Samsung Galaxy 5: The Definitive Review

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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). It’s a shame that it isn’t always the lot-expected Froyo yet, but it’s 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”?

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At first glance, the Galaxy 5 seems strikingly 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. It’s pretty great and easy to keep and deliver around. A three.5mm audio jack is incorporated at the top as standard, and the aspect left contains hardware quantity buttons and a mini USB port. At the back is a 2MP digital lens sans flash.

The display screen is a 2. Eight” QVGA TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen shows 240 x 320 resolution. Possibly the smallest display on an Android smartphone, just like the Sony XPERIA X10 mini. You may be disillusioned with Android fans as there is no multitouch aid. However, it does come with Samsung’s Live wallpapers out of the container. Boo. The screen’s quality isn’t a lot to shout about, although it is decently sharp and brilliant enough, and for the price, it is a step up from resistive touchscreens on a few competing products.

Having a small screen on a touch tool can be traumatic, mainly when typing on a 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). Thankfully, this can be remedied in panorama mode where the keys are higher-spaced out. Users can choose Swype for text entry, which is quite progressive, or the 3×4 keyboard. I find the touchscreen responsive if errors are hidden 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.

Features

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 much 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.

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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.

Performance

Before getting the telephone, I sponsored my contacts/calendars from my previous phone and Mac, then synced them to Google. I mounted the loose doubleTwist computing device app to handle all media syncing on my Mac. DoubleTwist may be to iTunes and even connects to the Android Market. Pay a $1.Ninety-nine top class, and you also get wireless syncing through AirSync. You’ll be able to download free and paid apps no longer only, but 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 was to set up several of my preferred apps – Twitter, Tweetdeck, Facebook, Opera Mini, WhatsApp, and Foursquare Angry Birds through 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 four days, I’ve discovered the cell phone is 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 occasionally 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 when the display screen was pitch black for 15-20 seconds while the processor tried to deal with a load of switching among apps. It struggles with a few games, such as Angry Birds, without a dedicated GPU.

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. Could you take a look at it 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, and Gmail, and something you’ve legally it to sync to. I respect the unified-sync-to-the-cloud-kind factor and the capability to expose/not display contacts based on your desire.

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The 2MP camera isn’t always something to shout about. No autofocus, no flash. It teleports me again to vintage-characteristic telephone days. Although I don’t count on award-prevailing pics, it’s a respectable camera. Forget about shooting in low light situations, as with maximum, if not all, cameras with similar specs are prone to main noise and distortion.