Know what you are getting into March 25, 2011
Reviewer: Tae S. Shin "ScientificDeveloper"
I was an iPhone user who decided to buy new SGS4G for some "freedom" and cheaper cell/data service. And another reason I bought this device is because it is very close to iphone. Here comes my review after a week of its ownership.
1. Cheaper and faster: Speed difference from iPhone is obvious with 4G and better processor. T-mobile provides with cheaper plans.
2. Smooth and beautiful Video: I rarely watch TV/movies on a smartphone. This device made me think again. Quality of the movie screen is amazing - smooth and clear. Watching experience is close to laptop. I will enjoy this on flight.
3. Camera: Without considering more resolution, this camera is better than the one in iPhone GS. It is much less sensible for small shaking.
4. Wireless tethering: I didn't really care for tethering with 3G because of its terrible speed. But this device's 4G now and supposed to be 21 Mbps. After rooting, I first installed wireless tethering. And it works like a charm. This portable wifi router does not really make 21 Mbps but 8 Mbps but it's still practical. Think about IPad or Kindle with this phone in my pocket. They are always connected without paying a buck for 3G plan/device.
5. Unlimited expandability: Since it's android OS, unlike iphone, the device is not much restricted to expand. You can virtually install whatever you want.
1. Lack of internal memory: 500MB internal memory is too small to store apps. So after getting this device, you'd better start moving apps into internal 16G SD card. As I will mention about this below, however, not all apps can be moved to SD.
2. Bloated apps: Unnecessary apps occupy in apps screen and some of them also automatically run. And most of these bloated apps can't be deleted nor moved to SD card. - Solution: Root and Titanium Backup. See the last part of this review.
3. No flash LED: I rarely use it for taking pictures so it does not matter much to me. But it's one component people may want to have at some point. Besides, you can use it for other purposes with apps. As other devices in this price range have the LED, I am not sure why Samsung is not getting it with this excellent device otherwise.
4. Bad battery: I guess this may be the reason SGS4G is so light but its battery life is not close to the one in iPhone 3GS. My daily use is not that heavy but I always get 20-30% battery power remaining at the end of a day. In my test, playing 2-3 hours of a movie will drain the battery out. UPDATE: I've looked ways to overcome this issue, and so far, the best one is buying extra OEM batteries and charger to keep replacing battery on the device. I first thought it's one of the stupidest ideas. But with charger taking care of the extra batteries (two extras in my case), you are free from worrying about battery life and your device doesn't have to be connected to USB cable. The OEM batteries are already cheap so don't think about buying cheaper batteries as I did. One of cheapest batteries I tried almost bricked my device.
Root: Root is like easy jailbreak for Android device but without any downside. Of course Rooted device can be bricked and void of warranty but in reality, most of times, CS will fix the bricked device under warranty. Google "Super One Click" for more details.
Titanium Backup: After root, get the Titanium backup app to delete all unnecessary apps. One thing to remember: don't delete telenav app because it will mess GPS up otherwise.
In summary, root is almost required for this smart phone - root will take less than 30 mins. Other than that, with its amazing speed and powerful customizing ability from Android OS, I still have to figure out what it can do. This device is truly a personal computer + more in my hand. I like it a lot more than iPhone.
A Love Hate Relationship coming to an end April 17, 2011
Reviewer: Iceman (Freezing in MI, 2 cold USA) -
I have been with Android since the Day 1 release of the G1. This is my 3rd Android phone and I was upgrading from a Nexus 1. Let's start off with the good. I bought this phone on its release date largely because I wanted a bigger screen, better batter life and a phone that I would actually hold a signal so I could talk on it (antenna was in the bottom of the Nexus 1 and it was pretty bad on reception).
I picked up this phone and the first thing you will notice is that it is very light almost too light. The back cover is made of plastic and it feels somewhat cheap in your hand. The screen is made of Gorilla Glass which is a good thing. It lacks stereo speakers opting for a loud but monaural speaker in the back of the phone with a unattractive two slit hole for sound in the back of the phone. In a loud environment this often requires holding the phone cupped in your hand to reflect the sound back out to you.
