Samsung's Galaxy Pro takes the Android OS and shoehorns it into the messaging device form factor. There aren’t a huge number of messaging phones around that run Android and we've never found the OS to be that good a fit for this type of form factor, so does the Galaxy Pro, which is available on Three for as little as £15 a month on contract, do anything to change our minds?
Decked out in a grey and black colour scheme, the Pro at least lives up to its name in terms of design, as it does come across as a very professional looking device. It's relatively wide at 67mm, so it doesn’t initially feel all that comfortable to hold up to your ear when you're using it to make calls, but you soon get used to it. Like a lot of Samsung's smartphones it feels a little bit plastiky to the touch, but at least it's light at 106g and the textured finish on the battery cover means it won’t easily slip from your grasp.
The handset has the usual messaging device layout, with the landscape screen at the top and a QWERTY keyboard nestled beneath. However, in between these Samsung has added four Android buttons for menu, home, back and search. But while the power button is usually found at the top of most Android phones, Samsung has move it to the right hand side on this device. There's no dedicated camera button, which is a bit of a pain, but there is a volume rocker switch on the left hand side and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack at the top. The top is also home to the microUSB port that's hidden behind a sliding flap. As you'd expect this is used for both charging the phone, as well as syncing it with a PC.
Unfortunately, the screen is one of the worst aspects of the Galaxy Pro. While we accept that screens are always relatively small on these types of devices, the fact that there's quite a thick border around the edge of this model's 2.8inch display makes us think that Samsung really could have afforded to fit it with a slightly larger screen. But it's not just the size of the screen that's a problem, it's also its low resolution of just 320x240 pixels. The result is that websites are very difficult to read even when you've zoomed in quite far on them and even normal text in the Gmail client or on icons in the app drawer look rough and poorly formed. Viewing angles are quite narrow too, especially on the vertical axis and the screen suffers from poor contrast so it has a drab and dreary look. And despite the fact that the screen uses capacitive touch technology, the phone doesn’t support multi-touch gestures such as pinch to zoom in the web browser or photo gallery apps - something that's pretty much standard on most other smartphones now.