Samsung I7500 Galaxy review: A hitchhiker's guide

GSMArena team, 14 October 2009.
Pages: 123456789

Introduction

Android is set on grabbing the number two spot in the smartphone market by 2012 and the Samsung I7500 Galaxy might be the type of phone to get it there. Perhaps less for the Galaxy at this point, and more for the Samsung, but we'll see about that.

Samsung I7500 Galaxy screenshot Samsung I7500 Galaxy screenshot
Samsung I7500 Galaxy official photos

The I7500 Galaxy is a "Google experience" phone, and has the intrinsic advantage of having the search giant's infrastructure behind its back. For one, YouTube and Picasa integration sure add value to the 5-megapixel camera.

And as to people who spend their time digging around the Internet for oft hard to find information, we really appreciate the improved search widget. And that thingy is about to get better - Android is a bit like Google's other projects, a perpetual work in progress that keeps getting new features and polishes the occasional rough edges.

The I7500 Galaxy is the company's first take on Android but if we put the OS aside, it should be a solid Samsung touchscreen with all the gadgetry we've got used to in smartphones. Of course, the Android platform still has a few issues to address and get some annoying limitations out of the way. Let's see what this here Android by Samsung can do for you and where it might fail.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • 3G with HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA 5.76Mbps
  • Android OS v1.5 (codenamed Cupcake) without customizations
  • 3.2" capacitive AMOLED touchscreen of HVGA resolution
  • Qualcomm MSM72000A 528MHz CPU, 128MB RAM
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, geo-tagging, YouTube and Picasa integration
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and GPS receiver
  • Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate and turn-to-mute
  • Digital compass for automatic navigation of maps
  • Standard microUSB port for charging and data
  • microSD card slot with microSDHC support
  • 8GB internal storage
  • Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • 3.5 mm audio jack

Main disadvantages

  • No smart dialing
  • Camera features are a bit outdated
  • No videocalling
  • No multi-touch gestures
  • No Flash support in the web browser (coming soon via the Open Screen Project)
  • No DivX/XviD video support or a third-party application to play that
  • No FM radio
  • No TV-out port
  • No voice dialing
  • Somewhat limited 3rd party software availability
  • No Bluetooth file transfers (not without rooting)
  • No tethering (not without a custom ROM)

Samsung I7500 Galaxy photo Samsung I7500 Galaxy photo Samsung I7500 Galaxy photo
Samsung I7500 Galaxy live shots

Samsung have established a strong presence in the touchscreen market. Their usual weapon of choice is TouchWiz, which brings PocketPCs and feature phones closer together, projecting a consistent brand image.

With the Galaxy, they're stepping out of their comfort zone - a new OS and a new interface. TouchWiz for Android is yet to come (and in the case of I7500 never is more likely than later).

To make sure it does well, Samsung have equipped the Galaxy to match to specs of the top Android phones available on the market. And it sure needs every bit of ammo if it's going to challenge the well-entrenched HTC Hero. The I7500 Galaxy can take it on spec for spec and even win a few rounds.

But that's on paper, and we guess you're curious to see the real deal. Jump to the next page for this Einstein's worth of a question: what is the Galaxy made of?

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