Physically, the Galaxy is a sleek, slim handset - it measures 116 x 56 x 12mm and weighs 117g. Just like the Jet, you get a large, oddly shaped navpad surrounded by call start and stop buttons, but also back, menu and a tiny sliver of a home key. Why they couldn't have incorporated this last function into the call stop button like virtually every other phone maker does, we don't know. On the sides are a volume rocker, camera shutter and screen lock buttons, with a micro USB slot covered by a plastic grommet and a 3.5mm headphone jack on top.
The old-style control array seems at odds with all the other, more minimalist Android phones
The unlock button proved to be something of a pain. The screen locks after 30 seconds by default, but to unlock it you have to press and hold the unlock button for anything up to four seconds, depending on what you had running when last you used it. It very soon becomes a frustrating nightmare.
The screen really should have been a cracker, and it very nearly is. It's an active-matrix OLED panel so it's exceptionally bright and clear - and should go easy on the battery too, but we'll come to that later. It's capacitive, so it's more sensitive and easier to use than older resistive screens are. It's not bad at all, but… it just doesn't seem quite as responsive as those we've used on HTC's devices, or the iPhone, or even the Motorola Dext. It's not quite as adept at distinguishing between a brush and a press as any of those devices, and there seemed to be more chance of irritating screen lag when switching between functions.
Call quality is generally very good with the Galaxy, and we liked the clear, practical layout of the on-screen keypad, with quick access to the call log, contacts and favourites. That said, there are no as-you-type predictive number suggestions like you get with Windows Mobile.
The 5Mp camera isn't a good as it should be
Messaging on the Galaxy is straightforward enough, with most accounts being set up with just an address and password. You'll want to use the virtual keyboard in landscape mode, though – it's very cramped in portrait, though enabling haptic feedback helps with accuracy.
Is this the first Android phone supporting WCDMA 850?
I've noticed that these reviews never include the supported WCDMA frequencies - OK all phones are now quad-band GSM - but if one is interested in using a phone on a particular network (Telstra NextG / WCDMA 850 in Australia in my case) it is useful to know which frequencies are supported.
In this case, a bit of looking around suggests that this one is WCDMA: 850/900/2100 (Tri-Band) - does this make it the first Android handset supporting 850 WCDMA?
Please add supported frequencies in reviews in future.
I've had one for a while now, and after being a lifelong Nokia user I'm loving it.
To answer a couple of questions, it's Android 1.5. Latest rumours suggest that Samsung will be skipping 1.6 and releasing 2.0 in Q1 2010 (I believe this is the same for the HTC Hero, although there are unofficial 1.6 firmwares available for that so I've heard).
The "sync notification" alert tone mentioned in the article can be turned off in the settings menu, the headphones one I don't know, I've not tried.
Yes the Samsung NPS software is crap and doesn't really work apart from to update the phone, but as someone has already pointed out, contacts and calendar etc. is synced with your google account anyway. So there's no need for the app's sync features. You can of course still access the SD card on your computer as a removable disk too.
Camera crap? Well, yes. But that's the same for all the current crop of Android phones, but I think it's OK, certainly in daylight.
Poor battery life? Not for me, I've had over 100 hours between charging and the phone was still at 30%. If you've got background data syncing, wifi, gps, loads of twittering facespace widgets updating every 10 minutes then yes, it's not going to last long.
One possible cause for the big battery drain is apparently if you're using the frankly terrible case that samsung provide with the phone. It keeps the camera button pressed down and prevents the phone from going to sleep.
Do I regret getting it? Not so far, so long as Samsung continue to provide updates to last my 18 month contract period I'll be happy. The HTC offerings do seem to have better support though.
With more and more manufacturers releasing Android phones I think things can only get better.