The day before Samsung announced its first Galaxy S series smartphone for Canada — dubbed the Galaxy S Vibrant, available this summer through Bell Mobility — we had some hands on time with this impressive device. Here’s what to expect.
While it’s annoying to get a press release that says “Samsung Mobile Announces Canadian Availability of the Galaxy S Device” and it doesn’t have a date or price mentioned, we were impressed with the hardware itself, at a Samsung meeting on Monday.
The Galaxy S will be a series of smartphones, with slightly different form factors, but we had a chance to play around with the curvy Galaxy S Vibrant, available this “summer” through BellMo.
This Android 2.1-powered phone featured many entertainment, messaging and social networking-related features, but the first thing that stood out for us was its stunning 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen.
I mean, wow. The colour, contrast and brightness of this screen is unrivaled.
Even under the bright halogen lights of an office boardroom, the screen of the Galaxy S Vibrant was super, er, vibrant. The animated wallpaper showed lilypads floating on a pond behind the widget icons, plus if you touch the screen the water ripples under your fingertips. This little demonstration reinforces the smartphone’s 1GHz processor, as did the 3D car racing demo with smooth frame rates, and controlled via the six-axis accelerometer and gyroscope. Photos and videos also looked very bright and detailed on this huge screen. Samsung says the display has been coated with anti-scratch material and features anti-smudge technology, too.
Because it’s an Android phone, many of the integrated Google apps were present as you swipe through the pages of icons — including a prominent Google Search window, plus Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Talk and Android Market, which lets you download as many as 60,000 apps ranging from a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) emulator to photo editing tools.
Typing on the virtual keyboard is decent — for a guy like me who’s all thumbs on an iPhone – perhaps because the Galaxy S Vibrant’s screen is a half-inch bigger. Plus, I got the hang of ”Swype” pretty quickly, a typing option that lets you drag from one letter to another, without lifting up your thumbs, until you’ve reached the end of the word.
As with many other Android smartphones, the Galaxy S Vibrant also consolodates all your contacts and their social networking accounts together so you can swipe up and down to see a friend, such as John Smith, and immediately see their photos and if they’ve posted a Facebook update or recent tweet, for example, instead of having to leave the Contacts area of the phone and then open Facebook or Twitter, respectively.
The last demo with this phone was DLNA support. The Samsung rep I was chatting with video recorded me for a half-minute or so and with a push of a button on the Galaxy S Vibrant the high-definition video of me appeared — wirelessly — on the 50-inch television across the room. The Galaxy S Vibrant has a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and 720p HD video support, but I didn’t see a LED flash on the thin unit.
Here’s the full list of specs:
Processor: ARM Cortex A8 1GHz Processor
OS (shipping): Android 2.1 + TouchWiz 3.0
Dimensions: (LxWxT) 122.4×64.2 x 9.9mm
Display: 4” Super AMOLED (800 x 480), 10 000:1 Contrast Ratio
Network: HSPA/Quad Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), GPS, 3.5mm jack, DLNA , Mobile AP
Camera: 5.0 megapixel
Audio Support: MP3, AAC, AMR, WAV, DNSe
Video Support: AVI, XVID, MPG + DIVx support+ Matroska
Battery: 1500 mAh
Storage: 16 GB + microSD slot up to additional 32 GB
Readers, are you ready for a smartphone or smartphone upgrade? Do you prefer Android over iPhone or BlackBerry? Would you use some of these advanced features?