Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700

Sammy enters the Android marketplace

Watching video seems like a chance missed. The screen is OK, but not strikingly sharp, and there's no option to fit movie resolutions to the screen, with the result that most of those we tried appeared very cramped with heavy letterboxing top and bottom. It will however play MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, and DivX formats.

Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700

Augmented Reality's Layar adds to the eye candy

The Android music player has its usual elegant layout with songs searchable by name, artist, album or playlist and the ability to play MP3, AAC and WMA files. Sound through the supplied headphones, which feature noise-isolating grommets, was surprisingly good, with plenty of detail, presence and yes, even a decently full bass for once. Just as well really since there's no option to adjust the sound.

Call quality isn't the best we've tried, with a little harshness to the tone of voice, and it could have done with going a little bit louder too. Battery life held up pretty well, giving us the better part of two whole days of fairly intensive use. There's 180MB of memory on board and it comes with a 1GB microSD card but will accept anything up to 16GB.

Neither Samsung or T-Mobile have added much to make the Galaxy Portal stand out from the Android crowd, though a few apps have been preloaded to save you the bother of downloading them from the Android Market. As well as YouTube, Facebook and MySpace there's also a version of the Augmented Reality browser Layar, which uses the Portal's GPS to offer on-the-spot info about local services, including pics, reviews and contact details, including instant dialling and lays all the info over a real-time image on the screen.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Portal's name gives the impression of a gateway to the information superhighway, but it falls far short of this. As a basic, largely untreated Android, it's fully open to customisation, and comes in at a reasonable price, Yet that sticky processor and poor camera, in particular, hold it back from being amongst the good stuff. ®

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Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700

Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700

Midrange handset with bog standard Android is competent (just), but hardly distinctive.
Price: Contract: T-Mobile only, free with £20 a month package RRP