Preview: Samsung Galaxy S

Launch SRP: S$1098

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S

Putting the awkward similarities to the iPhone aside, we have to admit the Galaxy S is one attractive phone. What will catch your attention is how slim the phone is at a mere 9.9mm. If you're wondering how, it's thanks to the Super AMOLED screen, which integrates the touchscreen sensors within the display, thus removing one layer for better display results and a much thinner profile.


 

Buttons are minimal and strategically designed to blend in with the bezel of the Galaxy S. What you'll notice is the lack of a Search button which could be useful if you don't wish to dig through the phone for something specific. Being used to the Power button at the top did throw us off track, and we found it hiding inconspicuously at the right.


 

What you'll find at the rear is a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus. And as mentioned earlier on, you won't find any LED flash accompanying the camera. What came off as interesting is the curved bottom. It sort of acts as an anchor for your fingers when you hold the device, giving you a much firmer grip than standard phones with a smooth backing.

Moving beyond the exterior, here's a recap of what the Galaxy S has to offer - a 1GHz processor powering Google's Android 2.1 OS. And that's not including either the 8GB or 16GB internal storage, a feature that's somewhat lacking in most Android devices to date.

Like most of its top-tiered smartphones, the Galaxy S is given a makeover with its Touchwiz 3.0 UI, and you'll find just a hint of the original Android UI in the form of its live wallpapers and widgets. But more importantly, the Galaxy S will come with Samsung's Social Hub, which integrates an impressive list of social networking sites under the said app. This isn't exactly a new feature, seeing as how other UIs such as Motoblur or HTC Sense comes with similar widgets for the same deed. There are more bells and whistles found within, such as the Swype input that lets you swipe your finger across letters to form the words in one single motion. And Samsung is also putting in much effort to build more of its unique widgets and including them on the Galaxy S.

From what we've seen of this early unit, the Galaxy S does have the potential to give both the Nexus One and the HTC Desire some stiff competition. There's no details of its pricing, but we are expecting the Galaxy S to come in with an affordable price, as seen through Samsung's history of competitive pricing with its handsets. While the device was announced just recently at last month's CTIA, Samsung did inform us that the Galaxy S is looking at an early Q3 launch. And if you're interested to get a hands-on feel of this Android phone, you might spot it at this year's CommunicAsia.

8.5
Overall rating 8.5/10
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Design
9
Features
8
User-Friendliness
7.5
Performance
9.5
Value
8.5
The Good
Slim and tasteful (if plasticky) design
Beautiful, large 4-inch Super AMOLED display
1GHz Hummingbird processor has power to spare
Extremely responsive UI and great battery life
The Bad
Built-in social networking support is too basic
Samsung UI features that cannot be disabled mar the Android experience
Lack of physical search button