Samsung Galaxy 551 review: Value line

GSMArena team, 24 January 2011.
Pages: 12345678»

Introduction

The Samsung Galaxy 551 is something that should have happened a long time ago. This is not to say that the form factor was out of favor with Samsung. But it took a slew of CDMA messengers to finally see a QWERTY side-slider to land in Europe.

Android debuted on a full QWERTY phone, but messengers were never meant to be the dominant species. The Galaxy 551 is pragmatic enough to accept the fact and live with it. Samsung itself knows better than expect the market to embrace more QWERTY messengers the skill and size of the Motorola Milestone or the HTC Desire Z.

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Samsung Galaxy 551 official photos

The Galaxy 551 does not look forward to making a big splash, It’s part of a broader effort of giving the Galaxy lineup some depth in the midrange. With Froyo and all-round connectivity the Samsung Galaxy 551 makes perfect sense in the segment of affordable smart messengers.

Key features

  • Slide-out full QWERTY keyboard
  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support, 7.2 Mbps HSDPA support
  • 3.2" 16M-color TFT capacitive touchscreen of WQVGA (240 x 400 pixel) resolution
  • Great QWERTY keyboard
  • Android OS v2.2 with TouchWiz launcher
  • 667MHz processor
  • 3.15 MP autofocus camera, QVGA video recording at 15fps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity
  • 160 MB internal storage, microSD slot
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • Smart dialing
  • Access to Android Market and Samsung Apps repository

Main disadvantages

  • Glossy plastic is a smudge magnet and scratch-prone
  • No dedicated camera key
  • No Adobe Flash support
  • No live wallpaper support
  • No secondary video-call camera
  • No DivX/XviD video support out of the box
  • No document viewer

The Galaxy 551 does well to stay out of the way of the heavyweight Droid messengers. But some of the omissions on its spec sheet are surprising. Given the QWERTY keyboard, a document editor would’ve made sense – but the phone actually lacks a document viewer to begin with. Even Samsung’s traditionally solid codec support has been hit by cost-cutting. The bottom line obviously is that Froyo, Wi-Fi and a QWERTY keyboard is more than enough for the money you spend on the Galaxy 551.

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Samsung Galaxy 551 at ours

But the Samsung Galaxy 551 comes with a clear purpose – to boost the messaging capabilities in the Android mid-range. It’s an affordable smartphone facing lax competition – sounds like the stuff that makes the sales meter tick.

Follow us on the next page where we take the Galaxy 551 out for a spin.

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