x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

Samsung Galaxy S

Posted: , posted by Daniel P.

Tags:

Pages
Messaging:

Texting and email tools on the Samsung GALAXY S are a bit of a mixed bag. There is Google's Mail app, which works as advertised, with search, labels and all. There is also the Samsung email client for other general web-based email services like Hotmail or Yahoo, and for your corporate Exchange accounts. The phone's own email app has the cool features of TouchWiz 3.0, such as the combined inbox, where all your set email accounts pour in their messages, differentiated with color coding.

Email - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Combined inbox - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

Email

Combined inbox


The devil is in the details, though, and we were surprised to have trouble finding settings for message sizes, and the amount to download. If not on a more prominent place, these are usually buried in the incoming server settings, but in the GALAXY S are nowhere to be seen, even for such a popular service like Gmail. We tried both default IMAP, and manually set up POP3 access, no go, messages keep coming in an undisclosed size and you have to manually fetch every single attachment, pretty annoying. This leaves an otherwise good feature, such as the ability to search in both email applications, a bit underutilized, as it will only be searching through the text of very recent messages, if you find yourself offline and need an attachment.

Email on the Samsung GALAXY S is searchable - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Email on the Samsung GALAXY S is searchable - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

The Messaging application is pretty powerful when you need to shoot group texts, or attach multimedia and memos for an MMS. TouchWiz uses the default messaging application underneath, which starts showing the symbols counter when there are ten left from the first message, like on other Android phones. It's smart, but we'd rather have the counter from the start. We downloaded the Road SMS app off Samsung Apps, which shows the road in front of you through the phone's camera while you are texting, and that one had a counter, so no biggie. Messages get into text balloons for a nice cartoonish conversation much like... the iPhone, but this is, of course, a good thing. There are other similarities in the Samsung GALAXY S I9000 to the iPhone's apps or interface, which we will mention later.

In both the Messaging and Email apps you can use pinch to zoom while reading a message and it enlarges the text and/or pictures inside for easier viewing. Swiping right or left on a conversation thread in the main Messaging screen lets you call, or message the contact, and that feat also works on the contacts in the phonebook. 

Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

You can't review messaging without mentioning the on-screen keyboard, which feels comfy to the thumbs on the large screen. In landscape mode typing is a breeze, since the keyboard layout is exactly like the iPhone's, which, again, is not a bad thing. The only two different keys are on the bottom row, added thanks to the larger screen of the GALAXY S I9000. There is a separate dot key, and a settings key. The latter lets you choose languages, or one of the other three keyboard types. The 3x4 keypad works only in portrait mode for one-handed driving...eh... typing, and there are two types of handwriting boxes, if you are so inclined. The keyboard also lets you change key sets by swiping - all in all, no complains about the keyboard.

Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The company has also preinstalled the Swype text input style, which we will not review here, as it's all over the Internets recently. Suffice it to say it is surprisingly accurate even with bulky fingers, and extremely useful for long emails once you develop the knack for it, but comes only in English flavor for now.



The on-screen keyboard of the Samsung GALAXY S - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The on-screen keyboard of the Samsung GALAXY S - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The on-screen keyboard of the Samsung GALAXY S - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The on-screen keyboard of the Samsung GALAXY S - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review


Browser and Connectivity:

The Samsung GALAXY S cannot complain about connectivity options – quad-band 2G, and tri-band 3G are all on board.. Wi-Fi of the a/b/g/n variants, and Bluetooth 3.0 round up the top-notch radios found in the device. The handset can be used as a mobile access point, and tether 3G speeds around, or stream files to DLNA enabled devices like TVs of the Samsung AllShare variety. There is, of course, A-GPS with Google Maps as well, but for a good offline navigation you'll have to shell out some cash.

We paired up the Samsung GALAXY S I9000 with the Samsung Wave to send a 30 seconds 44MB high def video over Bluetooth 3.0. It took the devices a minute to start the transfer, and ten in total to finish it, so don’t leave home sans cable if you will be transferring large video files from the internal memory. We tried sending the file back to the GALAXY S with the same just under 10 min result. Both devices were on the same Wi-Fi g network that BT 3.0 should be using for fast transfers, so either we weren’t doing something right, or those theoretical speeds of 24Mbits actually bite the dust in real life. We mainly browsed through Wi-Fi, which seemed to be pretty gentle on the battery.

Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review

The default browser worked wonders on the huge capacitive screen. Multitouch feels well for precision zooming, but you can also double-tap for crude enlargement. The WebKit based browser is minimalistic, which we always like – just a thin green line at the top notifies of page loading status, and it loads, scrolls, and reflows text quickly. Hit the context menu, though, and a plethora of options for window management, bookmarking and downloads show up. Great experience, which will probably get even better when Froyo comes up for the Samsung GALAXY S, and brings along the full Flash 10.1 experience. Until then we have to rely on the default YouTube client, which carries its duties with pride.

The default browser works wonders on the huge capacitive screen - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The default browser works wonders on the huge capacitive screen - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
The default browser works wonders on the huge capacitive screen - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
YouTube app - The default browser works wonders on the huge capacitive screen - Samsung GALAXY S I9000 Review
   

YouTube app




56 Comments
  • Options
    Close





Want to comment? Please login or register.

Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung Galaxy S

OS: Android 2.3.5 2.3 2.2 2.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8.5Excellent
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

Latest stories