About Joe Halbert

My name is Joe Halbert and this is my blog website. In the links at the top of the page you can find more information about me. Thank your for visiting!

Otterbox Commuter Series for Samsung Galaxy SIII

If you read the best rugged cases for the SIII then you already know about otterboxe’s defender series. However for some people the bulkiness of them defender may be a turn off, luckily otterbox offers a solution for that as well! Say hello to the Otterbox Commuter Series.

 

The Commuter Series is a slim and tough protective case made of a durable silicone mid-layer and a one-piece, custom-molded polycarbonate shell. Its smooth finish allows it so slide easily in and out of pockets. This case provides added protection against scratches, bumps, and shock. Compatible With Samsung Galaxy S3 (all carriers)

 

This is a great case for those who want to use their own screen protector with the SIII, and still get the protection that Otterbox offers. The case is cheaper than the defender series as well starting at $20.39 and comes in a slick looking glacier white which looks great against the white SIII.

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How to Unroot the Samsung Galaxy SIII

If you read my guide on rooting the S3 then you might want to know how to unroot your device if you need to have it repaired under warranty, or if your get tired of the custom ROM you are using. Luckily Galaxys3root.com has the answer! They list specific examples and have video instructions on removing the root access, and they even give you the instructions to reset the binary so that there is no way to trace your rooting activity!

If you followed my instructions before your going to be in for a little shock because to unroot you do use ODIN. It is relatively simple to use and the videos on Galaxys3root makes it super simple as long as you pick the correct version of SIII that you have. The only additional step is to relock your bootloader if you have a Verizon version of the S3 through the same EZ-Lock app that is in the rooting app (just click lock in the app). From there you can reset the binary if you so choose, and then boot the s3 into recovery mode with your computer (detailed instructions in the video). then a quick factory reset and your as good a new! Keep in mind you will want to backup your device with an app like Titanium backup so you dont lose your files. You may also want to backup your clockwork mod (or other) boot recovery before hand if you haven’t already just in case you run into problems.

The whole unroot process took me about a half an hour including watching the video and downloading the files. It was very easy and it all executed very smoothly, this is definitely a great tool to keep in mind if you have a warrantied S3.

How To Root The Samsung Galaxy SIII

Some people really want to have Jelly Bean on their Galaxy SIII already. However until carries and Samsung release a finished version flashing a ROM is your only chance to try out the new version of Android. If you want to try to put a new ROM on your device and you understand the dangers of rooting ( and possibly bricking) your device then the guys at the XDA forum have a good method that does not involve ODIN to Root the Galaxy S3. I myself tried this with my Verizon SIII and I found the process to be easy and simple. Heres the link to the XDA forum. I really recommend reading the post because of the dangers that could happen if you root your device, and I in no way take responsibility if you decide to root your own device. The instructions are pretty straight forward, you first need the drivers for the SIII to be installed, then after the you plug-in your phone in USB debugging mode you double-click the .bat file and BOOM!. you phone is now rooted!

Instructions:

  1. Install the USB drivers if you don’t have them already: Verizon_Wireless_I535_GSIII_Samsung_USB_Driver_v1_ 4_6_0.exe
  2. Download the package and extract it somewhere (you’ll need 7-Zip or some other modern compression tool) Make sure you extract all the files to a folder somewhere! Running it straight from your compression program probably won’t work.
  3. On your phone, enable installation of third-party apps (Settings –> Security –> Unknown sources, near the bottom in the “Device administration” section)
  4. On your phone, enable USB debugging (Settings –> Developer options –> USB debugging)
  5. On your PC, make sure you don’t have any other Android devices connected, any Android emulators running, or any Android tools like PdaNet running.
  6. Plug your phone into a USB port on your computer. For best results, use a port directly on the machine, and not a USB hub.
  7. Double-click RootDebugfs.bat and follow the directions on the screen. Your phone will reboot 3 or 4 times during the process; just leave it plugged in. To be safe, don’t switch to any other applications while the root process is running.

 

Because my phone was through Verizon I had to remove the bootlock on the phone as well, luckily there’s an app for that! EZ-Unlock can unlock or lock your bootlocker with one touch.

It doesn’t get much easier than this people, open the app, press unlock, and you’re done!

 

I downloaded ROM manager by clockwork mod to flash my phones backup. I love clockwork mods services and Ill post about them later on. This step is really important, if your screw up your phone while putting on a ROM without a backup then you’re in a world of hurt. The way I rooted my phone (through the method above) didn’t include me backing up my device, so I had to find this out myself, there are other ways with ODIN, but personally I love ROM manager.

