Ebbing mojo affords opportunity for iPhone rivals

Samsung Galaxy S III is sold by the four major U.S. cellular carriers.
Samsung Galaxy S III is sold by the four major U.S. cellular carriers.
Pocket-friendly HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE available from Verizon Wireless
Pocket-friendly HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE available from Verizon Wireless

Rival smart phone makers are currently striving to make the most of the iPhone 4S's ebbing mojo. Sales of Apple's flagship handset are slipping, so Samsung, LG, HTC, and others are hoping customers weary of waiting for the iPhone 5 will start considering Android-powered alternatives.

The most potent threat is posed by the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is light, sleek, and optimized for peak performance on 4G LTE and HSPA+ networks. The phone is sold by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.

The Galaxy S III's large, 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLE touch screen display is protected by Gorilla Glass 2.0 to guard against cracks and scratches. The unit is a handful, but weighs only 4.7 ounces and is only 8.6 millimeters thin.

The GS3's 8-megapixel camera goes far beyond point-and-shoot. Burst Shot mode captures still pictures at three images per second with zero shutter lag; and Best Shot recommends the best picture to keep based on color, lighting, and clarity.

The camera also shoots 1080p HD quality video, enhanced by a backside-illuminated sensor that improves low light performance and has the ability to capture still photos while shooting video.

The Galaxy S III runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with Samsung's TouchWiz enhancements and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.5 GHz dual-core processor with 2GB of internal RAM.

Samsung claims the dual-core chip provides performance comparable to a quad-core CPU without excessively draining the handset's 2100 mAh battery.

The GS3 also features the AllShare Play content sharing service and S-Beam. The latter allows fast, easy transfer of large files, such as videos and documents, with a single touch of the Galaxy S III, without needing a Wi-Fi connection or cell signal. A 1GB movie file can be shared in three minutes and a 10MB music file can be transferred in seconds by simply touching another GALAXY S III phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S III comes in Marble White or Pebble Blue (AT&T also offers it in Garnet Red.) The 16GB model sells for under $200 with a two-year contract. A 32GB model is also available. For more information, consult an AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon Wireless retailer.

VZW smart phone's size pleasant change of pace

The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE available from Verizon Wireless proves once and for all that a first-class Android smart phone doesn't have to approach the width of a #2 envelop.

The newest Droid Incredible combines blazingly fast network performance with high-quality photo and audio capabilities, yet its overall dimensions are closer to the iPhone 4S than the current crop of Android smart phones with 4-inch+ displays.

The pocket-friendly device is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, combined with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), the HTC Sense 4.0 user interface, and Verizon's super-fast 4G LTE network.

Although ear buds aren't included, the unit features Beats Audio, known for reproducing music the way the artist intended, complete with thundering bass, soaring midrange, and crisp highs.

The unit's advanced 8-megapixel camera features quick activation from the home screen and Video Pic, which allows you to shoot HD video and capture photos at the same time.

The device is also NFC-capable so you can take advantage of Android Beam to quickly share Web pages, apps, contacts and YouTube videos with friends by simply tapping two compatible phones together.

The overall size of the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE (4.82" x 2.40" x 0.46"), however, is its #1 selling point, particularly if you have smaller hands.

Weighing-in at 4.66 ounces, the unit is available exclusively from Verizon Wireless for under $200 with a two-year contract. For more information, visit VerizonWireless.com.