Android App Ratings & Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S 4G Review on T-Mobile

The T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 4G smartphone is the successor to the widely popular Samsung Vibrant (also a Galaxy S device). While the Galaxy S 4G on T-Mobile bears many similarities to the original Vibrant, it has a few notable features which makes it a logical upgrade for current and new T-Mobile customers. The Android powered smartphone launched on February 23, 2011 for $199 on a two year contract. However, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G can now be bought on T-Mobile for $129.99 on a two year contract.

Design/Display

The successor to the Vibrant bears the same 4 inch Super AMOLED Display.  Within the display, users have access to seven different home pages, so you can easily make a homepage for certain types of apps.  The main, default keyboard is Swype, but users have the ability to change that to the default Samsung keyboard instead.  Aesthetically speaking, it the front of the device looks identical to the Vibrant, but the back of the Galaxy S 4G has a silver finish instead of being all black like the Vibrant.  In addition, the phone weighs only 4.16 ounces, giving it the same lightweight feel characteristic of the Vibrant.

You may remember that the Vibrant came with Avatar preloaded.  The Samsung Galaxy S 4G features a more recent film in Inception.  The gorgeous Super AMOLED display makes Inception extremely fun to watch on-the-go or in the comfort of your own home.  Of course, you can always download other films from the Samsung Media Hub app (for a nominal fee), or you can transfer your own videos from your computer to your phone.

Features/Performance

The main two upgrades of the Samsung Galaxy S 4G over the Samsung Vibrant is the addition of a front facing VGA camera for video communication and the addition of a 4G radio.  By operating on T-Mobile’s 4G network, the Galaxy S 4G can reach theoretical speeds of 21Mbps.  However, the word “theoretical” is used in almost all press releases issued by T-Mobile because it is quite unlikely that you will experience such high speeds, but let me just say that the 4G speed is a little bit faster than my Verizon Wireless home DSL Internet connection.  T-Mobile even throws in the 4G Mobile Hotspot option to create a WiFi hotspot for other WiFi enabled devices.

The front facing camera is a nice addition to an otherwise solid smartphone.  It allows for video communication and portrait photos.  The Galaxy S 4G comes with Qik preloaded, but users can found other video communication apps in the Market for download.  T-Mobile allows video chat to take place over its network and WiFi, however, WiFi may work better since its typically a more stable and faster connection.

It maintains the same 5MP with 720p video recording found in the Samsung Vibrant.  Unfortunately, Samsung did not throw in flash, which is disappointing because night pictures and pictures taken in low-light situations are not as clear and crisp as pictures taken with flash.

The Galaxy S 4G runs on Android 2.2 with Adobe Flash 10.1, and Vibrant users are well aware of how long it took for their device to finally receive Froyo, so the fact that the Galaxy S 4G runs Froyo out of the box is already a positive.  It is powered by a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, which is identical to the Vibrant’s processor.  It may not be dual-core, but it certainly handles many tasks simultaneously often without missing a beat.  However, I must mention the fact that it is unresponsive to apps once in a while, but I’ve noticed many Android powered smartphones to suffer from the same sluggishness.

With 16GB of onboard space, owners of the smartphone will have plenty of space for their apps, music, videos, and photos.  If 16GB is not enough, you can always expand it to 32GB.  It comes with many pre-loaded apps such as T-Mobile TV, Samsung Media Hub, Qik, doubleTwist, Airsync, Slacker Radio, and Kindle for Android.

In addition, I found the call quality to be excellent in my hometown in New Jersey, where I primarily tested the phone.  Hearing the caller on speakerphone was also fine, as the voice came out clear and smooth.  The recipient also reported hearing my voice clear as well.
Final Thoughts
For $129.99 on a two year contract, I would definitely recommend the Samsung Galaxy S 4G for customers who enjoy light, sleek, touch screen devices coupled with 4G speeds, 5MP camera, and a front facing camera.  While it may not contain top-of-the-line specs compared to devices who possess dual-core processors, bigger screens, and high resolution cameras, it definitely holds it own at an affordable price.

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