Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 preview: First look
Browser got a touch of make-up too
The web browser has got some of the skinning treatment. The changes are cosmetic mostly and all the excellent functionality of the Eclair browser is there.
Aside from the different look of the address bar, there are five buttons at the bottom row – back and forward, more, bookmarks and tabs. In full-screen mode those are hidden and the only thing to see is the full-screen mode toggle.
Complex pages are rendered perfectly (which is typical for Android) and navigating them is a breeze. The browser offers three zoom methods – double tap, pinch and Samsung’s one-finger zoom. Text reflow always keeps the columns of text as wide as the screen.
The browser also offers bookmarks, a most visited section that displays pages as thumbnails, searching for text on page, a password manager and form auto-filling.
The big omission in the browser is Flash, but that’s hardly surprising.
Camera: no lights, but action!
The camera on the Samsung I5800 is modest by today’s standards – 3.2 megapixel with autofocus and QVGA video at 15fps. There isn’t even a dedicated shutter key (but then again the Nexus One doesn’t either).
Samsung have a lot of experience with cameraphones, so they’ve developed a really good touch camera interface. And they’ve ported it to the Samsung I5800.
Aside from the standard modes like the Continuous shooting mode (which captures 9 photos at 3.2MP resolution) and the Panorama (automatically captures and stitches up to 8 photos at VGA resolution) there are a few new ones.
The first one is Action Shot – press the shutter and the Samsung I5800 will start tracking moving objects. When an object moves faster than some threshold the camera will automatically take the shot. There isn’t a way to change the threshold, but we’ll check again in the final version.
Add Me is not particularly useful – it splits the frame in half vertically and lets you take two different shots, which are put side by side.
The camera also offers several Scene presets, a macro mode, manual ISO selection (100, 200, 400), a number of effects, viewfinder gridlines and geo-tagging.
The Samsung I5800 we have is a pre-production unit so the camera software probably hasn’t been fine tuned yet. The photos end up a bit on the dark side and the JPEG compression is a little too high, but these things should be ironed out in the production unit.
The camera captures a decent amount of detail for a 3MP snapper, the noise seems to be kept in check, though the compression exaggerates it.
Sorry about the snowy camera samples. It's like we said, we've had an early prototype way back when we weren't allowed to publish anything.
The camcorder captures video in QVGA resolution at 15fps – good for MMS only. It has basic image effects (negative, sepia and black and white) but that’s about it.
Here’s a sample video – QVGA@15fps.