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Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

Samsung Galaxy S 8.5

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Camera and Multimedia:

When it comes to pictures and video, the Samsung GALAXY S I9000 has a decent 5MP shooter that does high definition video to boot. Samsung has taken the unpleasant decision to leave any type of flash out of the phone and we can't help but think why would you do that on a flagship Android phone with a 4” screen that does 720p video – we need you, LED light. The manufacturer's design choices reconfirmed for us that the camera capabilities haven't been its top priority with the GALAXY S, as it is also lacking a dedicated shutter key. Taking pics is instead executed by tapping directly on the virtual shutter button. It's fine, once you get the gist of it. Otherwise the camera interface is the same found on the recent Samsung high-end devices, and offers an abundance of preset modes. The closest thing to the missing macro mode, however, is a setting to snap text close ups.

Camera interface - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

Camera interface


Outdoor pictures have very accurately represented colors, but are a bit noisy and lacking detail the farther you go from the center of the frame.  Indoor shots turned out to be average, with natural colors but no fine detail. In addition, since there's no flash, things get pretty ugly once the light becomes dangerous low. The videos shot outside are nice and crisp, but also quite jumpy with fast moving objects, or when you scan the horizon moving the phone quickly. There is a nice counter of how many MB you are wasting with this exact video during the shoot, as there was in the Samsung Wave. You can also max out the brightness of the screen with one tap right from the camera interface to help framing when sunny.

All in all, videos are on par with the other high def phone cameras out there and the mike turned out very sensitive, capturing clear sound for the video playback.

Samsung Galaxy S sample video 1 at 1280x720 pixels resolution.
Samsung Galaxy S sample video 2 at 1280x720 pixels resolution.

Video playback - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Video playback - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

Video playback


Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review


Outdoor samples taken with the Samsung GALAXY S - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Samsung GALAXY S - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Samsung GALAXY S - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Outdoor samples taken with the Samsung GALAXY S - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

Outdoor samples taken with the Samsung GALAXY S



Strong light - Indoor samples - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Medium light - Indoor samples - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Low light - Indoor samples - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

Strong light

Medium light

Low light

Indoor samples



The multimedia files get organized in the Gallery, which offers some 3D effects, batch view by date/time, and grid view. It automatically indexes the pictures and video on the card and in the phone. The gallery syncs with Picasa upon launch, assigning different icons to the pics depending on their source. The Picasa images are just thumbs and you have to download them for a full view. Images can be rotated and cropped right in the gallery, uploaded on Google's Picasa, or sent via email, MMS or Bluetooth. The Samsung AllShare function is also here, if you happen to have a DLNA capable TV to watch the pics or videos from the phone on the big screen. Videos can also be uploaded straight from the gallery, to Google's YouTube. And the Samsung GALAXY S I9000 will play whatever you throw at it. We maxed out at 1280x720, also in DivX/Xvid format, and it didn't lag for a second. It also supports subtitles similar to the Wave.

Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

The Gallery offers some 3D effects, batch view by date/time, and grid view - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The Gallery offers some 3D effects, batch view by date/time, and grid view - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The Gallery offers some 3D effects, batch view by date/time, and grid view - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The Gallery offers some 3D effects, batch view by date/time, and grid view - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

The Gallery offers some 3D effects, batch view by date/time, and grid view


The phone ships with 8GB or 16GB internal memory, of which 2GB are reserved for applications, which is somewhat generous compared to what other Android phones are offering. Android 2.2 will come with the ability to install apps on the memory card, and the Samsung GALAXY S I9000 has a slot for that as well. The option for additional space you might find useful with all this high definition the phone is capable of creating and reproducing. 

As far as the other element of the multimedia trinity, the music player is pretty darn good. The tabs on the top allow sifting through your collection by artist, album and playlists, or display all at once. Landscape mode brings along some eye candy like CD cover flow-esque or an alphabetical wheel, to pick your music poison. Sharing the song via email or Bluetooth is done from the context menu while playing. The current song keeps going in the background when the screen is locked, and you can even pull down the notification area then to display the controls, not a bad idea.

