By Daniel Webster | July 6, 2010 5:19 AM
Imagine a phone with excellent call quality, the speed to multitask tons of applications, a capacitive Super AMOLED screen with life-like color, and is less than a centimeter thick. The Android powered Samsung Galaxy S (GT-i9000) has all these features and more. This is the first smart phone ever to have a 4 inch Super AMOLED display with its own dedicated graphics hardware to give a truly visually intense experience.
Here is the unboxing video for the Samsung Galaxy S. Inside the box includes the usual documentation and quick start guide. The package has a pair of stereo speakerphone headphones, a microUSB adapter to connect to the computer, a European microUSB wall charger and of course the phone itself. There is no case, microSD card, TV-out cable, or screen protector included.
Let’s talk specs. The Samsung Galaxy S has the fastest processor available on any Android device to date. At 1 gigahertz the processor speed may seem similar to other phones sporting a Snapdragon but the Intrinsity-Hummingbird (S5PC110) is capable of processing 3 times more triangles per second than these other chipsets. There are two versions available one at 8GB and the other at 16GB of internal memory, both have 512MB of RAM. The screen is absolutely superb, the 4 inch WVGA Super AMOLED capacitive screen boasts 24bit/pixel colors. The phone has a microUSB port for syncing, sharing internet, and charging. There is a 3.5mm audio jack that also support video out with an adapter that is not included. The dimensions of the Galaxy S are 64.2×122.4×9.9mm and weighs a light 119g. The quad-band GSM supports 850, 900, 1800, 1900 bands. The tri-band UMTS supports 900, 1900, and 2100 bands, which means this phone will opperate on At&t’s 3G 1900 band. Other features include microSD which supports up to 32GB cards, microSDHC, TransFlash, Blue tooth 3.0, WLAN b/g/n, GPS, A-GPS, Geotagging, FM radio, 6 axis accelerometer, 5MP camera with auto-focus, macro, timer and 720p HD video recording, 1500mAh removable lithium-ion battery.
Although the Galaxy S also has a front-facing VGA camera, current US carriers do not support the video call feature. Also on the top front is the light meter, and proximity sensor. Unfortunately there is no LED notification light.
The Galaxy S has 2 capacitive buttons on the front that light up when the light sensor detects a low light situation, as well as a push button that brings the device back home or out of standby. The only other buttons are the power button and the volume rocker. There is no reset button under the battery cover.
By using your fingernail to snap off the back battery cover reveals some of the innards of the phone. The microSD card slot does not require the battery to be removed to access it. The speakerphone/media speaker is clear and crisp. There is also something that is not too familiar on most phones these days, an axillary antenna port.
The battery cover is made of plastic but has a unique design and incorporates Samsung’s blue Touch-Of-Color.
The Android 2.1 Galaxy S has some of the best software that Samsung has ever released on a smart phone. Some new software are the Aldiko eBook reader which rivals many electronic paper eBook readers like the Kindle or Sony Reader. Allshare is an application that utilizes ReadyDLNA which allows nearly any media file to be played via a server or computer with shared folders on the network. Daily Briefing gives a quick look at what is going on in the users life and around the world with the integration of AccuWeather, tasks saved to the calendar, and AP news.
The Samsung Galaxy S is one of the first devices to have Layar standard. The program shows detailed information while out and about, just pan the phone around a street or business and get detailed information about the point-of-interest.
Other great applications include a personal diary, a file explorer, a video player capable of decoding Divx files, and a Microsoft Office documents compatible program. The phone also has the essential programs for any Android smart phone such as voice dialing, voice search, voice recorder and navigation. Under the settings there is even an option to change the font.
Here is a closer look at the 5MP camera and a sample photo of an elephant taken inside with halogen lighting. There is no LED or Xenon flash on this phone, so taking photos in low light situations is virtually impossible.
The camera on the Galaxy S is not at a complete loss of power though, the video quality is very clear at the 720p HD setting. Sharing videos, pictures, and other media is simple through the ReadyDLNA software built into the device, or connect the TV cable (sold separately) into the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Overall the Samsung Galaxy S is the fastest phone available at this time, hands down. The processor, RAM, video drivers and graphics hardware make transitioning from application to application a breeze. Video playback for a 480p film is as clear and fluid as it would be to watch it on a large HD monitor, with better color and contrast. The screen sensitivity requires the lightest touch to select items, better than the Nexus One and the iPhone 4.
Call quality is clear and uninterrupted. The earphone speaker has excellent clarity and volume. Even in a crowd the other party is easy to understand. The earphone speaker is similar to using a corded phone over a very good connection. Speakerphone quality is adequate, even though there is no noise cancellation, it is loud without sounding like the speaker is struggling not to blow.
Even though the Samsung Galaxy S is such a powerful device the battery life is surprisingly long lasting. Without using the device or having open applications the battery seems to last a few days without the need to be recharged. In contrary to that though is if many applications and tasks are being run simultaneously the battery drains very quickly, within a few hours.
While in a call the 1500mAh battery lasts for hours without the need to recharge, and even longer with the included headphones.
PURCHASING AND AVAILABILITY
The Samsung Galaxy S may be purchased from various online retailers. Clove sells the unlocked Android phone for around $600 USD. There are many variants of this device coming to US carriers at a subsidized price over the next few months.
+ Clear Super AMOLED Screen
+ Very Fast Intrinsity-Hummingbird Processor
+ Dual Cameras
+ TV Out
+ Access To microSD Card
+ MicroUSB Cover
+ ReadyDLNA Server Support
+ Dedicated Graphics Hardware With Divx decoding
+ Sensitive Capacitive Touch
+ Call Quality
- Body Made Entirely Out Of Plastic
- Only Supports The 1900 UMTS US Band
- Battery Life While Using Many Applications
- No Android 2.2 Yet Announced
- No Flash For The Camera
- Lack Of A Notification LED
- No D-Pad, Trackball, Or Optical Trackball
As of the publish date of this review this is the fastest Android phone available. The screen is absolutely amazing and photos nor video is capable of displaying how vibrant the colors and contrast are. The included software makes this Samsung device stand above the reputation that Samsung’s proprietary user interfaces are generic and cheap. If Samsung continues to make devices with this caliber of hardware and software engineering people may have a new respect for the electronic giant’s innovations in cellular technology.
I would give this phone a 4.5/5.