Galaxy is surreally desirable


Having tasted my first real Android experience in the mold of HTC Desire, I had another opportunity to lay my hands on Samsung’s new Android flagship product, Galaxy S. I am not sure what does the “S” means, but one cannot be faulted for assuming it is  Galaxy “Supreme”, based on its technical specification, and my initial impression of the phone.

In my short 20 minutes hands on, I was deeply impressed by its form factor and its captivating Super Active-Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (Super AMOLED) screen. First of all, it’s thin with a 4″ wide screen, a size that I feel more comfortable after having used to HTC HD and HTC HD2, which have screen size of 3.8″ and 4.3″ respectively. I just find the 3.7″ screen in the HTC Desire, a tad too small for me.  The Galaxy S has  just the right size, and to top it all, it is only 9.9mm slim and weighs only 118g. My only gripe is its piano-finishing battery cover, which is going to be a fingerprint magnet. The fact that the battery cover is made of polyurethanes material, doesn’t make it any more “cheap plasticky”, as I thought the overall build quality is solid.

Now the screen; it looks  stunning to the naked eyes, but once I put it side by side against HTC Desire, with the brightness level maximised for both devices, I find the difference is marginal, if any. I suspect the main reason behind this nano difference, is Samsung’s decision to maintain similiar brightness level, so as to maximize the power consumption efficiency. Afterall, a Super AMOLED screen is statistically capable of achieving 20% better brightness at 20% lesser power consumption level, in comparison to a AMOLED screen.  So if Galaxy S is designed and manufactured at the same brightness specification  as the AMOLED screen, then mathematically one can achieve 33% reduction in the power consumption. Not bad!  (Note: I did observed that the power consumption in Galaxy S much better than that in Desire. It’s not scientifically proven though that it is due to the above mentioned theory, but if anybody can confirm that, please let me know)

In the end, the brief experience was enough to lure me into the Samsung Galaxy S camp. So I got a set a few days later, and begin my Android journey, ehm,  officially. Afterall, the HTC Desire is technically a “T-loan” unit from yeez, and my other Android experience was really Android Cupcake half baked into my old HTC HD.

Having used the phone for the last few days, my conclusion of Galaxy S and Desire comparison is basically  hardware versus software. It is without a shadow of doubt that Galaxy S just shines in almost every aspect of hardware departments, except maybe the flash-less camera (and if I want to be nitpick, lack of LED notification light). I can however forgive the lack of flash, for its superb video taking capability. On paper, it can take 720p video at 30 frame per seconds,  but what counts at the end of the day is the actual quality of the video captured in reality. And I have to say it is almighty impressive, as it  could take a good video without any ghosting effect. Probably the best video capture capability I have come across for a smart phone.

Now, when it comes to software arena, HTC Desire is the clear winner by a mile. HTC sense  and its  home screen widgets,  spice up the otherwise default boring android home screen. One can draw the similarity from the  Windows Mobile devices; that without the Windows Mobile version of HTC sense, it is ladened by a functional but very dated Today screen. HTC has established itself as a smartphone leader, not because of its superior hardware specification, but its ability to mate the hardware and software (regardless of Android or Windows Mobile platform) to address the different needs of various mobile market segments. Samsung, on the other hand, has tried too hard to emulate iPhone, loosing it s own DNA. Its  TouchWiz user interface and the bubble style conversation for text messagin, are just some examples of that. Thankfully, there are applications like  LauncherPro, which can reinstate the iPhone wannabe back to the real android Galaxy S where it should be.

49 thoughts on “Galaxy is surreally desirable

  1. zippiz says:

    Thanks for sharing, they booth seems to be really great phones but Desires lack of real multi touch turned me off from buying one. Now I have Galaxy on order, and I’m happy I waited since it has both real multi touch and a far superior GPU to handle 3d. Yeah, i love games 🙂

  2. sth says:

    thanks for the detailed comparison which I’m sure will help a lot of people, but i have a question about gaming, do having no d-pad (or what-ever you call it arrow keys ) make it hard to play?and how is the wireless n performance in terms of speed and range?

    thanks again

  3. zen says:

    @zippiz, Desire have multi touch as well. Not sure what you meant when you said it lacks real multi touch.

    @sth, I don’t really play game, so I don’t know the issue about the missing dpad on games. Wireless and performance is great, but I do find that with too many apps / widgets, the device can crawl, so I recommend having ‘fast reboot’ app to refresh the device once a day at least.

    • zippiz says:

      Hi again… well, the Desire only supports dual touch… here is a video to show you the problem.

  4. Elinsa says:

    Hi!

    How did you get LauncherPro to work correctly? I can’t seem to get my phonebook to work with LauncherPro on my Galaxy S.

  5. zen says:

    @Elinsa,

    what is the exact problem you face with phonebook and launcherpro? I don’t have any problem, just make sure you upgraded to the latest version.

