Tag Archives: Samsung

Rumoured specs for Samsung Galaxy Q reeks of Froyo, QWERTY keypad

26 Jul

Less than a month after Samsung rode smartphone waves with the Galaxy S, rumours of a Galaxy Q are already stirring blogosphere waters. Samsung Hub has received specifications for the alleged Galaxy Q, which will be run Android 2.2 on Samsung’s 1 GHz Hummingbird processor. Interestingly, the 4.8-inch tall device has a paltry 3-inch display with an awkward 720×480 pixel resolution. This might suggest that the Galaxy Q might be the BlackBerry competitor from Samsung – a candy bar device with a QWERTY keypad below the display.

Other specs include an 8.0 MP with flash rear camera that can shoot videos in HD resolution, a 1.3 MP front-facing camera, 16 GB internal memory and a mini HDMI slot. We will keep our eyes peeled for more info on the Galaxy Q.

The Definitive Review: Samsung Galaxy S

26 Jul

Samsung Galaxy S reviewThe Galaxy S is Samsung’s most ambitious smartphone foray, ever. The Korean handset vendor, known for its affordable touchscreen phones, set out to make its presence felt in the elite list of smartphone vendors like Apple and HTC. Will the Galaxy S enable Samsung to win some respect in the high-end smartphone space? Let’s find out…

For those who have not read my first part of the review, let me do a recap. The Galaxy S is by far the most heavily specced Android smartphone available in India at the moment. With a 4-inch touchscreen, a 1 GHz processor and 16 GB of internal memory, it dwarves every other Android phone on paper. It runs on Android 2.1 and we have received confusing signals from Samsung whether it would be updated to Android 2.2 in India or not.

The Galaxy S looks intimidating in pictures but is surprisingly sleek and light for a phone with a 4-inch display. Tipping the scales at under 120 gram and less than a centimetre thick, it fits easily into trouser pockets without creating a noticeable bulge. Initially, it does not even feel like one is holding an actual phone and takes time getting used to it, it is that light. The front has one physical button, the home button if you may, and two touch sensitive buttons on either side of it – for menu and going back. The power button is on the top right edge while the volume keys on the left. The top edge houses the microUSB and the 3.5 mm audio ports.

Like most other smartphone vendors, Samsung has created a complete UI skin on top of the stock Android UI, which it calls TouchWiz 3.0. The UI seems heavily inspired by Apple’s iOS, complete with four icons on the bottom of the display and a page-flick application menu rather than Android’s stock scroll-down menu UI. You can even uninstall apps by ‘deleting’ them a la iOS, the only difference being that rather than pressing the display for long to get the option, you have to press the menu key and select edit.

This is not to say that Samsung has blindly copied iOS. One of our favourite features on the Galaxy S is the social network integration in the phonebook. You just need to sign in to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and everything gets synced automatically. Multiple entries for a single contact (usually happens when you source contacts from multiple sources) can be easily linked together to create a single entry. To sum the UI experience, we liked it and found it less irritating than those we encounter on Android phones from other brands.

The Galaxy S might be your regular Internet-centric Android smartphone but an area where it really shines is its camera. Its 5.0 MP camera delivers excellent results, especially with videos. It shoots them at 720p resolution and it is amongst the best video outputs that we have seen from a cellphone, ever. It might not have the editing capabilities of an iPhone but the output is high quality. Though the Galaxy S has a TV-out feature (you can connect it with a high definition TV and watch the video you shot on it), the company does not give a TV connector cable in the box. It needs to be bought separately and is not widely available.

Still photos are also above par, but the absence of a dedicated camera shutter button is a bit disappointing. Imagine this, to click a photo, first you have to touch a part of the display where you want the camera to focus. Once it focuses, you have to touch another part of the display to actually click. I got a blurry photo five out of ten times. Probably it is just me and my shaky hands but I don’t face the problem with the Motorola Milestone that has a dedicated camera button. Having said that, the photos that did not get ruined by my shaky hands turned out to be above par for a 5.0 MP camera.

Talking about its multimedia performance, the Galaxy S can even play videos in DivX format. Couple it with a bright 4-inch display and you have a high quality PMP on the move. I wonder why other Android phone makers don’t support DivX across their portfolio.

