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Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung’s Galaxy S is their latest and third Google OS Android handset, with the original i7500 ‘Galaxy’, and I5700 ‘Galaxy Portal’ all coming before hand and all running a vanilla version of the Google mobile OS. This new model arrives with a much larger screen than ever seen before on an Android mobile phone in the UK, with Samsung’s own familiar tweak to the OS.

Just when Apple stops making handsets that look like all their other iPhones, Samsung comes along and picks up where they left off by releasing a decidedly iPhone 3GS looking device with the Galaxy S. Looking head on at the new handset would confuse many by its appearance alone, especially when the seeing the Samsung logo. The overall shape of the phone, down to its outer silver rim all gives off the impression of an iPhone – which is a very cunning way of selling a mobile phone, particularly to those who previous bought the Apple models.

Samsung’s Galaxy S runs from a 1Ghz processor, but not the Qualcomm version that’s in the HTC Desire only this is Samsung’s own mobile chipset that also features in their Wave phone. It’s fast enough for everything the mobile does, from 720p HD video capture to native playback of DivX/XvID AVI files – a first for an Android mobile.

The Galaxy S’ display has the brightest and most vivid screen we’ve seen, with a 4-inch Super AMOLED 800x480 display that is really the handset’s most outstanding feature. The screen actually puts the Desire’s version to shame, with its colours and sharpness that are beyond belief and are not even washed out in bright sunlight, where AMOLED screens usually are.

Samsung has tweaked the 2.1 Android OS, to have a familiar overlay called TouchWiz. This new version of 3.0 also appears on their Wave phone, which has a different OS altogether. This does feel very similar to their other handset overlays, from the Jet to Toco mobiles that all have early versions but this really is just a Samsung theme running on Android and nothing really major.

Besides the outstanding large screen, there are some other notable features in the Galaxy S that are distinct selling points. These range from the on-board storage, which arrives in 16GB or 8GB along with a microSD slot that can be used to increase the storage capacity even more. There is also the ‘Swype’ feature, which is a way of writing messages on the touch screen, without removing a finger to reach each letter – you just swipe from letter to letter instead.

Bottom Line

This surprisingly light 118gram Android handset has a bit of cheap feel to it, where some might assume it’s a budget model due the plastic casing only it’s far from that. In the states, their flagship handset of late is the 4.3-inch HTC Evo phone and now in Blighty, we have the Samsung Galaxy S on an even par in abilities. The Samsung Galaxy S is a fast mobile, with a truly outstanding screen where movie playback, web browsing and writing are exemplary on the large screen with lots of storage capabilities too.

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