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VIDEOVIEW: Samsung GT-I7500 Galaxy Software Hands-on
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 04.06.09 - 13:44:44 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 32102x
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Following the previous Samsung Galaxy hardware hands-on videoview, this videoview follows-up with a software hands-on of Samsung's upcoming Android smartphone. Unlike the T-Mobile G1 (aka HTC Dream) and the Vodafone HTC Magic, the Samsung Galaxy isn't a Google experience phone which means Samsung had the flexibility to customize the Android interface the way it like and spice it up with additional applications. However, Samsung decided to keep the Android 1.5 Cupcake platform as it is and hasn't modified or removed anything dramatic. This means that the homescreen looks like a typical Android smartphone and the I7500 features the same Google mobile services as a Google experience phone.

The Google mobile services includes Gmail/Google Mail, Google Search, Google Maps including Latitude, Google Talk, Android Market as well as Google's state-of-the-art Apple WebKit-based web browser. Since the Samsung Galaxy is based on Google's latest Android OS, code-named "Cupcake", the I7500 also features such Cupcake enhancements like the soft input panel (aka onscreen keyboard) which was necessary to wait for since the Samsung Galaxy doesn't features a slide-out hardware keyboard as the HTC Dream did.

The Galaxy hardware plays nicely with the above mentioned Google mobile apps as well as with most programs from the Android Market. The inbuilt GPS receiver works quite good with Google Maps Mobile - now where Samsung made some last minute adjustments on the hardware - as well as the digital compass does. And all applications, except the homescreen, can be used landscape as well, thanks to the auto-rotating G-sensor.
The only disappointment is the camera application. Samsung is well known for its great mobile phone camera user interfaces but unfortunately it was decided to use the original Android camera UI. That one is pretty basic and doesn't gives the photographer too much control.

Altogether, the Samsung GT-I7500 is a pretty complete package and definitely at the same level to other available Android smartphones. While feature-wise it's better than all the others, Cupcake - as it is available today - doesn't unveil all the hardware power yet and hopefully Samsung will start deeper customization of Android soon to get the most out of the hardware/software combination.

Cheers ~ Arne

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