Product Type: Samsung mobile phones
Newest Review: ... is very good, though the phone does not feel very expensive due to the amount of plastics used. The screen is made of Gorilla Glass w... more
My Little Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S
Member Name: ChemicalRomance
Samsung Galaxy S
Advantages: A good little phone for the not so technically obsessed
Disadvantages: Camera is poor, and if you update the phone it doesn't want to work properly!
~*~ Specifications ~*~
8/16Gb memory (upto 32Gb with memory card)
4.0inch Super AMOLED screen
Samsung Android 2.1
Bluetooth, USB, Wifi and GPS
HD Video and MPEG4
803 2G talk time minutes, and 393 minutes of 3G talk time
Music Player with 3.5mm earphone jack
That is a few of the specifications but I will go into the phone in a bit more detail during the course of the review - else I'd be here all day listing pointless specifications that don't mean a lot to anybody!
~*~ Do I Like My Phone? ~*~
On first looks this phone isn't bad looking really with the silver outside casing, and the rest in black it's not terrible looking. It's certainly nothing to write home about in aesthetics, but it is better looking than some of the phones out there - only problem being, when you take the screen protector off - it becomes a magnet for fingerprints, which drives me mad, so I tried to put another screen protector on - and well it didn't work so I've had to put up with the fingerprints constantly! The one thing I'll give this phone is the durability, I've dropped it so many times on train platforms, car parks and in my bedroom on a wooden floor and there are only two or three minor scratches - it can be bounced a lot and it doesn't react too badly. Then again the dropping might have affected it internally I just can't see that! So overall it's an ok looking phone, it's a tiny bit on the large side but once you get used to it, you'll not notice it - I don't hate the way it looks - initially I thought it was huge but I got used to it, as it's no bigger than an iPhone so it's about general size for a smartphone nowadays. On the phone you have one main button and that will basically take you back to your home page any time you press it, your touch screen button to the left of the menu button, is the one that brings up all your options, and the one to the right is essentially a back button; there is a volume button on the left hand side of the phone and the on/off button is on the right.
The Screens and Backgrounds
The one thing I enjoy about this phone actually is that you get to mess around with your apps on seven different home pages... So you can literally have a page of a separate set of apps like one for social media, one for e-mail - you get my drift. Oh picking a wallpaper, you're best to take a picture of something you want as a wallpaper or use the ones on the phone because taking a picture off the internet to do it is a bit of a pain, because you have to set it as a long picture which goes along all seven home screens, so you only wind up with a section of the picture on the first screen, (which looks a bit naff) or a tall picture that is on every page; which I would recommend personally purely because it looks a bit better. Picking the screen saver varies with whichever security feature you chose, it's only with the normal swipe to unlock screen that you can pick a different picture to your wall paper. On your 'menu' you are stuck with a black background unfortunately, can't change that and I've downloaded all sorts of apps to try and change it. On the top of your screen on the normal page when you unlock your phone you have a pull down bar at the top where the time and alarms sit, it will show you and downloads pending, messages you have, and enables you to change your Wifi, Bluetooth, and GPS status without having to go into any settings. Also by the button used to lock and turn the phone on and off you can select to turn on or off the sound and internet, by an on screen menu.
This phone has an amazing feature on it, that means it detects when your face is close to your phone in a call and locks the screen - meaning no more putting people on hold accidentally when your phone touches your earring as my old phone used to. So only when you take the phone away from your face can you punch in numbers if you are on one of those annoying systems that require it, or to put yourself on speakerphone. You can change the level of volume in call with the button on the side of the phone, which you can also use to turn your ringer up and down. Only problem being that it's not loud enough on speakerphone even at the top of the volume range for if you are in the car, hands-free on speakerphone you have to turn your stereo off to be able to hear the person on the other end of the phone. So if you have a car without phone Bluetooth connectivity you might struggle a little bit but, just pull over and make the phone call, it will probably be a bit more effective in the end. Be careful though with any case you might put on this phone because they are prone to covering your microphone, and you'll wonder what's wrong with your phone when everyone is telling you they can't hear you!
