Samsung Galaxy i7500 review

I recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy i7500 when it became available in the Netherlands. It's already been available in Germany and (I think) the UK for a while so it's not even that cutting edge.

In this posting I'll document some of my findings.

First Impression

My first impression which also includes working with Android for the first time was: what an amazing device! The included applications are fantastic, especially with the included hardware and this finally is a device which I can use to chat, mail, consult google maps and surf sites. I've heard people complain about battery life and (keyboard) slowness, but those are okay with me.

I was actually surprised how well the on-screen keyboard works.

However

I was so focussed on the software and gadgetvalue of the device that I didn't pay any real attention to calls. And that's an area where the Galaxy behaves horrible.

  • Sometimes the remote party becomes siltent for a fraction of a second during a conversion. Very annoying because you'll miss parts of words. I understand it's both ways, I've heard the remote part complaining I was interrupted by silence
  • Sometimes it can't make or receive calls. I can't really define what the problem is - poorer T-Mobile reception perhaps, possibly combined with all the onboard hardware. Or just buggy hardware/software. It's hard to say
  • The screen dimms a second after you've made a call which is very confusing. I'm still not sure if it's some feature, just the screensaver/lock kicking in or something else. But if you need to enter numbers or access the menu, it's very confusing

I've attempted to do a firmware upgrade but eventhoug it's reported there are updates, there isn't one for my version. It may be I just don't understand Samsung's horrible "Samsung PC Studio" which, eventhough it's the only available download for the Galaxy, doesn't recorgnize the device without some serious tweaking (and even then I'm not sure). 

Besides the pretty big call issue above, there are some minor issues

  • it doesn't always find local wireless networks. Excplicitly searching the network and connecting to it will result in a password not accepted. The fix? Reboot the device :(
  • the gallery sometimes shows good pictures as being damaged. Restarting the app fixes this (the pictures really aren't broken), eventhough, when I didn't know the pics were okay, it made me delete pictures that were actually perfectly fine.

Conclusion

The Galaxy may have slightly better specs/looks than the HTC Hero, but for now I'd chose a phone that can actually make calls. Either wait for updates from Samsung, new Android devices or buy a Hero, but at this point I wouldn't advice anyone to buy the Samsung Galaxy i7500

Update

It appears most calling isses are caused by poor T-mobile reception. Switching providers fixed most of these.

After using the device for a couple of months, I find it usable. There still are very annoying bugs (wifi, e-mail, dialpad doesn't respond while calling). Also, by now, Android 1.5 is really old, and it's still not clear if there will be an update.

Last updated April 18, 2013, 4:35 p.m.
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