Samsung Galaxy I7500 Review
The Samsung Galaxy I7500 utilizes the latest version of the Google-made operating system, Android 1.5 also known as the Cupcake update. The differences to its predecessor are few and none of them affects the interface, although other major improvements have been made. Unfortunately, you won´t find anything different from what you can see on both the T-Mobile G1 and HTC Magic.
Android 1.5 doesn’t bring any groundbreaking changes to the phone contacts, you can still sync them to your Google account and the app is as great as ever. There are four tabs at the top; you are taken to Contacts (everyone) by default, but Favorites (speed dials), Call log and Dialer are just a press away. Unlike Windows Mobile, Android lists contacts alphabetically by first name. When on either the homescreen or contacts list the user can begin typing and the phone will match to the contact list by both first and last name. Entries can be filtered by groups (which are set up in Gmail) and you can even choose to only sync certain groups instead of your entire list.
You can add extra information to any contact – several phone numbers, e-mail, postal address and a chat name that can be assigned to a variety of IM clients like AIM, Windows Live, Yahoo, Skype, QQ, Google Talk, ICQ and Jabber and allows you to send messages over chat networks supported by Android directly from your contacts. You can also add information about the company the person is working for, including position held and if that´s not enough, there are notes to expand the description. It´s really cool that you can redirect calls directly to your voice mail, which helps you neutralize people you don’t feel like talking to at the moment. What has been missing ever since the first Android version rolled out is that you cannot enter anniversaries and dates of birth.
The Calendar can also be synchronized to Google and delivers all standard functions. You have daily, weekly, monthly and agenda view, with the latter showing events in chronological order. Finally, entries can be marked as whole day events and assigned their own recurrence pattern. Presence and privacy options are available as well and descriptions provide more details. It would appear that you also have the option to sync with multiple calendars (presumably Google Calendars), but nothing really happened after we tried and added an extra account calendar. Android has been criticized for only allowing sync with one Google account, but if you could add multiple calendars it would certainly help the situation.
There is a standard calculator with several advanced functions, but this is where the phone organizer functionality ends. If you need more options, you better go to Android Market and shop around, there are quite a few apps available, both paid and free.
Messages and screen keyboard:
Just like any other Android handset, the Samsung Galaxy I7500 delivers the full set of weaponry in terms of modern messaging and you can send SMS, MMS and e-mail messages plus you have several IM clients and integrated Gmail. The interface is simplified and clear and allows pictures and audio files to be attached. Now, let´s take a look at the virtual keyboard, because it´s vital when it comes to typing away.
One of the definite drawbacks of the initial version of Android was the lack of virtual QWERTY keyboard and quite a few people complained about it. The “extra” feature is nothing short of mandatory here (because the Galaxy lacks physical keyboard) and is available in both landscape and portrait modes, with the buttons being really large and handy in the first case. Moreover, you can enable vibration and sound feedback, so pressing becomes more clearly discernible. We quite like the fact that the keyboard is available anytime you need it; all you have to do is keep the navigational button with an arrow on it pressed for a short while.
Typing away using the keyboard, no matter whether it´s in landscape or portrait mode, feels easy, provided you allow for some time to get used to it. All buttons are large enough and letters pop up above your finger on pressing keys, so you can see whether or not you´ve made a mistake right away. In case you need another letter, just hold your finger against the screen and then move it to the symbol of your choice.
1. sonisoe (Posts: 325; Member since: 06 May 2009)
can the phone be used as a modem ? can the bluetooth transfer/receive files ?
2. dandv (Posts: 3; Member since: 23 Sep 2009)
@sonisoe: Yes, see my wireless tethering section in the Android User's Howto Wiki athttp://wiki.dandascalescu.com/
howtos/android#Network.I've also posted a side-by-side comparison with pictures between the Samsung Galaxy and HTC Hero: http://wiki.dandascalescu.com/ reviews/gadgets/pda_phones/sam sung_i7500_galaxy_vs_htc_hero
3. tweakerbee (Posts: 1; Member since: 04 Oct 2009)
The Hero has an abominable Calendar app. They removed the week view, and the month view does not show the sidebars like the standard Google Calendar. The worst thing is you cannot get the original Calendar app back! Samsung is right to keep the vanilla Android apps. At least they don't remove functionality like HTC.
4. pfm (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Jun 2010)
I am so disappointed with Samsung about this phone I just have to warn everybody: do NOT buy it. The Samsung update software (New pc studio) from Samsung only works in windows and it doesn't detect nor update the phone. It is absolutely frustrating to have this phone for months with Android 1.5 . My personal opinion, I'll never, ever, buy a Samsung phone again.