Once unlocked it was really easy to find a ROM. The instructions below from galaxys3root.com use a lot of ROM manager techniques so it’s really important to have that installed and backing up your device. Right now the best ROM I have used is CM10 M1 this is a Cyanogen stable ROM for Jelly Bean. I find it to be very fast and it offers great performance. The guys at galaxys3root even have the download file with the Google apps apk (GAPPS), and installation instructions for all carriers. You can check out their site here. There is even a video with step by step instructions and troubleshooting help if you run into problems along the way!

However I did unroot my device last week because I needed to have it repaired after I dropped it. I am going to post the instructions and links for that later on, but for now good luck with your rooting!

BEST SCREEN PROTECTORS FOR THE S3

If you haven’t read the previous post about best rugged cases for the S3 then you should definitely look to see if you even need a screen protector as some cases have them built in. Here we will take a look at the best screen protectors to keep the S3’s screen free of scratches and dings. The S3 has a very strong Gorilla Glass 2 screen, but even this can be scratched with keys in a pocket or from a drop. Even worse is is you put your phone face down (don’t do that) on a surface. A screen protector might be one of the greatest inventions for electronics as it allows the screen to be seen clearly and usable all while keeping the screen in its factory condition. So lets take a look at the screen guards we can use to protect our device.

1) BUILT IN SCREEN GUARDS

Some cases such as otter-box offer a built in screen guard that will protect the screen from damages. These are generally a harder plastic cover that easily comes off for cleaning. These screens are not fixed in place so it removes the necessity to apply it carefully. However a down side to this is that dirt can sometimes come under the case and then you must disassemble your case in order to remove the dirt. Furthermore these kinds of protectors are thicker than ones that are adhered to the screen so they might interfere with the touch sensitivity of the S3.

LIKES

EASY TO PUT ON AND TAKE OFF

COMES WITH THE CASE SO NO ADDED EXPENSE

IF APPLIED IN A CLEAN AREA THEN THERE SHOULDN’T BE ANY DIRT

DISLIKES

SOMETIMES INTERFERES WITH TOUCH SCREEN SENSITIVITY

CAN GET DIRTY AFTER INSTALLATION IF DIRT GETS BEHIND SCREEN

COSTLY IF YOUR COMPARE IT TO STAND ALONE SCREEN GUARDS

2) PURE GEAR Roll On

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cskl9Utt040

The worst part about screen guards is putting them on. You either miss a slight edge of the phone or you get that one annoying hair under your screen. With the pure gear roll on screen guard both or these problems are eliminated. This screen guard comes in a kit that allows the phone to be put into a holster and then slides the screen guard on the phone perfectly the first time. I liked this guard it was very smooth and didn’t interfere with the touch screen sensitivity. A little pricey at $25 plus shipping, but for how nice it is its worth the price. This is definitely the best screen protector if you hate dust on your screen as much as I do. The kit comes with a self healing ( a small scratch or nick will work its way out) screen guard, a roller and the holder for the application process.

LIKES
Application
Touch sensitivity
No dust installation

DISLIKES
Price

Amazon Link

3) Invisible Shield Extreme

Invisible shield is the forefront of screen guards. I used to love invisible shield until I got tired of the “orange peel” texture it left on the screen. Now invisible shield covers devices front to back and comes in both dry and wet application styles with various finishes to remove the orange peel that once plagued invisible shield. The new extreme version of is definitely the best of the best. First of all it feels like your touching the actual screen without a protector on at all, second it offers outstanding screen protection, and third the wet application is easy to follow and you shouldn’t get any dust when installing. However this is costly. The original screen guard is about $15 whereas the extreme is $30. If you want to cover the rest of the phone for some reason then your looking at even more. The basic screen guard I still don’t like, and I haven’t tried their “HD” guard but I can’t imagine it’s more HD than the extreme.

LIKES
Application

Protection

Feels like glass

DISLIKES

cost

Chance for dirt during install

You have to apply carefully because the shield doesn’t like to move after touching the phone.

