terms of service carefully to determine if you need to pay extra to do this.
You need to configure it: Settings - Wireless & Networks (More) - Tethering - Set up WiFi Hotspot. Tell it the SSID, access control type (open, WPA PSK, WPA2 PSK), and the pre-shared key (password). It does not broadcast its SSID so the client doesn't show it when scanning. Configure these parameters in the client, and it will be able to connect. Nowhere do you specify the channel or the IP range; for me it used 192.168.43.x (RFC 1918). Nor does it ask for the DNS server; presumably it's using the carrier's server, though I have my own recursive DNS server.
Hardwarewise, Bluetooth worked out of the box on both the stock image and CyanogenMod. Pairing worked the first time, following standard procedures for the devices. Partners tested: Motorola HT-820 headphones, ThinkOutside keyboard. Follow the link for details of what was tested and for how to pair with these devices.
|Audio digital signal processor (DSP)||N.T.||N.T.|
It's hard to prove that the principal audio codecs (Vorbis, MP3) are running on the DSP.
|Play streaming audio||Box||Box|
Outcome of various audio sources and formats (on CM-10); URLs of the nonlocal sources were attempted by the browser, except as noted. This is a function of the player software.
|The device can send HDMI via its USB port, to be converted by an adapter sold separately, that I didn't get.|
|It's hard to get calibration data for the
magnetometer, but all three axes do function. +X is east, +Y is north, +Z
is to the front, and the indicated side of the device has to be facing
terrestrial magnetic north for the axis to read a positive value. Remember
that magnetic north is underground in the northern hemisphere, quite a
lot even in Los Angeles (32 degrees north).
The magnetometer is at the southeast corner about 1cm from each edge. Iron objects, like a screwdriver or masonry reinforcement of course will affect the readings.
|On the Terran surface the reported magnitude of
acceleration is between 9.7 and 10.0 m/s2; correct value is 9.8.
When I turn the device 180 degrees, the magnitude typically shows a zero
offset of 0.02 m/s2; e.g. north up shows 9.87, south up shows
9.83, half the sum is 0.02 m/s2. This is pretty good
performance for a consumer-grade accelerometer.
The axis sensors are reasonably aligned with the chassis. As seen by the Phone Tester app, +Y is south, i.e. in portrait orientation with the speaker up, Y will be about plus 9.8 m/s2. +X is east (east edge down gives plus), and +Z is rear (display up gives plus).
|Proximity (face) sensor||Box||Box|
|When you're making a voice call and the phone is close to your face, the display and touch screen are deactivated. When you take it away, they return. This seems to work reasonably, and can be useful since you don't want your fat jowls to activate the dialpad. It's controlled by one of the optical sensors -- the left (west) of the three. In dim (4 lux) light a very faint red glow can be seen,, probably infrared leakage.|
|The indicator LED is in the northwest corner. Some of these need to be turned on in the settings. In CyanogenMod-10 you can adjust the color and brightness of the battery notifications.|
|Battery full (when charging; starts at 90%)||Off||Green|
|Battery very low (15% or below)||Red flash||Red flash|
|Boot and Shutdown||Blue pulse||Off|
|SMS or similar message waiting||Blue flash||Blue flash|
|Rear camera with flash (need to do a lot more testing)||Box||Box|
|Rear camera works?||Box||Box|
|Subjective image quality: Looks like blurred, from hand motion?|
|Auto focus: Works effectively.||Box||Box|
| Flash: Testing in a dark closet. Default is no flash; you need
to turn it |
on; auto-flash didn't flash in the dark closet. Once this was done, it turned on the lamp in flashlight mode, auto-focused, and then fired the flash. Picture came out good. Same behavior for CyanogenMod's camera app.
|Low light performance: Good enough for barcode scanning at 16 lux.|
|Front camera (needs more testing)||Box||Box|
|Tested with ipwebcam, which obtained and transmitted the image normally.|
|Front camera works?||Box||Box|
|Video capture or video chat: Testing with IP Webcam.||Box||Box|
|Subjective impressions are that the Galaxy S III is frugal with energy. At work with games or book reading during breaks and evening, I use 30% in a day. On a day of intense development (preparing this web page) I used 70%. See the battery detail section for more objective data, and here are some suggestions for power saving.|