Sharp End: After the iPhone 4… the Samsung Galaxy S


Dealer Jez Harris considers his next move after failed trial of the iPhone 4, and selects the Samsung Galaxy S

Now I no longer have the phone-that’s-never-in-service, sorry, the iPhone 4, I was struggling to decide what all-singing all-dancing handset to pass the time with until Windows Phone 7 devices start to hit the market in September or October.

I decided to go for the Samsung Galaxy S on Orange (after paying over £300 to buy out of my O2 contract).

The Samsung Galaxy S is a high-end phone running the Android 2.1 (Éclair) operating system with a five-megapixel camera, HD video recording, Wi-Fi, HSDPA, 1GHz processor, Super AMOLED screen, 8GB internal storage and just about every other top-end feature going.

The one main feature the Samsung Galaxy S is lacking strangely is that it has absolutely no flash capability for the camera – a very odd omission by Samsung and one I cannot for the life of me figure out.

Why has it left out such a basic feature when every other feature of the phone is best-in-class.

Apart from not having any flash, the Samsung Galaxy S is in every way an excellent phone. Its dimensions give good screen size (four inches); it’s very light for such a large handset at only 119g.

The screen is superb – the only other screen I’ve seen to come anywhere near is the Retina Display screen of the iPhone 4.

If I had to decide between the two screens I would have to say the iPhone 4 is slightly (very slightly) better than Samsung’s Super AMOLED.

But the phone just works very well. All the built-in Android apps do exactly as they are supposed to and there are many thousands of further apps available from the Android Market.

One of the features I like the most about this phone is the built-in option to use the Swype keyboard. This keyboard is amazing and makes text-entry so efficient and speedy.

It takes just a little getting used to as you do not tap out the letters of the word you want to input but you simply ‘swipe’ your finger through each of the letters you want instead.

The speed and accuracy amazes me and I reckon this keyboard should be standard on all touchscreen phones.

A couple of other nice built-in features of this phone are the Call Reject feature and the Tap & Speak feature.

Call Reject allows you to enter lists of numbers that you can add to that will automatically get rejected if they call you.

So if anyone calls you from a withheld number, say, the Samsung will send a dead tone to the caller, thereby drastically reducing unwanted calls from pestering telesales teams.

The caller gets the dead tone so they don’t pester you again and you simply get an un-obtrusive message on screen to advise a call has been rejected. I use this feature a lot.

Tap & Speak does exactly what it states. Using voice recognition you can speak into the handset and the phone will carry out the requested function.

For example: “Email Jez Harris. Subject: ‘This is a test’. Message: ‘Hello Jez this is an example of….’”.

The email application will open automatically, choose the contact and write in the message as dictated.

The user simply has to verify the email and content, and tap ‘send’. The application is remarkably accurate.

Not forgetting the phone features, the Samsung Galaxy S handles calls well. With good call quality and easy contact management within the dialler screen the phone has good reception and does not need any cases or ‘bumpers’ to work as it should.

The Android 2.1 operating system is very capable and I have so far only had to reset the phone once due to software freeze.

There is an update coming over the next few weeks to Android version 2.2 (Froyo) which will add a few extra features.

For someone who likes Windows Mobile devices as much as I do, the Samsung Galaxy S is a pleasant surprise and I would recommend it to anyone.