Samsung Galaxy W I8150 review: S Plus Lite

GSMArena team, 8 December 2011.
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Unboxing the Galaxy W

There were no surprises in the retail box of the Samsung Galaxy W. It comes with a charger that ends on a microUSB plug, a separate microUSB cable and a cheapish looking one-piece headset. There are some manuals too, and that's that.

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The contents of the Samsung Galaxy W I8150 retail box

Samsung Galaxy W I8150 360-degree spin

At 115.5 x 59.8 x 11.5 mm, the Galaxy W is still reasonably compact and pocket-friendly. The phone weighs a good 110 grams.

Design and build quality

The Samsung Galaxy W I8150 isn't the prettiest piece of hardware around, but it's not without its charms. The phone’s curvier than the crop of rounded-corner rectangles that dominate the market, and that sets it apart. The materials are not premium, but the plastic finish is neat and likely to endure a few knocks.

Anyway, the Galaxy W is equipped with a 3.7” LCD screen that does an adequate job. Sure, it isn’t a SuperAMOLED but, at this price range, it will be difficult to find one anyway. Anything you're likely to find (e.g. original Galaxy S or S Plus) will have lower pixel density and a PenTile matrix.

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The LCD display is nice

Anyway, we found the screen to have good viewing angles and good sunlight legibility. The black levels however were dreadful, which results in overall poor contrast.

Here are some hard numbers to back up our personal observations.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
HTC Salasa 0.26 167 653 0.52 309 593
HTC Sensation 0.21 173 809 0.61 438 720
Samsung Galaxy W I8150 0.29 243 853 0.50423 853
HTC Radar 0.26 204 794 0.59471 797
HTC Titan 0.26 233 891 0.56567 1007
Samsung I9001 Galaxy S Plus 0 251 0 408
Sony Ericsson W8 0.18 125 696 0.34 250 737
HTC Sensation XL 0.22 231 1045 0.52 559 1085

Below the screen is a typical arrangement of a hardware Home key in the center and capacitive Menu and Back keys at its side. The Home key is basically flush against the front and not very comfortable to use. The capacitive keys don't have haptic feedback, so points are deducted here too.

Above the screen is the earpiece, the front-facing camera and proximity sensor. There's no ambient light sensor, so no automatic setting for the display's brightness.

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It is business as usual below and above the screen of the Galaxy W

On the left side of the device, you will find the lonely volume rocker, which is fairly tactile. The power/lock key is on the right in typical Samsung fashion.

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The volume rocker on the left • the power/lock key on the right

The unprotected 3.5 mm audio jack is on top of the Galaxy W I8150. Right next to it is the microUSB port, which is used for charging as well. This one has a neat sliding cover.

At the bottom of the device, you will find the mouthpiece and the tiny latch to open the back cover.

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The 3.5mm audio jack and microUSB port are on top • Samsung Galaxy W’s bottom

The top part of the back has different finish than the actual battery cover, which makes it a distinct spot for the 5MP camera lens and the LED flash. The rear cover is made of diamond-textured plastic. At the bottom is the loudspeaker grill with a small nub to slightly lift the phone if you place it on a level surface.

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5MP camera with LED flash and the loudspeaker grill

Below the battery cover is a typical sight. There is a SIM card slot, and a hot-swappable microSD slot in the top right corner.

The battery is a 1500mAh Li-Ion unit that is quoted at 570 hours of standby (in 2G, 420 hours in 3G) and nearly 18 hours of talk time in 2G (the talk time in 3G is just over 8 hours).

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The view under the battery cover

The Samsung Galaxy W I8150 is not the prettiest phone around, but the differently patterned surfaces are nice accents on what’s an overall clean design. The finish and the exterior aren't bad either - the back cover material looks very similar to what was used on the Galaxy S II.

The phone is pretty light and has nicely rounded corners for comfortable fit in the hand. It's not the thinnest of phones but will slip into any pocket easily. The build is wobble and creak free.

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Samsung Galaxy W I8150 handles well

That wraps it up for the physical exam, time for the psych test. We have a feeling that the Galaxy W will perform exactly like the Galaxy S Plus. Jump to the next page to see if the W has the IQ and skills for the job.

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