Samsung GALAXY W Preview

Introduction and Design

The Samsung GALAXY W is among the latest batch of Android smartphones that the manufacturer introduced back in August, and on paper it is definitely the most potent of the bunch. In terms of specs it stands in the upper mid-range of Samsung's current portfolio with its 1.4GHz single-core processor, 3.7-inch WVGA display and 14.4Mbps HSPA radio. A couple of cameras are also on board – a 5-megapixel main one accompanied by an LED flash and a front-facing shooter for video chat.

But that is all theory, and we all know that the first-hand experience is what truly matters. Well, we have a prototype unit of the Samsung GALAXY W right here and we've given it some thorough testing. Would you like to know how it stood up to the challenge? Read along to find out!


Although it is marketed as a high-tier device, the Samsung GALAXY W does not boast the visual cues necessary to make it stand out of the crowd. It feels like a run-of-the-mill slab of flimsy plastic, as if its designers have given a low priority to looks and focused primarily on its functionality. Sure, that does not necessarily spell failure out loud, but the handset simply lacks the “wow” factor that would please visually a potential buyer when holding up the device for the first time. It seems like both premium materials and superior craftsmanship have been reserved only for the very best in Samsung's stables.

On the other hand, the all-plastic body of the GALAXY W has a soft touch finish added to it and its back cover sports a nice texture pattern. Both of these design touches add some extra grip  and make it pretty comfortable to hold. On top of that, the smartphone’s dimensions are great if you prefer operating it with a single hand, and all of its buttons are easy to find with your thumb.

You can compare the Samsung GALAXY W with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

What glows in the smartphone's front side is a 3.7-inch LCD display packing a resolution of 480 by 800 pixels. Punching the numbers into a PPI calculator gives us the impressive figure of 252 pixels per inch, which in simple words translates into crisp images and sharp-looking text. We were genuinely pleased with the beautiful graphics that the prototype unit delivered leading us to believe that the display on the finalized model will not disappoint.

In a nutshell, the Samsung GALAXY W looks more like a plastic toy rather than a high-tier smartphone, yet packs a display that is truly a pleasure to look at due to its high pixel density. Let's move along and see what it can offer in terms of functionality.

Samsung GALAXY W 360-degrees View:


The Samsung GALAXY W runs Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread out of the box customized with the manufacturer's very own TouchWiz 4.0 interface. Beautifully drawn icons, plenty of useful tools, and a plethora of widgets are all on board adding a special twist to the whole Android experience. Of course, you also get a multitude of customizable home screens and the grid-like app list that everybody knows and loves. The 1.4GHz single-core chipset ticking inside handles navigation and kinetic scrolling with ease despite the fact that we are playing with a prototype unit here.

Using the on-screen keyboard on the GALAXY W is more then a pleasure as it is very responsive and neatly aligned. Speed typing shouldn't be a problem, especially when using the smartphone in landscape mode.


Samsung has added a whole bunch of handy applications, including its very own Social Hub app that takes care of all your social networking needs. The app has been overhauled and now combines social networks, email, texting and instant messaging under one roof. Game Hub is also present for the times when you are feeling bored. The games it features are socially-oriented and offer online multiplayer with mobile gamers from all over the world. The Music Hub app has also been thrown in the set and lets you purchase music on the go.

Some other tools that need to be mentioned include the AllShare app for streaming media wirelessly from the smartphone straight to a TV or a home theater system with DLNA support, Kies Air for transferring music or movies onto the handset from a computer and vice versa, Polaris Office for viewing and editing documents, and a Photo Editor application for the times when you are feeling like exorcizing your creative side.

Internet Browser:

For the most part, we had no troubles browsing the web on the Samsung GALAXY W even though it was a prototype unit that we were handling. Pages load quickly and scrolling is as smooth as it should be. Of course, all the basics such as pinch-to-zoom and zooming on paragraphs by double-tapping are in stock as well, yet Samsung has added an extra touch of its own. Pinching out gives you a side-by-side view of all your opened tabs, which is a really neat feature to have. The experience would have not been complete without Adobe Flash support, which renders animations seamlessly and doesn't seem to slow down the browser at all.


The camera interface offers a broad selection of shooting modes and scenes, as well as tap to focus, macro mode, and even a blink detection feature. When it comes to taking videos, the Samsung GALAXY W can capture 720p footage at 30 frames per second, which should be good enough for the needs of the average user.

Samsung GALAXY W Sample Video:


The stock Android music player is all you get on the GALAXY W, but it serves its purpose without a hitch. What's more is that it supports the FLAC lossless audio format, which means that you can enjoy your tunes without sacrificing quality. When it comes to video playback, 720p videos played seamlessly, and the support for DivX/Xvid video formats along with MPEG4 is a feature worth pointing out.


To wrap everything up, the Samsung GALAXY W is shaping up to be a very promising device. Both great multimedia features and a ton of pre-loaded software are in its arsenal combined with the beautiful TouchWiz 4.0 user interface. The 3.7-inch LCD display should be commended as well since it delivers some eye-pleasing graphics thanks to its high pixel count. On top of all that, the internet browsing experience is complemented by Adobe Flash support meaning that you can enjoy the web to its fullest.

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The only thing that we didn't like about the GALAXY W is that it simply lacks the visual appeal necessary to make it stand out of the crowd. We are swimming in a sea of black plastic slabs we call smartphones, and the GALAXY W is nothing but a drop in it.

Of course, we will give our final verdict as soon as we get to check out the final version of the smartphone, which should not be too far in the future as the Samsung GALAXY W is expected to hit the market in the forthcoming days. Once it launches, it will be competing against devices such as the Sony Ericsson Xperia neo and the HTC Desire S, which both come in the same form factor and offer a pretty similar set of features. The LG Optimus Black is also a worthy contender as it does not lag too far behind in terms of performance, but grabs the attention with its beautiful display and slim profile. Another alternative would be the upcoming LG Optimus Sol, which will come equipped with an AMOLED display and will bear a pretty reasonable price tag.

Samsung GALAXY W Video Preview:

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