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Samsung Galaxy S review

Looks like an iPhone. But now tastes like Gingerbread

Our Verdict

A solid smartphone that's worth a look if you're after something on a budget

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 13.50 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 800

View full specification

For

  • Superb screen
  • Cheaper price
  • Slim chassis
  • Great audio quality
  • HD video recording

Against

  • No unified inbox
  • No more updates?
  • Wi-Fi not too strong
  • No camera flash

Samsung galaxy s review

The big boast of the Samsung Galaxy S is that it captures HD video. And it does this nicely.

You're offered two modes – normal and MMS.This is a little bit of an annoyance if we're honest, but it's not something that is limited to Samsung smartphones.

We hate having to make the choice between the two, because often you'll take a video of something randomly then think it warrants being sent by MMS. We're not talking 30 minute home-made movies in HD, because that would be pushing it, but more like 20-30 second clips.

The problem is, shot in full resolution, these files are always too big for MMS and don't convert automatically.

So you're left with having to leave the handset set up to shoot for MMS permanently, just in case, which then means your videos are poorer quality and negates the point of having an HD video camera.

You can send the files by email so all is not lost if you do end up with a high-quality video, but we wish Samsung and Android handset manufacturers in general (plus BlackBerry – we're not letting RIM off here!) would follow Apple's example,because the iPhone manages to resize all videos automatically for MMS, just reducing the quality more and more in line with the clip's length.

The options in the videos section are more limited than the camera's, and there's no way of changing your scene mode. In fact, you're stuck with what Samsung has decided is best, with the only customisable option being the exposure value to control brightness and the resolution, which begins at 320 x 240 and maxes out at 1280 x 720.

We shot a full-resolution video in a moving car and were impressed that not only did it manage to focus and keep the quality up, it also recorded the audio well so that George Michael was fully audible (though thankfully, not our singing along).

In fact, captured audio is remarkably clear and succinct. We were definitely impressed with this SRS virtual 5.1 surround sound for playback.

The camera also copes reasonably well in situations where it moves from darkness to light, adjusting valiantly even though it is noticeable, and some colours end up looking very bright to compensate.

Sadly, there's no tap to focus, so if you're including text as part of your video you may struggle. And if you're thinking of editing it on the fly, forget it, because there's no relevant app included out of the box. But on the whole, we can't fault Samsung for its video efforts.

Shame about the lack of light though – did we mention there is no flash?

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSUPA, HSDPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time13.50 Hour
Product ModelGalaxy S I9000
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Weight (Approximate)118 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Maximum Video Resolution720 x 480
Processor ManufacturerARM
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.1 Eclair
Messaging TypeEmail, Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCaller ID, Call Log
Height122.4 mm
Width64.2 mm
Depth9.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameI9000 Galaxy S Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeCortex
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeProximity Sensor, Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I9000HKDXEU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Receiving a good reception

Samsung Electronics remains committed to designing safe, reliable and attractive mobile phones that meet our strict design and industry-leading quality standards. Based on years of experience of designing high-quality phones, Samsung mobile phones employ an internal antenna design technology that optimists reception quality for any type of hand grip.

Bright, fast, and connected

Enjoy the best viewing experience with 4.0" SUPER AMOLED (Active - Matrix Organic Light - Emitting Diode) display. With 80% less reflection, you can watch your favorite content in broad daylight and enjoy a crisp, clear picture. And, with 1Ghz processor, 16GB internal memory, and Wireless Tethering, you have the speed, space, and access you need to stay connected wherever you roam.

Package Contents
  • I9000 Galaxy S Smartphone
  • Travel Adapter (Charger)
  • Battery
  • User Manual