The front of the Galaxy S is a spitting image of the uber?popular handheld; it has similarly rounded
corners, a stainless steel trim and a central “home key” below the touchscreen. The back of the phone is
more like Samsung’s handsets of the recent past, with a large square camera lens in the top?left corner,
and a flat back that differs from the iPhone’s curved posterior.
The Galaxy S is also bigger, sporting a 4?inch capacitive touchscreen display and makes use of Samsung’s
Super AMOLED display technology. This is the next evolutionary step in the AMOLED screen tech we’ve
seen previously on the HD Icon and Omnia Icon, and also on the HTC Desire and Google Nexus One. Next
to a regular AMOLED screen, the Super AMOLED glimmers with deeper colour and contrast, giving the
on?screen image a richer and sharper appearance, not to mention the dramatic improvement in the
viewing angle. The capacitive touchscreen is also very usable, with all finger gestures responding well
with the phone’s software.
Like the original Samsung Omnia, the spec sheet for the Galaxy S need only stipulate that the
kitchen sink is not included — it has just about everything else you could imagine in a phone. It
checks all the major communications and connectivity boxes, with HSPA (7.2Mbps downlink,
5.76Mbps uplink), Wi-Fi including the 802.11n protocol, and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP stereo
The advanced Wi-Fi network chip will come in handy for those who plan to use the Galaxy S as
a media streamer. Packed with DLNA streaming, the Galaxy S is capable of connecting to a
compatible device, like a PS3, PC or flat panel TV, and can stream media stored on the internal
memory or microSD card. It can also stream media directly to the phone, or detect media on a
PC or server and stream it to a TV, like a multimedia go-between.
For the most part the Galaxy S is a speed demon — swiping between menu screens is like
pushing pancakes over slightly melted butter, and the web browser is as fast as any we’ve used.
We have experienced some moments of significant lag, and sometimes in relation to common
tasks. Errant apps running background tasks tend to be the culprit here, so be prepared to be
vigilant of memory usage if you start to experience any slow down.
The earpiece speaker of the Galaxy S is loud and clear, though we’ve found audio during calls to
be a little distorted. SMS messaging is enhanced tenfold by Samsung’s decision to include a
Swype touchscreen keyboard which, along with the phone’s haptic feedback, goes a long way to
making the use of an on-screen keyboard feel a whole lot more natural.
The Galaxy S could definitely do with a sprinkling of individuality, especially for customers looking for a
viable iPhone alternative, not an iPhone look?alike. But its flaws are mostly skin deep, and once you
immerse yourself in the class?leading 4?inch display you’re bound to forget any misgivings you had when
you first pawed the stiff, plastic chassis. The Android system will appeal most to tech?savvy punters, who
will likely appreciate the attention Samsung has given to this phone’s multimedia capabilities.