Samsung Galaxy S Review

by on September 9, 2010
in Android, Gadgets

Samsung Galaxy S – the fastest and the most powerful Android handset available is now in our hands for a full review. Galaxy Spica was Samsung’s first Android phone which didn’t do too well in the market because of low specifications, and  it had Android 1.5 which was never updated to Eclair.

It’s been a week since I started using the Samsung Galaxy S as my primary phone – and to be honest, I’ve never been this happy with a phone than this one. You pretty much got the idea how the review will go now.

Samsung Galaxy S Review

In this Samsung Galaxy S review, I will be comparing the phone with the Nexus One – the third Google developer phone – and will cover various aspects about the phone, such as display, sound/music, OS, speed etc.

Samsung Galaxy S Specifications

  • Display: 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen (480 x 800 pixels)
  • Processor: ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor (Hummingbird)
  • Camera: 5 MP camera with autofocus, no LED flash, secondary camera for video calls
  • Video: HD video recording at 30 fps (720p)
  • Memory: 512MB RAM, 8GB/16GB internal memory, microSD slot upto 32GB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi, microUSB
  • Other: Flash Lite support, A-GPS, FM Radio, 3.5 mm jack, TV out, accelerometer, Swype, Augmented Reality browser, e-book, office, allshare etc
  • Battery: 1500 mAh Li-Po
  • OS: Android 2.1 with TouchWiz UI (Android 2.2 coming soon)

I do agree that a lot of inspiration has been taken from the iOS by Samsung, but from the inside, this phone is no less than a beast and I believe, this is the only phone that can actually be compared to the iPhone 4 in terms of features and technical specifications.

Now let’s take a closer look at these features and how they actually perform on the Samsung GalaxyS.


Samsung Galaxy S is fitted with the gorgeous Super AMOLED display screen and seriously, I can’t say enough about it. Super AMOLED display is one of the main hardware that sets the phone at top of the line. Galaxy S has a huge 4-inch 480 x 800 pixels WVGA display and trust me, even the ugliest apps and photos look amazing on it. I have only one word for it – Awesome!

Super AMOLED display definitely kicks ass with a contrast level ratio of 50000 : 1 – which is just as much as today’s HD TVs. In direct sunlight, the Super AMOLED screen in Galaxy S proudly stood as the winner as compared to the AMOLED screen on the Nexus One.

Processor / Speed

Samsung Galaxy S is powered by the ARM Cortex A8 1GHz CPU (called as the Hummingbird). Hummingbird is way better than the 1GHz Snapdragon CPU featured in the Nexus One and HTC Desire, plus several other HTC devices. Not to forget, Samsung was the one manufacturing processor chips for Apple till the iPhone 3GS. So it doesn’t come as a surprise if they come out with something almost as powerful as the Apple A4 chip. And throw in a powerful mobile GPU, this phone is all set to rock and roll in the mobile market! The GPU alone is capable enough to produce 36% of PlayStation 3’s processing power!

Earlier with the stock Android 2.1 on board, I had a few lagging issues on this phone – but that too after I filled the internal SD memory with 920 songs. But after a root and applying a lag fix, the Samsung Galaxy S is now faster than it ever was and runs at galactic speeds. It’s very speedy, responsive and the accurate (as compared to the Nexus One) multi-touch makes it even more amazing device.

So the three main components that powers this beast are: Super AMOLED display, Hummingbird CPU and PowerVR SGX540 GPU.

Camera / Video

5 megapixels camera is now like a standard requirement in all smartphones. Samsung Galaxy S features a 5 megapixels camera at the back without a LED flash, and a front-facing camera of 1.3 megapixels for video calling and self-shots.

Photo quality at daytime is still better, but at night time, the camera fails to impress in any way. A LED flash would have been very much helpful. Comparing with Nexus One’s 5 megapixels camera, Galaxy S has a pretty poor camera. There are lots of photo effects and scene shots that you can try for getting the best possible results.

Front-facing camera is always an advantage for video calling over 3G network or through Fring.

The Samsung Galaxy S is capable of recording 720p HD videos at 720×1280 resolution.

Sample photos taken from the Samsung Galaxy S.

(Click on the photo to enlarge)

(Click on the photo to enlarge)

(Click on the photo to enlarge)

Body / Build Quality

Samsung Galaxy S looks very similar to the iPhone 3GS in design and looks. A quick glance at the device makes one wonder if it is the iPhone 3GS. Over all, the phone is big, thansk to its 4-inch display – but relatively you don’t feel it that big when holding the phone. It is shockingly super light in weight (only 119g) as compared to the Nexus One (130g).

Build quality is not that well. When holding the Galaxy S, it gives you the feeling of holding something in cheap plastic – especially when you have the Nexus One in your other hand.


Samsung Galaxy S offers several connectivity options such as Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi and microUSB support. Direct TV output is also included which is one useful feature for viewing photos and HD videos on your TV. Unfortuanetely, the TV out cable is not included in the box. I used the cable that came with my old Nokia N96 to try out!


The back side of the Galaxy S contains a 1500 mAh battery that provides talktime of 803 min on 2G and 393 min on 3G. Standby time is of 750 hrs on 2G and 576 hrs on 3G.

As compared to the Nexus One, battery life is much much better on the Galaxy S – that too with the huge Super AMOLED display. I’m a heavy mobile data user, and this phone is able to last more than a day when on the EDGE network.

TouchWiz UI

HTC has Sense UI for Android, similarly, Motorola has Blur. Samsung didn’t wanted to left behind and they launched TouchWiz 3.0 on the Galaxy S which takes some major inspiration from the iOS interface.

TouchWiz is really snappy and comes loaded with many apps of their own and also features Sasmung Apps – a market app for Samsung devices. Along with lots of other apps, Samsung brings SocialHub to the Galaxy S. It is a social networking dashboard from where you can add and sync your Facebook, Twitter and MySpace friends with your contacts and you can manage all your social networking from one place. This is one of my favourite features in the Samsung Galaxy S.

Other apps that Samsung Galaxy S has are: Swype, Augmented Reality browser, e-book, office, allshare etc.


Samsung Galaxy S Unboxing

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