Much like the HTC Incredible, I had high hopes for the Samsung Galaxy S. Now you might be wondering, which Galaxy S am I talking about? It’s a fair question seeing as Samsung has 4 different phones named Galaxy S. In addition to that name, each phone has a second name. For example, the phone I’m talking about is the “Fascinate,” which is only available on Verizon.
The Galaxy S has a lot going for it. For starters the 4 inch (perfect size) Super AMOLED screen is beautiful and definitely outpaces the HTC Incredible and is on par with the new Apple iPhone. The form factor is outstanding. I actually find it better than the Nexus One. It’s light weight, well sculpted and the battery is inter-changeable. The fact it’s only available on Verizon is a huge plus. Unlike the iPhone, you’ll actually be able to use the phone to make and receive calls. The phone ships with a 16gb sd-card, which is more than enough storage, in my opinion. Amongst all the great specs and features, what I was most impressed with was the battery life. If you’ve used the HTC Incredible you know what a battery suck it is. Even after purchasing the extended battery from Seido, my Incredible never made it through the day without needing a recharge. My Galaxy S makes it through the work day and then some. Bravo!
So far so good, right? Well the Galaxy S isn’t perfect; granted nothing is. It suffers from 4 big issues that for some might be deal breakers.
1. Bing has replaced Google as the preferred search engine on the phone. That means voice search, phone search, browser search, etc. This would be ok if you could switch search providers. But, you can’t. I’m serious, you can’t make google the default search tool on a google android phone.
2. Things get worse from there. Verizon made sure to load the phone up with more crap-ware than a trailer park garage sale. From games to apps to bookmarks, the phone is full of preloaded crap you didn’t ask for and you can’t delete or change. Yes, even the bookmarks.
3. The mail app is weak and frankly an embarrassment. Where as the HTC Incredible let’s you file mail into folders you can not do this on the Galaxy S. Think about that. If you get a message in your inbox, you won’t be able to move it to another folder. You also can’t sync emails or calendar events that are older than 1 month. This just seems silly and arbitrary. What value is there in limiting how far back you can sync? The Incredible, the iPhone and many other smart phones let you sync as far back as infinity. I don’t know about you, but most of my projects last more than 1 month. This is a huge problem for corporate phone users.
4. Despite having a 1ghz processor running the show, the Galaxy S often slows down and seems sluggish. This has a negative impact on the user experience and while I can’t verify this 100%, it seems to cause program crashes.
Here’s the deal, the Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate had all the makings of being a great and legendary Android phone. But, Samsung let Verizon dictate far too many decisions. Additionally, Samsung made a number of puzzling decisions regarding email. Those decisions have an adverse impact on the end user experience and make it tough to recommend for corporate phone users. If you’re looking for a great Android phone with amazing battery life and are planning on using the phone for non corporate activities, this is a great choice. But, for you power users out there, I recommend looking at the HTC Incredible or the Droid X.
Lastly, let me say, if Samsung works out the Bing issue with Verizon and makes the needed updates to the mail app, this is a clear cut winner and would be the best Android phone on the market for Verizon and in my opinion, even the best across all carriers.