When I first got this phone I couldn't have been happier, because it put all my text messages into conversations and considering my last phone (Sony Ericsson Satio) had just put them into a folder and left me to it - it was a big change, and a good one, because they come up your message in blue and the messages received in bright green speech bubbles. I fiddled with the settings, made myself some delivery reports from my message settings, and changed the message functions so that it would allow me to save as many messages as I wanted in one conversation without it deleting anything I wanted to keep. Word of warning though with the keeping as many messages as you want - keep a check of them yourself otherwise you will wind up doing what I did and end up with over three thousand messages and have to spend the time deleting the ones you don't want; and it will also make your phone ridiculously slow! Sending messages is simple really type in and send - however picking how you want to type them in is a nightmare, because there is about four different input types to this phone. You can text alphanumerically, as you would on a normal phone that has keys on it, in a QWERTY keyboard in portrait and landscape, and with Swype - which I will come back to. Typing on a QWERTY keyboard in landscape has a huge downfall - you can't see the message you're replying to because it's tilted so it fits the whole keyboard on the screen; which bugs me because I like to be able to see my message - just in case I miss something, and well people think you're avoiding something when you don't answer a question! So Swype, it's an interesting concept, that takes away the need to actually press individual letters on the QWERTY keyboards to make a word. You start out with your finger on the starting letter of the word you desire and then run it over the other letters in the word, without taking your finger off the screen - with a bit of luck the phone will pick up your word, or it will at least give you the options of what it thinks you want anyway. It is a far easier way of sending messages if I'm honest, but it takes a little bit of getting used to; it's better than trying to type with individual letters on the QWERTY keyboard on this phone because there is so much squashed into the space it's near enough impossible if you have larger than childlike hands to make a word without hitting the wrong letters somewhere, especially if you are trying to type quickly! Picture messages are as they are on any phone; no one needs me to explain that one - one thing I've never struggled with is getting picture messages through; even into a full inbox or getting full - think that might be more thanks to T-Mobile than anything else though.
First thing I'm going to say about the camera is the fact that one it's only 5MP and well it's not enough really - but then last time I was spoilt with a 12MP camera in my old phone. Still I say it's not enough, if you want to compete with the other phones out there you need something a bit bigger, even the new iPhone is an 8MP camera. Second problem is there is no flash, which is ok if you are taking photos during the day, but the moment you want to take a photo in dim light it's just not going to happen you can't see a thing without having a light directly pointed on the object you want to photograph. So this phone is rubbish if you're an opportunist photographer without a camera, which winds me up so I now have to carry my camera everywhere with me too just in case. During the daylight hours it is an acceptable camera, but it doesn't have many features considering it's meant to be on a smartphone - you get a normal, negative, black and white, and sepia effect, and that's it. Which is rubbish, it's a good job you can play with it when you get it onto a computer to make it a bit better - there are a few options you can pick to make your photos of better quality at night but they genuinely make little to no difference and to get a decent picture you still need a proper camera. You can however turn the camera round so you can use the front camera for self-portrait - but that drops the picture quality down to 0.3MP which is appalling really - it's one of my biggest bugbears about this phone actually - just how bad the camera is. You go get a timer on it, so if you are taking shots of yourself with no one else in the area you can have up to twenty seconds to take your photos in 5MP quality, but even then the picture is really grainy - it's just poor quality and you'd be better with a proper camera instead of relying on your phone. Especially as the anti-shake doesn't really work, and when you try and focus on something, unless you take the photo a split second after it loses focus straight away and your picture is blurry and what you were wanting to focus on you can't see. The picture sizes are quite high considering how poor quality the photos are, at about 1.5Mb per photo which from a 12MP camera I'm getting only 2Mb per photo, so your phone will fill up quite quickly with rubbish pictures.
Internet and Apps
So this phone runs on the Android system, so when you're looking for apps you need to go to the Android marketplace on your phone, designated by a green shopping bag. However before you can start downloading anything you need a Google account, which before this phone I didn't have one - so I've wound up with another e-mail address that has to be used with my phone. Once you've registered all your details with Google, you are then able to go ahead and download whatever random stuff you want on your phone; for most that being Facebook, twitter, YouTube or maybe internet banking sites. Just as a word of warning, check the ratings of the apps before you download them because you just don't know which random company is making them, and you have to give them access to particular parts of your phone so it's always good to be careful. That and get yourself some virus protection, I have the mobile version of AVG and its really good, in combination with Advanced Task Killer it will kill off apps you're not using to save a bit of your battery. There are many apps you can put on your phone, but I try to stick to the official ones - didn't stop when I went into T-Mobile the other day to get them to check my phone out and they looked through my apps to see if anything was amiss and saw my KarmaSutra app! My advice with this phone even if you're using a memory card to bump it up from the 8Gb memory you get preinstalled in the phone, don't get too many pointless apps because it will slow the phone down a ridiculous amount - make it freeze and just generally irritate the life out of you.