The music player is pretty darn good - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The music player is pretty darn good - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The music player is pretty darn good - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The music player is pretty darn good - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The music player is pretty darn good - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The music player is pretty darn good - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The music player is pretty darn good - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The music player is pretty darn good - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

The music player is pretty darn good



Software:

Despite Samsung's homemade 1GHz Hummingbird, which beats all kinds of synthetic benchmarks, you sometimes have to wait 3-4 seconds after tapping to enter some applications, including Messaging and Contacts, if they haven’t been residing in the memory lately.

The Samsung GALAXY S I9000 comes with a good selection of preinstalled applications, and none of them is a trial version. Aldiko eBook, AllShare, Daily Briefing, Memo, Mini Diary, Social Hub, Write and Go, Voice Dialer, Google Voice Search, Layar, Sketch Memo, Desk Home and Car Home, ThinkFree Office and Write and Go are the notable ones. Some of those apps are notpresent on all versions, but more on that below..

The Samsung 
GALAXY S comes with a good selection of preinstalled applications - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The Samsung 
GALAXY S comes with a good selection of preinstalled applications - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Facebook - The Samsung 
GALAXY S comes with a good selection of preinstalled applications - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Android Market - The Samsung 
GALAXY S comes with a good selection of preinstalled applications - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
  

Facebook

Android Market

The Samsung GALAXY S comes with a good selection of preinstalled applications


On top of our list here is ThinkFree, which lets you work with Microsoft Office. It is not only a viewer, but the full-featured version, it activates on each handset with its own serial and even updated itself on first use. We tried it with Word, Excel, PPT and PDF files, the last format you can only view. It might turn out useful for editing on the go, and even gives you 1GB of free cloud storage online upon registration. The app also includes a file browser, although the GALAXY S offers the My Files one out of the box. There are other Office alternatives in Android Market, but we wouldn’t sniff at free.

ThinkFree - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
ThinkFree - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
ThinkFree - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

ThinkFree


The other nice application is Write and Go, which lets you jot down something, and quickly update Facebook, MySpace or Twitter with your musings, or text and email them. Samsung seems to be fond of it, as they put it on the default home screen for quick status updates. The color scheme here suspiciously resembles the iPhone's ubiquitous yellow and brown Notes app. The same goes for the Memo application, which is a simple corkboard with yellow post-it notes, but at least you can choose from different background colors for the notes, and there are numerous possibilities to share the memo. 

Write and Go - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Write and Go - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Write and Go - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

Write and Go


Some Samsung GALAXY S I9000 units seem to have additional applications that our 8GB review version was deprived of. There is actually a counter on the Samsung Apps icon in the menu that shows you how many new apps or widgets are there for your phone, that you still haven't downloaded, nice touch. Missing in action with us were the Desk and Car home screens, optimized for their respective docking duties in the car, or on the night stand. Another one we had to do without is the Sketch Memo, which saves your quick index finger scribbles as post-its. The one we might miss most, though, is the Image and Video editing app for basic picture transformations and movie making. We thought they might be available in Samsung Apps, but our UK version couldn't find those anywhere.

56 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. ace1122 (Posts: 237; Member since: 23 Mar 2009)


Looks like the iphone 3gs. Not cool samsung. You can come up with better designs than that. Like the wave. Now that phone is awesome looking. Simple yet sexy.

posted on 24 Jun 2010, 12:38 2

2. vensudy (Posts: 3; Member since: 24 Jun 2010)


Dude, Iphone 3gs is not available to some people Samsung is available to all people, Samsung is cool :) we need to see what is the price of this phone since its coming in 110 countries, it should be affordable.

posted on 24 Jun 2010, 21:16 1

3. ace1122 (Posts: 237; Member since: 23 Mar 2009)


I have a hard time believing you can get this phone in places where you cannot get the iphone...

posted on 27 Jun 2010, 22:18

21. veesion (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Jun 2010)


well actually...many Samsung's mobile are look like these..but all that models are not smartphone...hehehe...like back in the old days Samsung SGH-F700 well...iphone4 model looks like n96 and samsung's model

posted on 25 Jun 2010, 09:57

4. rtimi26 (Posts: 42; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)


I believe this is a biased review when compared to the iphone4. besides what happened to the breakdown of points I miss that.

