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Samsung Galaxy W – an Initial Thoughts review

The SamsungGalaxy series hardly needs any introduction, as they are the main rivals to the iPhone and those flagship devices from the thriving South Korean firm. Now, the natural progression of the original ‘Galaxy’ phone has finally brought us a mid-range budget model, only without the Super AMOLED screen and the rich trimmings. At its heart, the phone is a rather understated Android device which looks to offer substantiated high-end services, in return for a competitive price tag and slightly optimistic attitude.

First of all, the Galaxy W brings nothing to the table in terms of design. Without relinquishing past models in pursuit of a new concept, Samsung has preferred to keep things simple here and use the familiar ‘black and grey rectangular’ shape. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ were almost certainly the words bellowing from the conference room, as the Galaxy design team debated the aesthetics. You will notice the textured back cover this time which genuinely makes it easier to hold. The matt black finish expended on so many current phones might look good on a coffee table, but this quickly turns to slick rock in moist hands. This often results in a catastrophe as it suddenly makes a bid for freedom, leaving you scrambling to pick up the pieces. It’s hardly an ideal scenario on a busy dancefloor, which is why this ‘graining’ on the back of the phone is welcomed with great enthusiasm – for the youth market.

A key feature of the Galaxy ‘W’ is the ‘Kies Air’ software, which allows you to sync wirelessly with your PC. We all know the frustration of syncing devices, the frivolous missions and unadulterated maelstrom that follows as you hopelessly scour the ‘interweb’ for software updates that simply do not work.

We are presented with a less spectacular camera on the ‘W’, at just 5 megapixels, with face detection and image stabilisation features. The screen is obviously not as crisp and visceral as the Galaxy S I and II, but it doesn’t prohibit you in any way. The processor is a simpler 1.4GHz version that was first introduced in the Galaxy plus, but it doesn’t seem to slow down the individual processes.

Typists may be fully aware of the ‘Swype’ feature available on this device, enabling users to ‘input words faster and easier than other input methods’. OMR fears the concept of physical keys is lost and forgotten here, but in a usability study conducted by a ‘large U.S carrier’ at the end of 2010 resulted in ‘10 out of 12 users preferred Swype’. Make of it what you will, although it sounds a bit like cosmetic product research to us. There are always going to be different approaches to text input as it evolves. We believe most people embrace familiarity, which doesn’t support the arguments put forward by ‘Swype’ – even after they explain on their website, how they make the so called ‘magic’ happen.

Regardless of the text input system, you can’t say that this phone lacks features. We have FM Radio, a 3.5mm jack, 3G, Bluetooth, WIFIi, social networking, email, instant messaging and the three hubs: ‘Social’, ‘game’ and ‘music’. The social hub allows you to organise and sync ‘IMs’, texts and status updates into one place, in much the same way as the ‘Timescape’ app performs on the Sony Ericsson Xperia range. The Game hub provides social networking games for you to download and play with friends, whereas for the Music hub – you get the idea.

The Galaxy ‘W’ is a great buy when you consider these features, but the super AMOLED display has such a dramatic effect on the whole experience, it might be worth saving up a bit longer if you want the very best that Samsung has to offer.

– review courtesy of (opens in new tab)

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Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.