Samsung Galaxy I7500 Review
The first dare-devil to boldly venture into the Android universe was the T-Mobile G1, also known as the HTC Dream. He was a lonely explorer at first, but one of his younger siblings, the HTC Magic was soon to come and help out (aka T-Mobile myTouch 3G in USA and T-Mobile G2 in UK). At the end of April 2009 Samsung officially announced they were to launch their own battleship to conquer the Android universe and named it the Samsung Galaxy I7500. The handset looks quite similar to the Magic and we consider the handsets direct rivals. Unlike the HTC Magic, the Galaxy is equipped with 5-megapixel camera, additional microphone dedicated to better audio tracks to the captured videos, touch sensitive AMOLED screen, D-Pad instead of trackball and 8GB internal memory. The list of archrivals of the Samsung´s first Android device can be expanded to include the HTC Hero, although we do think the Samsung´s device doesn’t stand a sporting chance against the latter. Well, the denouement is forthcoming, so let´s sit back, not underestimate the contenders and see what happens.
What´s in the box?
• The Samsung Galaxy i7500
• microUSB charger
• microUSB cable
• Stereo headset with 3.5mm jack
• Software CD
• User guide
The phone case is welcome, although it´s less useful than the one that comes with the Samsung Jet S8000. There are neither openings for the phone earpiece, nor markings that indicate where the send and end keys are, so you will have to pull the phone out of it anytime you need to use it.
The design is in line with the manufacturer´s new style and its similarity to the Jet S8000 and Omnia II I8000 is apparent, although it resembles the overall shape and look of the HTC Magic too. The handset is compact and only 11.9mm thin, which makes the Samsung´s Battlestar the slimmest Android-based handset on the market. We do not have any gripes concerning the quality of workmanship. The Samsung Galaxy I7500 is made of plastic that doesn’t have a cheap feel to it, but has a raging affinity for fingerprints, so you will have to clean it up quite often if you want it to retain its presentable outlook.
You can compare the Samsung Galaxy I7500 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Just like the Magic, the Galaxy I7500 is equipped with 3.2-inch capacitive screen with resolution of 320x480 pixels. There is quite a significant difference however, because the Samsung´s device features light sensitivity sensor, utilizes AMOLED technology and delivers 16mln color support unlike the feeble 65k-capable display on the Magic. The result is superior, more vivid and pleasing image quality. It remains usable in direct sunlight, but its love for fingerprints becomes rather evident when you take the phone outdoors.
Unlike the Android running handsets by HTC, Samsung has staked on a 5-directional D-pad instead of a trackball. We are of the opinion, however, that the trackball is much easier, handier and faster to control. There is a button on the left of the D-pad with an arrow on it that calls up the phone Menu. The smallest button of all has no inscription on it, gets you to the home screen when pressed or opens the multitasking menu if held pressed for a while. We do not have any gripes concerning the feel and travel of all the buttons, although they could have been aligned better - if you use the phone with one hand, reaching the innermost keys creates an unpleasant feeling of your fingers being overstretched, especially after prolonged use. Ultimately, we think the trackball provides more ease and comfort and we rather prefer it to the D-pad.
There is a screen lock/unlock button on the right hand side of the device that fully replaces the end key function widely adopted in the HTC´s army. The additional microphone supposed to improve the audio track quality of videos that you capture is on the top side, along with a 3.5mm jack and microUSB slot and we welcome the latter two with open hands. The lonely volume rocker is located on the opposite side and is fairly easy to press. Finally, the back houses a loudspeaker and 5-megapixel camera equipped with LED flash.