To cater to those who are looking at a more serious use for their smartphone, Samsung has pre-installed a complete MS Office suite in the form of Think Free Office. You can create new documents or edit existing ones. I’m not a big fan of creating lengthy documents on a phone without a physical keypad but it did come handy when I was on the move and had to quickly send across a document. In a nutshell, the Galaxy S comes across a well-rounded product – be it for social networking, multimedia, Internet browsing or just working.

That is not to say that the Galaxy S is perfect. Our unit failed to get a GPS lock even when we were out in the open under clear skies. It just would not get a lock. Some users have complained of this while others say they have never faced this problem. Another thing we noticed was apps downloaded from Android Market crashed more frequently on the Galaxy S as compared to the Milestone. Despite having a faster processor, the Galaxy S suffered from frequent UI lags. Probably it is the firmware at fault and Samsung would issue an update soon (our unit was running baseband version DDJF3). Plus our unit had a stuck pixel. Probably, it is just a case of getting hold of a bad unit than anything. (If you are a Galaxy S owner, do let us know if you face any of these problems.)

A single charge lasted us for about 22 hours with two hours of calls, one hour of Internet browsing, two Gmail accounts set to push, two Twitter accounts set to ping every hour, Wi-Fi turned on throughout and about a dozen of photographs. With similar usage, the Milestone lasted for about 18 hours.

To sum things up, the Galaxy S is an exceptional multimedia-centric Android phone. At about Rs 29,000, it is the best alternative that you can get for an iPhone. Other option could be the Motorola Milestone XT720 which has an 8.0 MP camera and can also record videos in 720p resolution, which should be available shortly for about Rs 30,000. Another option could be the HTC Desire, which is now expected to be launched in August.

Samsung Galaxy S review: Video Sample

15 Jul

Carrying on from the first part of our Samsung Galaxy S review, we thought it would be a good idea to share a sample of its video recording capabilities. We shot this short clip from a moving car in Delhi. It is certainly not the best scenario to shoot a video, it gives a decent idea about its performance. We will be uploading more videos shot from the Samsung Galaxy S when we come to reviewing its multimedia capabilities. So far, we are pretty impressed with what we see and it is without any doubt among the best Android smartphones for multimedia users (notwithstanding that it has a 5.0 MP camera while the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 has an 8.0 MP shooter).

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.

Samsung launches i899 Android smartphone on RCom's EVDO network

8 Jul

Last week, we had reported that RCom will get India’s first CDMA Android smartphone in the form of the Samsung i899. Today, the news just became official. RCom has launched the Android smartphone, which will run on its EVDO enabled network, giving users the ability to browse the web at high speeds that can go up to 3.1 Mbps (in theory).

Priced at Rs 19,900, the i899 seems to indicate a good buy, considering its specs – 3.2 inch AMOLED display, 3.2 MP camera, Wi-Fi, GPS and especially high speed Internet browsing. Plus, prepaid customers will get a month’s subscription of RCom’s Netconnect+ Internet service (up to 10 GB) while postpaid subscribers will get two months of service free (up to 15 GB). The only thing we are not sure of is which version of Android does it work on as we have a hunch that it might be working on Android 1.6.

Is this the Samsung Galaxy S2 i9200?

5 Jul

Is this what the next version of the Galaxy S would look like? If some Russian sites are to be believed then this could be the Samsung Galaxy S2 i9200. We suspect this picture to be a fake render but the specs definitely look tempting. They are talking about a 4.3 inch 1280×720 pixel display, a 2.0 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM/4 GB ROM, 32 GB internal memory and an 8.0 MP camera with full HD (1020p?) video recording! And if you could not figure out by the specs, this one would run on Android 3.0 aka Gingerbread.

We will classify this one as a big rumour than a leak for the time being while we dig for more information.

via Unwired View

RCom to launch Samsung Galaxy i899 Android smartphone

29 Jun

RCom will introduce the first CDMA Android phone in India in the coming weeks. RCom’s website is displaying the Samsung Galaxy i899 in its list of handsets with an option to book units. Current details do not indicate which version of Android it will run on, but we have a hunch that it is going to be Android 2.1 and not the latest Android 2.2.

Listed specifications include a 3.2 inch HVGA display (320×480 pixels), a 3.2 MP camera with a single LED flash and auto-focus, 230 MB of internal memory, Wi-Fi, a 1440 mAh battery, DivX video support and a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 32 GB in capacity.

