Samsung S5230 Star review: Hot starlet

GSMArena team, 06 July 2009.
Pages: «1234567»

Tags: Samsung, Touch UI

Audio quality

The audio quality of Samsung S5230 Star is somewhat of a mixed bag. The main concern we are having about its audio reproduction capabilities is about its frequency response. It tends to deviate from the perfect for large parts of the audible range.

The intermodulation distortion is also slightly above average but it is hardly too disturbing. The rest of the scores however are excellent. Both the noise level and the dynamic range of the Samsung S5230 Star can easily rival dedicated music player, and so can the stereo crosstalk.

Here go the results so you can see for yourselves how the Star compares to its competition. You can find more info about the testing procedure and more results here.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Samsung S5230 Star+1.02, -2.41-88.087.80.0045 0.222-82.3
LG KP500 Cookie+0.13, -0.32-87.581.90.125 0.150-63.0
Apple iPod Touch 2G+0.04, -0.05-91.491.50.0027 0.012-90.0
Apple iPhone 3GS+0.01, -0.05-92.192.10.00350.011 -95.0
Nokia 5630 XpressMusic+0.13, -0.26-94.094.80.466 0.876-97.3

Samsung S5230 Star vs Apple iPhone 3GS generation frequency response graphs
Samsung S5230 Star vs Apple iPhone 3GS generation frequency response graphs

No Photo browser, no problem

Unlike the latest Samsung devices like the S8300 UltraTOUCH, the S5230 Star has only one picture gallery. However, that can't be considered an issue since the present gallery is fully functional. You'll most likely not miss the Photo browser despite its eye-catching qualities.

It is an inherent part of the file manager and launching it is as simple as opening any folder that contains images.

Once you open a picture to view, you can sweep you fingers across the screen to see the next image without having to return to the image list.

Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star
Viewing a single image

The gallery also has a slideshow function and an accelerometer-based browsing feature. It lets you browse pictures in fullscreen landscape mode by simply tilting your phone on its side (plus, of course, you get automatic rotation of the photos by changing the device orientation).

Passable video player

The video player has a simple interface without too many features. All the basic are covered though, and that should really be enough as the screen size doesn't really lend itself to watching whole movies on it.

Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star
Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star
The video player of Samsung S5230 Star

The player supports MPEG-4 videos but we only managed to get QVGA samples running. The VGA resolution videos we tried playing turned out to be unsupported. The video player can also use the accelerometer so once you flip the phone to its side it goes landscape and fullscreen.

3 megapixel fixed-focus shooter

The Samsung S5230 Star features a 3 megapixel camera with fixed focus and is capable of taking photos with a maximum resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels.

The camera does not have auto-focus, but it sports the nice Smile shot feature. Basically when you turn it on, pushing the camera button doesn't immediately take a picture. Instead it just starts monitoring the framed face and as soon as the person smiles (or at least grins), the handset takes the shot for you automatically.

The camera interface is nicely touch-optimized and is certainly one of the most comfortable camera interfaces on a touchscreen device so far.

Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star
The camera interface

The nice contrast is the best part about the actual photos taken with the camera. On the other hand the noise suppression is a bit too aggressive at times, eradicating all fine detail (notice that foliage has a distinct oil-painting look). The noise levels also seem a bit high and the color reproduction is inaccurate on many occasions.

Still, the overall result is passable and cannot by any means ruin the whole deal. You can see that for yourselves from the samples below:

Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star
Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star

Synthetic resolution

We also snapped our resolution chart with the Samsung S5230 Star. You can check out what that test is all about here.

Samsung S5230 Star Samsung S5230 Star
Samsung S5230 Star resolution chart photo • 100% crops

Nokia 5630 XpressMusic resolution chart photo Nokia 5630 XpressMusic resolution chart crop
Nokia 5630 resolution chart photo • 100% crops

Video recording

The video recording capabilities of the Samsung S5230 Star are very poor - it maxes out at QVGA@15fps. Hardly any usable videos can be produced with those specs but the consolation is that the competing LG Cookie doesn't offer anything better either.

Here is a sample Samsung S5230 video recording for you to check out.

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