Samsung’s first Google Android phone, the Galaxy Icon, is aimed at users who want something simple and customisable.

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The Samsung Galaxy sports a slim design and fits comfortably in the hand. The unit has 10 keys up front which includes a five-way navigation pad, a back, menu, and home key, as well as a pick up and end/power button. The volume rocker is located on the left side of the handset, while the lock and camera hotkey are located on the right side. It also comes with a 3.5mm jack, 5-megapixel camera, and a 3.2-inch AMOLED screen.

Like any other Google Android phone we have reviewed in the past, users must first sign in (or create an account) in order to have access to its services. The handset offers access to Gmail, Google Talk, Android Market, Google Maps, and YouTube, with users being able to move an app to the home screen on the fly.

While the basic interface works, it could have been better if Samsung added a couple of useful multimedia applications to make it stand out. Right now, it is all up to a user to find, download, and install programs that will make the unit unique.

The 3.2-inch AMOLED screen is bright and crisp but is sometimes not as responsive as we wanted it to be. There were times when we tapped on an icon only to find that it only registered the gesture a fraction of a second later. Fortunately, we did not experience the same problem when composing messages, with the unit responding to each letter we typed.


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The 5-megapixel camera takes decent shots but only offers basic settings. Users can only set the camera’s video quality, change the flash settings (Auto, On, or Off), and choose where the files will be saved. There isn’t any way to change the ISO, Auto White Balance, and Shooting mode, which should have been there in the first place.

Storage-wise, the Galaxy comes with 8GB of storage and a microSD slot that can be used to expand the memory. The unit is compatible with MP3, AMR, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+ audio files and MPEG4 / H.263, allowing you to listen to music or watch movies while on the go. A 3.5mm jack is available and can be used to hook up your favourite headphones or any portable speakers.

In terms of battery life, Samsung claims that the Galaxy has a talk time of up to 6 hours and a standby time of up to 340 hours. In our test, the unit lasted for a day, with us using it to make calls, send SMS, download applications, and go online.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy is a good phone – it gets the job done and can be customised according to how you want it. Unfortunately, it is a fairly basic Google Android phone that could have been better. If you are looking for a good multimedia phone, then you are better off purchasing the HD Icon.

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