Barring a few BlackBerry and a couple of WinMo devices, CDMA in India has typically been driven by low-cost basic phones with minimal multimedia or enterprise capabilities. The Galaxy i899 would make for a good addition to the smartphone-starved CDMA users in the country. It would help open the floodgates for other handset vendors (LG and HTC in particular) to launch CDMA variants of their own Android smartphones. Meanwhile, we also expect new handset vendors in India to launch dual-SIM Android smartphones that support both GSM and CDMA networks.

Coming back to the Galaxy i899, we expect it to be available at under Rs 20,000. Just a note, this is our estimate and not something that we have heard from RCom or Samsung.

Homegrown brands eat into Nokia's market share in India

24 Jun

Looks like the golden era of our desi mobile handset brands has just begun. According to the Voice&Data100 Indian Telecom Survey, the Indian handset vendors have grabbed a 14 per cent share of the Indian mobile handset market this year (2009-2010) which was just 4 per cent during the last financial year (2008-2009). Nokia which calls itself an Indian brand (pun intended) now seems to face a real challenge by these domestic vendors as the Finnish giant has suffered almost 12 per cent drop in market share during this period (from 62 per cent to 52.2 per cent).

Micromax captured a 4.1 per cent market share in handset revenue, Spice Mobiles occupied a 3.9 per cent share, Karbonn had a 3 per cent share, Lava’s share stood at 1.1 per cent and Lemon and Max had 1 per cent and 0.9 per cent share respectively.

Although Nokia still has the maximum market share of 52 per cent in the Indian handset market, the revenues of the giant have sunk terribly this year. Even by expanding its product portfolio by launching 22 new devices and making the handsets available across 2,00,000 retail outlets, the giant couldn’t save its dipping revenues which suffered badly by dropping to Rs 14,100 crore this year from Rs 16,567 crore last year, according to the report.

While Nokia lost 12 per cent market share this year, Samsung gained a cumulative 7 percentage points of market share, making it the second largest handset vendor after Nokia with a market share of 17.4 per cent. LG somehow managed to occupy 5.9 per cent share but the situation of Sony Ercisson has gotten worse. With a very less variety of low-end and mid-end phones, the vendor now has a minority share in the Indian handset market.

Source: CIOL

First Impressions: Samsung Galaxy S (Froyo update)

16 Jun

We are here at the Samsung press conference for the launch of the Galaxy S and Wave smartphones in India. While we wait for the conference to start, here are our first impressions of the Galaxy S, Samsung’s flagship Android smartphone (for the moment, at least).

It is light, super light. With a 4.0 inch display and loaded to boot with features the Galaxy S weighs just 118 grams, making it one of the lightest smartphones in town.

Then there is the Super AMOLED display, which in our opinion is the best display tech on a cellphone (till we get the iPhone 4, that is). Images on the screen are crisp and though we could not try it, we have been told that the display will be legible under direct sunlight too, unlike the older generation AMOLED displays that went blank under the sun.

Powered by a 1 GHz processor, the Galaxy S works at a brisk clip and there were no noticeable lag. Surprisingly, the Wave, which also runs on a 1 GHz processor had a slight lag when hopping from one menu to another.

To wrap things up, we are impressed by the Galaxy S and at Rs 31,000 (MRP), we think that Samsung might finally have something to topple HTC in the Android smartphone segment. Which, in our opinion, is saying a lot about the device. We are hoping to score a trial unit of the Galaxy S very soon, so watch out for a complete review.

UPDATE: The Galaxy S won’t be able to update to Android 2.2 and above. It will remain on Android 2.1.

UPDATE 2: Samsung will update the Galaxy S to 2.2 from their manufacturing facility. No word on the timing but those new devices will run on Android 2.2. They are still working on how to upgrade current units that are running on Android 2.1.

Samsung Galaxy S Pro with slide-out QWERTY keyboard leaked!

14 Jun

Barely hours before Samsung launches some new phones at CommunicAsia, the first picture of what seems to be the ‘pro’ version of the Galaxy S has been leaked. By pro, we mean a QWERTY keyboard equipped version. The markings indicate that it will be launched on Sprint’s EVDO network in the US, we are certain that Sammy will simultaneously launch a GSM 3G version, which in all probability will be announced in a few hours.

The tension is palpable with all the announcements slated in the next couple of days (including the India launch of the Galaxy S on June 16) and you know where to come for the latest information.

via Android Community