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Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700

Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700

Sammy enters the Android marketplace

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For email you're prompted to activate or set up a Google Mail account, but it's not essential, and it's easy to set up most accounts with just an address and password. The onscreen keyboard is cramped in portrait mode but flipping the phone on its side switches to landscape, which offers considerably more thumb room.

Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700

Unresponsive at times, perhaps Touchwiz wasn't so bad after all?

The letters flag up when you press them, iPhone-style, and there's a little bit of haptic feedback to further help you identify the keys. What doesn't help is that there's no automatic memory for email addresses, so you'll need to input the full address each time unless you save it to your contacts.

Browsing is standard Android, with a brush on the screen bringing up zoom in and out buttons, plus a search window, which you can drag around a web page to highlight the bit you want. Pressing the hard menu button gives you the option to save bookmarks, open a new window, select text and word search, as well as quick link to share pages.

The camera has very few frills – no a flash or lens cover – but there is autofocus and geotagging. There's very little in the way of options too, with no white balance or light sensitivity adjustments and no extras like macro or landscape modes. It's pretty tardy in action too. Start up from pressing the shutter button on the side takes just a shade under five seconds, and taking a picture requires another four seconds. All told, it’s far from ideal for quick snaps.

Though it's basic, picture quality actually isn't bad within its limits, with fairly accurate colour balance, though edges aren't very sharp – you'll need to be careful to get the lighting right and hold still. Switching to video, which takes about five seconds, drops the quality further and it's very prone to noise in anything but perfect lighting conditions.

Sample Shots

Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700

Click for a full-resolution image

Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700

Click for a full-resolution image

Once you've taken your pics there are options to resize, rotate, crop and send them on, as well as arrange them in a slideshow. Strangely, while there are options to send your pics via email or MMS, as well as posting them to your Facebook or Picasa accounts, it won't allow you to transfer them using Bluetooth, even though Bluetooth is available.

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