Oh, I know you've been waiting for this:
TechPinas Gadget Reviews Series presents...
Samsung Galaxy Y
Priced at only Php 5,990, Samsung Galaxy Y S5360 is currently the most affordable new generation Android phone from the Korean company.
Despite having a low price tag, SGY - as TP calls the handset - nonetheless comes with practically all the features that the Android platform has become known for, including seamless social networking integration, fast browser, touch-friendly user interface and hundreds of thousands of applications and games available via the Android Market.
Currently, there are two types of Samsung Galaxy Y models you can get in the Philippines, one is regular retail version from Samsung and the other is the Netphone Edition from Smart Communications. Although both have the same suggested retail price as of writing, the Netphone Edition allows users to access Smart's mobile internet bundles for a very low price. So if you intend to get an SGY unit this Yuletide, I'd suggest you get the Netphone Edition and enjoy free unlimited Facebook, Netphone Messenger and Twitter access until December 31, 2011.
Design, Hardware, Ports:
In true TP fashion, let's do the panels --
The face of SGY flaunts the 3-inch 240 x 320 pixels capacitive touchscreen. Above that, we can find the earpiece and the proximity sensor. Below, we have the hardware home button and the touch-sensitive menu and back buttons.
At the back, we can find the 2 MegaPixel fixed focus camera with no flash and the loud speaker.
On the right side, we have the screen lock button, which also turns on and turns off the display.
The left side has the volume rocker and lanyard loop hole.
The top panel flaunts the microUSB port covered by a thin flap of plastic, and the 3.5mm audio jack.
Nothing at the rear but the microphone pinhole.
TP Quick Commentary on the Design of SGY: Samsung Galaxy Y looks like a shrunk Samsung Galaxy Ace -- replete with similar accents like metallic edging and a textured back case. I once wrote Samsung Galaxy Ace looks like a love child of Samsung Galaxy S and Apple iPhone 4 so if we're saying that SGY looks like Ace, then SGY is the baby version of the love child. It's true -- however corny that may sound.
The Y in Samsung Galaxy Y means Young. That said, SGY comes with features that are meant to meet the needs of entry-level consumers, including students and yuppies.
Let me comment on 5 SGY features that young users will surely enjoy on this phone.
Although SGY flaunts but a 2 MegaPixel camera with no autofocus nor flash, I have to admit that I still got impressed with the photos that I snapped using it. With ample light, the camera delivered clear portrait and landscape images with good color integrity.
Check out some of my shots --
Having a full focus lens, SGY's camera can't really give decent macro or close-up shots. This photo shows the closest we can get to a subject, which is around 30 centimeters, without losing too much detail.
2. Video Capture
I have a sample video here taken using SGY, check it out:
The resolution of this clip is QVGA or 320 x 240 pixels, which is pretty standard for smartphones in SGY's price category.
As you can see, the clip is not as - uhm - clear as most of us would want it to be (and believe me, if that's what you want, you can always get it with Samsung's more expensive Android handsets like Samsung Galaxy S2, which takes Full HD 1080p videos) but I appreciate the good sound recording and the fact the video is not as 'choppy' as I initially expected it to be.
3. Web Browsing
If you're coming from a feature phone like Samsung Corby or Samsung Champ, you'd surely fall in love with SGY's fast default browser. Also, I bet you'd appreciate the Flash support, smooth scrolling and improved multi-touch experience for zooming in and out of web pages.
And the best part is that should you get tired of the default browser, you can always try out others like Opera Mini, Dolphin HD or Skyfire.
One of the strongest points of the Android platform is its sheer number of supported apps and games. SGY owners can access and download all applications - both free and paid - via the Android Market using a valid Google account. Some of the popular FREE Android apps and games right now include Angry Birds, Facebook for Android, Friendcaster, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds Rio, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Twitter for Android, and Raging Thunder.
5. Social Networking Integration
With Android running on Samsung Galaxy Y, sharing a photo, video, webpage or other content on Facebook or Twitter can be done with practically just three clicks. If you want to share a photo that you just captured on Facebook, just click on the Menu button below the shot, choose Share, click on a Facebook application like Friendcaster and Android will start uploading the file for you. It's that easy.
Points for Improvement
For an entry level phone, SGY has a lot of good features that make it a terrifying competitor in its category. But it also has a few points for improvement, including the following:
1. Average battery life - Android is a powerful operating system but it's also very power-hungry. I really think Samsung should have given this phone a bigger battery. I only get around 8 hours of continuous web-browsing on Wifi with this device, which is not bad but not outstanding either.
2. Small, low resolution display - The capacitive touchscreen is responsive and all but the 3-inch, 240 x 320 display is a tad too small for my taste. Then again, maybe I'm just expecting far too much from SGY in this department; It's an entry-level Android after all.
3. Limited Social Hub Features - Like Samsung Galaxy Mini, Samsung Galaxy Fit and even Samsung Galaxy Ace, SGY doesn't let users update social network status via its Social Hub. I mean, what's up with that?
All things considered, I understand why several high school and college students whom I've interviewed recently quote Samsung Galaxy Y as their 2011 dream phone; The price tag is low for a cute Android by a popular brand and the features are just right for young users who are just starting to explore the wonders of a smartphone.
Now, on to the star point: I'm giving the regular SGY version 9 out of 10 stars and the Galaxy Y Netphone Edition 9.5 out of 10 stars because of all the money you can save with the sulit SmartNet services.
There you go. I hope you find this useful.
|Name||Samsung Galaxy Y S5360|
|Type||Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)|
|Price Category||Entry Level|
|Dimensions||104 x 58 x 11.5 mm|
|Available Colors||Back Cover comes in various colors: Glossy Black, Textured Silver, Blue, Pink, Orange, etc.|
|Operating System||Android 2.3 Gingerbread|
|Display||3 inches (~133 ppi pixel density), 240 x 320 pixels, TFT, capacitive touchscreen, 256K colors|
|Processor||832 MHz processor|
|Camera||2 MegaPixels, 1600x1200 pixels, no flash|
|Video Capture||QVGA 15 frames per second|
|Audio and Video Playback||MP4/WMV/H.264 player, MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player|
|Ports||microUSB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP, HS, 3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps|
|Network||2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA|
|Memory||160 MB, expandable via microSD, supports up to 32GB|
|Uptime||350 hours Standby on 3G, 5 hours Talktime on 3G|
|Value-Added Features||Smart Netphone Services, Google Services Suite, SNS Integration|