Next to the lock button is the shutter button for the seriously impressive camera. While there are better dedicated camera phones this must be a rival for the best smartphone camera. Results are sharp, detailed and properly exposed while the flash does a good job of lighting up indoor shots (though range is very limited) and the phone’s GPS even provides geo-tagging. Video is also perfectly acceptable for quick clips. The only major problem is the picture viewer opening up after every shot, making shot to shot time quite slow.
One of the things people are making a big fuss over with this device is its AMOLED screen and we can totally see why. Colours are incredibly vivid – almost overly so, it’s super sharp, and has incredible viewing angles. The only major downside is the touch-sensing, which despite using capacitive technology (normally considered much more sensitive tham the resistive type), feels unresponsive, requiring a bit of pressure to work. This not only mares the general usability of the phone but makes typing, in particular, difficult. In fact the keyboard is downright awful as Samsung has seen fit to put upper case letter and numeric/symbol selection in a menu, adding pointless extra steps to everyday typing. The lack of multi-touch also leads to lots of mistyped letters if you go too fast and it means you miss the zooming gestures we’re so accustomed to using in web browsers, picture viewers, and Google Maps.
Another boo boo on Samsung’s part is the headphone socket. The company’s done a ‘bit of an iPhone’, in that it’s slightly raised the edge round the whole socket, preventing you from fitting bulkier headphone jacks. It shouldn’t obstruct all headphones but those with beefy plastic ends like my Teufel AC 9050 PHs simply won’t fit. By default it also plays a jingle every time you plug in and unplug headphones. It’s utterly infuriating but you can at least turn it off. It’s a shame about the headphone socket design, but if your headphones’ connector does fit (and they’re a good set of cans), then music sounds great from the Galaxy, and with all that storage available it makes for a decent all-round media player.
Next to the headphone socket sits the micro-USB data and charging socket while sliding the back off reveals the battery, SIM slot, and the all important microSD slot. The battery is a 1500mAh unit that gave us around two days of heavy usage. This is average to good for such a phone and means you could just about avoid having to charge your phone every night.