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Samsung Unveils Spec-tacular 1st Android Mobile Phone

Gordon Kelly


Samsung Unveils Spec-tacular 1st Android Mobile Phone

We were meant to get a glimpse of Samsung's first Android handset way back in February at the Mobile World Congress but some unexplained 'delays' saw the announcement held up until now...

With today's unveiling of the 'I7500' however the months look to have been worth the wait as Samsung - notorious for great hardware and dodgy touchscreen UIs - finally gets to work to its strengths and what strengths they are.

The I7500 is a technical tour-de-force with 7.2Mbit HSDPA, WiFi, GPS, a 3.2in 320 x 480 AMOLED display, 5MP camera, 3.5mm headphone jack, 8GB of internal memory and an expansion slot supporting 32GB micro SDHC cards (a 40GB potential maximum). On top of this is a hefty 1500mAh battery (up on the 1200mAh we see in the T-Mobile G1 and at just 11.9mm thick it is on a par with the much less powerful HTC Magic and main rival: the iPhone 3G.

"Samsung is among the earliest members of the Open Handset Alliance and has been actively moving forward to introduce the most innovative Android mobile phone," said Executive VP and Mobile Division head JK Shin. "With Samsung's accumulated technology leadership in mobile phone industry and our consistent strategy to support every existing operating system, I believe that Samsung provides the better choices and benefits to our consumers."

Shin may just be right though we remain anxious about one major omission: is the touchscreen capacitive or resistive? If Samsung has been daft enough to go for the latter - a decision which continues to cripple its current touchscreen offerings - then the I7500 will be another lame duck. Capacitive on the other hand and we could well have the new must have handset of 2009.

Expect more soon as the Samsung I7500 is launching in June and yes, we're very excited...

In related news Samsung has also turned in its Q1 financial results to rather less acclaim with net income down to $459m, down 72 per cent on the same period last year. The company's chip business and flat panel display division also slipped though the handset unit did best reporting a 36 per cent jump in revenue to $697m. Overall Samsung remains in the black though and don't expect it to fret too much about the abhorrent greed of mortgage lenders.


Press Release


April 27, 2009, 9:38 pm

Certainly one of the most interesting phones for a while. All depends what the next iPhone will be like as to whether this can compete or not. Resistive has some benefits, I think you make more of this issue than needs warrant. All the 5800's sold testify to this.

Out of interest for people with G1's, what is the music interface like? Is it comparible to what you get on an iPhone? Music is one of the main uses I plan for my next phone (not replacing my stolen iPod). Though this & probably the next iPhone won't be on my list as I'd like a radio in my phone.

As for Samsung, with so many manufacturers turning in a loss lately I think they're doing quite well.


April 27, 2009, 9:46 pm

I'm pretty sure the screen will be capacitive, as all (respectable) current Android handsets are. And that's what the OS is designed for, and Sammy doesn't strike me as the kind of corporation to pick up an OS designed for finger use and stick a resistive layer over it.


April 27, 2009, 10:58 pm

Looks good although the screen res could defintely be better. I know it sounds boring but the best spec for me was the battery. Good to see them not making a decive which you can't use for it dieing on you.

Don't have an issue with capacitive screens but resistive ones do have benefits too. Using a pen/stylus can be very convenient and comfortable sometimes.


April 27, 2009, 11:04 pm

Um what is the resolution of the screen as 320 x 480 is an extremely strange resolution, not VGA and not QVGA and not even WVGA/WQVGA are you sure its not meant to be 640 x 480 and therefore VGA like the HTC android phones?

Geoff Richards

April 27, 2009, 11:38 pm

@chris10230 - 320 x 480 pixels is the same resolution as the iPhone 3G, and it's the resolution quoted in the official press release. I think it's fair to say that this is accurate.


April 28, 2009, 12:00 am

@chris10230 - as Geoff says, HVGA is a completely standard resolution in moden smartphones: the Palm Pre, iPhone (both 3G and non-3G), G1, Magic and more all have it.

@HK - I don't ever equate numbers sold with quality and personally I am no fan of the 5800's screen but it's horses for courses...

@ravmania - death to the stylus! ;)


April 28, 2009, 12:27 am

The stylus only has its purpose for writing languages like Chinese, where you have a lot of different characters. You should not need a stylus for pretty much any other use on a phone.

Oliver Levett

April 28, 2009, 12:43 am

What is your issue with resistive screens?

They're no worse than capacitive, can implement multitouch (with theoretically infinite contact points) and can work with any kind of pointer.

320x480 is becoming a more popular resolution, but compare it to the high end devices (Topaz for example) and WVGA is a clear winner.

Also, you hint that the Magic is under-powered. Sure, it may not have as good a camera, but the camera resolution does not equate to the power of the device. I'm not sure what the Samsung processor is, but I doubt it's much better if at all than the Magic,, and RAM will probably be equal. If you mean "it's better spec'ed than the magic" say that, not it's "more powerful".

Oliver Levett

April 28, 2009, 12:45 am

Oh, and in any current device over about &#163200, 7.2Mbit HSDPA, WiFi, GPS are regarded as standard (well, apart from the the iPhone). So they make little difference to the relative specs of the device.


April 28, 2009, 1:19 am

Oliver Levett -- the main problem with resistive screens is that they tend to be slower to respond and also you have to apply pressure (with capacative screens you don't need any pressure).

