docomo NEXT series Samsung Galaxy S3 SC-06D

Sorry for the delay, but I’m not an avid blogger…
Nevertheless, I have now passed on the docomo Galaxy Nexus SC-04D that is no longer available at docomo. When asked they said it was a phone for devs to play with! Actually in my direct experience it was the best phone they ever had, including the current top-of-the-line SGS3, especially because it had a minimum of the docomo interface/service crap installed and the phone was close to having the unadulterated Google Android ICS interface! Oh, and I loved the SGN’s curved screen that eliminated all reflections and was perhaps designed to fit in a hip pocket, or any other pocket for that matter, as the human body has no straight parts at all. Where’s the newer phone with such a wonderful curved screen?

This post though deals with the newer Samsung Galaxy S3 SC-06D with which I have replaced the SGN. The reason for the replacement was that an employee needs to join docomo, docomo doesn’t have a good calling discount plan for Xi and I always want to try the newest device. Well, apart from Xi (a.k.a. LTE) and an SD card slot it looks like I got the raw end of that deal!

First impression is unfortunately that docomo has messed up a perfectly good phone with all their unnecessary crap! They have given it two possible “Home” selections, the Samsung Touchwiz and docomo’s own Palette UI. The former prevents other apps scrolling the background image as ICS allows in favour of its own method and the latter adds so much crap that it makes accessing the simplest functions a scroll job and generally makes the phone difficult to navigate. It’s unbelievable! So, as it turns out, the smaller evil is Samsung’s Touchwiz. Docomo president Ryuji Yamada seems to write the docomo UI mess in stone when he says he prefers Android devices over iPhone due to the open nature of the platform!

That said, I wish there was a way to get to the ICS UI without too much trouble and keep the docomo radio software. Any suggestions as to how to easily circumvent docomo and get back to ICS/JB user interface basics on the SGS3?

As a phone and internet browser the SGS3 is quick and doesn’t have hangups due to its 2GB of RAM, but Xi (LTE) is very patchy and outside the metropolis is hardly worth the electronics. It’s a bit like the early days of Foma; when it worked it was fantastic, but that didn’t often happen for some years. The same applies to the 1segTV function. At least Xi falls back to the next best wireless coverage mode and doesn’t cut out like Foma did. The SGS3 has tethering capability that works well – as now also does the SGN after an update! One point to note and to answer the unasked question: the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a different SIM card to the Galaxy S3 so interchanging SIMs is not an option, apart from the fact that the docomo Nexus has no LTE and so a different docomo plan.

Finally, all that I can say from my experience is that it’s a great pity phone service companies don’t give users the choice of reverting to the originally designed interface as the OS designer, in this case Google/Android, do their thing best and they really seem to have a lot more depth of expertise in user interface design & layout and knowing what is right and easy and what does not help in using a phone. It is, after all, one of the things that helps set iOS apart, other than the hardware design.
When will mobile phone operators realise this would give the consumer the openness even docomo talks about and let the better UI win?

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