We are all aware of how good Samsung has been in the world-wide smart-phone market, ever since they overtook electronic giants-Nokia. And it was just recently that they released the ‘Third Generation’ Samsung Galaxy. Dubbed the GT I9300 or Galaxy SIII the device promises a bright future for the company. However, the Samsung device in question here is an S Plus.
The back of the phone however, remains bare with just the 5.0 megapixel camera and speaker taking spot. The right side adds a lock button, whereas the left holds the volume rocker.
A 3.5 mm jack and a protected USB port is present on the top of the phone, but the whole phone falls prey to fingerprints (really irritating, that).
Technically, the S Plus runs on Android OS v2.3 Ginger and has a BreadQualcomm MSM8255T Snapdragon chipset running a 1.4 GHz Scorpion CPU. It is all quite impressive, but the Adreno 205 GPU really is a turn down, as it even falls short of its older S. (A faster GPU is always good, when it comes to playing high-quality games and videos in the browser, not in this case, though.)
8GB internal memory is available, and it ought to fulfill a normal persons needs. But you can always expand it using an SD card (32 GB max), so there will be no need to be circumspect when it comes to downloading newer memory-eating games, videos and applications.
Image quality is neat, and there is not much compression, although there is still a lack of flash and a dedicated-camera key, considering competitors packs in such features.
Here are a few shots using the GT I9001...
Here is a small video sample I found of the 5.0 mega-pixel shooting at 720p on YouTube…
The gallery of the device is quite niche. The Samsung I9001 Galaxy S Plus contains underneath the stock Android gallery, rather than a custom TouchWiz version. The cool 3D looks and transition effects are also quite nice to see, but they only show a downsized version of your images.
Images and videos are placed in different folders and appear in different sub-galleries that automatically get the name of the folder, which is very convenient - just like a file manager.
The music player is also very functional and easy-to-use. In addition, equalizer presets are enabled on the Galaxy S Plus along with Samsung’s DNSe technology. The audio output is equally impressive in its own rights. It may not be ultra-sophisticated and clear like that of the S2, but it does its job quite well.
Now, talking about the apps, there is no short of it as one can easily grab em’ from ‘Google Play’ (formerly known as Android Market). And considering that the store is much superior to ‘Nokia Store’, one is entitled to some long nights of browsing and downloading.
Also impressive is the inclusion of preloaded apps like ‘All Share’, ‘Layar’, ‘Whatsapp’ and ‘Samsung Apps’. The phone I tested also came with a neat app called-Viber, which enables people to initiate free voice calls with other users.
We also got our hands on the pre-installed ‘Angry Birds’ game, and at much of the test, we found no lag. However, we were disappointed by the stand-by widgets, as they tend to eat up a majority of the memory and make the phone go really, really slow. An application manager is available, so users can kill apps with just the touch of a button.
Overall, to sum up, the Galaxy S Plus is a real good contender to any Nokia, Apple or LG smart-phone. Further, it bridges the rather dull gap between the Galaxy Y, Ace, Pro and the S, SII, SIII.
The Galaxy S Plus really is a great phone, but I still believe that a lot more potential lies within, and with a better GPU, this phone could have been up there with the big Note and the SII’s. But then its 130 Omani Riyal/ US $337 tag would just look irrelevant.