Review: Samsung Galaxy S i9000

06:55, Oct 15 2010
Samsung Galaxy S i9000
SWIFT: The 1Ghz processor of the Galaxy S makes everyday use a pleasurable experience.

Looks, functionality and speed: check.
If ever there was a credible reason to say "this phone is real competition for the iPhone", it is the Samsung Galaxy S i9000.

I've been using this handset for a few weeks now and I have to say that I have completely embraced it.

It's hard not to compare it with the iPhone, which may be a bad habit in reviewing phones, but the iPhone has certainly set a benchmark which a lot of others companies are struggling to meet.

The i9000's interface is smooth, lag free, easy and looks absolutely gorgeous.

The screen is a four-inch super AMOLED and it runs on Android 2.1, which, for those wallpaper junkies out there, means animated "live" wallpapers. I downloaded an awesome storm live background free from the Android marketplace and it really does look fantastic.

The shape and size of the handset is fairly ergonomic, if a little slippery. The unlock and power button is on the upper right-hand side of the device, and I found it a little tricky to reach at times.

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Inside is a 1Ghz processor which makes browsing and general operation wonderfully smooth and fast. I noted that the back of the handset towards to top heated up significantly with a bit of use, but the heat dissipated just as quick as it built up - nothing to worry about.

Like all Android phones, you have access to the Android Marketplace, which boasts "70,000 apps".

Yes, some of these apps should actually be called crapps, but there are plenty of gems among the guff.

Certainly enough to turn your handset into almost anything you want it to be - a translator, navigator, art centre, photo booth or a Twitter and Facebook client.

Speaking of social media, the Galaxy handles them all like a charm. I found it really easy and fast for web browsing using the built-in browser. The multi-touch and pinch-zoom work like a charm and network access was simple to set up - I just had the web settings sent to the phone via my provider's website, accepting the messages as they came.

Unfortunately, no flash support. Only Android 2.2 supports Flash and this handset is 2.1. Hopefully an update will come along soon - but that's what we always hope with Android handsets.

The operating system features a pulldown status menu which summarises your messages, missed calls and other notifications. It also lets you quickly and easily switch on or off your bluetooth, WiFi, GPS and silent mode.

The i9000 S is as close to an "Android iPhone" as you'll get, with a slightly more serious look.

The main screen is divided into side-sliding homepages, which you can add shortcuts and widgets to. Everything is glossy, smooth and easy to manage. You can add up to seven pages.

Battery power was fairly impressive, lasting a few days with normal use - calls, limited browsing, texting and some WiFi - and charging via USB or power adapter in an hour or so.

The handsets come with either 8GB or 16GB of built-in memory - plenty for most uses - and also has a microSD slot which takes up to a whopping 32GB.

The 5-megapixel camera starts up quickly, focuses accurately and generally performs admirably all round. The image quality is good for a small sensor size, but it does lack a flash. It takes decent quality 720p video, too.

There's a front-facing camera for video calling - if you ever actually use it, that is.

Being an Android phone, it comes ready and waiting for a host of free Google apps like maps, talk, mail, calculator, calendar, documents, translate and more.

There are so many features to this phone that it really pays to discover them all for yourself.

In my opinion, having used iPhones and plenty of other handsets like them, this is one of the best. I would be just as happy with this as I would with an iPhone 4, without a doubt.

In terms of price, it's quite similar. It ranges from $999-$1249 in New Zealand, according to online pricing store Priceme.

To be honest, I'm loath to give it back. I give it four and a half stars.

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