Call Quality and Service Plans
Default call quality is good. Volume is on the high end of average, with no distortion from loud inputs. The speakerphone isn't quite loud enough to use outdoors, but it's fine for the car or a boardroom. The microphone does a good job of cancelling background noise. Bluetooth headsets work fine with Samsung's S-Voice voice dialing system.
Apps and Performance
The Galaxy S III runs a heavily Samsung-customized version of Google Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" on a fast 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 processor. The U.S. Cellular model's benchmark scores were on par with the rest of the Galaxy S III models, which is to say very good.
The 16GB Galaxy S III we tested had 12GB of available memory plus support for microSD cards up to 64GB, which fit under the plastic back panel. There's also a 32GB model for $249.99 with contract, but given the phone's microSD support, I don't see the point of buying the more-expensive model. It plays all the usual music and video formats, including MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, Xvid, and WMV at resolutions up to 1080p.
The Galaxy S III is the smartphone U.S. Cellular subscribers have been waiting for. The S III is the most powerful Android phone in the nation today, and it now runs on the most-beloved network.