Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 Preview
UPDATE (June 17, 2010): We've updated the "Interface" part with screenshots of the newer prototype unit we received, which depict the way the software's going to look in the final unit.
UPDATE (June 15, 2010): We've updated the preview by replacing the "Corby Smartphone I5500" name with "Galaxy 5 I5500", as this is how the phone will be called on a global scale. In some markets though, its name may still differ, so look for the "I5500" part.
The Android platform has gained an overwhelming popularity that certainly motivates manufacturers to stay on target and keep us occupied with new models regularly. Doubtlessly, the world’s leading company on this market is HTC, but there are quite a few well-known players fighting on the same mat. At least at the time being, the number of affordable Android handsets remains quite limited though - perhaps the most famous of them all is the HTC Tattoo, although other manufacturers appear to be zeroing in on the same target. Samsung has just become one of the notable runners-up with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 – an entry level Android-based device with design that follows in the footsteps (and has acquired part of the charm) of the Corby series.
The Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 is not that dissimilar from its rivals in terms of specifications, say the HTC Tattoo and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini. The device is equipped with 2.8-inch capacitive screen with QVGA resolution, 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, 2-megapixel camera without flash, 3.5mm jack, microUSB port and microSD expansion card slot. The more interesting thing, however, is that the affordable cell phone runs Android 2.1. What we have in our hands is an early prototype of the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 and its software is not particularly stable, but still, it runs just good enough to allow us to get a sneak peek at what the handset is going to be. Are you ready? Buckle up and… let’s take off!
The overall look and styling of the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 does follow in the footsteps of the Corby family members. If we have to be more accurate, the device resembles the Samsung Lindy M5650 and we do like that. The glossy framing is not metal actually, but plastic, which is to be expected of an entry-level device. Still, it does lend color and certain style to the overall appeal of the Galaxy 5 I5500. The thing that we are quite impressed by is the shape of the cell phone. There is nothing unique or innovative about it… it’s just the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 feels extremely comfortable in your hand.
You can compare the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
As we have already mentioned, the screen measures 2.8 inches, utilizes capacitive technology, sports native resolution of 240x320 pixels and we do prefer it to the resistive display of the HTC Tattoo.
The send and end keys are, of course, below the display and in the company of a 5-directional D-Pad typical of Samsung’s droid army. Next to them there are four other navigational buttons that are transparent and lack whatever backlighting, at least in the case of our prototype. What we are more concerned about, though, is they are not raised enough, don’t have proper travel and pressing them is just as hard as it’s displeasing. We hope the issue will have been addressed by the time the retail units of the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 hit the shelves.