Samsung I9003 Galaxy SL review: Through different eyes
The gallery still downsizes the images
The Samsung I9003 Galaxy SL comes with the stock Froyo gallery, rather than a modified TouchWiz version. It has good functionality, cool 3D looks and nice transition effects, but unfortunately (and again) only shows a downsized version of your images.
Images and videos placed in different folders appear in different sub-galleries that automatically get the name of the folder, which is very convenient - just like a file manager.
The different albums appear as piles of photos which fall in neat grids once selected. If you have online albums over at Picasa those show up as separate stacks as well.
Alternatively, you photos can be organized by date with the help of a button in the top right corner, which switches between grid and timeline view.
In grid view, there’s a date slider, which can also be used to find photos taken on a certain date.
If you are checking out a photo, you can use the tabs at the top of the screen to jump back to the main gallery screen, without having to go through its folder.
The gallery supports finger scrolling or panning so you can skip images without having to return to the default view. Just swipe to the left or right when viewing a photo in fullscreen mode and the previous/next image will appear.
Thanks to the Galaxy SL multi-touch support pinch zooming is also available here but you can also use double tap or even the +/- buttons. Unfortunately zooming in isn’t going to reveal much more detail (if any at all).
The Android gallery still shows only downsized version of you images, though if you send one from here the full-res shot is received on the other end. We really think that fixing this should be high on the Google priority list. With large high-res screens like that modern day smartphones make for excellent picture browsing tools and this limitation is really taking most of the fun out.
There are tons of options for a picture – you can crop or rotate it directly in the gallery. The Send feature offers quick sharing via Picasa, Email apps, Bluetooth or MMS.
A pretty good video player
If video watching on a mobile is what you like to do the Samsung Galaxy SL looks like a great device for you. With powerful hardware, wide codecs support and a welcomingly large screen it’s pretty capable to say the least.
The dedicated video player app has a nice and simple interface that automatically disappears when not used to allow you to enjoy your videos in their full shine. The on-screen controls boil down to play/pause and skip buttons, as well as a draggable progress bar.
There’s DvX and XviD video support as with the rest of the Galaxy SL family.
Performance with higher-res videos is great – it played 720p videos like a champ. It’s no wonder, considering it can record 720p videos.
There's a TV-Out feature (though it's only SD) or you could use the DLNA support to stream videos and photos to your DLNA-enabled TV or media player (any PC with Wi-Fi and DLNA-capable software would do too).
The Outdoor visibility setting is also present. It boosts the brightness and contrast of your screen to give you better viewing quality outside. The video recorder also sports this option.
A fancy music player
The Samsung Galaxy SL makes use of the TouchWiz music player. The interface consists of several tabs for the sorting options: current playlist, all tracks, playlists and albums, artists and composers. You are free to remove those you don’t need to make the interface easier to navigate.
In addition, Samsung has enabled equalizer presets on the Galaxy SL along with Samsung’s DNSe technology. You can use the Album art for the song (if present) or you can switch on the visualizations.
The great feature that allows you to quickly look up a song on YouTube or via Google search is also here.
The handset also prompts you to select whether to look up the artist, the song title or the album. What’s even better, the YouTube search results are loaded straight into the YouTube client.
And with the added eye-candy, album view and song scrolling, things are almost as good as they can get now.
We won't be publishing the audio quality results of the I9003 Galaxy SL for the time being due to the pre-release status of our unit. We'll update the review once we get hold of a final unit.
FM Radio on board
The Samsung I9003 Galaxy SL is equipped with an FM radio with RDS too. The interface is simple – there’s a tuning dial and you can save as many as 6 stations as favorites. You can also listen on the loudspeaker, but the headset is still needed.