Samsung Galaxy S vibrant review from MM88
Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant from Bell mobility review.
I know the review was due for last friday, sorry for the delay for those who wait it. You know what school is.
Few months ago I was shopping for a new phone for a new 3 years plan with my carrier, Bell. At first I was pretty interested with the Samsung Galaxy. After few week of reading I finally find that the Galaxy S was about to hit the market here in Canada. So I wait almost 2 month and a half for it. Was it a good wait? This little review will tell you!
Letís take a look at the overall specs of the phone.
Network: 2G and 3G
Size: 122.4 X 64.5 X 9.9 (mm)
Display: Super AMOLED capacitive touch screen, 16M Colors
480 X 800 pixel (4 inches)
Memory: Unlimited contact (saved to phone, depend on the storage added)
16GB of included storage (internal MicroSD)
Card slot: 1 X MicroSD card slot (up to 32GB)
WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth: Yes V3.0
USB: Yes Samsung MicroUSB
OS: Android 2.1 (Eclair) Will be upgraded to next android when available
CPU: 1Ghz Samsung Hummingbird
Features: In phone GPS (no need to pay for service)
HD playback in 720P
Image and Video Editor
And many other cool features.
Price can Vary from 49.99 to around 700$ Depending on where you buy it. Normal price is 149.99 with a 3 years plan.
My first impressions on the phone were for sure the felling. How good the phone feel in hand and if it is solid and durable. Most of you already get your hand on a Ipod touch, and I can tell you itís almost the same. Sizes are really near and thickness is also around the same. Note that the Galaxy S is less tick then a Iphone. Unfortunately, the back of the phone is in a really thick plastic so it feel a bit (on the back) cheap but the front and side of the phone are in more solid material and feel better in hand. The phone is anything near cheap even with this plastic back.
The plastic rear plate is also there for a reason, you can remove it to add the MicroSD card, Swap the battery and change the SIM card in the phone. This version is compatible with most of the network you can find here in Canada. Removing the back also give you access to the antenna shroud so the plastic wonít cause any interference with it keeping good reception and doing the same job a silicon envelop will do on a Iphone 4.
Here you can see the MicroSd slot, the battery, the SIM slot and the antenna at the right of the SIM.
Letís have a few words on the reception of the phone. Here I compare the phone with a Iphone 4 (on rogerís) A Samsung U740 (my old phone on Bell) and the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant on Bell. All three phones have good reception in here in Charlesbourg since we are near both signal point. So I went in the cellar of my school (Cegep Limoilou) which is a big concrete building. The Iphone lost all signal, the Galaxy S was losing signal time to time for few second but the big winner here is the 3 years old U740 which stand connected pretty well.
The 3G data transfer is also pretty good and compete with the Iphone 4. Almost the same speed for downloading but the faster CPU of the Galaxy S give it a little plus when looking at web page with a lot of content.
Now itís time for fun, application. Since the phone use Android ( a open source OS for cell phone ) you can find like on the Iphone almost everything you search. The market grow every day. Most of the time now application are done for both Iphone and Android.
Music Player. On of the big selling point of the phone is the 3.5 headphone input jack. But is the sound quality that good? Call quality is clear and pretty great, unfortunately, when you are looking at good quality music with a good pair of headphone the music quality is not that impressive. Still pretty good for a phone but nothing like my Archos 5 or few good creative labs MP3 player. I wont waste time on the integrated speaker, you know how they are on these kind of device.
Swype. What is Swype? Itís a Samsung input method of swyping between each letter of a word to right it. Here is a little video demo. And yes you can go this fast and it still work like a charm:P it even work great in French!!! Wow!
YouTube - Swype Demo on Samsung Galaxy S
For the screen now. The image quality is really decent. Resolution is only nice, not perfect but the colour are dead nice and the video playback is pretty cool and clear.
The Camera now! A pretty interesting point of the phone is that it come with both a back and a front facing camera. I have been pretty impressed with the back one. Photo quality is nice, auto focus work well. But the lack of a flash piss me off a bit. The front facing camera is a bit disappointing but it dosenít matter to me since I never use it, and who does use it? There is also a funny apps linked with the camera. You can walk when writing a SMS by viewing your way in the screen with the camera. Pretty nice when you type sms on the street.
Finally, since this is only a little review, the battery life. When fully charged, the phone can stay on standby for a bit less than 5 days. Browsing the web of using the screen a lot can draw the life down hard, I think that a normal use, a bit of web, lots of SMS and few call give the phone around 3 day of use. This is pretty decent.
Feel free to ask everything if I forget ( and I do ).
-Feel good and pretty solid
Enough included memory ( 16GB)
Place for more memory (32GB)
Great rear facing camera
Good screen image quality
Good signal reception
Lots of feature and apps.
Android is nice
Samsung add a lot of cool apps
Swype is really nice
Use a non-standard USB plug
Phone answering is not perfect (have to slide the screen)
Lack of accessories on the market
Front facing camera is not good
I agree with all the points you brought up in your review. I recently aquired a Galaxy Vibrant S when I was working up north. Up there they only have Bell system so that is the carrier work used. I'm still partial to my Iphone over the Galaxy but mainly because I'm heavily invested in itunes especially movies and they are tied to my Itunes account so I can't port them over to another device. However one big strike against this phone for me was movie playback. I've got some movies that I've ripped to use on my Iphone and I tried them on the Galaxy aswell and my Iphone did a much better job displaying them. I found the Galaxy I bit more pixelated especially on darker scenes. If you don't watch alot of movies (I do because I travel alot) then this phone is an excellent option for those who wish to stay away from the much hyped and hard to find Iphone 4.
Edited to add:
One other thing I really did like about this phone was the expandable memory in the form of micro SD card. This is something I've always wished would be added to the Iphone but I know never will be.
yeah that's the point of the lowest resolution of the screen. The Iphone is hard to beat for video playback on the screen but overall the Galaxy S do pretty well compare to all other phone on the market.
I know you mentioned how the music quality isn't as good as a stand alone player, but how does it compare to other phones (iPhone, Xperia X10, etc...).
Is the usb on the phone actually a 'proprietary' plug or a usb mini plug.
Also, did you have issues with the GPS? There is some mention, at least in the states, that it has issues connecting to GPS or maintaining connection.
Finally the USB, Samsung list it at a USB mini plug because it's a variant of the standard mini USB. But it's proprietary. BUT! Unlike many other phone, you can get the power cord for 1to 5$ on the internet.
Just to make sure I didn't understand something incorrectly, the Galaxy S is on par with the iPhone 4 and sony ericsson in terms of music playback?
Also, I would like to see a dedicated shutter button for the camera, I don't like touch button for taking pictures.
How is the UI, is it too cartoony? intuitive?
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