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Samsung Galaxy i7500 review

Will a new player help make Android even better?

Samsung has to be commended for being the first non-HTC manufacturer to release an Android phone to the market, as it's taking everyone else far too long to achieve the same thing.

The Samsung i7500 Galaxy costs nearly £100 on a £35 per month contract from O2, which is the exclusive provider of the phone in the UK at the moment.

We liked

The design of the i7500 Galaxy is pretty nice – it's certainly better than the HTC Hero (although we're sure the other half of the other love it/hate it divide will have something to say about that).

It's feature rich, with a flash, 5MP camera - the best on offer for an Android phone at the moment.

The Android OS is a good platform, and the phone only stands to get better as updates trickle out, with 1.6 Donut due any week now.

The OLED screen is bright and vivid too, with a decent enough sound pumping out the speaker when used in 'commuter-baiting' mode.

We disliked

Unfortunately, there's a lot to dislike in the i7500 Galaxy too. The main problem is the battery life, which is currently just abysmal. The ultra-long lock button holding is a problem as well, with the length of time needed to press it as much of an irritation as its erratic nature.

The camera is pretty poor as well, especially from Samsung, and we're sad there's not profile settings to change the option you're after beyond turning the volume down to a buzz.

The price is also very high for such a phone, and we're already looking to see how much the i5700 Galaxy Lite is going to be. Budget Android is likely to be big later in 2009/2010, and this might be the wrong time to release an expensive handset.

Verdict

The problem for the Galaxy is others have already shown us what's possible with Android, with Archos, HTC and Motorola already skinning Android to the nines to create a plethora of new functionality.

Samsung has done precisely nothing with the Android OS for the i7500 Galaxy, and it now shows when we've been spoilt by the Sense UI on the Hero. In fact, the phone's main saving grace is the fact it's packing Android, which is an awesome OS, as without it this would probably be among Samsung's worst touchscreen phones.

For the money we want a lot more these days, and you'd have to think the HTC Magic is better value at the moment. Sure, it doesn't have a flash or a headphone jack, but for the cost and performance we'd say it puts the i7500 galaxy in the shade.

We know we're only at the very start of the Android journey, but we can't help feeling Samsung should have done better with its first effort.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Product FamilyGalaxy
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1900, GSM 1800, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time4 Hour
Product Modeli7500 Galaxy
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Weight (Approximate)117 g
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height115 mm
Width56 mm
Depth11.9 mm
Battery Standby Time240 Hour
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameGalaxy I7500 Smartphone
Product LineGalaxy
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I7500OKAXEU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Introducing Galaxy, Samsung's first Android powered phone. Designed with the internet in mind, Galaxy offers you a revolutionary, all-in-one mobile experience. The Android platform provides seamless access to the full suite of Google services and allows customization like never before. Its large AMOLED offers unmatched luminescence and vivid colours for High Definition display, providing a sight and touch experience that's out of this world. At a slim 11.9 mm, Galaxy is the thinnest Android device on the market today. Stylish, slender, and easy to use, Galaxy puts the universe in the palm of your hand.