Samsung Galaxy S 4G Review

March 25, 2011
28

Behold a rather familiar customer upgraded to meet the needs of the ravenous hoards of Galaxy S users across the country. This is the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, and if you're still reading this paragraph, you've quite obviously never picked this phone up with your own hands. It's a nearly perfect replica of the Samsung Vibrant that you may well be rather familiar with save for a couple of differences: a front-facing camera and a super odd super awesome back cover with a dash of pazaazz, making it look like a lighting mistake whenever I take photo - every time!

First Impressions

When first handed this phone at a conference, I remember wondering if someone had forgotten to put the battery inside because it seemed too light. Once I found that the battery was, indeed, in the phone, and that this was the total weight, I would have been impressed, but I was already watching Inception. I was inside of what I was inside of. This phone comes prepared to deliver the film Inception to you via a bit of a login to T-Mobile's media distribution area where you can essentially have the video instantly - and it looks nice! I've had the phone for about a week now and I can tell you instantly that this phone will have no problem holding its own against the rest of its family.

The 4-inch Super AMOLED display behaves and appears rather fantastically, displaying the film Inception as well as all the games your brain can handle while remaining such a small power user that you'll easily get 24 hours of use without going back for a charge. Cameras work fine at 5-megapixels on the back and less than 2 on the front: as a note, here, we'd like manufacturers to up their ante when it comes to front-facing cameras. Detail in everything, please.

Performance

As it was just noted, the display works really well. Brightness a must, and when the 1GHz Hummingbird processor gets a flying, you'll be seeing some real sweet and smooth action happening. TouchWiz is installed and active, and I've got to say, personally, that these newer versions of TouchWiz are really growing on me. For the longest time I've been a fan of strictly 3rd-party user interfaces, but Samsung really appears to be going in the right direction these days.

We're running Android 2.2.1 Froyo, which the world of course knows to be a massively excellent system, and it's rolling around on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network for T-Mobile's version of what they call 4G. We know that this network is not the fastest of the bunch, but heck, it's certainly beyond anything we've seen even a few years ago, and that's saying something. Need an app? Wait about a minute MAX and you'll have it. Want to load a webpage? Basically instant.

Wrap-Up

While this phone is set to be dwarfed in one feature or another by phones coming out in the months ahead, I'll tell you this: here is a solid Android phone we know to be capable of doing anything an average user might want it to do, and it's inexpensive, and it's extremely light. The Samsung Galaxy S 4G comes from the most successful line of Android phones in the history of Android, so you should have no worries on whether or not it'll be worth your time - it will be!

What you've got to decide now, if you're considering purchasing an Android phone, is if you're going to want to stick to a lineage of proven phones such as this one, or if you're going to toss your cash in a barrel marked "oddity." There's a whole slew of Android phones coming out sooner than later that offer up more than just a dedicated Android experience. But is "more" better? And how well do you like T-Mobile? Know these things before you step in the store, and ye shall know the truth.


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  • http://profiles.google.com/cjackxiii Oscar Martinez

    Samsung 4g = Iphone 3g. Samsung really needs a redesign. I would really wish the team that designed the zune hd would design an android phone. HTC has found its design groove as well as Motorola. But Samsumg appears content looking like an iphone nockoff,

    • http://androidcommunity.com/ Chris Burns

      lolz

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KLK7CATMDGJI72FL57VKXT2R5Y James

      It might look similar to an iPhone 3G, but i wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, and in every other respect, it wipes the floor with any iPhone.

  • http://profiles.google.com/cjackxiii Oscar Martinez

    Samsung 4g = Iphone 3g. Samsung really needs a redesign. I would really wish the team that designed the zune hd would design an android phone. HTC has found its design groove as well as Motorola. But Samsumg appears content looking like an iphone nockoff,

  • Mr Zuloo

    Is it me or did Samsung not include a flash for the camera again? I guess it’s a good phone if you don’t like taking pictures but with so much competition out there why would you buy it. LAME!

    • http://androidcommunity.com/ Chris Burns

      ive never met a smartphone camera flash that i liked

      • noneya

         Just about any HTC phone with flash has a pretty decent picture and not washed out. BUT, HTC has HORRID quality control which is why I went through 8 Mytouch 4G’s for numerous reasons before getting T-Mobile to send me a Galaxy S 4G.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KLK7CATMDGJI72FL57VKXT2R5Y James

      Because every other aspect is fucking amazing?

  • Anonymous

    No flash or notification light?

  • Anonymous

    No flash or notification light?

