Samsung, the Korean based technology heavyweight, has come forward and joined the followers of the little green robot, with the Samsung Galaxy.
What we like
The best bit about this phone is that it looks like a Samsung phone should. From the trademark 'OK' button, to the surrounding navigation button and 4 soft keys, all underneath that familiar Samsung wording. The Galaxy has a familiar, welcoming feel.
The Android Marketplace keeps growing, and this is a definite advantage to a phone such as this. There are plenty of applications to choose from including a barcode scanner app that turns the Galaxy’s camera in a proper barcode scanner, with the ability to search the web for the product, and the best price.
Samsung has made turning GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and Auto sync on and off as easy as two taps. Tapping an icon on the front screen brings up a window holding a grid of icons. Tapping any of these instantly turns the feature on or off. This means a lot less time searching through menus trying to turn off those power sucking features. We think it's a feature that should be on all smart phones.
What we don’t like
Typing a text message in landscape mode on the Galaxy is a nightmare. If your fingers are anything thicker than a biro you may have difficulties typing. It can be difficult to get the letter you want, and awkward to press the delete key, often resulting in the typing of random letters or symbols.
The lock key on the Galaxy can be temperamental at times. During testing it took a few attempts to unlock the device, with the screen sometimes flashing on and off as it tries to work out whether to unlock or not.
The camera is very sensitive to light, so although it takes good quality pictures, any light source in the picture can cause the image to look washed out, or produce a noticeable amount of glare.
It's worth noting that some reviewers from other sites have reported issues with batter life but we found that it lasted for around a day with average use.
The Galaxy isn't too bad. Although there are a few niggles with the keyboard, lock key, and camera, most of these could be fixed with a simple software update, or the upcoming 1.6 (Donut) version of the Android software. There are a lot of features here in a reasonable size and form factor.