Review: Samsung Galaxy S (Part One)

12 Jul

With Android being the flavour of the season and every handset brand trying to outdo the others by launching high-profile smartphones, it is becoming difficult to keep a track of which phone deserves to be crowned “the best of the best.” In March, I gave that title to the Motorola Milestone, which offered the best combination of form, function and features at a great price. And three months down the line, it seems the Milestone is likely to be dethroned by the new phone in town – the Samsung Galaxy S.



Samsung Galaxy S Android Smartphone The Galaxy S i9000 starts to overwhelm right from the word go. First impressions are formed while checking out its specifications that scream out a 4.0 inch display, a 1 GHz processor, a 5.0 MP camera that can shoot videos in 720p HD and all this in a frame less than 10 mm thin and weighing just 118 gram! Yup, this one is ready for the runway. While the front is dominated by the display and a couple of soft-touch keys and a ‘home button’; the back is made of glossy plastic that houses the 5.0 MP camera and a tiny speaker.



Customized Widgets in Samsung Galaxy SWith specifications out of the way, let’s take a look at the extent of customisation that Samsung has done on the stock Android UI. While I tend to prefer the stock Android UI like the one found on the Milestone, I understand that there are lot of people out there who’d prefer having something more fancy and attractive. Samsung has done a fair bit of skinning on top of Android though not as much as HTC’s Sense UI, which I believe is a good thing. On the bottom of the display are four non-configurable shortcuts – phone, contacts, messaging and applications – making it easy to access the phone functions from any screen. The applications shortcut basically opens the ‘drawer menu’ in the stock Android UI. Rather than having applications open in one never-ending vertical scroll UI, Samsung has customised it to open in horizontal pages with each screen housing a maximum of 16 icons. However, users cannot change the order in which these icons would appear (it turns out the the location of icons can be customised by pressing the menu button and selecting edit while in the applications menu). Samsung has also added some cool widgets like the ‘Accuweather Clock’ widget shown in this pic and a ‘Buddies Now’ widgets where you can add your buddies and see their latest Facebook status messages, comment on their status and call or text message them directly from the home screen.



The Galaxy S runs on Android 2.1 aka Eclair and though this version of Android automatically links your phonebook contact’s Google and Facebook (among other social networks) identities, Samsung adds more customisation to it. Not only can you choose which Facebook friends you would like to see on your phone but you can also see their recent updates and media uploads from a variety of places. Apart from the phonebook, you can also see the latest updates of all your friends from the phone menu or only selected friends through the ‘Buddy Now’ widget. In short, one does not really require a standalone Facebook app on the Galaxy S.



This is the end of the first part of our Samsung Galaxy S review. In the next part of the review, we will cover our user experience of the device and its multimedia capabilities. If you have any queries regarding the Galaxy S, do let us know in comments below and we will try to answer them in the next part of the review.

No Responses to “Review: Samsung Galaxy S (Part One)”

  1. Kalpik Nigam July 12, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Hey!

    Just wanted to point out two things.

    1. You *can* change the apps in the homescreen shortcuts.. Open applications -> Menu -> Edit. Then just drag any app from the menu to the shortcut bar.

    2. The icons can be moved and arranged: Again, open Applications -> Menu -> Edit -> Keep an icon pressed, and you can move it around.. Even to different pages πŸ™‚

    • Rajat Agrawal July 12, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

      Just found that out and have updated the post. Thanks! πŸ™‚

      • Kalpik Nigam July 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

        Great! But I was talking about this part too: “On the bottom of the display are four non-configurable shortcuts – phone, contacts, messaging and applications – making it easy to access the phone functions from any screen.”

        They are configurable πŸ˜›

  2. Honey Singh July 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Hey Rajat,

    A small edit, we can change the order of default applications.

    1. Just tap your finger on the application icon and slide it to home screen.
    2. For changing the order of applications, Go to Applications> Left Button of phone > Edit,
    Now you can drag the icons to wherever you want. πŸ™‚

  3. Anup July 13, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    Hi Rajat,

    Please do test the GPS as some users around the world are seeing issues; also please test out any navigation app that works in major Indian cities.

    Thanx

  4. Thakur July 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    How much will be the selling price?

    • Rajat Agrawal July 14, 2010 at 12:24 am #

      The Galaxy S is available for about Rs 30,000 (approx) in India.

    • Kalpik Nigam July 14, 2010 at 7:42 am #

      Selling price (at shops) ranged from 27k to 29k..

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