    • http://androidcommunity.com/ Chris Burns

      nope, nope

  • http://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/shopping/ Cheap Shopping

    I buy mine yesterday and the NO FLASH was my only concern. I test it`s camera in my room with just some light was coming from the window I take picture with NIGHT MODE ON and it actually looked like it had FLASH!! So with No Flash. I live this phone

  • http://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/shopping/ Cheap Shopping

    I buy mine yesterday and the NO FLASH was my only concern. I test it`s camera in my room with just some light was coming from the window I take picture with NIGHT MODE ON and it actually looked like it had FLASH!! So with No Flash. I live this phone

    • http://androidcommunity.com/ Chris Burns

      excellent!

  • Missvampunk

    i have the Samsung Galaxy 3G. Would it be worth it to upgrade. I really like this one.. it does what I need it to do.. and the fact that its an iPhone knock off is funny. I have problems with my fingers so its easy to use the screen. I got the one with Avatar.. never saw the movie and really not going to but i like the other moive LOL

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KLK7CATMDGJI72FL57VKXT2R5Y James

      iPhone knock-off? Yeah, I don’t think so. It shares some design similarities, but it is way more powerful, has a larger, SuperAMOLED display that is better than any other smartphone display currently on the market, it has way more features and functionality, and has a more advanced, open and customizable OS. So yeah, iPhone knock-off my ass.

      • noneya

         Like the iPhone, yes. So much so that Apple is taking Samsung to court over it.

    • Ivan

      I had an upgrade so I got the mytouch 4g first and I liked it but I didn’t. The speakers were terrrible! I really didn’t like the way it looked. Very unprofessional looking!! It was real glitchy too.So I traded it in for a galaxy s 4g. So far the phone is very good. It doesn’t have a flash but no big deal. Its fast and does everything the mytouch did. The speakers are better! The video is good. People don’t seem to like this phone because its like the vibrant but I never had the vibrant so this is a good upgrade for me from my blackberry! Speed wise next to the mytouch it was faster at some things and the mytouch was faster at others. Galaxy S gets a few more dropped calls more than mytouch but alot better than iphone for dropped calls! This is a great phone for now!! I know in 6 months all the new phones will be better but this will do for now!!

    • Jaelaoshi

      Do not upgrade, I have gone through 6 of the “new” 4G S phones, every single one of them froze on calls, mute calls on its own, the screen would freeze mid call, and you can’t un-mute, or take off speaker, or even end your call! The system freezes, and your phone will not work for HOURS unless you take your battery out. I had the exact same problem with all 6 phones, and they were all returned via T-Mobile. I am getting an entirely different phone now.

  • Missvampunk

    i have the Samsung Galaxy 3G. Would it be worth it to upgrade. I really like this one.. it does what I need it to do.. and the fact that its an iPhone knock off is funny. I have problems with my fingers so its easy to use the screen. I got the one with Avatar.. never saw the movie and really not going to but i like the other moive LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rene-G-Solis/601114455 Rene G. Solis

    I hope for the next Galaxy S2 they add HDMI out, DLNA and WIDI, an HD front facing cam of 3mp or so and FINALLY a freaking camera flash!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Okafor-Richmond-Xavier/1849757700 Okafor Richmond Xavier

    the knwn sweet machine

  • Bill Hicks

    I love my Galaxy. The screen is so beautiful. The only downside is the poor battery life. I picked up the Phonesuit Core for an external battery, I’m a road warrior, and it gives a ton of extra juice. Check it out here: http://www.phonesuit.com/primo-power-core-battery-pack-for-tablets-phones/

  • AustinMHaskins

    Great review Chris, definitely enjoyed your comments.

  • AustinMHaskins

    Great review Chris, definitely enjoyed your comments.

  • http://profiles.google.com/bulletforcoheed manuel guerrero

    I only use flash for finding things when it is dark, which is a lot of times used, usually flash stinks on most phones.

    this I would say is not that great, i’m returning it for the Optimus 2x because the GS4g has crashed on me twice, angry birds lags (sucks because hummingbird is said to be primarily for gaming) wifi hasn’t worked yet, and mobile hotspot (or ap) ocasionally did not work or stopped working. Nexus One was way better but the 4g and Front Facing camera our this phone’s strengths

  • Richaddington

    So I had galaxy 1, now I have number 2. Great deal, always be better than the iphone 4g I had. Lighter,than light and looks, feels, and runs perfect.

  • Tina Urrutia

    i have a samsung galaxy s 4g and like to know how can i get a light on my phone so when someone texts me help…….