That lip on the bottom of the unit gives the handset a reassuring amount of grip. Much needed when you think about how susceptible large touchscreens are to damage from dropping. The added clearance this gives from any surfaces you rest the phone on also helps prevents scratches, bonus!
Swype technology offers a surprisingly intuitive way of writing accurate text quickly using the touchscreen. It didn’t take long before we were Swyping our way through messages and emails.
Seeing as the Galaxy S runs on Google’s Android operating system, it comes pre-loaded with Google Maps too. Superb for the directionally challenged and the acutely lazy.
The Galaxy S also packs the Aldiko eBook reader app, so you can easily download and read a wide variety of literature to view on your handset. We’re not sure how long a session we could stand reading from a 4″ screen, but for an especially boring journey, this could be a life-saver. The text looks beautifully rendered on the Super AMOLED screen in any case.
The Samsung’s huge 4″ Super AMOLED display is very impressive and draws ups up videos in 720p HD video in true mobile splender. The jury is still out as to exactly how the screen measures up to iPhone 4, but it’s certainly a contender.
I do have to admit that testing the various MP3 players on smartphones is pretty tiresome, especially on Android phones: no matter how many bells and whistles you put on it, I’m still going to long for my iPod touch. However, with the Galaxy S, the MP3 player is great and has a handy pull down menu for use plus the external speaker is loud and punchy. Perfect for ruining other peoples’ summertime peace.
On the downside, the camera on the Galaxy S doesn’t pack a flash (boo hiss). How am I going to take photos in the dark now Mr Samsung? And how will I be able to enjoy the full benefits of Android 2.2. when it comes to this phone in future (benefits of FroYo include the ability to record video with the flash turned on). The results from the 5 MP camera on the Galaxy S are fair, not astounding and it’s a shame there’s no dedicated shutter button, but it certainly does the job well (just not when it’s in the dark).
Overall, the interface feels very natural and the TouchWiz 3.0 layer that we first got to use on the Samsung Wave is going down a treat. Our only reservation is that it’s a little too similar in looks to the old iPhone (see below) nevertheless first thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S are very good. Hold tight for a full review later this week!