Over the past year or so, Samsung have really shown what they can do when it comes to engineering a touchscreen mobile phone. From the best-selling Tocco-Lite to the Omnia II, the Wave and even Vodafone’s 360 M1, they have consistently shown that no matter the OS or price-point, the phone always exceeds expectations. Now, they’ve unveiled their latest creation, the Samsung Galaxy S which is set to continue their success.
However, like their fellow Korean manufacturer LG, they have yet to fully embrace Google’s Android operating system and despite the admirable earlier Galaxy handsets, we’ve not seen a really exciting Samsung/Android smartphone. Until now that is, as the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S is exactly what we were hoping for!
The Galaxy S is very similar to their other superphone, the Wave, but instead of their own Bada OS, the very latest Android v2.1 system has been added. Here are some of the highlights from the i9000′s feature list:
- 4″ Super AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 480×800.
- Google Android v2.1
- 5 megapixel camera with autofocus.
- 3G with HSDPA and HSUPA.
- Bluetooth v3.0.
- Just 9.9mm thick and 118 grams.
There is no denying that the Samsung Galaxy S’s design has been influenced by the Apple iPhone, with its smooth, sleek exterior, curved edges and slim earpiece; but instead of a slippery rear cover, the Galaxy S has a panel which provides considerably more grip while still looking good. Under the screen are three buttons, with the touch sensitive Home and Back keys flanking a hardware Menu key that doubles as a shortcut to previously used applications.
If we were to strip the Samsung Galaxy S down, we would find Samsung’s Hummingbird CPU with an ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor at its core, boasting 256MB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage capacity too. This powerful combination gives the Galaxy S immense speed and fluidity, just take a look at the video demonstrating the gallery and a high quality video clip for proof.
Using the Samsung Galaxy S is slightly different from other Android phones, as Samsung have overlaid their own TouchWiz UI, providing several homescreens with plenty of icons and widgets to add, along with the very handy task switcher for activating or deactivating Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. One new addition to TouchWiz is the Daily Briefing, a widget that includes weather, stocks and news updates all in one place. All this is viewed on the bright and pin-sharp Super AMOLED screen, where even the wallpaper looks fantastic!
The Samsung Galaxy S excels when it comes to video playback thanks not only to the screen, but its DivX and XviD codec support out of the box. It happily plays video encoded at 720p and with a TV-out socket, you can enjoy them on the big screen too! Other media features include an FM RDS radio, a 3.5mm headphone socket and the usual MP3 music player.
The camera is perhaps the only area to pose a problem. On the one hand the autofocus 5 megapixel performance is more than adequate, plus you get face and smile detection built-in, touch-focus and it shoots 720p video. On the other hand though, there is no dedicated shutter release button and no flash unit; a very odd exclusion.
However, when that is really the only drawback and everything else about the phone is so impressive, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. The Samsung Galaxy S takes the Android fight straight to HTC and Sony Ericsson, and we have a feeling that once you’ve looked at that Super AMOLED screen and felt the speed of the Hummingbird processor, you’ll know it was worth the wait for a proper Samsung Android smartphone.