The Samsung Galaxy 3(Codenamed i5801) , let me put it this way, A mid range monster that eats eclair for dinner. Think you can get it, right ?
Ok,stupid jokes aside,the Samsung Galaxy 3 is a Android 2.1 running smartphone that is available for a dirt cheap price. So, you get all the Android goodness that you have been longing for without burning a hole in your pockets, (yes, i am looking at you, HTC legend and HTC hero). With this phone,Samsung has gained entry into the mid-range section of the all important developing market, India.
Giving a complete Android experience at a mid-range level is quite hard, but Samsung has done this in a staggering way.By releasing major mid-end Galaxy branded phones called galaxy 3 and galaxy 5.Now , we are going to see about the Indian version of the Galaxy3, known in other countries as the Galaxy Apollo. You have to note that even other countries have the galaxy 3 with the same features of the galaxy Apollo but with a less glossy design.
In my review of the Galaxy 3, i will concentrate only on hardware since i have not experienced Android enough to write a review on its software…
Now onto the Review after the break.
First lets see the face of the Galaxy 3 :
So, this is the front facing side of the galaxy 3. It is a silver version(not sure if any other color or version is available) and it is very glossy. It literally reflects like a mirror and it is a finger print magnet. Lets not be skeptic about the design , cos it is subjective. I, for the fact found the front design elegant and smooth.But many of my friends found the oval egg-shaped design, a bad choice.There are two capacitive touch buttons and a physical D-Pad on the front face. The two capacitive buttons responded well to touch, but it can be a menace if you get your hands all over the front, you may actually mistakenly touch it a several number of times. And the D-pad is slightly hard to navigate simply due to the design choice( the button is not deep enough ).But overall its not nagging and simply takes time to adjust.And you can notice that the bottom of the phone features only the microphone.
Now, lets get to the display,It is a 3.2 inch LCD and the resolution is 400×240 ( half of WVGA – 800×480 it is called HWVGA) Since the resolution is too low for a 3.2 inch display it is easier for us to notice the pixels. Have a look at this photo :
As a result of low resolution,the display felt fuzzy and blurred than being sharp. But you gotta give Samsung credit for the color/Brightness levels of the LCD display . Simply brilliant. And of course the display is capacitive multi touch. So, you have a smooth touch response for any action.Don’t expect iphone levels of smoothness, this works just well.
The upper part of the phone’s front has an earpiece grill and two sensors namely the Ambient light sensor and the proximity sensor . The ear piece quality was good and the sensors worked normally without any glitch.
Now lets get to the sides, the right side of the phone has nothing on it and the left side of the phone features the volume rocker :
The Right side of the phone is barebones. No controls while the top of the phone consists of the 3.5mm jack, the micro usb port and the power button. Take a look :
The back side is curved and is made of cheap plastic. The mold looks cheaper. i totally hate the back side expect for the Google logo, i am serious, the back easily bends, the feel of the plastic is yuck. Samsung actually continues it’s reputation of screwing up the build quality of its otherwise great phones. See Galaxy S, such a superb phone with miserable glossy plastic. But does it stop the sales ? i don’t think so, and the same applies to the Galaxy 3.The 3.2 megapixel cam on the back has no flash but takes decent photos and has auto focus and a variety of options.
Now that we have seen it fully, let’s come to feel part. It sits nicely in the hands and gives a good grip, but when you hold it, the cheap plastic on the back and the front being a finger print magnet, demands you to use a cover for this phone. That’s what i felt.And certainly it doesn’t impress on lookers.
On to the innards :
The brains: The Galaxy 3 runs a 667 mhz processor with 256 MB of RAM and has basic some graphical acceleration(open GL ES 2.0 capable, so runs Angry Birds) too.So, not too high comparing other 1 Ghz devices with better graphics chips, but what more can you expect from a mid-end device ?It has in-built memory of 512 MB and expandable upto 32 GB with a micro SD card slot.
Communication skills : Has all connectivity options you would expect, GSM,3G,wi-fi,Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS(with A-GPS), in my opinion this is a huge win for Galaxy 3.
Creativity : Takes 3.2 Megapixel pics and shoots 320×240 Resolution videos at 15 Fps. DNSe enabled audio output through 3.5 mm jack.
Smartness ( Sensors ) : Proximity sensor, Ambient Light sensor, Accelerometer
And all this is powered by a 1500mah battery, pretty powerful and same as in Galaxy S. How awesome is that ?
Samsung have done a commendable job at making the hardware extremely attractive. You must have been wondering why i say moderate hardware is extremely attractive, its the price to performance ratio that amazes me. Yes, the main factor for a mid-end device is not software, it’s the features and the price. Price plays a major role in decision making of a mid-range buyer. And this is where Galaxy 3 trumps any other phone in this segment.
Lets do some practical analysis, the Galaxy 3 sells at around Rs.11,500 to Rs.12000. Now look at the specs again.
Get my point ? Samsung has just outdone itself this time by giving over the par price to performance ratio. If you want more reasoning, let’s look at the closest competitors :
* Sony Ericcson X10 mini/PRO – 500 Mhz processor, 2.8 inch QVGA screen, no multi touch, price : 14k – 15k Rs.
* HTC Wildfire – 528 Mhz processor, 3.2 inch QVGA screen ( total bummer ) Price : 15k – 16k Rs.
Closest competitors are far away both in terms of hardware and also the price, which makes the Galaxy 3 shine so bright in the consumer’s minds.
The Galaxy 3 is the best piece of hardware that you can get in the low-mid end price range, also there is the Galaxy 5, but it is aimed at lower end than Galaxy 3. If you are willing to get into the Smartphone gang but don’t have deep pockets nor want to risk spending on gadgets, your safest bet is the Galaxy3. It has everything you need, and provides the best Bang for Buck.
The Gadgetbuff recommends Galaxy 3 and names this the best VFM Android Smartphone of the year 2010.
P.S : I have not included LG optimus one to the comparison because i have to yet see it live and experience it atleast once.And also, i have taken into account only Android smartphones, no Symbian/Bada/WinMo phones.
Rate this review, share it and discuss the review with me through comments.