Samsung Galaxy S i9000 First Impressions

I’ve had this phone for over a week now. First impressions are very positive. In fact it only took a few days to become totally reliant upon it. Gone are all my folded pieces of notes in my breast pocket where I used to keep all my notes / numbers / reminders / shopping lists. Now it’s all on the Galaxy S.

In short I think the Galaxy S is fantastic which is why I suppose it would be quicker to tell you the things I’m less than happy with and then you can just assume that I’m ecstatically happy about the rest of the phone.

Micro SD Card not easily swapped

In order to swap the Micro SD Card you need to remove the silicone protective cover* and then the plastic back. Then you can pop out the existing one and pop in another. What a shame that you cannot access the Micro SD card without opening up the back as this would mean that one could swap in and out different cards and build up a collection. One for music, the other for shiurim, another for films… Having to remove the cover makes the collection option impractical.

Camera Lens Position

Small Gripe: While holding the Galaxy S in its standard portrait position with your left hand (so that you can type with your right), the camera lens is situated exactly where I place the tip of my index finger. (See photo  of back below). This means that whenever I want to take a photo I first need to clean the fingerprints off the lens with my glasses cloth. No doubt the designer was a “lefty”.

No Exit (Close App) button

Annoyance: This is not a fault with the Galaxy but a missing feature of Google’s Android operating system. There is no standard Exit button for the windows. This means that even when you return to the desktop of the Android machine, the application you were in is still running and taking up resources. To cope with this I have placed the Task Manager app on the first desktop screen so that I can see what is running and go into the task manager and kill all apps I don’t want running anymore. It’s annoying but manageable.

*** UPDATE ***

I've since learnt that pressing and holding the Home buttom brings up a kind of a task manager where you can switch to currently running apps, go to resently run apps and kill existing running apps. After using teh Galaxy S for a few months I no longer consider this issue a problem.

Loses Mobile Network

Slight Worry: I’ve noticed that occasionally (maybe once or twice a day) the Galaxy S loses the ability to send or receive calls but it only lasts a few minutes. The notification bar up the top tells me that I have a signal yet when I try and call someone it come up with “Call Ended” and never dials. While this is happening, people who are trying to call me receive the answer machine. Quite often, redialing immediately succeeds. Sometimes it lasts a few minutes. It's something to speak to Orange about I think. I suspect that the problem is not on the phone side.

*** UPDATE ***

The phone kept getting blocked every few days. I kept phoning Orange and they'd unblock the phone and it would work another couple of days and then get blocked again. Then one morning, Orange phoned and said that the reason why the device kept getting blocked was because Pelephone had marked my device as stolen! Orange told me that they could not unblock it anymore and asked me the details of where I'd bought the phone and how I'd paid. I told them everything, after all, I had nothing to hide. I contacted the phone shop where I'd purchased the machine and then began a week of arguments. Eventually I returned the phone by registered mail after they had agreed to give me a full credit card refund. However, as of this date (4/5/2011) they have yet to return my money and refuse to return my calls.

I loved the Galaxy S so much that I went to Orange and bought one there with a full package. The device works perfectly and of course now I get full support and insurance from Orange.

Network Signal Strength

The Galaxy is not as good as my old Motorola V3 but then again that was better than most others. For instance, going through the Jerusalem tunnel, many phones lose signal all together where as I could continue a conversation while driving through it the whole way. I’ve noticed that the Galaxy S drops to 1 or 2 bars signal strength and loses klita (signal) altogether while in some parts of the supermarket across the road from where I work. The Motorola had no problems in the supermarket ever. Whilst at work (in the centre of Yerushalayim) it remains a steady full signal however.

Battery Life

This is not a phone to take into the countryside for a few days. The Galaxy S needs recharging at least once a day. The good news is that it recharges not only from its charger but from any USB outlet as well so If you work in an office, you won’t have a problem. It’s worthwhile getting a micro USB charger for the car as well, just in case.

* It is a must, I repeat, a MUST to purchase a silicone protective cover for the Galaxy S body and a plastic strip for the screen. Make sure you get a protective cover that overlaps the device so that there is a protective lip running all around the front of the phone as well. (See picture below). It costs around NIS 50 for the set and will save the phone if accidently dropped. BTW, I have already done this. I dropped the Galaxy S in the street. The phone bounced once on the silicone cover and then came to rest on the ground. Baruch Hashem, not a scratch.

A clear cover.  I prefer this to all the flashy colours.

The silicone extends around the front, procecting the screen.


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