Samsung I9010 Galaxy S Giorgio Armani review: Fashionware

GSMArena team, 14 January 2011.
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Final words

We wish the Samsung I9010 Galaxy S Giorgio Armani was carved out of a gold bar. It wouldíve been so much easier. The world wouldíve been a better place. But for a change, the Armani-branded Galaxy S is not a tacky, overdone and overrated piece of useless crap. Itís a phone that brings beauty and performance together to please even the most demanding user.

It doesnít feel right when a fashion phone is the better smartphone. But not everything that makes sense to you makes sense to everyone else. Armani and Android Ė they just donít mix, do they? Whatís the point in selling performance to customers that want bling? Does a smartphone need to be dressed up and well groomed?

But you know, these are the easy questions. And now for the tough one Ė is the I9010 worth the price premium over a standard Galaxy S?

The answer is most definitely no in terms of user experience, and probably only just in terms of build quality and design. OK, some would gladly spend a little extra perhaps on superior materials and better looks, but how is that nearly 200 euro.

On the other hand, now that the Galaxy S can match the good looks of the iPhone 4 it only makes sense that itís priced accordingly. And even the I9010 remains cheaper than the cheapest of last-gen iPhones if you discount carrier subsidies.

Apple iPhone 4
Apple iPhone 4

And it doesnít even take the expensive Apple iPhone to realize that the I9010 Giorgio Armani is not doing as bad as it may look. True, itís more expensive than the Desire HD, but the difference here isnít that great and the Super AMOLED screen and the better build quality seem more than enough to show for it.

HTC Desire HD
HTC Desire HD

We are yet to see how the Gingerbread-packing Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc will be priced, but we are guessing it wonít be notably cheaper than the I9010, not until the middle of this year at least. And until then it would be a choice between looks and functionality, which is never one-sided.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc

To be honest though, there will be other phones competing against the XPERIA Arc. Destined to a niche existence, the Armani-branded Galaxy S is will struggle to reconcile its two different selves. To say that a very capable smartphone will be scraping a miserable existence as a fashion phone is not too far off perhaps.

The Samsung I9010 Galaxy S Giorgio Armani is a phone in which brilliant looks and brilliant performance are the two parts of a perfect whole. Its curse though is that very few customers will appreciate a perfect blend of fashion phone and smartphone. Fewer yet will want to buy it. Like we said, itís not fair.

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