It’s weird coming off the press releases of the Galaxy S3 and remembering that Samsung’s original Galaxy was launched over two years ago. A considerable amount of time has passed since then and we’ve seen a large number of changes in the mobile market and to Android itself. But in spite of its age, the original Galaxy still does well for itself.
Revealed in March 2010, the Galaxy S started off Samsung’s range of “hero” mobile handsets with a bang, showing off a monster with a 4″ screen and mostly better specced than the competing Apple iPhone 4. The phone was one of the first handsets available with a 1Ghz processor, and began a mobile revolution, a race to see who could fit what into the smallest, slimmest frame.
Today the Galaxy S still inspires other manufacturers to equal its popularity, with Motorola designing the Razr and Razr Maxx a year later. The Galaxy was surpassed by the dual-core race and replaced by the S2, its bigger brother. However, its still worth a look at today as a entry-level option for those who wish to experience Android to the fullest extent. With the Galaxy S3 now open for a launch at the end of May (I’ll be looking at it on Monday), prices for the Galaxy S may drop right through the floor.
The phone ships standard with a 4″ Super AMOLED touch screen with 800 x 480 resolution, a 1Ghz Cortex A8 processor and a 5MP camera capable of 720p video capture, all running off the (then-latest) Android Eclair 2.1 platform. Later platform updates and third-party hacks allowed the phone to capture 1080p video, but the frame loss in certain scenes didn’t make it a viable option. The phone can be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich through the use of third-party custom ROMs like Cayanogenmod.
The handset had full 3G support with tri-band support, Wi-Fi b/g/n, a built-in GPS with A-GPS support along with a digital compass, handy for navigating the streets by hand. GPS support was originally handled by Samsung’s proprietary Route 66 navigation software which required a license to be purchased. After rooting the phone and removing the software, you were free to load the much better Google Maps, along with 3D support.
The phone also ran off a 1500mAh battery, included Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA support (added in a later update), free document editing with Swype pre-loaded and full Adobe Flash support which was added in a later update.
Its worth mentioning the drawbacks with the phone though, even though its only two years old. The rear camera didn’t have a flash, and this wasn’t even fixed with the Galaxy S-Plus, an update to the handset with a faster processor and bigger battery. If you’re taking photos, you’ll need a lot of light. Loudspeaker performance wasn’t always up to scratch, and quite a few early adopters complained of poor chassis construction, although this wasn’t indicative of the majority of buyers. All in all, though, Samsung managed to hold things quite well together.
These days the Galaxy family is the first line people are introduced to when they’re asking about Android phones. From the Y Pro Duos to the Ace 2 to the flagship, the S3, there’s something for everyone. There may be competitors that are just as good, or even better but its a sign of how far Samsung has turned things around for themselves in the consumer electronics market. They’ve concentrated on serving good products and capturing mind share and they’ve succeeded to a large extent. Thanks to the launch of the Galaxy, Samsung has entrenched itself in the Android market and for that honour, the Galasy S gets to be today’s Oldie But Goodie.