Published by Walri on Wednesday, 16th June 2010
Three new models top and tail Samsung’s Galaxy range
The key push by handset makers is to shrink down their high end smartphones into lower cost phones for the mass market. Samsung fleshed out its growing Android line-up with midrange models, the Galaxy 3 and Galaxy 5 this week. These will join the existing models, Galaxy and its own cutdown version, Galaxy Lite – and debut about the same time as the high end model, Galaxy S.
Samsung unveiled the two new models at the CommunicAsia2010 in Singapore, which points to an Asian launch, but the firm said they will also come to Europe next month. No carrier announcements yet, but these are likely to be targeted at low cost contracts and particularly at the prepaid market. Prepaid Androids are few and far between still, but more models will flood to join the HTC Tattoo and Smart, and the Huawei Pulse, in this segment.
The new phones will come free with basic contracts or will cost about $250 and $290 unsubsidized. Both phones have a similar user experience to their big brothers, as they will run Samsung's own TouchWiz 3.0 widgets-based interface on top of Android 2.1, plus the integrated messaging and social networking system seen on Galaxy S, called Social Hub. They will also come with Layar's augmented reality software preinstalled.
So, software-wise, the phones pack a real punch, up there with the Android 2.1 bighitters. Where the compromises are seen is in the hardware – the 3.2-inch touchscreen on the Galaxy 3 is respectable but the 3-megapixel camera is low end, especially for Samsung. The cheaper Galaxy 5 is even lower end in specs, with 2.8-inch touchscreen and 2-mp camera, but has faster HSPA, at 7.2Mbps.
Its stablemate only supports 3.6Mbps HSPA is supported, but bother phones have fast Wi-Fi with the new 11n standard supported. This is important for the mass market, where users often have low end or pay-as-you-go cellular data plans so will look to use Wi-Fi wherever possible for content, apps and browsing. Both models also offer FM radio and A-GPS.
Samsung also showed off the Galaxy Beam at CommunicAsia. This is the first Android smartphone that comes with a pico projector, playing to its vendor’s traditional video strengths. It can show movies and images at 640 x 480 pixel resolution but the projector could drain battery. Otherwise, the Beam is similar to the Galaxy S, with high end specs including Android 2.1m 3.7-inch Super AMOLED display, 8-megapixel camera and integrated Wi-Fi access point.
The firm also announced its latest Windows Mobile 6.5 offerings, Omnia Pro 4 and Omnia Pro 5, and two phones for its own Bada software platform, Wave 2 and Wave 2 Pro.
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