Samsung galaxy europa review

With a 600MHz processor and 2.8-inch screen to its name, the Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500 doesn't sound promising. But neither of these factors are big negatives.

The small screen will hamper you if you are very interested in viewing video or using the web, but if anything, it is the camera which is the big disappointment.

But even there, for a 2 megapixel camera the shots weren't too awful.

The abundance of buttons beneath the screen won't be everyone's cup of tea, and the shiny, fingerprint-loving backplate is another negative point, but the build is reasonably solid for a handset at this price.

We liked

The capacitive touch screen is great to see in a handset of this price. It really helps with everyday usability, and on its own makes us feel positively disposed towards the Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500.

The user interface is really nicely tweaked. The skinning is not over the top, and what has been done makes sense and feels logical.

Samsung's integration of Facebook and Twitter into the contacts area makes real sense and works well. Of course there is always more we can ask for – thumbnails of tweeted images would have been nice – but we can live with what is here happily enough.

Battery life is good and you might even get through a weekend without access to mains power if you take it carefully.

We disliked

It is a real pity the screen is so small – but Samsung has had to save some money somewhere and the screen is one of the key places that can be done in terms of build and specifications.

It is also a shame that the Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500 doesn't do pinch to zoom, despite having a capacitive screen, and we find that a very strange omission.

The camera is stuck at just 2 megapixels and that is a big disappointment. Some photos were of quite good quality, but the camera really suffers indoors in particular.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500 is a very well thought out handset. Relatively low cost, but not ultra-cheap, we think it has to offer enough to make you want to spend that little bit extra over the really budget models, and we think it does that.

We'll definitely be recommending it to our friends that like the look of Android handsets, want a bit of style and don't want to pay over the odds for a new phone.

The capacitive screen and social networking integration are the handset's real winning points in that respect, and although the screen is relatively small, battery life and cost really benefits from that.