An­other Galaxy

Finweek English Edition - - TECH TRENDS -

GOOGLE’S AN­DROID op­er­at­ing sys­tem now pow­ers 5m new mo­bile phones sold world­wide ev­ery month. Most of those come from Tai­wanese man­u­fac­turer HTC, but Sony Eric­s­son, Mo­torola and other An­droid adopters are start­ing to make in­roads. Sam­sung has launched its Galaxy S, known as the “Vi­brant” in the United States, and it just might be the best An­droid phone we’ve seen.

The I9000 (prod­uct code for the Galaxy S) sports a big, 4-inch screen with Sam­sung’s new su­per “amoled” technology – and that’s the most im­pres­sive thing about the de­vice. The screen is in­cred­i­bly bright and clear, with high res­o­lu­tion for crisp im­ages that have to be seen to be be­lieved. It’s a touch-screen phone and com­pares well to the best of its com­pe­ti­tion, be­ing highly re­spon­sive with a silky feel. Its cam­era is a 5 megapixel af­fair that also shoots 720p high def­i­ni­tion video and, as with the screen, blew me away with its qual­ity.

The only thing I don’t like about the Galaxy S is Sam­sung’s user in­ter­face for the home screen en­vi­ron­ment, which doesn’t quite live up to HTC’s Touch Sense. Wid­gets for the home screen on the Galaxy S are a bit awk­ward and don’t fit neatly on to the dis­play.

Other than that mi­nor nig­gle, there’s very lit­tle to fault the Galaxy S on. It runs An­droid 2.1 with all the Google good- ness and ap­pli­ca­tions in the An­droid mar­ket­place that brings. Un­for­tu­nately, paid ap­pli­ca­tions aren’t yet avail­able in South Africa; but we’re told that this will change over time.

Sam­sung has also added its own ap­pli­ca­tion store it’s try­ing to at­tract de­vel­op­ers to, but that’s sparse cur­rently and Galaxy S users will be bet­ter served by the of­fi­cial An­droid Mar­ket Place store.

Given the cur­rent im­pres­sive range of top touch-screen phones – which in­cludes Ap­ple’s iPhone, the HTC De­sire and Sony Eric­s­son’s X10 – it would be hard to pick a clear win­ner but I wouldn’t hes­i­tate go­ing for the Galaxy S.

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