posted on 25 Jun 2010, 12:23 2

5. four_zero40 (Posts: 4; Member since: 25 Jun 2010)


"Plastic look and feel" I'd rather have that than glass that can easily shatter (Iphone 4)

posted on 26 Jun 2010, 09:05

15. skybucks21 (Posts: 16; Member since: 01 Dec 2009)


You're right. Apple boast the strength of the glass used in iphone but according to the testing made by customers, 2 drops is enough to shatter that pristine display. Again, not an iphone hater. Just a phonearena hater. By the way, I like the iphone4 'cause it has cool looks! Very cool!

posted on 25 Jun 2010, 14:01

6. chaosnightmare (Posts: 170; Member since: 20 May 2010)


cheap review, this is te only site reporting lag problems for this phone, they don't even wrote properly about the superamoled screen (just like they did with iphone's retina one) and they are more worried about materials than ergonomics and weight, it's a phone not jewelery

posted on 26 Jun 2010, 09:08

16. skybucks21 (Posts: 16; Member since: 01 Dec 2009)


You're absolutely right dude! They didn't even mention the superb performance of SUPER Amoled display outdoors. While most of us know that Apple exaggerated their claim that the pixel density of the screen is beyond what the human eye can see. This s proven by an expert. Again, not an iphone hater nor apple hater. JUST A BIASED REVIEW!

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 22:49

39. Jasiejase (unregistered)


Actually, I do experience some lag that was mentioned in the review. Seems to happen more when I use live wallpaper.. But still a great phone to have!

posted on 25 Jun 2010, 17:10

7. arash84v (Posts: 28; Member since: 18 Nov 2009)


Does the Galaxy S use the 8GB Memory to install apps???? or does it have a 2GB ROM to install applications???

posted on 26 Jun 2010, 09:10

17. skybucks21 (Posts: 16; Member since: 01 Dec 2009)


shut up!

posted on 25 Jun 2010, 17:44

8. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


from what i understand its 2gb for the install. of course, when apps2sd is involved, that doesnt matter :) and whats the 8.5 for anyways? the only really negative thing the review said was the lack of a flash on the camera. granted i think thats BS that it doesnt have it like 90% of higher end samsung phones, its still not the "norm". So you take 1.5 points from the review? Or is it you just didnt want the score too close to the iphone4??? and i agree, ill take plastic over "glass front and back" any day of the week. in the real world, the plastic will take more than 3 or 4 drops and not shatter :)

posted on 26 Jun 2010, 04:58 1

9. eokorie (Posts: 7; Member since: 17 Sep 2008)


I have always been a follower of PhoneArena but this time i will be taking your reviews with a pinch of salt. With all the superior advantages that the i9000 has over the iPhone4, you still managed to give the i9000 an 8.5 and the iphone4 a 9.5. Well that truly is a biased opinion.

posted on 26 Jun 2010, 05:47 1

10. skybucks21 (Posts: 16; Member since: 01 Dec 2009)


Bad Review! They didn't even mention that this monster phone is capable of SWYPE, a very useful function for texters. SUPER Amoled screen is way better than OVERRATED Retina Display of iphone4. This review is a total piece of crap and very biased. FUCK YOU PHONE ARENA! FUCK YOU!!!

posted on 26 Jun 2010, 08:03

11. ajac09 (Posts: 1481; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


LOL I agree but wow lol. Funny how its not snappy to them yet other reviews show if flying.. wonder how many apps they had open the thing uses a cortex processor with powervr and beats snappdragon in benchmarks yeah iphone arena dropped the ball again. I see their looking for a new editor hope they higher a more biased personn.

posted on 26 Jun 2010, 08:54

13. skybucks21 (Posts: 16; Member since: 01 Dec 2009)


Lol! I like the "iphone arena" part. I agree to what you are trying to say. I really don't know if the one who reviewed this phone is blind or what. He can't even notice how fast this phone is. I am not an android fan or a n iphone hater. My point is just that they are not giving proper reviews. Personal Reference? CRAP! Look at gsmarena. They balance their review to pros and cons and they don't even rate a phone because one is always different from the other unlike this crap site which criticize other phones and put all the praise in the iconic iPHONE. Again, FUCK YOU PHONEARENA! FUCK YOU!

