Samsung Galaxy 5 Review
The phone runs Android 2.1 underneath a modded Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 user interface. The UI appearance has been slightly altered to accommodate the 2.8” screen, and its QVGA resolution. The dock in the bottom of the homescreens is now transparent, with smaller icons for access to the keypad, phonebook, and the main menu.
For a 600MHz chipset, the phone feels rather snappy, especially the kinetic scrolling, but also the transitional animations in and out of pages. The handset scored 510 in Quadrant, on par with devices such as the Nexus One and Motorola DROID, when running Android 2.1, possibly due to the lower-res screen.
The phone doesn’t have a front-facing camera, so it lacks the video calling button in the dialpad and contacts app. Speaking of contacts, you can merge your Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Myspace, and even Exchange friends or colleagues. TouchWiz 3.0 has one of the best social integrations we’ve worked with, as it aggregates your communications history with a contact, and you can follow the Facebook or Twitter happenings, even things like new photo album uploads on Facebook, straight from the contact's profile.
The text messaging and email applications possess all the functionalities a modern smartphone OS should offer, even text body search. Typing on the virtual keyboard is easy, but the 2.8” size is a problem, especially if you have bigger thumbs. Thankfully, you can replace the default portrait keypad with Swype, which makes entering text on the Samsung Galaxy 5 way more tolerable. The phone utilizes the standard Android 2.1 calendar, which is a good thing, as the organizer is elegant and simple to use.
Internet and Connectivity:
The Android browser’s prowess is already well-known, it is fast for a default software, but pages that are rich on Flash elements (ads included) make scrolling choppy (besides, there's only Flash Lite support). Samsung has skimmed on the multitouch function of the screen, so there are the ubiquitous magnifying glass icons for smooth zooming, or double-tap for the crude task. The Samsung Galaxy 5 has 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and FM radio with RDS. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity can be easily turned on and off from the switches in the notification bar.
Camera and Multimedia:
The 2MP shooter in the Samsung Galaxy 5 won’t win any shutterbug awards for the quality of its pics, despite the TouchWiz 3.0 camera interface, which is very touch-optimized, and easy to use, with a lot of settings to tweak. The outdoor pictures turned slightly undersaturated, with decent focus, but sorely lacking detail. When indoors, the shots are passable only when there is strong light source present; in low light the shots were quite noisy. The phone shoots QVGA video at 15fps, which suffers from the same undersaturation as the phone’s stills.
Samsung Galaxy 5 Sample Video:
The default Éclair gallery has very good visuals already, even 3D effects, and is a pleasure to use, with basic photo editing options built-in. The Android 2.1 music player is also decent, with a lot of sorting options for your tracks, and the Koreans’ mock 5.1 channel SRS sound in headset mode is present on the Samsung Galaxy 5 as well. The loudspeaker is of decent volume but with the ubiquitous “tinny” effect when listening to tunes.
Video playing is not up to par with Samsung’s traditionally excellent codec support, as it lacks DivX/Xvid capabilities, but the phone plays MPEG-4 files way above its screen resolution, up to 800x480 pixels.
1. rizalhanafi (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Nov 2010)
Used this phone for almost a month before giving it to my wife and buying a Galaxy S.
Pros: A very good phone despite its small size and price too. Very snappy phone, better processor speed(600MHz) when compared to HTC Wildfire(528 MHz). Better functionality when compared with a more (30%) expensive Nokia C6 owned by a flabbergasted friend who bought it at almost the same month. Responsive capacitive touch screen is a plus. Adequate 256mb of Ram (good for non-memory intensive apps). The GPS is way better than the Galaxy S. Decent battery/power/usage time. A standard 512 MB Rom Memory. SD memory up to 16G, this should come in handy if using AP2SD on a froyo update. Solidly built.A good good speaker max volume for its size. A well equip connected phone with bluetooth 3.0, 8011g, HSDPA 7.2.
Con: Small application space 140MB (froyo where are you), crammed onscreen keyboard, lowly 2 MPixel camera. No pinch-zoom (asking too much?)
This phone make me drool endlessly for a full Android capable phone. It is a good introductory Android phone. I even completed the Angry Bird game using this phone despite the minor lag cause by the ad. Buy this for your kids or use it as a backup. It even trumped the S with its way better GPS.
2. Perseus (unregistered)
just bought these last week and it was AWESOME!!! btw im a 12 yr old in Philippines and bought it for like 222USD = 10,000 pesos
3. thenflux (unregistered)
Bought this phone about 1 week ago.
i could say galaxy 5 is good. but could be better. here are my pros and cons for the phone. its pretty much like rizalhanafi's post.
fast processor (600mhz)
great memory capacity (16gb)
very, very responsive touch screen
high quality built-in speakers
great response times and fast and well polished graphics makes this great. you can play songs with very nice quality at full volume
POWER HUNGRY especially when wifi is on (lasts only about 3-5 hours with wifi, 10-12 hours without)
cant handle big apps (well, games that is)
small screen (for me, cause i have big fingers)
as what rizalhanafi said, it has a small screen. not for those who are used to QWERTY phones cause it is very cramped. you cant go anywhere without having an extra battery or getting that ol' wallcharger/car charger thing(i dont know what its called) to keep your phone 96% powered up. every 10 mins takes about 1% of your battery life and when reaches 50%, it begins to power save (slightly dims, performs slower)
other than all of that, if you are upgrading from a low-end phone to mid-range, get this phone and love it cause its the best you can get for your $200(or less).
if you want them android 3.0, iOS, win7 phones or BB phones, which costs about 105% more, the Galaxy 5 is NOT a phone for you.
4. galacticnomad (unregistered)
I just returned my Samsung Galaxy S. It was a beautiful phone, easy to figure out and use. I had it for a couple of weeks. however, I live in an area that does not have a fast network so the phone was running quite slow here. I also decided that although I travel, I am mostly at home near my laptop or in my office near my pc, so I really need a mobile phone, not a mini touch screen computer. The thing was an absolute hazard on the road as well; a minimum of three steps to answer and four steps to phone out, too much time looking at and touching the fancy phone and not looking at the road. My current phone is one step and the call is live. Also, I did not at all like the radio wave/microwave radiation of the phone. All smart/android phones emit these powerful waves. If you look at the manufacturer's literature there are warnings out the wazoo; even the manufacturer says that the phone should always be a minimum of 25 mm (one inch) from the body. For me in my life, I am not interested in microwaving my brain or my reproductive organs (having the phone in my pocket). This technology is somewhat alluring and slick, but really people, how necessary is it and at what expense are we subjecting ourselves to it? With three phone numbers, two computers, various emails, websites, international biz, etc etc, I am going to stick with my reliable, low tech, low radiation phone & headset and keep it simple. I don't want or need the additional complication and potential brain scrambling.
5. Sean (unregistered)
lol, enjoy your "low radiation phone"
6. Amarise (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)
Actually, research has shown that your average 'low tech' phone has WAY more radiation than the majority of smartphones, expecially the old, outdated 'brick' /you/ are probably using.
Nothing wrong with that, its fine if you just want to call people and send messages, but in this era where the newest technology is vital to success, if you don't stay up to date, you'll be left behind.