Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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Discover A New Galaxy
Samsung i9000 Galaxy S
Member Name: xx_nic_xx
Samsung i9000 Galaxy S
Advantages: Excellent music player, tool bar, Android Market Place, aesthetics
Disadvantages: Poor calling quality/shows no initiative when texting
I was an iPhone convert, I was all about the iPhone, the iPod, well basically anything with a lower case 'i' in front of it. Infact, when my 18 month contract came to its conclusion recently, I was certain that I wanted to sit it out and wait for the iPhone 5 to be released, however, I started to become more and more aware of the Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung's leading smart phone, recently voted phone of the year. So after a lot of deliberation and after being wowed by the salesman in the shop, I was hooked and decided to take out a new 24 month contract with T Mobile.
*** Availability ***
I managed to bag the phone free, however, I've found myself tied to a 24 month contract which I can upgrade after 18 months. For this I receive 900 minutes, unlimited texts (actually 3500) and unlimited internet (1GB) for £35 a month, so all in all it's actually a pretty good deal. Coupled with two months of free insurance, which afterwards costs £8 a month, I was rather happy when I walked out of the shop.
I would recommend a contract phone, although if you're not 100% sure how much you'll use it, it may be wise to go for pay as you go, in which case you'll need to pay for the phone outright which will set you back around the £400 mark.
*** First Impressions ***
The first thing you'll notice about the Galaxy S is the clarity of the screen. After owning an iPhone 3GS and thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread I now see why people have been raving about the Samsung alternative. The screen is Super Amoled, which is laymen terms means it has a brighter/more responsive screen that deflects sunlight and uses less power - what's not to like?
In the box you'll get all the usual kit - charger, USB, battery etc, however, I was surprised to find that there weren't any headphones included, which isn't much of an issue as I probably wouldn't have used them anyway, but for what they're charging me you'd think they could throw in a cheap pair of headphones.
Apple - 1
Samsung - 0
*** Setting Up ***
Setting up is simple, a lot more simple than the iPhone as it doesn't require to be set up via a laptop or computer. It's just the generic setting up process that we're all used to, but as it's a smartphone it eliminates some of the menial jobs (setting the time and date). If you want to use your phone in conjunction with your computer, you'll need to visit the Samsung Mobile website and download Kies, which is Samsung's alternative to iTunes and just as easy to use.
*** Touch Screen/Texting ***
Arguably the most important factor when considering a touch screen phone is the touch screen itself and I have to say there are no issues whatsoever. Everything is fantastically responsive and moves with the lightest touch. Scrolling is a doddle, simply drag your finger down the screen at your own speed and watch your phone do the rest of the work.
Texting will take a bit of time to get used to, the phone doesn't show much initiative when typing, unlike the iPhone that knew exactly what you were going to say before you did. I was disappointed to find that the predictive text was very mediocre and something you'd expect on a phone from 5 years ago. It doesn't add in apostrophes where they should be, that's left to you to go through the process of adding them in. I say this, but once you're used to the Samsung way of texting you will eventually find yourself typing away like a pro. I find it easier to type in landscape mode and flipping the phone on its side will put you in this view immediately.
*** Camera ***
With a 5MP camera under its belt, this phone isn't quite up to scratch with some smartphones which boast an 8 or even 10MP camera, but the Galaxy undoubtedly makes the most of what its got, with the fantastic screen quality elevating each picture. You wouldn't tell that pictures from this phone, were infact pictures from this phone, you'd assume they were taken on a digital camera with a high spec. It's the auto focus that really impressed me. Most cameras have facial recognition these days, but the Samsung takes it to another level, allowing you to decide where you want to focus, meaning you can tap anywhere on the screen and the camera will focus in on that point, ensuring that even if the phone is moved in the process of taking the picture, that focus point won't emerge blurry.
*** Internet ***
In a word - fantastic. Better than the iPhone you say? Yes! On every possible level. This is like using a laptop, it's fast, it's responsive and it has a much more professional and elegant feel to it, because of the screen size and clarity, in comparison with the iPhone where, although good, it feels decidedly more amateur. The internet browser (run by Google - go figure) makes full use of the 4inch screen, without an options bar at the bottom the screen looks so much bigger whilst browsing the internet. It's a good idea to download an anti virus app (free) which will scan everything you download and protect you from any nasties while using the internet on your phone.
