Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 Preview

Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone. It can be used with AT&T and T-Mobile USA without 3G.

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.

Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 360 Degrees View:

Interface and Functionality:

UPDATE (June 17, 2010): It seems our first prototype unit has been running a dated version of the interface, as we've now received another unit, the user interface of which matches the one seen on the Galaxy 5's stock photos. That's why we believe the final unit's software will look like this:

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 runs Android 2.1. Unlike the first Galaxy and Galaxy Spica (before it was updated to Android 2.1), the Galaxy 5 I5500 comes with personalized interface, namely TouchWiz 3.0. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to take a closer look at all the novelties (in applications, menus, etc.), since this is just a prototype and not a final, retail unit. Still, here is what we’ve found out:

The home screen of our Galaxy 5 I5500 consists of 7 pages, although we just don’t know whether the number will be retained. Pressing the Home button takes you to the first of these pages and you’re probably thinking you’ll be in for quite a lot of scrolling to get to the last page, but in fact this is as easy to do as simply pressing the index of the page you need to switch over to.

There are four icons at the bottom of the screen and they provide access to the phone dialing, contacts, messaging and main menu. The latter is quite different from the main menu that is common with Android handsets today, because it’s divided into separate pages and is nothing to do with the standard list that you need to scroll vertically typical of Android. In case, however, this is not your cup of tea, you can always have your device visualize the main menu in the old way.

Aside from the visual eye-candies and colorful icons of Samsung´s personalized interface, the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 comes with SNS (Social Network Service) support, just like the LG GW620, Pop, etc. It enables you to synchronize your contacts with relevant information about them from various social networks. It´s also what the preinstalled application Write and Go relies on in order to give you the option to simultaneously update your Facebook, MySpace and Twitter statuses.

No matter the particular type of written correspondence you are into, you will rely on the standard screen QWERTY layout typical of Android 2.1. It, of course, works in both portrait and landscape modes.

The default web browser is the standard application of the operating system and it’s not halfway bad really. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to give it a go during the tests of the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500, even for a short time, because the phone just kept freezing on us. So, the internet surfing capabilities of the device remain an impenetrable mystery until we manage to get our hands on a retail unit.

Moreover, what we would really like to see when said day finally comes is what are all the options offered by the camera interface, since we saw just a few - you can take your pick from several effects, scenes or switch to video camera and record videos with a maximum resolution of 320x240 pixels.


So, what do we expect from the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500? That’s a good question… Given our unit is just an early prototype and we couldn’t take a look at key elements of its software, the answer is not obvious at all. Still, we believe the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 has a sporting chance of finding its own place of comfort on the market of affordable, Android-based handsets. It is appealing, comfortable to hold in your hand and comes with SNS, GPS, Wi-Fi and interface that is definitely different from the boring and simple stock Android. Fingers crossed we get our hands on a retail version soon, so we can tell you the truth about the Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500. What seems certain at this point, however, is the handset is in for quite a fight.

Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 Video Preview:

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