By September 29, 2009

Samsung i7500 Galaxy Review

Samsung’s first Android device which was initially released in Germany is now available here in the UK. It has certainly got some stiff competition as HTC’s Hero is now well established and getting pretty good reviews all round. Does the Galaxy stand a chance against the other Android devices already on the market or is it worth waiting for a forthcoming one?


Samsung i7500 Galaxy


What’s in the box:

  • Handset
  • Battery
  • Pouch/Case
  • Charger
  • Earphones
  • USB Cable
  • Software

The Ten Second Review:

Device: Samsung i7500 Galaxy

Price: £435.99

Summary: An Android device sporting a 5MP camera, WiFi, GPS and a 3.2 OLED display.

Best of: WiFi, GPS, OLED Screen

Worst of: Unlock Key, Function Buttons

Samsung i7500 Galaxy Specification:

Samsung GT-I7500 Galaxy specification:
Dimensions:- 115 x 56 x 11.9mm
Battery:- Capacity: 1500 mAh
Display:- 320 x 480 pixels/3.2 inch AMOLED Display
Network:- GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 (Quad-Band) / HSDPA (7.2Mbps)
Camera:- 5 mega-pixels (auto-focus)
Power LED Flash
Video:- Video Streaming
Music:- Supported formats: MP3, AAC, eAAC+ & WMA
Messaging:- SMS / MMS (with video) / E-mail (POP3, SMTP, IMAP4, GMail) / Instant Messaging (Google Talk)
Memory:- 8GB (internal) / microSDHC (external)
Connectivity:- microUSB / 3.5mm AV connector
Bluetooth (2.0)
Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b/g)
Navigation:- AGPS / Google Maps / Google Street View / Google Latitude
Features:- YouTube / Google Calender / Google Search



The top of the Galaxy houses the USB port and also the 3.5mm headset jack.


Galaxy Top


The front contains send/end keys, a menu key on the left, a back button and a home button on the right. In the centre is the D-Pad.


The Galaxy’s keys


The left side contains only the up/down volume rocker.


Left side


On the right can be found the unlock button as well as the camera button.


Right side


On the back of the device is the speaker grill at the base and the camera and flash at the top.


The back of the Galaxy




  • WiFi
  • Camera
  • OLED Display


  • Unlock Button
  • Bad key positioning



I was really looking forward to getting the Galaxy for review as I have had very limited time to use Android devices. Luckily I have a friend who has a HTC Hero and I have been able to have a good go, so I guess I will be comparing the Galaxy against the Hero as well as other operating systems.

Straight out of the box the Galaxy felt great in the hand. Like the Samsung Jet its plastic back cover is super shiny and feels well made. Once turned on and the screen kicks into life the device looked amazing. The OLED display really is so crisp and bright. I’m sure its only a matter of time until other manufactures are also using the same screens. On the forum one question I was asked was how easy the screen was to see in bright conditions. To be honest compared to my Windows devices I would say its on par. Neither are fantastic but I have managed.

Unlike the HTC Hero, the Galaxy runs the standard Android user interface like on the HTC Magic and T-Mobile G1. This consists of three home screens which are all totally customisable. By holding down a point on the screen a menu pops up which allows you to add shortcuts, widgets, folders or change wallpaper. These options are great as it allows you to only have the stuff you really use on the homescreens.

At the top of the homescreen is the notification bar. It also houses important information such as signal strength, battery life and the time, however if you get a notification such as a sms or voicemail a symbol will appear in this bar. To access the information you grab the bar with your finger or thumb and drag it down. This will open the notification bar into a full screen page giving to quick access to messages etc.