*** Calling ***
Making a call is simple enough, but when it comes to the sound quality it leaves much to be desired. The sound quality is often muffled and hard to hear and this makes it rather difficult to make a call anywhere apart from in a quiet area. Don't get me wrong, with the volume turned up, you can hear enough to make a call outside, but still the clarity isn't great and I was rather disappointed. The positives do outweigh the negatives in regards to this phone, but surely being the most basic feature of a phone and given how far phones have come along, getting it right isn't too much to ask is it?
*** Brain Box ***
This phone is constantly thinking of me and my needs and while doing this, it knows that I don't want the majority of the screen clogged up with unread messages, missed calls, emails and app alerts (yes I'm very popular!), so it keeps them in a tidy little space at the top of the phone. This bar at the top hides away unnoticed a lot of the time, but when you need it, you can drag it down to see all your new notifications, which I think has to be my favourite aspect to this fantastic phone.
*** Music/Memory ***
This phone comes in various different memory capacities - I opted for the 8GB for the sheer fact that I knew that a memory card could be installed. This idea, although a good one seems a little dated to me, but nevertheless I bought an 8GB memory card to bump my capacity up to 16GB and I'm glad I did, which ties in nicely with my next point - the music player...
I wasn't expecting to use it much, as I already had an iPod Nano 6G which I loved, but the music player is actually fantastic and the sound quality definitely redeems the poor clarity of calls. The music player organises your songs into alphabetical order, by artist or by album and there's also a shuffle option. Playing music does drain the battery at a shockingly fast pace, but I like it so much that I actually sold my iPod Nano. There are (free) apps you can download which you can download music from (again, for free) which are directed automatically to your music player. This is all above board and utterly superb.
*** There's A World Out There... ***
I thought the Apple 'app' store couldn't beaten, I now know that it can. The Android Market Place (the app store alternative) is easy to use and best of all, the majority of apps are free, unlike the app store where the only decent ones you had to pay for. I've downloaded many of the 'paid for apps' from Apple that you can download for free from Android (Angry Birds, Whatsapp). What also surprised me was the speed in which the apps are downloaded. The apps from Apple could take minutes at a time, even when connected to WI-FI, but the Galaxy downloads apps in seconds and that's without a WI-FI connection.
*** Battery Life ***
This is a big thing for iPhone users as the battery is very poor indeed and I wish I could tell you that Samsung had upped the ante with their Galaxy, but unfortunately it's much the same. I find myself charging mine every night, but I am an avid texter, caller, internet user and music listener so if you don't use it as much as me you may get two to three days out of it.
*** Styling/Security ***
This is a very nice looking handset. I didn't think anything could surpass the iPhone in terms of styling, but I think we may have a front runner in the Galaxy. First of all it's noticeably bigger and it looks a little bit more modern than the iPhone. I must say that I was never really drawn to this phone, because I had only ever seen pictures of it, which make the phone look very dated and generic. You really need to see this phone up close to appreciate it. It's a gorgeous bit of kit.
I always like to protect my gadgets, whether it be with a case and screen protector (which I had thrown in free for buying the phone), or with pin codes and passwords. This phone enables a pin code to be put on the sim for when turning on and for the phone itself there's the option which is one of the best things about this phone. You can either set a passcode or password, or, and here comes the ingenious bit, you can draw a pattern to allow access instead. I, of course went for the pattern and it's an excellent way of gaining access to your phone without having to remember a code.
*** Overview ***
To sum up I really cannot fault this phone in any major way. Yes the sound quality could be better and texting could be a little bit more intuitive, but really these are minor flaws that you eventually learn to live with and in return you get a fantastic handset, with ingenious little features, which I believe are unique to Samsung phones. The tool bar alone is a fantastic inclusion and the music player just tops it off nicely.
Well done Samsung.
Summary: An excellent phone that may just have Apple worried.