Samsung I7500 preview: First look
Miscellaneous chrome plating
There are some minor additions in terms of eye candy as well - switching between apps causes the current app to zoom out and "throb" while the other app loads. Another minor tweak to the I7500 OS is the shading of the buttons, which gives them a more elaborate look.
Another of the more useful additions is the ability to filter the list of applications in the "Manage applications" menu - you can choose to view running apps or apps from third-party sources. You can terminate running apps, turning this into a simple task manager (there are more advanced ones in the Marketplace).
In the I7500 Galaxy Settings menu, there's a new addition called Locale & text. It allows you to pick a different locale (which changes the language of the UI), change some keyboard settings and access the user dictionary. That last bit lets you teach autocomplete new words.
The music player is the same
There aren't any visible changes to the Music player, the only worthwhile addition is a music player widget.
It does what any other music player widget does - display track info and add a play/pause button and a skip button to your homescreen. The widget doesn't offer fast-forward and there isn't a skip back button. A tap on the widget brings you straight to the music player.
Video player the Spartan way
We were quite disappointed with the lack of a video player in the original version of Android (although we found a silly hack to view 3gp files through email). Luckily, there's a dedicated video player on board the I7500 Galaxy… well, sort of.
It's about as simple as you can make it - once you hit the video player icon you get a list of all videos available on the phone. And the interface while playing a video consists of play/pause, next and previous buttons, as well as a draggable progress bar.
The I7500 Galaxy video player seems to support only the H.263 codec but since the application crashed when trying to play other files, we suspect it's a long way from finished. Perhaps it won't be far fetched to see even DivX/XviD support implemented.
What the app really needs is some UI to filter videos like the one in the music player.
The I7500 Galaxy or the Samsung's take on the Google phone is a solid device with all the gadgetry we've got used to in smartphones. We're very eager to get our hands on a final version and see how the camera performs - YouTube and Picasa integration that will be part of v1.5 would turn it into an even more connected device.
The ample 8GB of internal storage and microSD expansion, topped with a 3.5mm audio jack and A2DP make the I7500 a worthy competitor to dedicated music players and Samsung sure know good audio quality.
The Samsung I7500 however is more important than that as it marks an important point in the history of the Android OS - it's the first working non-HTC device running the OS. Yes, Androids have a long way before them but they don't give in to their more mature market adversaries.