Samsung I5510 Review

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


Samsung has decided to cover all flanks during its Android-led assault on the smartphone markets, introducing handsets in various form factors and price spots. At the IFA 2010 expo, a Samsung i5510 was spotted, boasting Android 2.2 and a physical QWERTY keyboard, in a fairly slim package. Now we have a review unit of the device, and will put it through its paces so you can judge how TouchWiz 3.0 and Froyo get along together on a budget handset...


The Samsung i5510 is made of the durable, glossy black plastic that the manufacturer uses on a lot of its handsets recently. The 3.2” capacitive touchscreen has 240x400 pixels of resolution. The LCD display is bright and responsive, and the pixel density is enough for everyday tasks.

Underneath the display there are three physical Android buttons – Home in the middle, Back on the right, and the Menu key on the left. Long-pressing the Menu key brings up the eight most recently used applications. The screen half of the Samsung i5510 is differentiated by the dark gray plastic surrounding it.

You can compare the Samsung i5510 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The back is flat, with a 3MP camera centered in its upper part, and the speaker grill down right. The camera doesn’t have a dedicated shutter button, thus the only element on the right side is the lock/power key. On the left we have the volume rocker, and the top houses the standard audio jack, and a microUSB slot with a sliding cover. 

Naturally, it is the QWERTY keyboard part, which will interest people most in the Samsung i5510, so let’s push it open and check the key design and responsiveness. The screen half slides away tight and smooth, revealing four rows of keys, which light up in white when used. The numbers, which are colored in red, are placed at the top row, and the mode switch is down left, colored the same.

Samsung has included four dedicated cursor arrow keys in gray, which, to us, is the greatest advantage of physical keyboards over virtual ones. The key travel is a bit stiff and shallow, but the keyboard is very usable, once you get used to it. It doesn’t feel crammed, as each individual key is placed in a frame independently. Snapping the screen back over it is again easy, and the spring mechanism feels satisfyingly sturdy.   

We won’t go so far as to say that it is a Galaxy 3 with a keyboard, but in terms of front and back design, components and materials used, the two phones are very close relatives. The Samsung i5510 fits very well in the hand, and has just enough heft to feel solid, despite the physical QWERTY keyboard. Our scale showed 4.23 ounces (120 grams), which makes it one of the lightest handsets with a slide-out keyboard out there.

Samsung i5510 360 Degrees View:

Interface and Functionality:

Oh, the delight of Froyo! Although the rumors for a 1GHz CPU, when the phone was spotted at IFA 2010, turned out greatly exaggerated, the 600MHz processor didn’t stutter once in transitioning between screens, scrolling in menus, or firing up applications. The Samsung i5510 uses the same Qualcomm MSM7227-1 chipset, which is in the Galaxy 3.

Android 2.2 and TouchWiz 3.0, as found in the Samsung i5510, left us with very positive impression in terms of raw speed and usability. We have examined this version of TouchWiz thoroughly in our reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy 3. Again, you can import, sync and integrate the contacts and calendar from popular accounts like Facebook and Gmail, as well as Twitter, MySpace and your corporate Exchange account.

The interface, based on homescreens, widgets, and a menu grid with application shortcuts, hasn’t undergone some drastic changes. Still, there are some novelties apart from the inclusion of new functionalities, brought on by Android 2.2. Of the additional TouchWiz tweaks perhaps the most notable is the slight change of the icons inside the music player, and the simplified view by artist – now it aggregates all albums under a name, and the list unfolds when you press it.

Messaging, Browser and Connectivity:

Samsung’s Social Hub is present here as well, which allows you to compose a message and choose to shoot it out via email, text, MMS, or post it as an update on Facebook. Text messaging is in threaded view, the contents are searchable, and the email client is excellent, as usual in TouchWiz 3.0 phones. The official specs from Samsung on the i5510 connectivity options show that it has Wi-Fi, 3G, A-GPS, and Bluetooth chips inside.

Flash 10.1 doesn’t work very well on the unit we had. Although Android 2.2 supports it, it is very dependent on the hardware and software optimizations of the manufacturer.  Our review phone supports only basic elements of Adobe's ubiquitous software. Flash ads we could see, but even YouTube didn’t play unless run from the dedicated app, and entirely Flash-based websites returned the familiar “missing plugin” logo.

Other than that, although we wouldn’t survive reading novels at this resolution, the websites looked fine, and multitouch worked without any complaints. The only slight lag we noticed was when swiping the sites left or right. Capacitive scrolling is extremely quick, and the inertia is smooth.

Camera and Multimedia:

The camera interface is the familiar excellent one found in the latest TouchWiz 3.0 phones by Samsung, and allows for numerous scene settings and effects.

The maximum camera resolution that the interface showed was 3.2MP, so the reported 5MP when the phone made the news at IFA 2010, have been inaccurate. There is no dedicated camera key, thus shooting stills is done with the virtual on-screen button, and we weren’t able to touch and pre-focus, it just takes the picture right away. Pictures come out a bit oversaturated, which many people like. The amount of detail is decent for a 3MP shooter, but certain elements appear unfocused. The indoor shots in low light suffer from graininess, which is explicable considering the lack of flash on the handset.

The phone is able to capture video at QVGA resolution with 30fps. Pictures and videos are combined in the typical for TouchWiz 3.0 gallery with 3D effects.

Videos in MPEG-4 format up to the screen’s resolution play well, but we weren’t able to run DivX/Xvid files, which are usually supported by Samsung’s smartphone handsets.

As we noted above, the music player interface is revamped a little bit, making it more compact, but we still noticed that the phone supports the 5.1 channels SRS effect in headset mode, which is becoming trademark for the company’s phones lately. The speaker is quite loud, but, of course, you can't expect wonders from the base and the pitched sounds - they sound tinny.


Samsung i5510’s earspeaker is very loud, the conversations with the people that were calling us sounded clear. However, the other party complained of not being able to hear us very well, since our voices came out muffled.

The phone sometimes had trouble locking the nearest cell tower, or dropped the signal in mid-call. When it behaved, though, we noticed that at places where we usually have very scarce coverage, the Samsung i5510 had full three or four bars, and we were able to  carry a normal conversation.

There are no official endurance numbers for the 1200mAh battery, but in our unit it had to be charged every evening, and went down really fast with Wi-Fi turned on.


We were very pleased with the simplistic, unpretentious design of the compact QWERTY-laden Samsung i5510. Seeing Froyo and TouchWiz 3.0 perform in tandem for the first time out of the box, we are extremely optimistic about Android. The interface is snappy, smooth and functional, while the physical keyboard differentiates the Samsung i5510 from the existing Froyo pack.

If you prefer touchscreen only, have a look at the Galaxy 3, or, alternatively, if Android with a keyboard does it for you, the Motorola MILESTONE 2 hears your pain, but at a higher price. The rumored MSRP for the unlocked Samsung i5510 is the affordable 200 euros ($270), and it is ready to appear on Vodafone in a short while.

Samsung I5510 Video Review:


  • Compact design
  • Comfortable QWERTY keyboard
  • Smooth interface with Android 2.2


  • Very basic Adobe Flash support
  • Mediocre camera without a flash

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