Mobile phone network O2 has started selling its first Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy i7500, a device that will be available exclusively on the network for some times.
The phone will be available for free for as little as £39.15 per month (on a 24-month contract), which puts it almost in iPhone 3GS territory. For the price, you get 1200 minutes, 1000 texts and a choice of inclusive bolt on from a list of seven.
Unfortunately, you cannot choose to have unlimited WiFi and unlimited web access at the same time; this apparently remains a unique feature of the iPhone's tariff.
The i7500, which was presented back in April by Samsung, comes with a Qualcomm processor running at 528MHz, a 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen capable of displaying 480x320 pixels, an onscreen QWERTY keyboard and 8GB onboard memory which can be upgraded to 40GB (with a 32GB microSD card).
Other notable features include a 5-megapixel camera with Flash, 7.2mbps HSDPA and WiFi connectivity plus a proper 3.5mm earphone socket.
Since it runs on Android, the Chrome Lite browser, Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar and Google Talk are all included in the package together with Google Map, all in a chassis 12mm thick.
The Samsung Galaxy is the most impressive and technologically advanced Android phone available for purchase right now. Things might change pretty soon as Motorola prepares the launch of its Android models. The Galaxy however has set the benchmark, one which is pretty high indeed.