The screen on this phone is absolutely beautiful. It is a SuperAMOLE 480x800 screen. The colors are rich & vibrant and HD movies or video looks incredible. It really is like watching a pocket version of my 50 inch 1080p HD television. The screen technology also uses less battery so it doesn't have the incredible drain you might expect even in 4 inches of real estate.
The camera is where one of the first major flaws of this phone surface. It is a 5 megapixel camera with NO FLASH. That is completely unacceptable on a phone that is a flagship device (albeit only for a few months) on T-Mobile. The camera does have good low light performance but it will not work if you are on the phone. There also is no way to turn off the GPS if you don't want that information embedded in the metadata of the phone. The interface of the phone is awkward & far too time consuming. It takes average photos & videos and has no dedicated camera/video button. I have been so frustrated at times with this camera I have wished I brought a standalone device.
Onto the operation of the phone. The phone operates on a Hummingbird processor and its operation most of the time is very smooth. I added the juice defender app which turns off certain functions when the phone is not being used and it extends battery life. With Juice Defender I have seen as much as 16 hours on a full charge. Without Juice Defender on a solid 6-9 hours can be expected depending on the user.
On to the MOST annoying issue with this phone. It has 1GB of ROM on the phone which means that the Android OS and all of the bloatware pre-installed by Samsung are on the internal memory. By the time they are done with what they feel its important for you to have (apps like QIK for video chat, LAYAR, T-mobile TV, Media Hub, Wifi Calling, etc) you are left with about 250mb of space for the apps YOU want. I don't want to root the phone because that is the solution to getting rid of the issues with this phone. I shouldn't have to root the phone to buy an app. I don't have the Amazon App Store on this phone right now not because I don't want it because it won't fit. A 1.25mb application will not fit on my phone! I have 13 apps installed to the memory of the phone that I need (app's like Flash, Facebook, Google Maps,Gmail, Doubletwist, Sirus/XM & Juice Defender). All of the apps I can put on the SD card have been moved over (all 42 of them). How do you expect me to purchase apps if I have no space.
The lack of internal memory and horrible camera operation are the reasons that after a few short months of ownership of this phone I'm selling it and buying the just released LG 2GX on T-mobile. I really don't want to have to buy another phone this soon but the internal memory issues and the camera are just too much of an annoyance. I wouldn't really recommend this phone now as there are much better devices out there now. Its a shame that Samsung & T-mobile didn't make the minor tweaks to this device (more internal memory, flash & better camera features) that would have really made it a great device.
In Love With This Phone! March 17, 2011
This is the first smart phone I've ever owned and had it for about a week now. At first, it's a little intimidating but after you play around with it for an hour, it's easy to use. Loading time is fast so I have not encountered stalling problems yet. The audio and images on here are very crisp and clear. The speakerphone feature is amazing. Not only can I hear the caller but they can hear me clearly (which was a big problem with my last phone). I know some people complain about the lack of a flash for the camera but I personally think that flash on phones aren't that great anyways. The camera on this phone is 5 mp and takes excellent photos in natural lighting. Video chat on the phone is a lot of fun too. I haven't used the qik app on the phone but downloaded the Tango app and it was so easy to use.
Now there have been a few negatives that I have encountered. Sometimes I have a hard time switching over from using the 4G network to wi-fi, since I have horrible service at work and we have a fast wi-fi network. I also have experienced some echoing issues when using this phone at night for some weird reason.
Other than, it's a great phone to have especially if you like to multitask between apps.
An all-around awesome phone March 7, 2011
Reviewer: Rollin D Crittendon
I have had this phone going on a week now. The speed, battery life & screen have been fantastic.
The addition of the Swype keyboard was a savvy move on Samsung's part as well. Tracing and voice-dictation work very well.
The television package is a nice extra as well. Catch up on a basketball game while running an errand.
This phone is probably up there with the iPhone from what I gather. At this point I think consumers will have a bounty of riches as companies like Samsung and Apple keep redefining what a smartphone means.