Also, I think that, since the omnia HD and the tocco ultra edition both (I believe) have capacative screens maybe samsung is starting to make the move to capacative rather than resistive. I have a feeling that samsung won't disappoint us on this, but that's just my opinion.


April 28, 2009, 1:20 am

I've never had any problem with resistive screens as I just use my fingernail as a stylus, I can even use the miniture keyboard on the 5800 with my fingernail and I honesly dont have freakisly long nails.

though captive do look better being all solid glass


April 28, 2009, 1:31 am

Uhhh, are 32GB Micro SDHC available now, or were you just talking about the theoretical maximum?


April 28, 2009, 2:13 am

As far as i'm concerned it's all about the OS - speed and usability. Features are next to useless unless they actually work consistently and quickly without crashing all the time. You can tell i'm a 5800 XM owner can't you? :)


April 28, 2009, 3:06 am

@ Geoff i feel i should maybe do a bit of googling to my point before posting :)

and also on the resistive/capacitive front resistive is a dying technology but will be with wimo for a long time as microsoft will not support capacitive displayss woo! :(

I have resistive and in some ways prefer it to friends iphones for typing on as you dont have to use the flat part of your finger but the tips where nail may hit, and scratch the plastic screen. Really what im saying i have no idea which is better, preference and well what is put on the phone/os that you will be prefer.

Geoff Richards

April 28, 2009, 3:32 am

Don't sweat it, Chris - I'd be lying if I said my first reaction wasn't the same ie can we have some more pixels, please? I don't use a big, touchscreen phone myself and I'm sure the iPhone fanboys will claim that don't want / need a higher resolution, but phones like the HTC Touch HD have 480 x 800 pixels; isn't more "better" ?

The iPhone *can* do some amazing things, but wouldn't a bigger canvas allow even more?

Geoff Richards

April 28, 2009, 3:46 am

@GoldenGuy - we won't see 32GB micro SDHC cards until the second half of this year: http://www.trustedreviews.c...

In any case, the sweet spot for price / capacity is usually one step down from the maximum available. Having said that, 16GB of Sandisk micro SD lovin for 25 quid is bonkers cheap! Shame Apple charges &#16369 more for the 32GB touch over the 16GB :/

Also, do we really need 32GB??


April 28, 2009, 3:55 am

"Also, do we really need 32GB??"


I love the idea of being able to carry a sizeable chunk of my music collection when I go away. 8 GB's is good for a week but for longer 32GB would be great to have. It would allow me to cut down on gadgets taken and, more importantly, bulky chargers and cables.

I bet in 2 years we'll all be laughing at 'only' having 32GB of space!


April 28, 2009, 4:04 am

just personally seems like people sometimes heap blame on resistive screens and styli when it's really the non finger friendly UI that's needs sorting. resistive or capacitive, the UI should be finger friendly. winmo defintely suffers from this problem. its not the stylus that's the problem, it's the clunky UI.


April 28, 2009, 4:28 am

@Geoff Richards

"Also, do we really need 32GB??"

yes we do, we need more and more ever greater storage at more affordable rates - its a fact of life :)


April 28, 2009, 4:59 am

You bet we really need 32 GB. I'd prefer 128GB, then I can store all my music on my phone. The phone would have to be a very good media player as well of course and there are very few of those. Maybe Creative should do an Android phone, or maybe only a proper media player and sell it on Android Market. That would be pretty sweet.

As for Resistive versus Capacitive, I'd say resistive touch still has some live in it, just check this technology:



April 28, 2009, 6:14 am

No point having lots of storage if the audio sound quality isn't up to scratch...


April 28, 2009, 7:44 am


You know, I was just looking on Google Product Search for exactly that - 16GB mSDHC. Blown away by some of the prices - even after tax and p/p. And a little card reader would make it a very handsome pen drive too.


April 28, 2009, 2:34 pm

@Geoff "Having said that, 16GB of Sandisk micro SD lovin for 25 quid is bonkers cheap!" Link please, as the cheapest i can find is &#16340


April 28, 2009, 10:38 pm

Ofc we need more then 32GB of storage, my music collection is approaching 15GB (Variable bit rate .OGG Vorbis) and my video collection is now nearing 160GB (mostly DVD quality Divx/Xvid) a player/phone that could carry all my music and a sizeable chunk of video would be a welcome addition indeed. 16/32GB is all well and good for a few days, but when you're away for a couple of weeks with no chance of adding new media to the device what's on there tends to get a little boring.


April 29, 2009, 12:07 am

Once again Trusted Reviews treats a product review as a sneak opportunity to market apple, instead of treating the product at hand with respect.

First of all this phone does not have the iphone as a main rival. Iphone is for sheep who dont want to think and who want all choices and decisions to be made for them - at a very high cost to boot.

In contrast, this sort of device is for an independent and knowldegeable smartphone user who values above all high performance and the ability to do whatever they want with the phone.

But nice try, though it was laughable to read the words "main rival" being used in conncetion with a device that cant hold a candle to this Samsung, which has proper GPS, a proper camera, a 1500MAH battery, OLED screen and can do literally anything you want without violating a warranty.

Worse yet was the lame hail mary attempt at dragging out the tired old "capacitive/resisitive" game. This is more worthy of a teenage fanboy site than a proper review website. Nobody gives a hoot what the screen is made of. What next, a red herring debate on what type of silicon is used in the CPU? Nobody cares. All we care is: does the phone do what we want.

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