At the bottom of the screen is a grey tab button with an arrow on it. By sliding this arrow up it opens the main menu. Again the menu looks great as the icons are on a black background which really makes the coloured icons stand out. I had one major problem with the menu though. I was missing the Android Market icon (Androids app store). So, I thought that it must be located somewhere deeper in the menus but I was wrong. It was not on the handset full stop! I contacted Matt about this and he emailed Samsung who actually phoned him and discussed the problem. They kindly agreed to find out how to resolve the issue and get back to him. Did they call back – NO. Shame on you Samsung. So I now have an Android device which I can not customise with app’s from Android Market. Kind of defeats the whole point of buying the device if you ask me. Although O2 are selling the handset we have failed to actually locate a store that has a Galaxy in stock. So will the retail version have the Android market or not, or have all the handsets gone back to Samsung to be fixed???


Although the Galaxy looks a nice design I don’t think that the buttons on the front of the handset are very user friendly. The left hand side is okay but on the right they have squeezed an extra button in (the home key). It just feels like these buttons are a bit to close together and using one handed feels a little bit odd.  The other button which got really on my nerves is the lock key on the right hand side of the phone. Each time I wanted to do something I had to hold down the lock key for about three/four seconds which when picking the phone up dozens of times a day gets rather frustrating. Most other touch screen devices I have used have had a simple on screen unlock which takes a quarter of the time to complete. I also wasn’t too keen on the D-Pad. Although it does its job I didn’t like it as much as the track ball on the HTC Hero and to be truthful im not sure either handset actually need this feature as its so easy to change screens using the screen itself.


On to a positive feature, the camera. Although the cameras interface is not the best and using the soft keys to get through the menus is a pain, the camera takes good pictures. Outdoors, the pictures are as good as any other 5mp camera phone and indoors the flash does a brilliant job. The quality is without doubt good enough for printing. The video feature also is pretty good but like most phones it looks great on the device but not so hot once on a computer!


Listening to MP3s was also positive. The Metallica test was a huge success! The speaker is fairly loud but listening with the Samsung earphones was fantastic and I would say on par with my ipod. Samsung have always made a good job of there earphones, in my opinion, and they supply these ones with several of there handsets which is good news for music fans. With 8Gb of storage the Galaxy will hold a massive amount of music tracks.

The music interface is also very nice on the Galaxy with simple large on screen buttons. In addition to the album coverwork being displayed also the artist, album and song title are shown.

One thing that does concern me though is the lack of Bluetooth file transfer. Im not sure why this has been left out but I believe its an Android thing. Im sure this will change in time.

With a nice big screen web browsing has to be one of the Galaxy’s selling points and Samsung have not let us down. The OLED screen makes viewing images amazing and although there is no pinch zooming the onscreen zoom options are simple pimple!

A nice feature with the browser is multi tabbing. You can have four tabs open at a time and with a click of the menu button you can see all four tabs on one page, quarter screen, giving you the easiest way to choose which page you wish to return to.

Like most browsers there are numerous settings options such as choosing text size, blocking images, remember passwords and blocking pop ups.

A good browser all round!


Messaging is fine and dandy on the Galaxy. As the phone is an Android device you can easily import GMail contacts and there is a separate app for using GMail. Alternatively you can use any email address and the Galaxy will automatically detect the settings. I set up my Yahoo account and it worked just fine. Typing on the Galaxy is a bit tight in portrait mode but in landscape its relatively easy. The added haptic feedback is a nice touch. I am used to a physical keyboard but I soon picked up typing on the Galaxy and although not as fast as on my Touch Pro2 I surprised myself.


The Galaxy comes with a couple of nice app’s pre-installed. The first being google maps, which seems to be standard now on smartphones and secondly a YouTube client. Both worked well and its a shame I couldn’t download any others!



So do I like the Galaxy as much as the Hero – No, and I cant see many people disagreeing with me once they have used both. It does what its meant to do and it does it well but its just not as nice. I was bitterly disappointed with Samsung’s failure to sort out the Android Market issue and had I been able to download other app’s then maybe the race would have been a bit closer.

Its still early days for Android and the best is yet to come but at the moment the Hero is still in the lead, for the time being at least.

If you have any questions regarding this handset please use the forum and I will do my best to answer.


Review by: James

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

Five year veteran of the site. BlackBerry specialist, but experienced in most operating systems. Enjoys flower arranging and cross stitch.
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