Amazon Link

4) Magic Screen by Media Devil

Media devil screens may not have wet application but these guards definitely have some huge bonuses. First the protector is relatively cheap and the kit comes with two protectors. Unlike other peel and stick guards this one is removable and then can be reached. Furthermore the instruction make it really hard to get dirt on the phone and if dirt does somehow manage to get in then using a piece of tape on Media devil will pull  dirt off. That means the screen guard is reappliable until it fits right and is dust free!. By far for the price and for those who do not like wet applications this is the screen guard for you!

LIKES

PRICE (About $15 shipped)

RE APPLICABLE
GREAT INSTRUCTIONS

GOOD TEXTURE

DISLIKES

NOT SELF HEALING

Amazon Link

Top 5 Rugged Cases for Galaxy S3

Everyone wants to protect their new S3. Unfortunately the back plastic case cover is easily damaged in a fall ( I know from experience), and gorilla glass 2 may be strong I still don’t want to risk it cracking from a hand slip up. Therefore the only logical solution is a solid case capable of taking the damage instead of the phone.

I have tried a few cases and although they may not be a physically aesthetic as going without a case, or for that matter using a prettier case, it still gets the job done. I compiled a list of my favorite cases. Before I hear about it I did not look at the Kracken case by trident because XDA had a discussion about how it muffles the sound of the microphone. Although lately it seems like no one uses their phones to actually make calls, I still do. So without further to do lets take a look at the best cases I found.

1) BEST OVERALL CASE – OTTER-BOX DEFENDER

defender for galaxy s3

The Defender Series is rugged, essential smartphone protection. This case is made of a clear protective membrane, high-impact polycarbonate shell and durable silicone. It provides added protection against scratches, dust, drops, bumps, and shock.The Defender Series comes with a ratcheting belt holster that can also double as a viewing stand.

This case comes with a screen protector and a few color choices and can be found with a little internet search for about 30 dollars. Not the cheapest case, but for the price It gets the job done. I think the case feels pretty good in hand, and I don’t notice much lag with the touch screen. However I do not like the silicone, I HATE SILICONE. I’ve had otter-boxes that the silicone goes flimsy on and falls off. It hasn’t happened on this one yet, but I feel like otterboxes for iphones have less flimsy silicone. I’d still say this case will hold up to a drop and it definitely will keep your phone looking brand new.

  • Impact absorbing silicone
  • Hi-impact polycarbonate
  • Port and button covers
  • Built in screen protector

LIKES:

screen protector (putting on yourself kinda sucks)

belt holster

solid construction

DISLIKES

SILICONE

PRICE

A LITTLE TOO BULKY

Video review by someone for the defender for S3

Otterbox for S3 on Amazon

2) BEST BUDGET CASE PHONEADVENTURES RUGGED

 

This armor case and holster combo offers heavy duty protection for your phone. The case provides 3 layers of protection. The 1st layer is silicone rubber gel that wraps around the device giving it the the shock absorption of a rubber case. The 2nd layer is made out of a strong durable plastic that has a built-in kickstand. Not only do we include a free screen protector but the case also comes with a rotating belt clip holster. The interior of the holster is lined with a micro fiber material to protect the screen of the phone when placed face in. This case is the ideal choice for those that need extra protection from drops and other potential accidents. Protect your phone in style with our rugged armor case and holster combo.

For about 7 dollars shipped you can get a pretty decent case. The RUGGED case doesnt have a screen protector like the Otter-Box, but It does have the two layer silicon (Bleh) and hard case. Furthermore for those who want a holster this case has one. I think the case fits pretty well, and the kickstand although cheap, will still work for those who want to use it. I have noticed a problem with charging the device because the silicone doesn’t allow for a larger usb cord.

  • Made from durable high quality materials, provides maximum protection for your phone.
  • Precisely cut openings to allow full access to all access to controls, buttons and screen.
  • Provides protection and prevents scratches, chips and dirt from building up.
  • Case fits Samsung Galaxy S III only.
  • Accessory only, phone not included.

LIKES

COST 

HOLSTER

KICKSTAND

DISLIKES

KICKSTAND (CHEAP)

LACK OF SCREEN GUARD

SILICONE

Amazon Link

3) The Case For Those Who Hate Otterbox – Case Mate Phantom

image

Express your toughest style with the Phantom Samsung Galaxy S3 case. The Phantom case sports a sleek design fit for any lifestyle. The two-piece Samsung Galaxy S3 case impresses with its clean, aesthetic lines and fresh, on-trend colors for good looks and convenient function. A snap-on frame supports the front and sides of the Samsung Galaxy S3, protecting the screen while the case lays facedown. The multi-layer outer piece is constructed from our revolutionary DuoFlex and PolyCore materials. The DuoFlex soft finish creates a natural cushion and an easy-to-hold grip, while also covering each of the Samsung Galaxy S3 ports. The solid PolyCore material covers the interior for snug, hard shell protection.

