Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500 review

Have we finally got a decent low cost Android smartphone?

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Samsung has skinned Android 2.1 so that while things look pretty familiar, there are plenty of tweaks on offer to play with joyfully thanks to the TouchWiz 3.0 overlay from the Koreans.

There are seven home screens, ready for you to populate with links to apps, widgets and shortcuts. The main home screen is the one you get to when you press the Home button, and oddly it is the one on the far left of the sequence - much like the Samsung Galaxy S.

That means a lot of screen sweeping to get to the far reaches of home screen number 7. We prefer the main home screen to be in the middle of the group.

At the bottom of each home screen is an array of three icons. One calls up the dialler, one takes you to contacts, and the central one drops you into the main applications menu.

Samsung galaxy europa i5500 review

Apps are arranged across two screens that sit left and right of each other. As you add more apps, more screens appear. The three shortcuts remain, with dialler and contacts intact and the central one now taking you out to the home screen.

Samsung galaxy europa i5500 review

The notification bar at the top of the home screen is there to be pulled down, and Samsung has put a little utility for toggling Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, silent mode and vibrate on it. We like this idea – it makes these features quick and easy to get at most of the time.

Samsung galaxy europa i5500 review

When it comes to widgets, Samsung adds a few of its own to the Android standards. We like Buddies Now. It does take up a whole screen, but you can set up a revolving carousel of favourite contacts and then simply either message or call them with a couple of screen taps.

Samsung galaxy europa i5500 review

Incidentally, while we are mentioning screen taps, we should say that Samsung has done the right thing and gone for a capacitive screen in the Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500.

That makes sweeping and swiping a treat. It doesn't make up for the fact that the screen is small at 2.8 inches and low-res at 240x320 pixels, but at least you can get around easily.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
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
ColourBlack
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
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameI5500 Galaxy Europa Smartphone
Processor Speed600 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I5500YKAXEU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
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