Review: Samsung Galaxy S i9000

Last updated 09:37 15/10/2010

galaxy s
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.

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.


galaxy large

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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26 comments
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Vincent   #1   09:52 am Oct 15 2010

If you want it even faster and unlocked, get the One Click Lag fix available from the Marketplate!

Absolutely brilliant phone, had mine since July(Imported from the UK). Blisteringly fast, beautiful screen, just want Froyo to come out for it now and it'd be perfect!!!

Also for TV-out, the Nokia and older Samsung 3.5mm TV out cables fit perfectly and there is a MicroUSB to HDMI cable coming for it soon!!

One of the best Android phones out yet, definitely heavy competition to an iPhone 4. Just wish Consumer had used this instead of the 1.5 year old Milestone in last weeks review of the iPhone vs Android

Awesome and honest review Nick!

d   #2   09:57 am Oct 15 2010

I got mine a couple of months ago and I'm VERY happy with it. I initially ummed and ahhed about it, especially as it's running on android 2.1, but a release of 2.2 is in the wings for the phone, which of course means flash based apps as well... that'd be the "Pièce de résistance" for me.

The worst part about it, is I work with a few apple fan-boys (not that they like me calling them that) and all they can do is say it's a copy of the iphone...

therealJD   #3   11:06 am Oct 15 2010

my old Sony Ericson wouldn't charge anymore so I decided to get in on the smart phone revolution, picked up the Samsung Galaxy S last month and love it. The super Amoled screen is crystal sharp, I actually already own a amoled screen PMP from Cowon (s9) and playing to vids side by side to each other in the two devices and you clearly see how much better the samsung is. Maybe bias to say so, but samsung is the best android phone out right now (htc look far too big imo).

Sam   #4   11:08 am Oct 15 2010

What's with people wanting to run Flash on their Android phones?! I recently got me an Android phone and Flash is one of the last things I want on it. Unless Adobe improve it hugely it's virtually malware as far as I'm concerned.

@d (#2): You gotta admit, compared to most other Android phones, they've customised it in a way that looks very iPhonesque. I think it's the square icons that do it.

James   #5   02:07 pm Oct 15 2010

Hey if you think this is competition to the iPhone then you should test the new HTC desire HD. In my opinion Samsung are way behind HTC and Apple definitely does not have the best technology by a long shot. There is a review and video on PHENOM Technology News to view. http://www.phenomtechnology.com/story/htc-desire-hd

Kall   #6   04:27 pm Oct 15 2010

"If you want it even faster and unlocked, get the One Click Lag fix available from the Marketplate!"

True but if you bought the galaxy through vodafone nz then chances are the one click lag fix will not work as 'certain models' have the recovery menu mode feature disabled (after you perform the 3-button shut down procedure). I could be wrong but mine would not boot into recovery mode at all. Gonna wait till froyo is released. Samsung released the source code this week (for froyo) but apparently it has been taken off the samsung server...for goodness sakes samsung

MJO   #7   08:11 pm Oct 15 2010

But can it run Angry Birds? This is incredibly important to know.

Jeremy   #8   08:44 pm Oct 15 2010

@ Sam, I have an N900 with flash support and it's great! It means I can browse facebook and get the video's people post, youtube is great and I can use tvnz on demand!!

You can never ever ever turn an apple fanboi. EVERYTHING is inferior to their jesusphone..

My boss won one of these, I must say, I'm jealous, I can see why the OP didn't wanna give his test set back!

Good review.

vampz   #9   08:45 pm Oct 15 2010

When are they releasing the XT compatible one?

Steve   #10   09:45 pm Oct 15 2010

Absolutely love it !! 3 weeks old and have customised it big time. The live wallpapers are awesum.My first play with Android and prefer it anyday to Symbian. The AMOLED screen beats the Iphone hands down.Await the froyo update...SOON !!


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