For those of you who want a really rugged case case mate has a strong market. The Phantom like otterboxes offers dual layer protection and a screen guard. The building quality is amazing and this case is really the best you can get. However pricing is crazy at 50 dollars for just the case this one puts a wallop in your pocket and a holster is an additional 20. However if you want the best this is it, but keep in mind at 70 dollars for everything it might be cheaper to buy a screen digitizer and a back case If damage was to happen.

  • Military-grade protection: Mil Spec Passed (Mil-STD-810F)
  • Two-piece, tough case formed from DuoFlex and PolyCore materials
  • Built-in screen protection
  • Form fit feature covers back and corners
  • Access to all ports and functions

Amazon Link

LIKES

COVERAGE
BUILD QUALITY

DISLIKES
PRICE

4) The Option For Those Who Don’t Want A Built In Screen Protector – Body Glove

The Body Glove Drop Suit rugged case is designed to provide protection where and when you need it. Drop Suit is made of a durable gel material that resists the battles of everyday life. The case has reinforced corners with a unique shock dissipation system to absorb impact and defend against bumps and drops. The strategically placed side bumpers provide a secure grip and added drop protection. If protecting your device from the rigors of life wasn’t good enough, Drop Suit even provides protection from the elements you can’t see. The case includes an embedded anti-microbial agent that prevents the growth of odor, stain-causing bacteria, and other microorganisms. The Body Glove Drop Suit Rugged offers the ultimate protection for your Samsung Galaxy S III Smartphone.

For a case that offers basic drop protection the Body Glove Anti Microbial case is awesome. Unlike the other cases this case is a single layer TPU with extra protection on the corners for added drop protection. This case doesn’t offer a screen protector, but some people prefer to put their own on (reviews of screen protectors coming soon). However this case is good and doesn’t have all the bulkiness associated with two layer cases. At twenty dollars this case is very affordable.

  • Durable gel material defends against bumps and scratches
  • Uniquely designed corners that contain a shock dissipation system to absorb impact
  • Side bumpers provide a secure grip and are reinforced for drop protection
  • Embedded anti-microbial agent that prevents the growth of odor, stain-causing bacteria, and other microorganisms
  • Compatible with Samsung Galaxy S III Smartphone devices

LIKES

SLIM DESIGN
STRONG FOR A SINGLE LAYER CASE
PRICE

ANTI MICROBIAL

DISLIKES

NOT AS PROTECTIVE AS OTHER CASES

Amazon Link

5) THE CASE THAT IS DIFFERENT FROM THE REST PURE GEAR PX360

 

At 50 dollars this case is almost as much as a case mate without the option of a holster. However don’t let that fool you the PX360 has a few tricks up its sleeve. First of all it is a hard rugged plastic with a soft liner on the inside for shock protection, second of all it has a very useful clip holder. The holder can be used with a carabiner to hold the case to a belt, but it can also be used with the optional wrench tool it comes with that works as a kickstand ( and a bottle opener and a ruler). This case has to be screwed on which may intimidate some users, but unlike other screw on cases the wrench tool has multiple uses and easily attaches to a key ring. However this case does not come with a screen protector, although Pure Gear makes one of the best screen guards on the market which will work with the case.

 

  • PX 360 Degree Secure Protection with screw-on case provides high impact resistance
  • Drop Prevention added carbineer hole prevents loss or drop
  • Rugged Design sporty yet sophisticated look works throughout the day
  • Engineered Materials tested to handle standard drop test
  • 360 Degree Protection added screen shield to protect against dings and scratches

 

LIKES

PROTECTION

TOOL ACCESSORY

WATER PROOF BAGGY ACCESSORY (FREE)

DESIGN ( WEIRD BUT COOL YOU WILL GET NOTICED WITH THIS CASE)

DISLIKES

DESIGN (THEY MAY BE WEIRD LOOKS)

SCREWED ON CASE

NO SCREEN GUARD 

Overall all of these cases are solid choices for those who want to protect their S3. I am a case fanatic and I may switch cases, but all of these are good enough for me to use for the long run. The decision comes down to personal preference, and how much you want to spend.

Amazon Link