Samsung's Galaxy Icon I7500 fails to outshine smartphone competition

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Samsung's Galaxy Icon I7500 fails to outshine smartphone competition

The Samsung Galaxy Icon i7500 is a competent Android phone, that takes a basic Android OS and adds no manufacturer apps or software overlay, unlike the other Android phones on test this Labs.

The design is glossy black - a little on the plasticky side as far as looks go, but its screen is truly outstanding in every way: the 3.2in OLED has impressive contrast and vivid colours that make even the Hero's screen look second-best.

That fantastic screen makes operating the phone simpler, too - everything feels easier on the eyes and the capacitive yeahtouchscreen responds to the lightest of touches.

At 13.2mm thick, it's chubbier than an iPhone, though it comes out slightly narrower in your hand. Despite that, it's less rounded, making it harder to slip into a pocket.

Behind the screen is a solid feature set, including GPS, 8GB of integrated storage and a 5-megapixel digital camera with an LED flash.

But for all the features, too much of the phone is a disappointment. Where the Hero goes for a responsive clickable scroll ball, the Galaxy sticks to a plain old five-way directional pad that we found fiddly to use. And the buttons aren't labelled, leaving you to guess what the cryptic tray with an arrow might mean (it's the contextual menu key).

Performance isn't quite up to snuff either. Although most OS operations were carried out instantaneously, scrolling and panning web pages on the Android browser wasn't as slick, occasionally hesitating before moving the page.

The camera produces acceptable images but video quality was poor. And battery life was okay but it can't match the Hero, the iPhone 3GS or the latest Nokia handsets. More worryingly, two hours of browsing with the screen on robbed the battery of 42% of its reserves.

The Samsung Galaxy I7500 is far from a bad phone. Its screen is truly stunning and Android makes it simple to use. Alas, the overall package isn't quite as convincing as HTC's Hero, and the plain Android install makes it just a little less appealing.

Samsung Galaxy Icon I7500
4 6
Verdict
Competent, but with no bells or whistles, the Galaxy just fails to impress enough
Performance
Battery Life
Features & Design
Value for money
Overall
Specs
This review appeared in the May, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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