Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500 - a good budget android phone
Samsung GT i5500 Galaxy 5
Member Name: sas87
Samsung GT i5500 Galaxy 5
Advantages: Inexpensive, Android, looks smart
Disadvantages: Poor battery life, occasional internet crashing
I recently got the Samsung Galaxy Europa on 3 (Three) PAYG, as I urgently needed a new phone but didn't have a lot to spend. I really wanted something I could browse the internet with, and preferably with Android.
I bought mine from Carphone Warehouse - a snip at £39.99 + a £15 add on, which offers 300 minutes, 3000 texts and unlimited internet. It came in a choice of white or black - I chose black as it seemed a bit classier looking to me (and less likely to show dirt). It has Wi-Fi, GPS, Quad-band and a 2mp camera. It also has the Android TouchWiz 3.0 operating system.
In the box contains the handset, battery, charger, usb cable, 1gb micro sd card (and sd card adaptor - very useful!), set of headphones with inbuilt microphone and button to answer calls, manual.
The handset itself is a good size to hold in the hand - bigger than I was expecting after looking at online photos which I think make it look tiny. It has a reasonable sized touchscreen, with "proper" buttons for the menus, back, search, call and cancel functions etc. It has a chrome edge, or frame, to the whole unit and a gloss black back cover - which I have found really shows fingerprints and scratches fairly easily. I only had mine a couple of days and under close examination noticed a fair few tiny scratches - but a silicone/gel case bought from ebay for £2 should prevent further damage. I would recommend a case of this type.
The touchscreen is pleasantly responsive - however I found it even more responsive once I put a protective screen cover on it (which came with the gel case I bought, although can be bought separately). It's worth saying that the phone does initially come with a bit of plastic protecting the screen, but this is very thick compared to proper screen protectors and should be removed (and replaced) or the screen is more difficult to navigate.
As with most phones, it comes pre loaded with a load of "stuff" you probably won't need or want, such as game demos (sims 3 and tetris in my case), 3 store and google maps etc. There is also the option to download more apps through the Android market place - now called Google Play.
There are two main downsides to this phone - the main one being the qwerty keyboard being so tiny (even for female fingers) that it takes an age to type anything. You can however download other keyboard apps, such as Go Keyboard, from the Android market place. The other downside is the battery life - which, if the phone is "played with" lots, only lasts a few hours! I usually have to charge it at least once a day.
Another slight downside is that sometimes when browsing the internet it crashes and turns itself off - often at the most inconvenient time (like in the middle of typing an email - a task in itself due to the keyboard!). However, to be fair this is a budget phone - it really cannot be compared to the likes of an iPhone or high-spec Android phone, which have much more powerful processors. For the price I find the browsing speeds actually very good.
The 2mp camera gives surprisingly pleasing results - much better than I was expecting. Obviously results are better in good lighting, but I have a separate dedicated camera for any better shots I may want to take. There is no button on the handset which takes you instantly to the camera function, but you have the option to drag the camera symbol to the homepage for quicker access if necessary.
In terms of using the phone for the obvious basic calling, this does the job as well as you could wish for! Overall I think this is a very smart looking, functional phone for the price - and the downsides I have mentioned often happen with far more expensive phones. I would definitely recommend to anyone on a budget.
Summary: Great budget/first android phone
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