Samsung's Galaxy Portal is the Korean firm's latest dip into Android waters and for now it's exclusive to T-Mobile. It's been available in Europe since last year as the Galaxy Spica but, unlike most Samsung smartphones, this is pure Android. There isn’t the slightest hint of Samsung's TouchWiz interface, so it's effectively a …
After the farce of the i7500 from Samsung I don't trust them to produce a well supported android phone.
It's a shame really as it looks quite nice.
2.1 coming soon
I already flashed my 5700 with some prerelease 2.1 firmware
Please don't use phrases like "Free with £20 a month package". If you can't buy it without a subscription package, quote the total minimum cost in the period where you are bound to the subscription package. So, if you are bound to a year of £20 a month, quote the price as £240, but if you are bound only six months, quote it as £120. As you can see, the length of the bound period has a large influence on the total price, so just knowing the monthly rate is worthless on it sown.
Re: Not free
Better than that
I think the review's maybe a little harsh. I got one of these a couple of weeks ago and am really happy with it.
Firstly, there are a couple of really good deals available if you're willing to pay a little money up front for it (and sign an annoyingly long contract as always!)
100 minutes / unlimited texts / unlimited* data - £10/month + £71 upfront
300 minutes / unlimited texts / unlimited* data - £15/month + £36 upfront
This is pretty close to the cheapest Android phone you can get, certainly cheaper than some deals for things like the Pulse/Tattoo which have much worse (resistive) screens.
The build quality is really decent and although it admittedly runs a pretty old version of Android there is a beta 2.1(Eclair) ROM circulating and it sounds like it will be 'official' in the not too distant future.
Would heartily recommend this to anyone who wants a decent Android phone and doesn't want to pay £25-£35 a month.
Out of the box Bluetooth support in Android is minimal, just the stack and headset support,so far all Android phones have shipped bare. Quickly fixed by a trip to the app market but its a puzzle why no one preinstalls any of the apps.
a gw620 can be had from virgin for better spec and almost identical price. With a slidey keyboard its the better option. But in any case, 1.5 is a bit longtooth.
@The 2.1 upgraders
Can you give an idea of performance? I've heard many tales aout G1/G2 users putting later Android revisions on and having massive performance problems.
I'm currently rolling monthly on my 600minutes/unlimited text/unlimited data package, and have been offered a non-top-of-the-range phone/price drop as a good customer - but I want an android phone with grunt, capacitive screen, wifi and bluetooth/GPS/the usual goodies, but a full fat phone means I can't drop the monthly cost much....
Come on, El Reg commentards - DELIVER. Virtual pint for those who help.
Too soon to tell
Few people I've heard talking about it have said it's _a bit_ slower than 1.5, but they are still using a beta version of the ROM.
Whether it's to be believed or not the official release might be out in the next few weeks. We'll know then for sure.
So what's up with analog clocks on all these smart phones?
Where's the keyboard...?
Eclair 2.1 available
Check this out.
The LwMod (LightWeight) makes the phone five times as snappy as the Samsung original 2.1 prerelease.
Google translate does a pretty decent job of translating the Russian - at least you get the drift.
Are they going to support this one?
Won't touch another Samsung phone again after the lack of support offered for their last android model.
Being a bit skint, and having my contract up for renewal, I had the option of a G2 at £25/24months, or this, at £20/18months - I went for the Samsung; I'm too fecking pissed off with my 6650d to wait for the Bravo [AKA unbranded Nexus One] and can't justify the £600 for a near obselete phone. £360 is Ok though. And besides, when it comes to the next renewal, I reckon that all Android phones [and smartphones in general] will be rolling with 1ghz CPUs so I thought I'd introduce myself to the Smartphone world again, my last experience being XDAs. Which I hated with a passion I normally reserve for child rapists.
Overall impressions after a day of fiddling are quite good actually - I can see where Mr Oliver is coming from with regards to the *slight* tardiness - it's not as quick as the videos of the Nexus One for example, but from my fiddlings with Heros and Magics, it's not really much worse - it's perfectly servicable in that respect. The camera *is* slow as hell, but I have an SLR if I want to take pictures - I've never been one for cameraphones.
The capacitive screen is a real boon - once you get used to using it. I kept on trying to use a fingernail/edge of a rizla packet/etc to get more precision, then realising that doesn't work. it's really a case of getting used to working out where the corners/pads of your fingers and thumbs fall more than anything else, then it all starts to come together.
The biggest problem I've had so far was getting contacts to sync, which was more my fault for not being up on how Google arranges contacts more than anything else, although I was a bit miffed to know that I can't get my SMS messages to transfer over. Don't bother linking migration tools like sms2cvs and Sprite, they don't work for SMS from 6650 --> i5700. No major loss though.
Twidroid, facebook, gmail integration et al is very nice and works well, notifications are sane and rationally done, and there seems to be little in the way of interface bloat [regardless of what you think of the tehcnical backend] - it's just all very slick. Not iPhone smooth, but then it can run more than one third party app at a time, eh?
Next step is to get Android 2.1 and the lightweight pack on there - I've only had it ten hours and already I'm wanting to kick it up a notch.
So, my own little quick and dirty Android/i5700 verdict? It's quick enough, slick enough, and works nicely - I'm struggling to think of a better, 'semi-budget' contract android phone.
Mr Raith suggest playing with one in a T-mobile store - I can see where Mr Oliver is coming from with his comments about speed and whatnot, and while he isn't wrong [there are faster, better responding android phones out there] I think perhaps as a hardware reviewer, he may be looking at it from a different light than someone who is pissed off with their clunky bar/flip phone, is at the end of their contract and wants to try a touchscreen for not *too* much money - it's definitely worth a serious look, and better than the other cheapo Android handsets. Especially at £20/month for 300 mins, unlimited texts and free interwebs - the wifi mitigates any fair usage policies anyway.
Hope that helps :-)
[PS: I have nothing to do with T-Mob/Samsung et al. I'm just me, dribbling drunken ramblings...]
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