The old Samsung SIII has a new lease of life. The previous charging problems it had seems to have been resolved by replacing the original USB micro-B cable with a borrowed Blackberry one. Also borrowed are an external battery charger and a couple of extra batteries for additional support.
As for the battery drain problem, turning off most of the automatic notifications -- which involves logging out of the apps themselves -- now keeps the thing running a whole day before needing an overnight recharge.
The reason why the SIII is back in action is because the wife's iPhone crashed after installing the latest iOS 7 update and is now in permanent Recovery Mode. In the meantime, I'm learning to love the new Note 3.