Samsung Galaxy Pocket S5300 review: Happy meal

GSMArena team, 6 June 2012.
Pages: 1234567

Gingerbread a la TouchWiz

The Samsung Galaxy Pocket is an entry-level phone and ICS is well out of its reach, but Gingerbread 2.3.6 isn't so desperately behind the times. The topping of choice is Samsung's home-baked TouchWiz launcher and the result is quite good, the low resolution and limited screen estate aside.

Here's a video demo that will show you the whole thing in action:

The lockscreen displays the current date and time, but the notifications are oddly selective. Incoming emails won't be displayed but missed calls and texts will - we guess the limited display size is to blame here.

Once the Galaxy Pocket is unlocked you're greeted by the familiar TouchWiz homescreen. You can have up to seven panes to populate with widgets but you don't have to use all the screens all the time. If you need less, deleting the extra ones will speed up navigation. You can zoom out with a pinch gesture to enter edit mode, where you can add, remove and rearrange the homescreen panes as you see fit.

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Android 2.3.6 with the custom TouchWiz launcher

The notification area provides a handful of quick toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Sound and screen auto rotation. The rest is left to notifications of missed and ongoing events.

Samsung Galaxy Pocket S5300
The notification area is a little crammed

Pressing the menu button on the homescreen will let you put more content or change the wallpaper. Live wallpapers are supported too, though there are none preinstalled (you can go to Google Play if you want any). The context menu has shortcuts too for search, notifications and settings.

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Placing widgets on the homescreen Setting a wallpaper

The task switcher is mostly unchanged in TouchWiz with the exception of the task manager button. The app is accompanied by a homescreen widget, which shows the number of currently active apps and saves you the effort of installing a third-party task killer.

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The proprietary task manager

Typically, the app drawer consists of side-scrollable panes, much like the homescreen, instead of a vertical scrollable grid (like in the vanilla Android). With a pinch zoom you can rearrange pages with icons, but there's no easy way to create new pages. Folders aren't supported either.

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Menu is easily reorganized

Hitting Edit in the context menu lets you change the first three of the four shortcuts visible at the bottom of the screen. The fourth one is fixed as it toggles the app drawer and the homescreen.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Samsung Galaxy Pocket is a beginner's smartphone and the hardware gives you no reason to expect impressive performance.

It runs on a single-core 832 MHz ARMv6 processor with 289 MB worth of RAM. Luckily, the low screen resolution makes up for the lack of power, and the handset does OK in day to day tasks.

Linpack tests pure processing speed and the Galaxy Pocket edges both the Galaxy Ace and the Y Duos but fails to beat the HTC Explorer.

Linpack

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    10.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Y Duos
    10.3
  • HTC Explorer
    15.8
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace
    9.9

NenaMark 2 tests the GPU of the Galaxy Pocket. The lowly 12.9 frames per second suggest you should stick to less graphically intensive apps if you want anything remotely resembling good performance.

NenaMark 2

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    12.9
  • Samsung Galaxy Y Duos
    13.2
  • HTC Explorer
    15.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace
    12

Both SunSpider and BrowserMark show that you can't expect stellar web browsing performance.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    12105
  • Samsung Galaxy Y Duos
    11966
  • HTC Explorer
    10784
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace
    9061

BrowserMark

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    20338
  • Samsung Galaxy Y Duos
    19634
  • HTC Explorer
    22464
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace
    27844

We noticed that the Galaxy Pocket slowed down in memory-card involving scenarios. The Gallery, for one, gave lots of huffs before it could smoothly change images. The browser is another place where lag is evident, even though there is no Flash support.

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