Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
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This is a global GSM phone. It can be used with
AT&T's 1900MHz 3G band, and with T-Mobile USA without 3G.

Variants of the Samsung Galaxy S I9000 have been announced by all four major U.S. carriers and will be released as the Captivate by AT&T, Vibrant by T-Mobile USA, Fascinate by Verizon and Epic 4G by Sprint.


Samsung must have been pretty confident in the GALAXY S's virtues to designate it for a simultaneous launch in 110 countries. Therefore it's not surprising that the South Korean manufacturer has a wow factor built-in from the start. The Samsung GALAXY S comes with a huge 4” Super AMOLED display, significantly larger than the only other such screen on the market – the 3.3” one of the Samsung Wave. This gorgeous window to the phone's soul is hinged to another novelty from Samsung – the 1GHz Hummingbird heart of the device. It is Samsung's answer to the Snapdragon cores found in the current cream-of-the-crop handsets. 

Working in tandem with the newest edition of the TouchWiz UI, these unique features of the Samsung GALAXY S should ring in what the company names Smart Life into your existence – a sophisticated companion from dusk till dawn. Will the phone live up to the hype, or will it be just another victim of stretched marketing imagination? Now the only smart thing left to do on our part, is to review the GALAXY S where the rubber meets the road...

Box content:
  • Samsung GALAXY S handset
  • Li-Ion battery 1500mAh
  • Headset with microphone
  • User manual
  • Get to know booklet
  • Travel adapter
  • microUSB cable
  • Screen protector


The Samsung GALAXY S I9000 is a typical rectangular representative of the big touchscreen phone designs these days. The screen is recessed just a tad below the rim of the casing, which protects it from direct contact with hard surfaces when placed face-down. As can be expected from a 4” display, it occupies most of the frontal space, but room is spared above and below it for the earpiece and navigational buttons. 

You can compare the Samsung Galaxy S I9000 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

There are three keys right below it – touch home, physical menu and touch back. Long pressing the context menu key fires up the smart search function, so we actually have all four standard Android keys present. The other front elements are above the screen - the earpiece slit, a front facing VGA cam, and the dot sensors for proximity and ambient light. The Samsung branding is visible right above the screen, as well as on the lower section of the battery cover.

The back hosts the 5MP camera lens in the upper left corner, and the speaker grill on the right. Below them is the ubiquitous “with Google” branding, which hints this is a full-featured Android device, with the whole set of Google services preinstalled. The dotted back cover makes one think the phone has measles rather than bring the alleged carbon fiber-esque look, but that's our take.

On the upper left side is the volume rocker, which is a whole piece with a decent travel click, and on the right is the power/lock key. It is welcome that Samsung has provided a physical lock key to the GALAXY S. You can't accidentally dial on a capacitive screen in your pocket, but it's the quick pressing of the lock key before you slip it in, that completely takes the worries out. 

Another nice idea from Samsung is the sliding lid over the microUSB port at the top of the Samsung GALAXY S – prevents dirt and lint from clogging the port. The same can be found on the Samsung Wave, and takes another worry out of the equation. The top also houses the 3.5mm audio jack, which can serve as an S-video port for TV-out, if you get the additional cable. It would have been nice to have an HDMI-out port, so sound can travel to your TV as well as picture, but obviously Samsung hasdecided to leave the GALAXY S out of the multimedia battles. The only other element worth noting is the microscopic mic hole at the bottom of the device and that's all there is on the outside. Pretty simple and streamlined exterior..

The handset's design is not amazingly inventive, but rather practical and comfortable for holding thanks to a hump at the very bottom of its back cover. We wouldn't actually consider the device too big since it is also very thin with its 0.39” (9.9mm). This commendable achievement is due to the technology behind the 480x800 pixels WVGA Super AMOLED screen. Samsung has disposed of the air layer between the touch sensitive panel and the display, and has placed the touch sensor directly over it – almost like coating, considering it is 0.000040” (0.001 mm) thick. This surely helped to keep matters nice and svelte in the Samsung GALAXY S I9000, despite its powerhouse status. It also sports true black color, wider viewing angles and is very usable in direct sunlight thanks to the lack of air pocket in the Super AMOLED technology. What we didn't like in this display was how you can easily see almost every single pixel in it. We are not sure if it's the low ppi count or the particular technology involved, but it surely has a negative effect on image clarity and even usability, as it makes small texts pretty hard to read.

The only gripe we have with the design is the plasticky build, unlike the nice aluminum one, found in the Samsung Wave. We would have preferred more upscale materials or accents, but, oh well, as long as the phone is sturdy as it appears, we will sit tight and wait for the Vanity Fair moment to pass.

Moreover, an all-plastic casing around a thin display brings in a welcome reduction in weight. The Samsung GALAXY S I9000 is one of the lightest handsets with a 4” screen money can buy - it weighs what the smaller Wave does with its 4.16 oz (118 g). Compare that to the HTC EVO 4G's 6.00 oz (170 g), or even to the same screen size Xperia X10 at 4.76 oz (135 g), and you will catch our drift. Keep 'em Super AMOLEDs coming, Samsung, humanity will be eternally grateful.

Samsung GALAXY S 360 Degrees View:

More content with (Galaxy S)



1. ace1122

Posts: 237; Member since: Mar 23, 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.

2. vensudy

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 24, 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.

3. ace1122

Posts: 237; Member since: Mar 23, 2009

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

21. veesion

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 26, 2010

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

4. rtimi26

Posts: 42; Member since: Mar 16, 2009

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

5. four_zero40

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 25, 2010

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

15. skybucks21

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 01, 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!

6. chaosnightmare

Posts: 182; Member since: May 20, 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

16. skybucks21

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 01, 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!

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!

7. arash84v

Posts: 28; Member since: Nov 18, 2009

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

17. skybucks21

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 01, 2009

shut up!

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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 :)

9. eokorie

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 17, 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.

10. skybucks21

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 01, 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!!!

11. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 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.

13. skybucks21

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 01, 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!

12. veesion

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 26, 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!!!!

18. gridlock

Posts: 31; Member since: Jun 10, 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'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\ :-)

20. veesion

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 26, 2010

well i dont know about pricing in US... but in rest of the 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.

24. gridlock

Posts: 31; Member since: Jun 10, 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 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...

25. veesion

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 26, 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 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 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

26. gridlock

Posts: 31; Member since: Jun 10, 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

27. veesion

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 26, 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..

30. eewhiz

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 01, 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 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....

14. fsjon

Posts: 120; Member since: Sep 03, 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.

19. simpleleong

Posts: 14; Member since: Jun 08, 2010

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


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 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.

23. gridlock

Posts: 31; Member since: Jun 10, 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! :))

28. rorokevin

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 01, 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)
Galaxy S
  • Display 4.0" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(6.55h 3G talk time)

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