  6. zen says:

    @Elinsa, that’s right. I think v0.5.4 (which is the version before the latest) can’t change the shortcut. Glad its all well for you now.

  7. zen says:

    @zippiz, the video shows better sensitivity on the Samsung Galaxy S screen, but it doesn’t necessary conclude that Desire is not multi-touch. It is multi touch screen at the end of the day. And frankly speaking, for real life usage, I don’t see any problem with HTC Desire.

  8. paw says:

    Hey, thanks for the comparison, much appreciated.
    How do you think about the capacitive touch buttons on the galaxy s compared to the physical ones on the htc desire? What do you prefer? And do you have any issues by accidentally hitting the capacitive buttons when writing on the qwerty in landscape mode?

  9. I just got the galaxy today… what a phone! 🙂
    Friend of mine mailed me he got his desire in by mailorder (company payed…basterd ;)… anyway, so i wanted to set out to town to get myself one as well, but after checking the interwebs i found the galaxy, so i ran out to town and got it from belcompany (netherlands)… it was the last one, on the first day they were selling it… *big smile*
    my friend wasn’t amused when he saw the differences… i must say, from in direct light comparisons, the super amoled DOES perform a lot better…
    anyway… im still synching songs and trying out apps and bubbling with happiness 🙂

  10. Greg says:

    Thanks for comparison, I’m still deciding between the two, some people have been moaning about the GPS accuracy on the Galaxy S. I’d like to use My Tracks so need good GPS, did you have any problems?

    • zen says:

      @Greg, no problem with GPS. I do noticed that if you turned on Wifi, it’ll affect your GPS location acquisition fix process.

  11. @Greg: Haven’t had any problems here. Hooking it up to google latitude (or any google service so far for that matter) worked in a jiffy… While i was trying to find my own location on google maps, latitude automatically corrected the location and gave me a list of hooked up friends which i could search up.
    I downloaded some gps radar tool (“gps test”) which shows how many sat’s you’s ‘seeing’ and that’s usually around 7, with around 4 connected. Apparently that’s more then enough for decent triangulation.

    Made an iPhone user almost cry yesterday when he checked out the difference between his simple led, and my super amoled… lol… played booty luv (videoclip) in 720p…beautifull quality 🙂

    One thing I did notice is that the battery doesnt last THAT long if your trying out all the options and apps… i drained it like that in about half a day :(… but under normal use (with apps) it holds out fine.. charged it yesterday morning, battery now (24hr later) at 90% still.

    ps. hope Samsung brings out the 2.2 upgrade for android soon..

    • Greg says:

      Thanks again.. I went and got the galaxy S today and so far so good, but beign carefull untill I can go out get a screen protector for it. Girl friends moaning that i’m playing with the new toy all the time 😀 Think i’ll give that Laucher pro a go though as home screens could look better.

    • zen says:

      louder than Desire from what I see. You can see the video, when I play Youtube on the two devices, the sound from GalaxyS almost drown that from Desire.

  12. PinLocker says:

    Hi…I was wondering if the Galaxy S suffers from the same keyboard problem for Pins that you mentioned in your Desire blog review?

    Thx.

    • zen says:

      Galaxy S doesn’t even force pin lock action! So while it does not have the pin key problem I mentioned in HTC Desire, it poses a more serious security issue. Right now I’m using pattern lock, I am not comfortable with that given that it’s easily hackable (the permutation is 9! vs 9^9)

  13. shreyas says:

    hi..i got my galaxy s yest evening..dwnloaded launcher pro..wanted to know where do u get good aps and wallpapers from this phone?…as stock launcherpro wallpaers do not have the 1 u hv. i am very happy with the phone..but did notice the battery drain when using a lot of apps + gps + wireless. 😦
    the recorder is awesome.
    1 more thing i wanted to know ..they say the screen is scratchproof..so do i still need a screen guard?
    also if i want to put movies and music videos in it..do i need to specially encode them into the reqd resolution or can we play normal hd videos directly as from the computer..cause they used to lag like hell on my old galaxy 7500.
    sry for the large post XD
    thanks a lot!

    • zen says:

      @shreyas,

      sorry for the late reply. You get download beautiful live wallpaper or the anikoi live wallpaper but the latter is a paid app.

      for screen protector, to be safe you may want to get a screenguard to prevent scratches. I have seen how scratch proof my previous HD2 screen was (there are videos on how penknife and sharp object couldn’t scratch off the scren) but yet I ended up with a 2mm hairline scratch.

      for the movies/music, as long as they are standard encoding (i.e. mp4/mpg/avi/etc and mp3 for musics) it should work.

  14. zora says:

    so overall u prefer the galaxy s right..? man im still in two minds as to which to get..! however im on contrract and the htc has sold out and they dont no when they will get more in stock..! so i have to wait if i want the htc.. whereas as the samsung s new there are many in stock at the mo so i could just get that asap..! im so confused as to which one to get between the two.. i heard so many good things about the htc but only today i found out about the htc desire..!

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