TvB recently managed to wangle a review version of the newest Samsung Galaxy phone, the cool S3 loaded with Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich)”. We’ll have a more extensive review of the S3 and its sweet Android OS next week. I was able to briefly get a hold of the Samsung smartphone from grabby hands, long enough to try one of the SIP softphones we use around here.
I’ve documented my experiences with several VoIP softies (sipdroid, cSipSimpl, and Media5-fone) with earlier versions of Android. And found them workable, but with occasional glitches. Keeping my expectations in check, I downloaded Media5-fone–the SIP softphone I like the most –from the Google Play marketplace to the S3.
I was nicely rewarded. This latest and greatest Android OS seems to have marked a turning point. Overall, I’m finding it to be much more reliable with less mysterious crashes and hiccups then previous incarnations.
In general, my SIP phones are my second line when I’m within WiFi range. I’ll use Media5 on my MacBook while taking notes and glancing at emails. With this appealing combination of Ice Cream, Galaxy S3, and SIP, I and the rest of the SIP community have another option.
To refresh fading memories on my setup: the OnSIP service acts as my PBX-in-the-cloud–it’s my SIP gateway. It took a few minutes to configure my onSIP credentials–user name, password, and gateway address– for this Samsung device, but I’m used to this exercise. With TvB’s landline number managed by OnSIP, outside calls are magically routed to the right device.
Back to my Samsung experiment. After a few calls with the Media5-fone, I can report back good call quality, and a positive OS-app experience. For those nit-pickers–I include myself in this group–who want to know whether it’s possible to do a handoff from WiFi to the 4G network, the answer is “no”. At least not within the Verizon network.
One other thing to keep in mind is that VoIP bit usage does count against your data cap. I can’t imagine that being a deal killer since VoIP, say with the default G.711 codec, is not much of a bandwidth bandit.
More next week on the Galaxy S3.