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Samsung Galaxy S. First impressions.

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I was forced to buy a new phone yesterday, my previous phone being an HTC Magic. I bought a Samsung Galaxy S based purely on the word of 3 different people. I didn’t even know the specs on the thing. I didn’t even know how it looked. Thank god then that the phone is so frakn amazing, because buyer’s remorse is a bitch!

Oh, and this ain’t no detailed Engadget review going through each aspect of the phone. It is purely what I’ve experienced over the last 1.5 days.

The good

  • The 480×800 Super AMOLED 4″ screen makes me smile every time I look at it! It is absolutely gorgeous, feels fantastic, and the seamless divx support that made watching a True Blood episode so simple was a definite “WOW!” moment
  • It is speedy and responsive as hell. Bear in mind, I came from a hacked and somewhat laggy HTC Magic, and this phone really brings out Android’s multitasking capabilities. And this is without the lag fix. I installed it just now for the sake of it, and although the numbers from Quadrant Standard show a huge difference before and after [900 to 2050], I really can’t feel a difference, and didn’t experience any lag in all the time I used it
  • Google and The Cloud meant that within a couple of minutes, I had all my mail and contacts back!
  • Swype comes pre-installed, and typing swyping becomes a joy, to the point that I look forward to every time I have to send a message / tweet / email
  • Grooveshark was made for this phone! It flies, and I spent a good hour in the car today streaming via 2G and 3G with no issues whatsoever! Of course I need to sync my playlists and download them onto the phone, but it worked flawlessly
  • The capacitive buttons feel a lot nicer than their HTC Magic equivalent

The bad

  • I can has moar bloatware? Good lord, Optus, you’ve really mastered carrier bloatware. Obviously it’s not really intrusive in any other way than seeing those Optus icons in your app drawer, but still, annoying
  • Speaking of app drawer, the default Samsung one looks quite terrible, and whoever decided to order apps by install date [without the option of changing how these apps are ordered] should be shot. In the head. Twice. Luckily, this is an Android phone, and Federico Carnales has created LauncherPro, a replacement “Home” app that offers a ton of customisation capabilities along with a healthy dose of sexy.
  • No LED indicator. Now, this could be pretty minor to most, but I started relying on that LED for notifications, obsessively staring at the indicator, waiting for it to blink, and had the colours customised for different types of notifications, etc. Then again, maybe I’m just a weirdo, and will now instead have to push the “Home” button every minutes to see if I’ve missed anything.

The indifferent

  • No flash on the camera. This could be a big deal to some, and I didn’t even realise it until @neerav’s pretty apt summary of the HTC Desire vs Samsung Galaxy S. It would’ve been a nice to have for those drunken nights when I want to take a photo of an embarrassing situation… No, wait, no flash = good!
  • No trackball. I’ve found myself reaching for the trackball on a few occasions when swyping, as it was a precise way to move between characters; I’m assuming I’ll get over it.
  • It has an FM radio! But you can only seemingly use it when your headphones are plugged in o_O

Again, these are very early impressions of the phone, but I’m absolutely lovin’ it, and eagerly awaiting Froyo and Gingerbread.

UPDATE:

One more annoyance that I was reminded about while reading something just now; Samsung’s Kies software, which is some attempt at iTunes-like functionality. I much prefer to just drag & drop files via Windows Explorer, and if you want to just use the internal 16 gigs as a mass storage drive, you need to first go into Settings -> About phone -> USB settings and select ‘Mass storage’. Otherwise, the phone will whinge about drivers being needed when you plug it in and mount the device.

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8 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy S. First impressions.

  1. Tim MacKay says:

    This is great news, I upgraded to this phone a couple of weeks ago and am now eagerly awaiting being able to shamelessly reap the benefits of your trailblazing. How about a Galaxy S RSS feed?

  2. c0uP says:

    Zomg! Why didn’t you tell me?! How are you finding it?!An RSS feed? :O If I start compiling enough information, I shall be sure to summarise it in posts. I think the next thing will just be the Froyo update for us. I’m wondering whether to try a few versions of it that are already out, or wait until the end of September when Samsung claim to release an update by.

  3. Tim MacKay says:

    So far I am liking it a lot, a massive upgrade from my previous phone so enjoying both the phone and smartphones in general.How are you finding the battery? Its the most difficult part to manage, I downloaded tons of apps when I first got it and my battery was lasting only about 4 or 5 hours. I read some posts about it and decided to do a factory reset and only re-download the apps that I actually used (Opera Mobile, Advanced task-killer and Shazam) and its been way better since then. Downloaded the Grooveshark app yesterday after reading this post :)I also stuggled for a bit to get it to mount on my desktop to put media files on it but now have it working. Those Kies CD’s were a bit useless.Are you happy with Optus? Did you get the social plan?

  4. c0uP says:

    Hmm, I’m the type of person that charges the phone at work too, so, at the moment, I haven’t noticed myself struggling for battery, but it seems like a very 9-5 kinda phone with moderate to heavy usage. I’ve always got TweetDeck and Foursquare [with pings] running which probably doesn’t help.You’re not using the default browser?! Also, did you try the lag fix? And LauncherPro!The Kies CDs were indeed useless >.<I’m actually on Vodafone and bought the phone outright, but the network is still pretty fail, and actually adds to the battery drain by constantly switching between 2G and 3G.

  5. Tim MacKay says:

    Charging at work is probably a good idea. I will defo check out Launcher Pro, but what is the lag fix? I actually juggle both browsers but prefer Opera for general surfing. Why is the default browser not Chrome or Chrome mobile?The Optus network is a bit up and down but I managed to get unmetered access to YouTube which I thought was a win.

  6. c0uP says:

    Lag fix was this http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=760571 I mean, I didn’t really have any lag in the first place, and it seems for more graphics intensive stuff like games, but, /shrug It was actually just cool seeing the performance benchmark on Quadrant Standard (http://www.appbrain.com/app/com.aurorasoftworks.quadrant.ui.standard) run!The Samsung Galaxy S claims the phone comes with "Google Chrome-Lite", but all I see is the stock browser. Then again, I’m lovin’ the stock browser, and it’s fast enough.Oh, nice, YouTube bandwidth abuse ftw!

  7. TechAddicted says:

    Just read an update on another site about samsung’s official announcement for the froyo update!!Having bought the galaxy S myself, I feel relieved and at the same time, extremely excited!! Think of what I can now do with my Galaxy?!!! Anyways, I just went full-time into making themes for my android, customizing my phone and attracting envy and awes from my friends!Here’s the site to start off –> http://tinyurl.com/myandroidthemeHere's a snippet from the site.Want to be an Android theme maker?Do you have an Android phone? I bet at one point you have switched the background to give it a custom look and feel. It’s quite simple to change even more, everything from icons to the app drawer. This is called ‘theming’ and you can do this, and redesign the look of your Android phone’s interface. But, here’s the kicker, if you took that same theme you just made, I’m gonna tell you how to sell it on the Android marketplace. That’s right, you can make some money from it.You can make up a theme in under 5 minutes, put it on the AndroidTM marketplace and get a sale the same day.

  8. I like all the samsung products and I try to keep up to date with all the new things that come out and if you like this there are more samsung products found at this website getlcdmonitor.com

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