One week with Android

Last week I got a new Android based phone. It is a Samsung  Galaxy 3 - i5801. It was very exciting to finally lay hands on an Android based phone. The key features of the phone are:

  • Android V2.1 (Eclair)
  •  ThinkFree Office Mobile Support
  •  Intutive Touchwiz 3.0 Interface
  •  Multi Codec Support
  •  Fast GPS Triangulation With Layar Reality Browser
  •  AllShare DLNA Support For Easy Sharing Of Media Amongst Your PC-TV-Mobile
  •  Supports Swype Input For Faster Typing
This is my first brush with Android phone, I had previous experience with iOS( iPod Touch), Nokia Music express, and some Samsung based touch phone. 

Build & Form factor: The phone is just a few mm thicker than my regular 1000Rs reliance phone. It is very comfortable to hold and play around. The screen size is too small compared to an the higher end phones, especially if you have used one, otherwise it is fine. The plastic casing at the back is decent and the "with Google" logo adds to sheen. The front has a steel look. Overall the build looks delicate.

Touch Screen: It's a joy to use the touch screen. The sensitivity is good. All gestures associated with a touch phone are without glitch which one typically notices in low cost phones. The screen brightness is good enough even in sunlight (though haven't tested it under mid noon sun). The screen resolution is good and all the icons, text are rendered without any pix-elation. Only complaint I have with the screen is, it tends to get dirty with all the finger print marks.

UX: Being used to iOS, the User experience was not as smooth. Android (or at least the TouchViz skin from Samsung) needs some amount of getting used to. Especially the hardware menu and back buttons are most confusing. However, I have seen many friends who really like it (or hate the lack of it in iPhone). 

The phone though has a 567MHz processor, cannot take up some intensive applications like Skype, when executed it typically hangs/ becomes un-responsive for a few seconds. Even accessing Youtube videos seemed to hang the phone. I haven't noticed any other issues till now but can safely predict the phone cannot handle task intensive applications.

The integration with Google Mail, Maps is very good and works out of the box. I especially love the  maps search and what with Bus directions being available for Bangalore, it is simply superb. The screen size here is a bit of a limitation, I would have loved to have a larger screen.

I haven't used the phone much, but the battery seems to drain very fast compared to the phones I used till now. Something to keep in mind if this is going to be your primary phone.

ConnectivityThe wireless and mobile connectivity work like a charm. Though I should say it took me some figuring out to know how to get the ip address. The GPS is also good, I recommend using the RunKeeper application for all those who are interested in fitness. It is one of the best apps that showcases good uses of GPS.

Text Input: The phone is preloaded with Swype, which is a very fast and easy way to input on a touch phone. This is very useful in a device of this size as the keys are too closely spaced especially in the portrait mode. I wish Swype is available other brands.

Development: I did some basic development and find it to be as simple as working on the emulator. Interfacing the device is a breeze. I still could not figure out how to access the host machines "localhost".

That is one week with Android. I will keep posting more on my experiences/experiments with this phone. Let me know what you think?

The following are the Specifications (reproduced from

Specifications of Samsung Galaxy3 i5801 (Black)

  • General Form:  Candy Bar
  • SIZE 
  • Dimensions:  113.5 X 55 X 12.55 Mm
  • Type:  WVGA
  • Resolution:  240 X 400 Pixels
  • Color:  16M
  • Size:  3.2 Inch
  • Primary Camera:  3.2 MP (With Auto Focus)
  • Video Recording:  Yes (320x240 @15 Fps)
  • Type:  Li-Ion, 1,500 MAh
  • Talk Time:  15.20 Hrs2G ; 7.5 Hrs3G (Maximum)
  • StandBy Time:  625 Hrs2G ; 483 Hrs3G (Maximum)
  • Music Player:  MP3/AAC/AAC+/EAAC+/WMA/AMR/MIDI/SP- MIDI Formats+ 3.5 Mm Audio Jack
  • Ringtone Formats:  Yes(Vibration, MP3 Ringtones)
  • Speaker:  Yes
  • Radio:  Yes
  • Video Player:  DivX, XviD, MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV Formats
  • GPRS:  Yes
  • EDGE:  Yes
  • 3G:  Yes
  • Wlan:  Yes
  • Bluetooth:  Yes (V2.1 With A2DP)
  • USB:  Yes
  • WAP:  Yes
  • INPUT 
  • Touch Screen:  Yes
  • OS:  Android V2.1 (Eclair)
  • CPU:  Qualcomm (QSC6270), 667 MHz
  • Operating Frequency:  GSM 850/900/1800/1900 ; HSDPA 900/2100
  • Java:  Yes
  • GSM/CDMA/Dual Sim/Triple Sim:  GSM
  • Internal Memory:  130MB
  • Cards Slot:  Up To 32 GB
  • Games:  Yes
  • GPS:  Yes, With A-GPS Support
  • Browser:  Android Browser
  • Messaging:  SMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging
  • Miscellaneous:  ThinkFree Office Mobile, YouTube And Facebook Apps, Write And Go Support For Fast Copy/Paste Of Texts, Social Hub Preloaded, Google Mobile Services.
  •   1 Year Samsung India Warranty For The Phone And 6 Months Warranty For Accessories
  • Sales Package:  1 Main Set, 1 Battery, 1 Travel Adapter, 1 Stereo Headset, 1 Data Cable, 2 CD, 1 Leather Case, I Micro SD Card(2GB)

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