- Vibrant AMOLED display
- Fast processor
- Customised interface works well
- Less than perfect built quality
- Mediocre battery life
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This phone really is all about its screen. At four inches from corner to corner, with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and with that all important Super AMOLED tech, it's supposed to be one of the best out there. Inevitably, though, it makes the phone rather large.
With dimensions of 122.4mm x 64.2 x 9.9 mm it's a good 5mm taller than many rivals and about the same amount wider. This doesn't make it completely unmanageable and it certainly isn't on the same level as the Dell Streak, but it is pushing the limits of what we'd call a sensible size for everyday use. At 9.9mm thin, it should at least have minimal impact on the line of your trousers or jacket.
That sleekness also comes across in the phone's design. Aside from its Samsung logo, the front of the phone is very clean and simple, and the pattern of little dots on the back of the phone does retain this sleekness - albeit less effectively. Obviously there's the general feeling of homage to the iPhone, but when it's as nicely done as the Galaxy S we certainly aren't complaining too much.
However, it's a different story when it comes to build quality. Again, the front is doing okay. Its single piece of glass that covers the screen and bezel feels tough and should resist scratches well, as should the metallic rim around the edge. However, the back is finished in glossy plastic that scratches easily and flexes slightly, just taking the edge off any feeling of quality. Also adding to this general impression is the lightness of the device. Although a weight of 121g isn't considerably lower than many smartphones, on such a large device it makes it seem a bit flimsy.
Other initial complaints include the lack of a flash for the camera and the three buttons on the front. For a start, we're not fans of touch sensitive buttons – they're too easy to press accidentally and because they lack visual feedback, like on a touchscreen, you're sometimes left wondering if you've actually pressed them. Also having two buttons be touch sensitive and one a physical button just seems a bit odd.
There are plenty of other positives to the Galaxy S design, though. The microUSB socket for charging and data transfer is hidden behind a sliding door, rather than a cumbersome plastic flap or just being left exposed. All the other buttons and the 3.5mm headphone jack are also conveniently positioned, though the volume rocker is a tad difficult to operate.
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