Samsung has its eyes set on beating the iPhone. No wonder though, every company seems to have a smartphone in store bent on taking Apple’s best seller head on. With a much larger screen to boast of, Samsung Galaxy S takes a step into the arena of smartphones.

Specifications

  • Android 2.1 OS
  • 1GHz Cortex A8 “Hummingbird” CPU
  • 4″ Super-AMOLED display at 800×480
  • 5 Mega-Pixel rear-facing camera (without flash)
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • 720p video recording
  • 8GB / 16GB on-board storage with MicroSD expansion
  • 512MB RAM
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Wireless Tethering support
  • 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE)
  • 3G (HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps)
  • A-GPS
  • Digital Compass
  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity Sensor
  • Light sensor
  • FM Radio
  • TV Remote Controller
  • Social Hub integrated social networking

Design

Already one of the most anticipated Android phones to hit the streets, what really stands out in Samsung Galaxy S is its 4-inch Super AMOLED screen. It actually looks like an iPhone, only this time, Samsung has showcased the display screen with a chrome bezel frame. The curved back gives it a comfortable feel in the palm of your hands despite its size. It is also only a millimeter thicker than the iPhone.

Its 122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9mm frame can feel a bit delicate and there’s bound to be some creaking here and there with its very obvious plastic casing. However, the 119 grams feels sturdy enough to withstand the pressures of constant use.

Features

The 1 GHz processor takes full advantage of the Android 2.1 that comes pre-installed with Galaxy S. Multi-tasking becomes a breeze because running multiple programs in the background will not bog down the system. iPhone enthusiasts have to jailbreak their phones first before they can even utter the word “multi-tasking” and even with that, only to some extent.

Samsung preferred its own skin to the default Android one. Dubbed as TouchWiz 3.0, this skin was a product of Samsung’s tinkering with their smartphone line. It offers customizable widgets and icons for its homescreen. Although the effort is there, Samsung’s lack of widgets and Android’s limited repertoire puts the damper on full customization.

Perhaps what gives the Galaxy S a bump into the forefront of ideal Android phone is its multimedia flexibility. The larger screen allows playback for full definition videos including support for Xvid and DivX. In fact its 5-megapixel rear camera also allows for 720p video recording for home movies. Music playback also renders rather well. You can even manipulate your music player even while using any other application. The menu shortcut sits on top of the screen, all you have to do is drag it down to access the controls. Its built-in accelerometer allows you to shift from portrait to landscape mode.

Onboard storage capacity gets a whopping 8GB, or, if you have the extra dinero, 16 GB. That in itself is enough to store your media, phone contacts and a variety of files you want. But if you’re the type who smirks at the thought of just 16GB storage space, lower your eyebrows because you can actually upgrade it with its installed MicroSD expansion slot. Top that Apple!

The web browsing experience is quite promising bordering on excellent. Loading pages, in both 3G and WiFi connections, is fast. However, the text will not automatically fit the screen if you use the pinch and zoom function. You have to tap the screen after this to watch it re-adjust itself. Flash video support is not present on this version of Android. But with Adobe’s release of support for Android 2.1, Froyo, this seems to be a trivial matter.

The Contacts options are not that impressive. For one thing it lacks integrating Facebook and Twitter syncing to your contacts. Syncing your social networking sites with your phone takes a bit of tinkering on a separate phone profile option. Another thing that might bug you is its half-baked idea of SIM card details imports. Yes you can import your contacts from your SIM card to your phone. But no you can’t delete them from your SIM? You will end up with redundant contact info sitting in your phone. Perhaps to make up for this, Galaxy S can group, favorite your contacts and display their details for you. Still, this little flaw might become a pet peeve in the future if no updates fix it.

Of course all this would be rendered useless if Samsung Galaxy S doesn’t present itself passable in its phone features. Thankfully, it does more than pass. Email messaging doesn’t warrant any complicated set up steps. All you have to do is enter the right details—username, password, email server—and you’re good to go. IM through Google talk, SMS, MMS is also there for you to manage. Samsung’s utilizing of Swype, allows you to glide your fingers on the on-screen keyboard to connect letters and create words. The dictionary is not that accurate, but, heck in text speak who needs a dictionary anyway. What would be more amusing is if someone created a dictionary for texts shortcuts instead.

These killer features wouldn’t amount for anything if you would need to run to the nearest outlet frequently to charge your phone. Thankfully, it comes with a 1500 mAh—one of the largest battery available in the market.

Just say it, even though the thought of owning an  iPhone still makes you wet your bed at night, contender after contender of smartphones are invading the market. Samsung Galaxy S is an Android phone already in its way to greatness.