posted on 26 Jun 2010, 08:26

12. veesion (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Jun 2010)


hauahuha... this is so biased......even..desire and legend score higher than galaxy s [9]...... these are all the things that missing pros: Good battery life... which samsung always known with super amoled uses 20% less power... the awesome graphic processor.... the swype technology... the awesome 1ghz processor.... Wireless tethering... only 9.9mm thin... front facing camera... VGA... which can be used for video calling.. over 3G which work in many country.. australia and in asia such indonesia... Text to speech.. super fast browser....Even faster than iPhone... the great camera quality... for picture and videos the great audio quality Bluetooth 3.0 its 6GB/16GB +microSD ....SO TONS of Storage.... and did they mention that iphone still cant share files through bluetooth...and cant use the 32/16GB as storage drive.... and cant turn off mobile network... Geez....... BAD REVIEW BAD REVIEW BAD REVIEW!!!!

posted on 27 Jun 2010, 06:05

18. gridlock (Posts: 31; Member since: 10 Jun 2010)


veesion, all the stuff you list is mentioned in the reviews as pros, what are you talking about?! super amoled is great, but there will be other phones coming with it, and no flash but the phone still costs over 600 bucks, wtf?!? if it was more like $450, like the wave, yeah, but probably samsung didn't want to steal the thunder from the wave, which makes one of the best indoor shots i've seen, (judging from the samples here)...because wave has their own bada os they prob decided to cripple the galaxy s? if this baby doesn't get a flash it will stay just one gorgeous big screen, and i will not be getting it...flash IS the norm in expensive smartphones today...you'll figure it out next time at a party when the guys take out their waves, iphones and sonys and you are stuck with this! but yeah, i agree 9.5 is too much for the iphone, although it's in a leagure of its own with the app store and all, and can only be compared to the previous iphone version for now\ :-)

posted on 27 Jun 2010, 21:59

20. veesion (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Jun 2010)


well i dont know about pricing in US... but in rest of the world...nexus one, desire, galaxy s, xperia x10 are almost the same price....and if we're talking about iphone price...outside US...super expensive...galaxy s is US$570 ... apple iphone4 is US$1060...outside US (such Asia,Oceania,Europe) what do you think of that??? beside... dont compare Wave with Galaxy S......Wave is Bada...Galaxy S is Android... of course Android is better....and 3.2inch compare with 4inch display...thats a huge diff....Super Amoled with 4 inch until today announcement only on Galaxy s... the next one is on Beam 3.7...but beam is fat and i dont need the projector well for me...the review is bad...missing alot of things...its underated to give only 8.5 even HTC Legend scored 9.

posted on 28 Jun 2010, 03:25

24. gridlock (Posts: 31; Member since: 10 Jun 2010)


you forget that for the non-geeks bada or android is a non-issue, they want design and good picture taking - once you tasted a flash on your phone, you can't go back to something without just because it is android...design also matters for the masses, and the Legend is still one of the greatest designs out there - only iPhone beats it there now - so deserved the 9 for the time it was reviewed imho...

posted on 28 Jun 2010, 12:25

25. veesion (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Jun 2010)


i've used phone with flash...such touch pro and n95...well dunno.. for me its no biggy...i would prefer with flash dont get me wrong... but i wont buy phone because it has flash...i look for features... well for non-geeks some people looking for games aswell... Android has more games compare to bada... and also non-geeks get into the hype..as Android more known and growing... in term of design...wave is great..but galaxy s is a beauty... i had Hero so i know Legend is awesome, but about iphone i dont agree..the form factor looks like n96... shinny front and back.. silver at sides...and sharp edges but what i meant when comparing it with Legend is.. the specs on legend.. and desire for me..galaxy s is better... hummingbird is more optimized compare to snapdragon, thou it lack of flash ..it has front facing camera for video call which in Australia and Asia we can use it over 3G....the super amoled + its 4inch.... its 9.9mm thin... and internal on-board memory is 8GB/16GB..which can be expand with microSD.... i mean these are some of the specs which better...but why the score is not even equal with the other high end Android devices

posted on 28 Jun 2010, 14:23

26. gridlock (Posts: 31; Member since: 10 Jun 2010)