Actually 4-1/2 stars -- SO close to perfection April 10, 2011
Reviewer: Grrgoyl (Aurora, CO USA) -
Okay, I'm coming from a Motorola Cliq XT running the ancient and completely obsolete Android 1.5. I was a sworn Moto fan for life, before they made the extremely ill-conceived decision to leave us high and dry on 1.5 after promising an update for over a year. Over the past three months I've watched that phone grow increasingly laggy and buggy, with random reboots 1-2 times a day (sometimes in the middle of calls, delightful) and Windows ME speeds of operation. But that's in the past now. Goodbye Moto (forever; I am a champion grudge-holder). Hello, Samsung.
My choice was between this and the MyTouch on paper, but I picked the Galaxy up first and let me tell you, there is no comparison, at least in form factor: The Galaxy is ultra-sleek, ultra-thin, polished, absolute love at first sight (not gonna lie -- looks like an iPhone except for the bottom row of buttons. I've never had an iPhone and I wasn't looking for an iClone or anything, but that's the fact). The MyTouch looks like a good phone for a teenager in comparison, i.e. toy-like. No offense to people who love their MyTouch, I'm sure it functions great, but my cerebral gut reaction was won over instantly by the Samsung (another deciding factor was that the Galaxy sports a Gorilla Glass screen, at least from what I read online. That was the one thing the Cliq had going for it -- I used it totally unprotected for probably our last four months together and it never got so much as a scuff on it).
The screen is huge and absolutely gorgeous, bright with deep saturated colors. Call quality is excellent and it takes great pictures despite the lack of a flash -- the phone seems to have a really good white balance that optimizes the light available (though probably won't work miracles in really low light). I love the hard keys at the bottom which are totally flush with the glass, giving it a really classy, high-tech feel. I felt bereft without a trackpad, but when needed while texting a cool little cursor button pops up on the screen for it.
The processor is super snappy (compared to the Cliq, not really that surprising) as is the 4g. Almost everything about the phone impresses, at least compared to the Cliq.
Except my three and a half complaints:
1) No LED indicator light, but I've found apps that make up for that (LOVE the Android Market).
2) Only 512 mb of internal storage, but comes with a 16 gb SD card. "Just move apps to the storage card" people tell you. Well, a) not all apps allow this, and b) if an app is kept on the storage card, its shortcut won't show up on your desktop (a shortcut is there, but with a generic Android logo, not the app-specific icon). We'll see how long before I'm pulling my hair out trying to juggle phone space.
3) Pretty pathetic battery life, even for a smartphone. I read the complaints about this and shrugged them off, assuming they were from people not used to the battery-gobbling tendencies of every smartphone, but no -- it's pretty bad. Like 12 hours or less with moderate texting and one phone call, and that's with the data connection turned off, the screen brightness at zero (an unforgivable crime considering how gorgeous it looks with it higher) and obviously 4g had to go (as my friend said, the one thing that makes the Galaxy better than the iPhone). Oh, and half that time spent sleeping, not even touching the phone. Even the Cliq lasted up to two days usually (granted I wasn't fondling it quite so often near the end of our relationship). I've decided that swapping out spare batteries is preferable to adding a high-capacity brick to the back of my super svelte and lightweight new plaything (and thank my lucky stars it isn't an iPhone for that reason alone).
Half a complaint) Very strange quirk. The front-facing camera only functions for picture taking, not video recording, when using the stock camcorder. However, video recording with it IS possible through the Qik video chat app, also stock on the phone (which helpfully offers a "record my life" function rather than only video chatting). I'm just thrilled to have the option at all; like I said, the Cliq seems as primitive as the Razr to me now.
Another half a complaint) This phone is so popular that buying accessories (like spare batteries) is proving to be quite tricky -- there seem to be five different incarnations in the US alone, depending on your carrier (to say nothing of the international version), with tiny differences negating any kind of universality. I'm about 85% certain it's the same as the Samsung Vibrant (t959) except with a front-facing camera.
If I went into everything I loved about this phone you would get bored and quit reading. Let me just say the wow factor is high here. Hopefully you can get into a store and see/hold it for yourself, because I can almost guarantee that will make you a believer.
I was going to wait for the new LG G2x coming soon, but who knows what the asking price will be (guessing higher than the Samsung), and after having a few days to play with the Galaxy, I don't feel like I settled at all.
