Samsung Galaxy i7500
Stellar Android performance?
The Android web browser is decent, but it would be better if the volume rocker could be used as a zoom control. Instead, you'll have to jiggle the page around a little to make the on-screen controls appear: zoom in or out, the 1x button which snaps you back to your original resolution, and the magnifying pane, which allows you to skim over a page of tiny text until you find the bit you want to focus on. You can also search for key words, copy and paste text, and there's the option to send pages direct from the browser to Facebook or Twitter or via email.
The web browser is decent
Downloaded videos look great on the sharp and clear OLED screen but there's nothing in the way of control or viewing options besides play/pause, forward and back. It will play MP4, H.263, H.264 and WMV video files, and MP3, e-AAC+, WMA, Ogg Vorbis and Real Audio music files. In addition to the chunky 8GB of built-in storage, you can also add a further 32GB by Micro SD card.
The music player features some nice graphics but its menu system is a bit confusing and awkward to find your way around. There's no way a music player's menu system should have you scratching your head in 2009. And next to the screen lock, the second most irritating thing about the Samsung Galaxy is that it plays a little jingle when you insert or remove the headphones - or sync it to your PC for that matter - which soon had us demanding the blood of whichever Samsung marketing exec was responsible. Grrr.
To add to the gripes, the 1500mAh battery proved to be one of the worst we've yet experienced on a smartphone. These devices tend to be juice-hungry little buggers at best, but the Galaxy had us reaching for the charger after less than a day of admittedly fairly heavy, but not constant use. This despite its supposedly power-light OLED screen. Not really good enough, Samsung.
Samsung's first Android phone is something of a disappointment. It's not outrageously bad, but there just seem to be too many missed opportunities and decision fumbles for it to really win us over. While other manufacturers are using Android's flexibility to give their devices a unique stamp, Samsung appears to have simply rushed out a me-too handset without taking the time to put much effort into it.
We'll be interested to see the next Android device that comes off the Samsung production line, but this one doesn't really deliver the goods just yet. ®
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