Sunday, January 30, 2011

My new Toy | Samsung Galaxy 5 i5503, Powered by Android 2.1

First things first, I have been a huge fan of Nokia mobile since I bought my first mobile in 2001. Strong build quality (definitely needed for India) clubbed with ease of use and a good service network always meant that Nokia was a good choice.

Got hold of my Samsung Galaxy 5 device last Thursday ( , 20th January 2011 and have a good chance to play around with it for the the past few days. So did this move from Nokia really pay off ( I was using the fully loaded Nokia N79 for the past 1.5 years i bought for 14k and disposed off for 4k)? Read ahead to find out more.

The Initial Feel
The phone is really compact and light (esp coming out my Nokia N79 experience), has a good 2.8 " capacitive touch screen which makes it really easy to use with your fingers (In fact the touch screen was the only differentiating factor, which made me chose this over Micromax A 60 which i was getting for around 6k. The only downside of Micromax was the resistive touch screen it was offering). The package contains of the regular pair of earphones, data cable, the handset, battery, leather pouch, 2 GB micro SD card and a travel charger along with the customary set of user manuals with a couple of s/w DVD's.

The initial experience of setting up the phone was great, as I already had my contacts synched up with Google, so it was just a matter of entering my Google credential before the phone had all my contacts, email and Picasa web pics on the phone.

The apps performed pretty well with the 600 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM. Even after installing multiple applications never noticed any sluggish behavior with the phone.

Overall pretty impressed by the touch screen though it does not support multi touch (so lets forget the pinch to zoom feature on photos, maps etc. with which Apple has spoilt us off late).

The Good
  • Shipped with Android 2.1 which offers a hosts of additional features on the prior version of Android.
  • The voice quality is actually superb, much better than the Nokia handset I was using for the past 1.5 years.
  • Good Network reception, GPS receiver and built in speaker (though not stereo)
  • Integration with Google works like a charm.
  • Lastly but not the least, Android means option of millions of apps unleashing the true potential of your phone.

The Bad
  • Battery life is a big bummer (mine hasn't lasted for more than a day with high usage and and synchronization on).
  • Camera is another let down (an just 2 MP, no flash and no autofocus), If you would like decent photos (other than just sharing online or regular 4X6 prints) I would recommend you look out for some other phone.
  • Google still does not support Voice Navigation in India, so if you want voice Navigation you would need to shell out some extra amount (I opted for mapmyindia and it works great for me).
  • Not sure about it's upgrade to Android 2.2. Though rumoour has it that it might get an upgrade in Q1 this year , but no official announcement from Samsung on this. Unless this happens it means you wouldn't be able to install applications on the SD card (Until you install a custom firmware, which looks possible search XDA forums) and no wifi tethering unless you root the phone (again possible, search XDA forums)

Final Words
At a price tag of around 8.8 k is a definite buy for the budget/entry level Android user. Scores over Micromax just because of capacitive touch screen and a better brand. Battery problems could be overcome by some great Android Apps (Talk about that in my next post, the Top 10 Android Apps)