Samsung customer for life? Let's hope they learn a thing or two from Moto about how NOT to treat the people who give them their hard-earned money.
GREAT PHONE March 2, 2011
This phone is easy to use great screen and very fast and smooth. I can't put it down. Game play is great and the movies look great. all around it's one of the best phones i have ever had and i'm coming from an iphone 3gs. sorry but bye bye iphone :D
Best Phone I've Owned March 18, 2011
Reviewer: J. Kelly
I don't usually do reviews but I feel strongly about this one. It's simply the best phone I"ve had and I've come from a legacy of iphones.
So much better than the my touch as well.
-light & thin
-the only button to turn it on is a small, button on the side. Sometimes I'm fumbling to find it which is a little annoying but not too bad.
-it's picky about swiping after sleep mode to get to the home screen. A little swipe won't do it, you have to swipe all the way across. Again a bit annoying but livable.
-battery life could be better.
Loved, until last week April 20, 2011
Reviewer: Shelly Goglick
I was in love with my phone for all the reasons stated above, until it decided to freeze on me (not good when you are expecting a phone call). "Okay" I thought, "just a little quirk, it just needs to be turned off." Nope, the phone has since frozen many times. Can't swipe, can't make calls, one time it even lost my whole contact list. I've been trying to find a common denominator, but have been unlucky. Sometimes it freezes for just a few minutes, one time it froze for hours until the battery died. Speaking of the battery, it gets very HOT when recharging, and right before it's about to freeze up.
Because I was loving my phone so much, I have taken the phone to the store and a new one is on the way. Hopefully it was just a glitch with this one. Just wanted to put this out there.
stands out amongst the competion May 1, 2011
Reviewer: Humanzee09 (Nomadic) -
So far I've owned a Motorola Cliq, My Touch Slide 3G, and this phone. The Galaxy S has outperformed the other two by a long shot. The Galaxy S is light weight, has a gorgeous large screen, and is blazing fast. One other plus is that for a smart phone the battery life is very long compared to the others I've owned. My one complaint is that there is no led flash for the camera! I find it strange that Samsung made such a fantastic device but left this out (It's The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars). Overall I highly recommend this device for anyone who's interested in a smart phone.
Memory Issue May 14, 2011
As the day i bought it from T-Mobile, after couple days using, i found the major problem of this phone and android 2.2 OS.
There are 50% or more android apps are not support external memories card and must be install in the memory of the phone
After i download about 30-40 apps and games, it just quickly drain out the 512MB internal memory, and can't move the app to 16 GB SD card due to the major issue from android system.
So, my conclusion is the 16 GB Memory is totally waste the value here.
I have to say, this phone is almost the latest phone in the market, Samsung should really know this is a common issue of google android and try not using external memory, but no, it still using SD Card Memory just like HTC Desire.
As I know, most smartphone is using internal memory tech, even the early version of Samsung Galaxy S 3G Vibrant were using Internal Memory.
This is the most failure of the phone. want to go back to Iphone 4, Disappoint at Samsung and Android!
Ready for texting August 27, 2011
I recently got this phone, I became interested in getting a great cell phone after watching a late night TV commercial about texting sexy messages. I decided it was time to update my phone so that I could get in on this, and be ready when the time comes for me to participate in this activity, which apparently to a lot of people is very fun. There is definintely a lot of capability to this phone, as you can imagine. It is 4G, which apparently is the fastest of the speeds out there. One thing I do not like is that this phone does not have a camera flash. I tried to take a picture of myself late at night, and it was awful. It was very grainy, and I looked rather large. I was hoping that I could get a really nice picture of myself for when I start texting other sexy people. What if they want me to send a picture of myself, right. I really hope that I can utilize this phone and learn how to swipe text. I am new at the touch screen, and my fingers are rather large and thick, so this has been a problem for me. I hope that as I lose weight I will become a faster and more accurate texter. I really just am ready to meet some other people with this texting, I find myself to be rather lonely, usually alone, especially at night. A wise man once told me, "you look like you never skipped a meal." Not quite sure what he meant by that, but the way I understood it was that, "life has been good to you and you are blessed with plenty of resources." On that note, I will take this phone as a blessing because it puts me that much closer to accomplishing my aspirations of texting other sexy people, who just want to have fun, and most of all who dont want to be alone.