dunno, iphone is truly expensive unlocked (more like $800 in a month), but it holds resell value really well, in an year you will still sell it for $500-$600, but used galaxy s will be more like $200 then, did you see the Epic 4G Sprint announced today? i guess they rate for the time the handset was introduced, now the competition is more heated than when the legend was introduced...the wave was actually the one deserving bigger score - aluminum body, flirst super amoled, great flash for parties, first hummingbird...too bad it has the young bada OS...but it's cheap to me, 9 should be given to truly extraordinary phones, like the first iphone, or the HD2 with the first huge screen, like those - 9.5 and 10 no phone deserves, and anything 7.5 and above you shouldn't worry about making a mistake when bying just my 2c

posted on 29 Jun 2010, 11:27

27. veesion (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Jun 2010)


yea.. well the competition more Android vs Android...nowadays...Motorola,HTC have their lineups...and aswell as samsung..since they announced different shape of Galaxy S for verizon,at&t, and t-mobile, the S pro for sprint,....its hard to pick Android phones that suits u best..because each phone different with different features... i Agree with the HTC HD and iPhone2G... well still they cant compare Galaxy S with other phone since this is a stand-alone review only for Galaxy S....well they need to be more professional...thats all..

posted on 06 Jul 2010, 08:19

30. eewhiz (Posts: 7; Member since: 01 Jun 2010)


The iPhone 3 did not have an LED flash while most older Nokia's did...Phone Arena did not penalize the iphone3 1.5 points for no flash?? Just because the iphone added a flash, now all phones are required or they get deducted?? what kind of reasoning is that?? Bottom line...you can't use the camera for low-level light situations. ANyways, most reviewers do not like the way the LED's cause blooming in the photos anyways. What about NO Adobe Flash support ever in an iPhone, that should deduct at least 1 or 1.5 points right there? Apple is going out of it's way to NOT support Adobe flash....

posted on 26 Jun 2010, 08:55

14. fsjon (Posts: 119; Member since: 03 Sep 2009)


Who have they hired to write this review?? It's so hard to understand the write up, I have to double think what he was trying to say. Don't get me started with the video. During the hardware tour, I see more of the guy's face than the phone itself. Is this the first cell phone review he has ever done and trying to come up with new terms (SNS, social networking service?)? Take an english class before even think of publishing a review on what I thought is a respectable site. He really should have review a feature phone before diving into a smart phone review. I gave up reading the article after the 2nd page. PLEASE redo this review. This a very major phone from Samsung and deserved a senior editor/reviewer.

posted on 27 Jun 2010, 06:09

19. simpleleong (Posts: 14; Member since: 08 Jun 2010)


100% agree with u fsjon! This phone needs to have a better review!

posted on 28 Jun 2010, 01:36

22. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3109; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Basically now that the iphone 4 is out, every touch screen phone that gets reviewed will have a much lower score. I love the fact that even tho the iphone 4 has horrible service problems with the left side of the phone, they can still give it a 9.5.

posted on 28 Jun 2010, 03:19

23. gridlock (Posts: 31; Member since: 10 Jun 2010)


Whoa, Samsung just announced the Epic 4G - a Galaxy S with a keyboard AND an LED flash! now, if the basic 8GB EU version with NO flash they were reviewing was given 9.5, what should they give the Epic 4G then - 11?! I mean, just look at this beast for Sprint - Samsung Galaxy S with 4G, LED video light and flash, six axis sensor, keyboard and more - now this is more like 9.5 or 10 then any other phone out there. I'm getting it, even if I can't get advantage of sprint's network, it will still be worth every penny they ask for it. Thank u, Jeezuz! :))

posted on 01 Jul 2010, 10:28

28. rorokevin (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Jul 2010)


What's the best choose. I'm keep thinking which cell is best for me. Iphone or Galaxy S. Hey guys, if you were I which cell, would you buy? (I was going to buy Iphone, but I'm chaging my mind)

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Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung Galaxy S

OS: Android 2.3.5 2.3 2.2 2.1
view full specs
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (233 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 1000 MHz
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.82 x 2.53 x 0.39 inches
(122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9 mm)
4.16 oz  (118 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 13.38 hours talk time

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