Samsung Galaxy 5 I5500 Preview

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.





Expectations:

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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