When it comes to sheer specifications, the Samsung Galaxy S is virtually the king of the pack in the world of smartphones. In this review we will be looking at its hardware prowess, including aspects like the processor and RAM, display, camera, battery life and the device in general.
The Galaxy S packs a 1 Ghz Hummingbird Processor, a whopping 512 MB of RAM. Infact with a bit of potentially warranty voiding tweaking, the Galaxy S (running Android 2.1) even shames the Nexus One running on Android 2.2 (Froyo).
It packs the fastest GPU of the current lot of Android devices and with a Froyo release for the Galaxy S expected in September, the phone promises to become even faster than it currently is.
Next let us have a look at its display. It packs a 4″ Super AMOLED display that is sheer class, infact it is virtually the best display I have seen on a smartphone. Some people would argue that the iPhone 4’s retina display is better and to an extent it is, because if you look carefully you can still make out pixels on the Galaxy S’s 800 x 480 resolution display. However, because of the .5″ advantage in size (4″ v/s 3.5″) the Galaxy S wins it for me.
The blacks are amazing, the contrast is superb and things look way more pretty on the Galaxy S than on any other display. Infact on a black background text stands out as if you had placed a cutout on the screen rather than the screen itself displaying it. Pictures look great and the whole Movie watching experience is nothing short of incredible. The Galaxy S also supports Divx playback in addition to a bunch of other codecs and will play virtually anything you throw at it. When paired with the 5.1 sound via headphones you know where things are headed.
All of these things are very power intensive and this bring me to the subject of its battery. Despite its Super AMOLED display being pretty power efficient, its 1500 mAh battery really gets stretched when it needs to power the 4″ screen throughout the day performing tasks like video playback and web browsing.
Couple that with the always online mode in which the device is checking for Twitter and Facebook updates, emails, calendar syncs and so on and the battery can quickly go down.
Infact, I have managed to kill the battery within about 8 hours with all the above heavily in place. But on a normal day with the sync’s set to every half hour and not much web browsing or ebook reading, the Galaxy S lasts through the day and you can be confident of getting home in the evening with some juice left.
The design of the Galaxy S is not very imaginative and to a lot of people it looks like an iPhone, but then to those people almost anything with a touch display looks like an iPhone. It is very slim, infact so slim that there are times when you feel that it might just slip out of your hands.
The front is all glass with two touch sensitive buttons on the bottom, along with a physical home button. The sides have a nice metallic feel to them and pack the volume rocker on the left and the power button on the right, sadly absent is the camera button. The bottom unfortunately is glossy plastic which equates to being a fingerprint magnet. On the whole however the phone does manage to look pretty impressive. We have a huge photo gallery here.
As a phone the Galaxy S performs well, it has good reception and I’ve not dropped calls because of it. The in call volume is ample and the clarity is what you would expect from a phone. The loudspeaker on the back is powerful enough to notify you of calls or messages, but isn’t really sufficient if you wanted to catch a podcast or a movie.
Since it is also placed on the back, the sound gets muffled when it is lying flat and on a soft surface you can expect to miss calls because of this. Be careful to place it upside down when you set alarms or you wouldn’t be getting up any time soon. The Galaxy S case however has a nice cutout to allow sound to escape.
Inspite of the issues like the lack of a dedicated camera button or a flash, it is very difficult not to like the Galaxy S. The raw power and the gorgeous screen are very difficult to resist. One look at the Galaxy S tells you that this device will be great for content consumption and once you buy it with this frame of mind, there isn’t much you will not like about the phone.
Movies, Pictures, Ebooks and a ton of other things look great and sometimes you will get so caught up in them that your productivity will be affected, that’s how nice it is. For our final rating, watch the video below. Hint: We like it!
Head over to YouTube to watch the video in HD.