The internet browser is a good one, it has the same function as the iPhone does with the enlarging of a webpage with your fingers - you can only have 3 different pages open at one time. Which really I can't see why anyone would need more than that - the phone will remind you that you can't have anymore and ask you to delete one before opening another, which you can do on your own anyway by pressing the menu touch screen button. When I first got the phone it was a pleasure to use the internet on the phone because it used to work beautifully. I've only had the phone 10 months and it's already a nightmare - there is a problem somewhere that means that now the browser will only connect when it feels like it. It isn't a network problem as I initially thought it is a Samsung issue, as they keep offering updates through Samsung Kies and every time I update it, something else stops working. Short of clearing the phone off completely and returning it to factory settings there is actually nothing I can do to improve it according to the bods at T-Mobile. I've never had a problem with connecting to the 'internet' from T-Mobile so I've been quite lucky there, the phone is top at picking up signal, and well now it's combined with Orange I think that has probably make it a bit better. Wifi, on this phone is brilliant, I'm connected up to various Wifi points in my house, and on my boyfriend's base, and all the freebie ones you can get in places like Wetherspoons. It definitely connects faster to my Facebook app now than it did when I got the phone in the first place as the Wifi has been upgraded when I've updated the phone through Samsung Kies; I'm sure actually it is the only thing that has improved since I got the phone instead of going downhill!
When you first get the phone it will probably last a day and a half - with everything on, all internet and apps. However by now mine won't last a day if I leave my internet on during the day despite being better with this battery than I have been to any other I've had in any phone. I managed when the phone was four months old to get it to last an entire weekend when I was camping at the BTCC. Now I can't get it to last unless I've got the internet switched off all day unless I really need it, so I flit on and off being online during the day to save my battery when I'm at work or university. It started out as an alright battery, but it's got progressively worse since I got the phone unfortunately.
So there are some novelty things with this phone which make me like it a bit more than you might think, from the overall impression I'm giving out. The fact I can change my font on the phone tickles me, I know many other phones do it and if I'm not mistaken the Satio did too, but it's different on this phone because it doesn't have a lot of redeeming features after its recent behaviour. Also the little emoticons you get in the messages make me smile, especially the one that is a crying face - after discovering it in a text message that my boyfriend wouldn't appreciate me repeating, it made me laugh and continues to do so now! The security of getting into your phone can be a bit of fun as well depending on the option you pick, if you chose a pin number it's fairly boring, but pick a pattern to put in and you can hours of fun picking one that no one will ever remember. Or if you trust the people around you, you can have a normal lock screen that when you want to unlock you just swipe the screen and take away your lock screen picture; and when you get a text, your screen turns into a jigsaw puzzle and your message is the missing piece to unlock the phone.... Hehehe... That is what mine is because I like how it looks, and well I get texts so often it's always there for me to play with. You do get some apps on the phone when you get it but it won't be long until you need to get something else because they are more based around e-mail and mapping, so you'll be ok if you've just got the phone and get stuck somewhere, as it comes with Google maps, and an app called latitude; other than that there isn't a lot to do on this phone before you've put your personal mark on. As for the music player, it is actually quite good, not as good as a normal MP3 player because you've got everything else going on in the phone at the same time. However if you use different earphones to the ones the phone came with they don't seem to work properly so you end up playing music outside of the phone which isn't what you want to be doing in public - it's bad enough I wind up singing as I go along!
~*~ Getting Hold of One? ~*~
They are a bit harder to get hold of now than when I got mine, looking on the Carphone Warehouse website it's only available still through Vodafone on a £36 a month contract, or on pay as you go well you can't get this exact version on pay as you go. So look around on places like eBay and Amazon if you would like one because it's a little bit out of fashion now unfortunately, but if you want something a little bit techy but not too hard to work - this phone is pretty good for you really. If you're after something a bit more technological, go for newer models, the SII, iPhone, or one of the new HTC models.
Summary: An average phone that brand new will be good but don't buy used!
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