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Samsung Galaxy S Three Month Review

I have now spent a good three months with the Samsung Galaxy S and it has been an interesting time. The phone is good enough for me to persist with it. It is no perfect and Samsung has botched what could have been a perfect non-iPhone iPhone with a bad choice of filesystem and issues with lag.

In its current shape it is rooted (SuperOneClick), lag fixed (OCLF) and running a Samsung beta release of Froyo (2.2, I9000XXJPH, 2.6.32.9). It has a pretty high Quadrant score (1852), but I really don't think much of that. Overall, I am quite happy with the phone. In a lot of ways, it is like Windows XP once you get used to it. It can really annoy you at times, but over time you get used to extracting the best out of it.

My current workflow on it involves the usage of it more as a communications device (calls, email and light browsing), followed by a bit of gaming and very little in terms of music or videos. I do read a lot on it, using both the e-book reader and the browser, but 90% of the heavy lifting on the phone for me is still voice. Mail is handled by the native Gmail application and a lot of work-related data is handled through Dropbox.

So, what do I still like about the phone after 3-months:

1. The screen. It is gorgeous and even in my horribly clumsy, grimy hands it still does not have a single scratch on it.
2. Application stability. I have not yet come across a single application that does not install or run properly on it.
3. The Mobile Access Point feature. Saves me a lot of the usual tethering (cable or bluetooth) nightmares.
4. The camera: both the videos and photos are awesome IF you have decent lighting.
5. Decoupled core applications (you can't get this unless you are on 2.2).
6. App quality is steadily getting better.

What I don't like:

1. They are destroying an awesome phone with a lousy OS implementation. Official Froyo is miles ahead of the 2.1-update 1 release, but it still gets it wrong so many ways.
2. Market still remains the weakest link in the chain. Pick any part of it and it will be lousy.
3. It requires tinkering to make it run both fast and reliably.
4. There is no single, easy-to-understand interface to manage app access permissions. (More of an Android problem).
5. Samsung Kies.

Apps I can't do without:

1. Email – The Official Gmail App.
2. Browsing – Opera Mini (I have Fennec, Android's native browser, Opera Mobile and Skyfire installed, but on EDGE it is Opera Mini all the way).
3. E-books – Aldiko.
4. Twitter – Tweetcaster.
5. Maps & Location – Google Maps.
6. File Sync: Dropbox.
7. News & Reading: Express News, Everpaper.
8. Blogging: Tumblr.
9. Music & Video: Doubletwist.
10. Games: Angry Birds, Falling Ball, Air Control Lite.
11. Productivity: Swype
12. Geek: Connectbot (SSH sessions)

I don't have a single paid app on the phone yet. This is something that will change in the coming months. I still have not fully settled into the Android world to make that sort of a commitment, even though at Rs. 90 – Rs. 500 per app, it makes for massive fight with temptation every time I stroll over to the market to prevent myself from picking up something.


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