Samsung Galaxy 5: The Definitive Review
The Android marketplace has grown exponentially during the last year, and this onslaught has been much attributed to the barrage of gadgets from hardware carriers worldwide. Samsung has secured itself as one of the essential gamers within the Android tool marketplace, fighting head-on with cell phone giants HTC and Motorola. With a slew of outstanding premium cell merchandise beneath its belt that encompasses the high-give up Samsung Galaxy S smartphone and the 7-inch pill Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Korean electronics monolith crashes the low-stop Android birthday party with a brand new entry-degree touchscreen smartphone – the Samsung Galaxy 5. This little Galaxy 5 runs Android OS v2.1 (Eclair). Shame that it isn’t always the lot-expected Froyo yet but definitely a step up from v1.6 (Donut) being presented by way of some out there within the market. This pits it head-on with the Motorola Citrus, Sony XPERIA X8/X10, LG GT540 Optimus, and HTC Tattoo. For a sub-USD200 (SRP: RM699) device, it packs quite a buffet of capabilities. This begs the query – is there the sort of component as “cheap and cheerful”?
At first glance, the Galaxy 5 seems strikingly much like Samsung’s very own Corby, besides the extra four hardware shortcut buttons at the bottom. It’s tiny sufficient to match inside the palm of your hand and at a scant 102g, very mild, too. The outdoors is smooth, plastic, and ordinary. The telephone does feel reasonably-priced. Having said that, it’s pretty great and at ease to keep and deliver round. A three.5mm audio jack is incorporated at the top as standard, and the aspect left incorporates hardware quantity buttons and a mini USB port. At the again is a 2MP digicam lens sans flash.
The display screen is a 2.Eight” QVGA TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen show providing 240 x 320 resolution. Possibly the smallest display on an Android smartphone, just like the Sony XPERIA X10 mini. For Android fans, you may be disillusioned as there is no aid for multitouch. However, it does come with Samsung’s Live wallpapers out of the container. Boo. The screen’s quality isn’t lots to shout approximately, although it is decently sharp and brilliant enough, and for the price, a step up from resistive touchscreens on a few competing products.
Having a small screen on a touch tool can be traumatic, mainly to typing on the touchscreen keyboard. In portrait mode, the keyboard feels genuinely cramped. Typing the QWERTY in portrait may be errors-weighted down (perhaps due to my fat palms). This can be remedied in panorama mode, thankfully, where the keys are higher spaced out. Users can choose to use Swype for text entry, which is quite progressive, or the 3×4 keyboard. I find the touchscreen responsive if errors-ridden with unintentional touches. This isn’t always the fault of the phone, according to se, greater so because of a few UI quirks of the Android OS.
Whether it’s constructing motors or electronics, the Koreans surely realize how to play the value game. The Galaxy 5 is no exception and is, in reality, packed with features. Everything you want in a cell phone is quite a great deal served at the plate. A zippy 600MHz processor powers the tool. You get excessive velocity 2.5G (850/900/1800/1900 Mhz) & 3G get entry to HSDPA (as much as 7.2Mbps), Wi-Fi 802. Eleven b/g and Bluetooth v2.1, accelerometer, 2MP fixed cognizance digicam which supports video recording, FM radio, 170MB inner reminiscence with 2GB microSD (up to 16GB supported) and A-GPS.
The telephone comes bundled with Samsung’s very very own TouchWiz interface and Swype (Samsung’s ultrafast textual content input characteristic), no longer forgetting Samsung’s Social Hub utility first visible on its larger brother, the Galaxy S. It’s also armed with an HTML5 browser, an augmented reality app from Layar, aid for MPEG4, H.263, and H.264 video codecs, and Samsung’s AllShare platform which allows for clean sharing of media across a complete range of DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance)-certified Samsung devices like notebooks and TVs. You can even use the Galaxy 5 as a far-flung on your Samsung TV or pc. Nifty.
Before I even got the telephone, I sponsored my contacts/calendars from my preceding phone and Mac, then synced to Google. I mounted the loose doubleTwist computing device app to handle all media syncing on my Mac. DoubleTwist may be very just like iTunes and even connects to the Android Market. Pay a $1.Ninety-nine top class, and you additionally get wireless syncing through something referred to as AirSync. You’ll be able to download free and paid apps no longer only, however also podcasts (restricted, however nevertheless) and purchase music from AmazonMP3. Syncing is relatively problem-free with doubleTwist, and it even recognizes iTunes playlists. One of the first things I did when I was given the phone changed into setting up a number of my preferred apps – Twitter, Tweetdeck, Facebook, Opera Mini, WhatsApp, Foursquare Angry Birds thru the bundled Android Market app. I also installed Advanced Task Killer to manually lose up reminiscence, as I anticipated the 170MB base reminiscence’s inadequacies. Downloading and installation are seamless and hassle-loose.
Having used it as my number one phone for the past 4 days, I’ve discovered the cell phone usually first-rate and intuitive to apply, if a little slow. The 600Mhz processor copes pretty properly in general. It’s no sprint queen for certain, and can on occasion, choke and lag when switching and running multiple apps. Typing does have a substantial lag, and scrolling through a long touch list may take some time. There were times where the display screen is pitch black for 15-20 seconds while the processor tries to deal with a load of switching in among apps. Without a dedicated GPU, it additionally struggles with a few games such as Angry Birds.
One primary rant might have to be battery life. While scouring Android forums, I study users getting three days of battery life. Very ambitious, bold claims. No such success with mine. With 3G on and the entirety else pretty a great deal off, the Galaxy’s appropriate for 6-7 hours tops earlier than I want to plugin. I constantly have a cable with me simply in case. I’m no longer certain if this is restrained to my review unit. However, I’m far from impressed. Turning off 3G and running best on EDGE gave me slightly more mileage. I’ve stored jogging apps to a minimum and even tweaked display screen brightness, history records (syncing), and notifications. Tasks encompass minimal voice calls, tweeting, SMS-ing, and messaging through WhatsApp and coffee take a look at on Facebook. A penalty for multitasking? Something to consider.
Apps-wise, everything you want to get commenced is already pre-installed – Messaging, Calendar, Write and Go (text editor), Maps, Browser, Clock, Email, Music, Gmail, YouTube, Talk (IM), Calculator, Camera, and Market. Setting up domain electronic mail and Gmail money owed became pretty painless. Being a very ‘social’ telephone, contacts lists are unified with your Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and something you’ve legal it to sync to. I do respect the unified-sync-to-the-cloud-kind-factor and the capability to expose/not display contacts based on your desire.
The 2MP camera isn’t always something to shout approximately. No autofocus, no flash. Teleports me again to vintage characteristic telephone days. It’s a respectable camera, even though, don’t count on award-prevailing pics. Forget approximately shooting in low light situations, as with maximum if now not all cameras with similar spec, prone to main noise and distortion.