Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Galaxy S: a few months later

A few months of use have given me some perspective on Samsung's Galaxy S. What I have liked is how easy it was to get Gmail working and configuration of services in general. But several things have been confusing and not so nice: for example the use of calendars or the contact lists. It seems you can maintain several calendars and there are different places where you can store your contact list.

The initial contact list synchronization was not easy as Galaxy S won't work with Apple's iSync. I used SyncMate application but I did not like either. But I can recommend Dropbox as it is a great tool not only to get content onto your smartphone but also to upload pictures from it.

While a do like Android, the system has a lot of room for improvement, the worst thing is the variability on the response time. Sometimes the system is just not interested on what you do. You may get a call you cannot answer for a few seconds because the system is busy doing something else. I do not like that at all.

Another annoying security feature is that access to phone files via Bluetooth allows you to access they filesystem but all folders appear empty. You need to enable BT-visibility file by file. Not the best way to read your photos. And speaking about photos, I was not capable of pushing pictures via Bluetooth. Linux and OS X refused to accept any file from my phone using this method.

Multimedia support was good out of the box and the phone was happy with any AVI file I drop at it, and for that purpose, the microSD socket is the way to go, as it is to have an easy to replace battery.

Firmware upgrade from 2.1 to 2.2 showed some improvements in response time and battery duration. But I still need to charge the battery every single night (remember batteries have a limited number of recharge cycles).

On the plus side, I've found the phone to have good sensitivity (better than iPhone 4) and very good voice quality and an ok handsfree operation. I do not regret my decision and I would buy it again, but I will be happier when some of the not so nice details are gone.

By the way, the worst "demo effect" I experienced when showing the phone to an iPhone owner was that pictures taken did not show up in the media gallery. I had to reboot the phone for fixing this. My friend was, of course, not impressed about the Galaxy S.