Worst phone I've ever owned April 24, 2012
Reviewer: Patrick K. Mcghee "trixter93" (Portland, OR) -
This phone has made my life hell. Everyday its inability to work makes me angry. After 6 LONG months, dozens of calls with tech support, and the phone being replaced once with another phone that doesn't work, I'm ready to spend almost any amount of money to just not deal with the headaches. The 1st galaxy S 4G I returned after 2 weeks, and was in the store with issues the day I received the second one. The battery life is very short, often wont last the day if its used moderately, but that is just an engineering flaw. BOTH phones would just randomly freeze up and not work. Applications frequently crash. Even with full bars on a 4G network, I still have lots of times that I cannot even make calls or send text messages. The phone locks up, and refuses to do anything and has to be rebooted several times a day. This has happened since day one, and with both phones. Either I have bad luck and got two lemons, or they just made a lot of bad phones. Great bonus features like internet and maps are wonderful to have on a phone, but all the accessories in the world don't help if they don't work, and the basic phone features don't work.
Hate hate hate! December 30, 2011
Reviewer: Lynn Jones
I bought this phone brand new from T-Mobile on Dec 27, 2011.. I have had it 3 or 4 days and I freaking HATE it. It has frozen on me numerous times (with hardly anything running), all the apps that came with the phone (that are NOT removable) run all the time (causing the phone to run slowly), the movie "Inception" that comes pre-installed takes up WAY too much space, I keep getting an error message about my MicroSD card, the other day when I tried to check my text messages the phone would go into my messages for like 2 seconds and then close, no matter what I did - had to restart the phone. Just today I was cleaning my house and my phone was sitting on the table and automatically restarted by itself. Tried to take it back to T-Mobile since you get a 14 return period and they'll only give me a partial refund. I'm so freaking upset with this phone AND T-Mobile!
A Good Phone but not an iPhone! June 28, 2011
Reviewer: Maryia Sky (Southern California) -
I read a lot of reviews before I purchased this phone when I switched to T-Mobile. I thought I was going to get a phone with smooth transitions and a great touch screen. What I learned was that it has its good stuff, its bad stuff, and its ugly stuff. Overall I give it a 3.5 out of 5 because my expectations are extremely high and it did a great job 90% of the time (with occasional glitches).
- The phone has a great design that makes it look stunning.
- Android has some really great aps.
- It's a touch screen
- Great music player
- Has a decent camera
- Easy to use
- Comes with a great headset so you don't have to put the phone up to your ear or so you can listen to music
- Great Live Backgrounds
- Fun to customize
- The back of the phone is plastic which makes it feel a little cheap
- The music player is limited in formats
- The camera doesn't have a flash
- 4g doesn't really feel that fast
- You can't zoom in on ALL things
- Sometimes the phone freezes
- Sometimes the phone lags
- Sometimes you get a black screen when trying to load aps.
- Sometimes the touch screen is not responsive.
Not bad but what was T Mobile thinking? May 21, 2011
Reviewer: J. Schwarz (Brooklyn) -
Have the phone and the phone is a good one but the people at T Mobile weren't using their noggins. When you buy the phone you are stuck with a movie, Inception, that cannot be removed. Now how many times are you going to watch the same movie? The point is the movie takes up so much memory on the phone,they should have put in more useful apps instead. Then the battery is terrible and the charge is used up quickly. So I tried to get a better battery from Samsung and they don't have one, so you have to go to a third party to find one that lasts much longer. This I did. The battery lasts a lot longer but you have to buy one that comes with a new back which makes the phone bigger, which means the old protective cover will no longer fit. Then another thing they did was to put in an app called Double Twist. This app goes on everytime you turn on the phone. Why? Who needs it? Why make it automatic so that you always have to go to Task Manager and turn it off because these turned on apps use up the battery. If I really knew how screwed up T Mobile had made the phone I would have reconsidered buying it. So it is a good phone but it needs a much bigger battery and a few things tweaked. T Mobile, next time use your head before you sell the phones to anybody.
