Samsung Galaxy S review

£439
Price when reviewed

It takes a brave manufacturer to launch a flagship phone at the same time Apple unleashes its latest iPhone, but that’s exactly what Samsung has done. Not once, but twice. First with the Samsung Wave, featuring its own Bada OS, and now with its high-end Android phone, the Galaxy S.

Read the full review of the Galaxy S’s successor – the Samsung Galaxy S II – here

That might put a bit of a dampener on sales, but what it can’t do is dent our opinion of its latest handset: where the Wave was disappointing, the Galaxy S is a cracker of a phone.

Not that you’d know it from simply looking at it or picking it up. It’s far from the design triumph that the iPhone 4 is, and it isn’t as nice to hold as the HTC Desire either. It’s light, a little bit plasticky, and the chrome effect trim that curves around the edge of the front fascia makes it look and feel like a cheap, knock-off copy of the iPhone 3GS.

A stunning display

When the Galaxy’s screen sparks searingly into life all such thoughts are immediately banished. It’s huge, measuring 4in diagonally, it boasts a high resolution of 480 x 800, and it uses the same “Super AMOLED” technology as featured on the Wave. It’s very, very bright – more so than even the HTC Desire – and the most colour-intense screen we’ve seen on any smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S I9000

But try as it might, it still can’t quite rival the iPhone 4 all round. Whites aren’t quite as pure, and the latter still wins out on sheer resolution. Due to the pen-tile arrangement of the sub-pixels in OLED screens, which means effective resolution isn’t quite as high as the quoted resolution, it’s noticeably grainier. The larger screen size, however, ensures that small text is just as readable.

Performance

Nearly as impressive as the screen is the sheer performance of the Galaxy S. Thanks to the 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, it’s the quickest, slickest, smoothest Android phone yet. It hardly stuttered, no matter how much we asked it to do. Over a fast Wi-Fi connection it loaded the full BBC home page in an average of nine seconds, level with the HTC Desire and iPhone 4.

In the SunSpider benchmark it completed the tests in 15.5 seconds compared to the iPhone 4’s time of just over 10 seconds. Its score of 93 out of 100 in the Acid 3 standards is good, but again falls slightly behind the iPhone 4’s perfect 100.

Details

Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £25.00
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider www.mobiles.co.uk

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 13hrs 30mins
Standby, quoted 31 days, 6hrs

Physical

Dimensions 64 x 12 x 122mm (WDH)
Weight 116.000kg
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard On-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 512MB
ROM size 8,000MB
Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 4.0in
Resolution 480 x 800
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Android

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