Joy lost her Samsung “Galaxy Relay” smart phone. She chose it initially because it has a tiny slide-out keyboard. But that proved awkward to use, so last night we faced the loss of the old phone and went out and bought a new Samsung Galaxy S3. Very nice.

CNET reviewers say this is the best tech product of 2012, even better than the iPhone 5. We thought so too and the impression was immediate. The Galaxy S3’s large screen is easier to type on than the tiny physical keyboard and the ultra-sharp display makes even a tiny movie worth watching. We were suitably impressed by the eight megapixel camera, which has sharper shots than we get from our regular camera.

All of our apps and contacts from the previous phone were immediately onboard as soon as Joy fired up the new phone and signed into her Google account. We also got 50 gigabytes of storage space free from (Normally you just get 2 gigabytes.)

This phone, unlike Joy’s earlier Samsung Relay, walks you through everything you need to know when you first turn it on. Uncheck the boxes that say “don’t show this again” till you’ve gotten the hang of it.

We’re on the no-contract $30 a month T-Mobile plan, which has unlimited web and texting, with 100 voice minutes. Because there’s no contract, the phone itself cost $550. (Ouch!) The average cell phone contract costs $70 a month and you often have to sign on for two years, so it turns into a big ticket item even when you get the phone at a discount..

Joy made a dangerous error with her old phone. She kept passwords online inGoogle Drive. This meant anyone who found the phone could access all her accounts. She quickly changed the passwords and deleted the files from the Drive, so we hope we’re OK. T-Mobile, our carrier, offered to immediately suspend the account for 30 days and wait to see if we found the old one. But we chose to close it out right there and transfer the account to the new phone.

By the way, when we told readers that the Consumer Cellular phone deal for seniors was a bad one, because you get so little time on the web with the cheap plans, a senior wrote to say he loves it. That’s because he doesn’t care about the web. What he likes is 500 text messages and 150 voice minutes for $18 a month.


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