Great Phone March 23, 2011
I've had this phone for two weeks. Totally in love with it. The screen is awesome and the features included are great also. The addition of the Media Hub is a cool idea. I've had a Samsung cell phone in the past and never had any issues with it. Looking forward to a long run with this one as well. Online now looking for the docking station for my desk and other accessories! Good job Samsung!
Stable phone, doesn't crash! September 17, 2011
Reviewer: Kristen E. Bogren "Kristen Bogren" (Los Lunas, NM USA) -
I have been using this phone for three months.. Compared to my Mytouch 4G this is a godsend.. It has only frozen two times, and that was due too doing too many things at once... I have about 20 apps on it, and move all the apps I can to my memory card and ensure I clear cache on my browser, apps, text, phone logs daily. Also turning phone off and on each day helps it run perfect.
I live in a rural area and use wifi calling and wifi at my home, that works great and is crystal clear... Compared to other Android phones this has been the BEST! :) Gingerbread ( 2.3 ) is coming soon and I am apprehensive on downloading the software update due to how well my phone runs as it is.. So might not accept..
The battery life is great, I use a app called Juice Defender to help.. As with other Android phones I keep a USB charger, and a car charger with me to keep charged as when I am doing a lot the battery goes fast..
Out of all the Android phones I have used, and a former iPhone 3gS user this phone works great...
Everything Phone April 2, 2011
I had the HTC HD2 (windows) for six months and couldn't take it any more. So I decided to go back to an android.
This phone is so fast, you don't have to pay for navigation, you can watch live TV, so many apps to choose from. I forgot how amazing android phones are. You have to mess with the phone for a while to learn the little tricks. I love the talk to text feature, very accurate. I can't say enough about this phone. It has made my life substantially easier.
AMAZING phone!!! March 9, 2011
okay I am completely in love with this phone. I just came from a Blackberry Torch and I must say this phone is 10000% better. i couldn't believe how light this was. my BB torch felt like i was carrying a brick. the samsung galaxy s 4g feels like a plastic toy but lemme tell you, this flimsy piece of plastic is a powerhouse!!!
amazing speed. great web browsing. awesome display quality. great customization. perfect size. amazinggg HD camera. GPS works great. camera quality is decent. battery life is waaay better than any other phone ive had but takes too long to charge. front facing camera is decent.
The reasons i gave it 4 stars are because:
1. it takes a long time to charge
2. no camera flash but i can deal with it
3. freaking expensive!
4. 1gb memory. are you kidding me?!? how do you expect me to buy apps if theres not enough space?!?
5. limited ringer profile controls.
overall great phone! the samsung galaxy s 4g is a Blackberry and iPhone killer for sure!!!
Attractive and capable smartphone for T-Moblie with a great price, two intensely disappointing features February 18, 2012
I have had this smartphone for three months now, and I writing to tell you about the disappointing call quality I am receiving, and the problems with the operating system I have observed. First of all I live in Fort Worth, Texas, and from what I hear call quality can vary from place to place and carrier to carrier and phone to phone, but the reason I am writing this is because when I did the research for this phone CNET said this phone had very good call quality. I disagree. I often hear static and crunchy sounds in my earpiece, so I have to turn the in-call volume way down. I call many different people on many different networks and I hear the distortion everywhere. That is not good. Also, nowhere in any review I read did anyone mention the fact that this phone's operating system is going to fail to sent texts some of the time. I don't get many dropped calls, but frequently my phone will fail to send texts (sometimes 10 per pay) and from what I have read this is because of the Gingerbread operating system and there is nothing I can do about it. And another negative, albeit not a serious one, but the camera's default picture taking settings really put a weird color distortion on whatever it focuses on, which is annoying. Overall the camera is really nice, but the colors are often a little off.
For the positives, the phone and screen are very attractive, the battery is decent giving me about a 24-hour charge with infrequent usage, and THE EXTERNAL SPEAKER IS EXCELLENT. Take care in accepting the bad with the good