There’s a lot of update that I’ll keep posting so watch out for more.
You might also like to read the comments section as a lot of discussion and solutions are provided in there.
Finally, I bought my very first smartphone after a year long search and research. It is Samsung Galaxy S GT-I9000, a super cool 4” super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen smartphone.
IMO it is the best available model in the higher range. Let’s talk about its qualities and shortcomings:
Screen: The most striking feature of the phone is its 4” 16M colors Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. It has a resolution of 480×800 pixels. So what you get is super smooth touch experience. Once you’ll use it I’m sure you’ll never like to switch to TFT screen. Even in broad daylight, the visibility is clear to some extent. The high pixel resolution makes for good legibility.
Operating System: Running on Android 2.1 (Éclair) with news of upgrade to Android 2.2 (Froyo) makes it a great choice. More importantly Samsung has its own 3.0 touchwiz UI interface over the OS for some great experience.
CPU: A huge 1 GHz Arm Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor makes sure the phone works fast and is capable of handling heavy tasks and applications without any grudge. Well, personally I don’t think so coz in my case I had to force close some applications because they stopped responding. (Well that’s me, so I think I went too harsh on the phone during testing.)
Network: Quad Band 2G and Tri Band 3G support
(2G – 850/900/1900/2100 ———— 3G – 900/1900/2100)
Storage: A whooping 16 GB of internal storage (2 GB reserved for application installation). 512 MB of RAM. Option available to include a SD card also. It can support upto a massive 32GB. So rest assured you’ll never find yourself stuck with space crunch.
Camera: 5MP, 2592×1944 pixels primary camera and a 0.3 MP secondary camera on the front.
Misc: Other necessary features worth mentioning
WI-FI 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA
Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP
Micro USB port
Stereo FM Radio with RDS
GPS with A-GPS support
Java via third party
Divx/Xvid codec compatible along with other codecs.
No flash with the camera.
No flash support for the browser
The sleek design and a vibrant screen is no doubt a show stealer. I have got a lot of appreciation for the phone from my colleagues and even strangers. People just stop to have a glance at the phone. For me it’s a full paisa wasool.
Now let’s talk about my experience and testing.
The interface is simple and very handy to use. The large screen makes up for the lack of physical QWERTY keyboard by replacing it with a virtual keyboard. The touch sensitivity is a delight. The super AMOLED screen does wonders. The legibility is great even if compared outdoors. In short the whole browsing experience has been a sweet journey for me.
The android market has more than enough apps for you to experiment upon. With the update of Android 2.2, many more features will be added in no time, like for instance flash support for browser is there with Android 2.2
The annoying thing is if GPRS is enabled, it will automatically sync many applications with online Google account. Also the free GPS navigation is a no go. For the first time, I was billed Rs 30/- for a 2 minute usage. Ohhh boy frustration…I was asked to connect my calendar with Google account for the first time. I did it and immediately I was online on Gtalk and Gmail without my notice. It was when I started receiving updates and messages that I realized what has happened. In two days, I was billed with an amount of 200 bucks for the usage of GPRS only. So a word of caution to all who are planning to buy this phone (as a matter of fact, any phone running on android) should get an unlimited GPRS plan if you really want to use all the features of the phone.
As mentioned, the powerful CPU and big memory does make a difference. But upon installing a number of applications and games and movies, my phone has gone a bit slow. Some applications take a few seconds to open now (mind you my phone is just 2 weeks old.) So I’m not sure where the problem is but am certainly keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that Froyo update will relieve me from this lagging issue as it is advertised to be 2.5 times better than Éclair on performance and responsiveness.
Camera without flash is a lamp without Jeannie. The pictures taken are very clear on the screen but if transferred to computer, the details are not that fine. It’s like you can rub the lamp and lit it, but you’ll always left wishing for more. But that’s not an issue for me, as a normal user the quality is more than ok to me. However, things go bad in low light. So that’s a big let down from Samsung.
720p HD video recording is finally there. With 16GB storage plus 32GB extendable via SD card, you are sure to enjoy the moments without the worries of space. Video taken is of great quality. As explained earlier, availability of flash would have an added advantage, but nonetheless, the videos are still good. There is another MMS recording mode which lets you record video on lower resolution but it is useless. The quality suffers a lot in that mode.
Now let us comes to games. A lot are there in market, both free and paid. As a true Indian I always go for free ones (:D 😀 :D). Asphalt, A-Team, Assassin Creed, Kick Boxing to name a few. A whole bunch is there for selection and am sure you’ll love your phone more when you see the grace with which it handles all these heavy apps. Java is available via third party application, which I am unable to find till now. Still searching for one. So Java enabled apps and games are not working right now.
The movie player is simple. Nothing funny in the interface. But the most important thing to note is the support for Divx/Xvid videos. Yes, even full length movies are playable on the player without any lag and also the audio/video sync is perfect even if you drag the video to any length. And I must tell you this but I felt proud again when I watched the movie on my phone. The colors are very crisp and vibrant. The clarity is awesome. Subtitles are also welcome. And the best thing is you don’t need to convert the video to any format or resolution. Direct download and play. Wow…it’s the best. The phone supports a lot other codec too like flv, mkv, mpg, mp4 but for most you have to download additional codec. I downloaded them from market and the videos are all playable on my phone.
This phone is packed with a lot of other sundry features. Every other day I discover some new functionality or process. I must say I am quite mesmerized by this device. Its potential is unmatched to any other device right now.
Finally, while concluding the final thing that needs to be mentioned is the 1500 mAh battery which last for around 1 day on normal usage. Playing games, watching videos, using GPS or WI-FI drains the battery quickly but that is quite expected. Nonetheless, if you decide to buy a white elephant, you should be ready and prepared to feed him. So I would suggest one to be geared with USB charger all the time. It is not that much of a load I guess, is it?
Last but not the least, if you have any query or doubt, feel free to drop them in comments section and will be happy to help you in any way I can.
Update: Asphalt on I9000 – I have been watching carefully on the search words and found this game to be one of the most searched one. Let me tell you playing Asphalt 5 on I9000 is a great experience. There is no lag what so ever. Thanx to the great H/W spec.
Update 2: Many video formats including flv, mpg, mpeg etc are not playable on the default player. I installed another player named RockPlayer that can play them for me. After installing the player, flv formats started playing on the default player also but not other formats. Also Xvid Video was not playing smooth. So I guess its not that optimized as advertised. I had to tweak a lot to get the formats played on my phone.
Update 3: While writing the review, I didn’t fully explored the camera features. I apologize for that. The camera comes bundled with interesting features that helps to enhance the picture quality. Except the lowlight disadvantage (absence of flash), the camera is good otherwise. Also for video recording it has got a lot of features and recording mode. I am still in the hang of it.
Update 4: About the GPS – I think this is one thing that Samsung didn’t pay attention to while launching this phone. I tried the GPS outside and it locked on to my location in some 1 minute – accurately. The navigation was quite smooth. But things go ugly when using it inside the room. It doesn’t lock my location many a times and even if it does so, it’s not accurate. I don’t know if its a Hardware issue or a software issue. If H/W issue, then its something we all Galaxy owner have to live it with and if it’s a S/W issue then what the hell are you waiting for Samsung, haven’t you recieved the news yet. Need a firmware urgently…
Update 5: Layer Reality Browser: Used it today and I’m impressed with it. What a cool app it is. It has some great layers that you can use to get information about your surroundings or to just have some fun. The Layar Reality Browser shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of the real world as seen through the camera of your mobile phone. This technology is called Augmented Reality. We augment the real world as seen through your mobile phone, based on your location.
Keep watching for more updates….