10 things to like in the Samsung Galaxy i7500
11th May 2009 | 13:25
Samsung's first Android phone
The i7500 at a glance
Update: read our full Samsung Galaxy i7500 review.
TechRadar recently reported that Samsung will be launching its first Android phone, the i7500, set to debut in the UK in Q3.
Here, we take an in-depth look at the latest Android phone to give you the run-down on what you can expect from Samsung's first effort at a Google phone, the Samsung i7500.
1. It's thinner
You could hardly call it a gripe, but when we spoke to Patrick Chomet, global director of terminals at Vodafone, he told us that the HTC Magic comes with a poorer camera and no 3.5mm headphone jack because the designers wanted to preserve the 14mm-thin frame of the handset.
Well, Samsung heard that and went 'Pschaw!' (or some other derisory sound) and shaved 2.1mm off the frame, down to 11.9mm. Not only that, but it managed to pack a better camera, flash and 3.5mm jack into the i7500, too. Take that, HTC.
2. It packs an OLED screen
Just two years ago most people wouldn't have a clue what OLED technology was; fast forward to 2009 and it's the new in-thing, especially in mobile phones.
Better battery life and thinner screens are always going to be winners for designers, but it's when you see an OLED on a phone, with clear-as-day pixels and superb colour depth that you really start to appreciate the benefits.
Samsung has a long history of being a forerunner in OLED development, and it's showing in its latest crop of mobile phones.
3. It uses a multi-directional accelerometer
We're not sure of the correct name for it, suffice to say that whichever way up you hold the phone, even upside down, the screen will re-orient itself to be the right way up. This means you can pick the phone up in any way you want and have a good look at the screen, without having to fumble around flipping it around (and probably dropping it).
Early videos hint that this is a little sensitive, giving a little shiver every time you change the angle, but it's likely this will be smoothed out by the time the i7500 hits the shops.
4. It's going to herald a summer of Android
Google's mobile baby has certainly taken a long time to get going, but now it has, things are swimming along. The HTC Magic was the first effort of 2009, and now we have the Samsung i7500 coming next month (although it's yet to be confirmed in the UK). Not only that, we've seen Huawei's effort that's supposed to be turning up, T-Mobile will be re-designing the G1 and HTC is likely to bring out its third Android phone in the Hero.
All in all, lovers of Android (and its hard to hate it once you play with it for a few minutes) will be spoilt for choice... maybe taking out that two year contract to have the HTC Magic is a bit of a long stint, eh?
5. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack
We brought it up when discussing the chassis earlier, but a 3.5mm headphone jack is the difference between a smartphone that can play songs and a proper media mobile, which is what the Open Handset Alliance is pushing Android mobiles to be.
It's not a bugbear when a top handset comes out without a headphone jack as we have to fiddle around with a separate adaptor, which leaves us looking like some audio-cabling monster from Doctor Who when walking around town.
And all this in an 11.9mm-thin frame... good work, Samsung.
i7500 carriers, camera and more
6. It will attract a whole new breed of Android users
While we live in pretty network-agnostic times (just ask the legions of people who abandoned their current network just to pick up the iPhone on O2) there are still many people who like to stay with a certain manufacturer for their mobile phone.
Samsung has a very strong user base in the UK and worldwide at the moment, and that's going to be a big draw for those that don't really understand what Android is all about and only associate HTC with business phones.
The fact that the i7500 has an ugly button faceplate on the front that draws on designs from 2005 and the Samsung G- and D-series will be an attraction to some people who know how to move their fingers around such a thing, and others will just feel safe knowing that Samsung makes some pretty sound phones these days.
7. O2 could be bringing it to the UK
Speaking of the bubbly network, it's already confirmed it will be bringing the Samsung i7500 to the German markets, and now we're waiting to find out whether it will do the same in the UK.
Those that we've spoken to say that a deal to do such a thing is still up in the air, but we expect it to be settled soon. T-Mobile and Vodafone already have their own efforts to be worrying about, so it seems it's down to O2 and Orange to battle it out for the rights (with the latter having already claimed it will be bringing Android phones this year, including one from Samsung).
Of course, T-Mobile has already 'leaked' a slide that shows it will have the phone in the US, so at this point it's just best guess which one of the big four will be bringing us another slice of Android.
8. It has the best camera on an Android phone
It seems some people are divided on what we need in a cameraphone. Some say it needs to only be basic with a 3.2MP sensor being adequate for day to day snapping, whereas others want a full compact to be squished in there.
We think it needs to be something in the middle, and we've been spoilt in recent years. While we don't need something that will take award-winning shots, a decent camera that can work in the dark and provide a reasonable level of sharpness at all times is a must, and thankfully it seems the Samsung i7500, with LED flash and autofocus, will do just that.
9. It was going to be called the Capella 7200
When we saw a recent hands on video of the phone, a trip into the information section of the i7500 showed that the model name was the Capella 7200. While this may be nothing more than a simple internal codename, it could also mean that we're getting some variations on this phone from Samsung, which we've seen with the likes of the Tocco range.
Of course, it's more likely that the pre-production model is still showing original factory specs and the Capella was simply an internal name, but it's always strange when a company changes the model number before launch.
10. There's more Android to come from Samsung
One of the more surprising things about the recent Android launch was the fact it wasn't the phone we'd all spied in a recent photo at a Dutch trade show.
Well, it might actually be the same phone given how blurry the shot was, but word was that Samsung had thrown out a slider for its first Android handset, and we end up with the thinnest Android effort out there.
Only time will tell if they are one and the same thing, but given Samsung's penchant for releasing 100 a second we'd be very, very surprised if this was the only offering we get this year from the Koreans, and don't forget there's still more to come from Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson, so Samsung has done well to bring out the third Android phone.