Samsung Galaxy Y is one of the entry level Android phones and after the usage for a couple days, we could say that the other mobile phones at the same price range, especially the Android phones from other brands, are far behind in features, design and specifications when compared to the Galaxy Y. It comes with everything that can be called Decent, and the people who needs a good feel of Android operating system, in a low budget can go with the Galaxy Y. “Y” stands for young, Samsung bringing this into the market with the young age users in mind, who take the design and the interface in mind, more than anything else. Below goes the detailed review.
Click on the links to go to particular parts of the review:
- Design & Screen of Galaxy Y
- Operating System, Interface and Applications
- Connectivity of Galaxy Y
- Camera of Galaxy Y
- Battery and Memory
- Pricing and Final Verdict
Design & Screen
The Samsung Galaxy Y has a design that resembles all its older siblings, especially the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Ace. It has a curvy body with a thickness not too much to mention about, and the front side has a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen (read that: Capacitive touchscreen, with a good touch response), and below that, is the 2 touch sensitive keys on the either side of the center home key. The touch sensitive keys on the left and right are menu and back key respectively, which are displayed only when the screen is active. The body is light, indicating the plastic cover which actually looks like a hard metal finish, except the back panel which is similar to what the Galaxy Ace has. The rear side has a camera and the speaker just beside to it, and the matte finish panel has the Samsung logo engraved near the bottom. The side panels are just similar to most of the other Galaxy devices, left side having the volume jack keys and the right side having the lock/unlock key.
The dimensions of the Galaxy Y are 58 x 104 x 11.5 mm, making it a compact and neat device with a light weight of just 98 grams.
The Screen is 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, with a screen being a low-grade one, which be reason no. 1 in the most favorable reasons for the low price. The resolution of the screen is 240 x 320 pixels, and the display is no where comparable to any of the screens of Galaxy S, S II, Ace etc. but still the picture quality shown is not the one that can be thrown aside. The video viewing and web browsing experience is not that good, given the small screen resolution for the 3-inch screen. Either the screen should have been smaller by half-an-inch or the resolution be higher to provide a better display.
Interface, Operating System and Applications
The Galaxy Y comes with the latest version of the Android operating system, a big win situation for buyers as they won’t have a hassle of hitting the update button and waiting for an update as soon as they buy the phone. It comes with the Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread operating system, and the phone has got a 832 MHz processor which is decent enough for the low specifications and the display given, though Samsung should have packed in a better processor when it is sending out all other Galaxy phones with at least 1 GHz processors. But alas, this could be reason no. 2 for the low pricing?
Starting up the phone is quite fast, and the home screen welcomes you with a bunch of apps and the Google search box on one of the multiple home screens. The maximum number of homescreens that can be set is 7, similar to the other Gingerbread phones, but you would see a little lag in opening of apps and scrolling through these home screens when all would be filled up with widgets and app shortcuts. The interface is a typical Samsung-Android interface with nothing bad, and at the same time, nothing too extraordinary to talk about. The bottom of the screen has 4 fixed icons – Phone, Contacts, Messaging and Applications/Home.
The default apps that already come in the Galaxy Y apart from the Camera, Clock, Memo, Market, Music, Gmail etc. are the FM Radio, Social Hub, Youtube, Places, Latitude, Task Manager, Voice Recorder, Downloads section etc. and the Quickoffice app which would help in editing and viewing the Microsoft office files in the phone.
The notification panel has 5 options to toggle – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Sound/Vibration alert, Auto Rotation toggling. To make more changes in just a couple clicks, you could have the Power Control widget placed on the homescreen, using which you can again change the settings of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Rotation and the Brightness.
The Gallery has pictures organized well enough in various folders depending on their origin (Camera, Bluetooth etc.), and there are several options one could see in the menu while a single picture is opened. You get to see the sharing options through Bluetooth, Gmail, Messaging, Picasa etc. by default.
The other applications have similar options and settings just like the other Samsung Gingerbread phones, and the phone settings section too has stuff that can be compared, except a few like the missing Sensor aiding, missing Synchronizing options and default USB settings.
The touch experience is quite good, with a pretty good touch response but still the bottom keys do not respond really well, unless you press a little heavier than the normal feather touch that the Galaxy S responds to. The touch being a capacitive one, is the reason for the phone being user friendly, or else there are a lot more options in the market when a search is made for the entry level Android phones.
Samsung has not left anything missing when we talk about the connectivity, with the plethora of connectivity options available, through the high/low speed wired/wireless network connections. 3G connectivity is possible, apart from the connectivity options like the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the GPS satellites location based connectivity.
While having the 3G service on, you have an option for the phone to select the 2G network automatically when the 3G is not available at that particular time or place. The Galaxy Y can be used as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, whose internet connection can be used by 5 device through Wi-Fi at the same time, or else the USB tethering option is also available for the sharing of internet with a particular computer.
The long pressing of the Power/Lock key doesn’t provide an option of turning the Data Network mode on/off, so you may need to go to the Settings > Wireless & Network to enable or disable the Data network anytime.
If someone is going to buy the Galaxy Y, they should forget it has a camera at all. The picture quality is poor, though the lens is of 2-megapixel. There is no flash, and the highest picture resolution is 1600×1200 pixels, but the large size picture when viewed on a computer screen shows a blurry image, however still it was captured. Reason no. 3 for the low cost, but a 3.2-megapixel wouldn’t have been so wrong. The imaging under the direct sun light is appreciable though, but in little darker environment totally sucks.
Battery and Memory
The battery backup of the phone is not very high, but you get a few good hours of continuous talk time on a single full charge. Its the 1200 mAh battery, which is quite good for the low-end processor and the specifications. Given the small screen resolution and poor display, the battery eaten up is not much. On a single charge, with the background data, Wi-Fi, GPS, data network all turned off, the phone stayed well enough for more than 36 hours.
The memory given initially is 4GB through an extra MicroSD card provided in the pack, but it can be expanded to 32GB using the MicroSD card slot.
Final Verdict and Pricing
The Samsung Galaxy Y is one of the Android phones which could give you a good experience of the Android interface at a low budget, priced in market at around INR 7000, and the specifications are decent enough for one to buy and play around with it. There are of course a few competitors in this price range from the other brands, like the HTC Explorer, Micromax Andro etc. but the compact and nice design can take away the score above others. Overall, a phone one can buy when they have a low budget in mind.
Image Credit: cnet.com reviews