Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500 review

Have we finally got a decent low cost Android smartphone?

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Our Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500 is more expensive than the truly budget Android handsets, but it is a well specified smartphone that hits all its marks.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 140 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 2 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 9.52 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 240 x 320

View full specification


  • Reponsive screen
  • Good battery life
  • Decent included apps
  • Good Twitter and Facebook integration
  • Unobtrusive Android skinning


  • Too many buttons
  • Screen too small for media rich activities
  • Camera could be better
  • No QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode
  • Measly 1GB microSD card supplied

The Galaxy Europa i5500 is another small format Android handset, running Android 2.1 but also packing in a much more pocket-friendly price.

You can get it on deals from £10 a month, and SIM free we found it for £186.83 inc VAT at online retailers such as Clove.

This means the Galaxy Europa is a notch up the food chain from the ultra low cost Alcatel OT-980, and closer in price to the LG Optimus GT540.

Samsung galaxy europa

So, all other things being equal it ought to be better than the former and close to the latter. In fact, we'd say it is rather better than both those offerings.

It has the Android necessities of Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS on board and there is 140MB of user memory, plus a 1GB microSD card in the box.

Samsung galaxy europa i5500 review

The build has a weird asymmetrical design that makes the phone look fatter at the top than at the bottom when viewed edge on.

That's an optical illusion created by the fact that there is a silvery edging to the handset that sits at a non-uniform angle. It forms the whole of the top plate, then slants along the edges so that it can form a lip on the bottom front of the handset. Clever, but not rocket science, really.

Samsung galaxy europa i5500 review

The actual dimensions are 56 x 108 x 12.3mm, and the handset is not thinner at one end than the other.

The plastic build materials mean the Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500 is quite light at just 102g, but the plastic doesn't feel shoddy. We doubt the Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500 will survive to many falls from a great height, but the odd drop from a table top ought not to cause it any real harm.

The shiny black backplate is a fingerprint magnet, and we aren't sure we need the 'with Google' reminder on the backplate.

The front fascia is positively riddled with buttons and the area in which they sit looks cramped, though actually using the buttons did not feel especially squeezed.

Samsung galaxy europa i5500 review

We are never really sure you need Call and End buttons on an Android handset and in this case there is a shortcut to the dialler hardwired to every main screen. At least the End button doubles as the off switch.

Samsung galaxy europa i5500 review

There's a nice sized D-pad which, like Call and End buttons, can feel redundant on a handset with a touch screen, though we can see why some people might like to use one from time to time.

Samsung galaxy europa i5500 review

Samsung has also found room for two extra buttons – one offering the Android Menu and Home functions, the other giving you Back and Search functions. There are very slightly concave, which helps with ease of use.

Samsung galaxy europa i5500 review

Samsung hasn't gone overboard with side buttons and connectors. There's a 3.5mm headset connector on the top edge, nothing on the right or bottom, and on the left a volume rocker and microUSB power connector.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory140 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time9.52 Hour
Product ModelI5500 Galaxy Europa
Screen Size7.1 cm (2.8")
Screen Resolution240 x 320
Weight (Approximate)102 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.1 Eclair
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), EMS, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height108 mm
Width56 mm
Depth12.3 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time12504 Hour
Product NameI5500 Galaxy Europa Smartphone
Processor Speed600 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I5500YKAXEU
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Enjoy the best of both world's with the new compact and sleek Galaxy Europa. It's bang on trend with a stylish blend of contours and diagonal lines, whiles still delivering all the coolest features. These include the Android Eclair operating system, which gives easy access to Android apps like Google Maps, integrated social networking, and the fun new Swype controls for fast fingertip texting. You can also enjoy speedy internet browsing, awesome built-in Layar Augmented Reality Browser (search nearby attractions/services in real-time on the camera view-finder), and an entourage of multimedia - including a 2 megapixel camera, MP4 videos, and easy content sharing with AllShare. With the Samsung Europa, life is a lot more stylish, connected and fun!

Limited Warranty2 Year