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Galaxy S 4G 1

The Samsung Galaxy S 4G is an evolutionary upgrade to the Vibrant with a larger 1,650 mAh battery, a new battery cover, Android 2.2 (Froyo), HSPA+ 21 Mbps support, and a front-facing camera.  The form factor is exactly the same, and save for an updated version of Android, the software interface is almost identical as well.  It launches on Feburary 23rd (Wednesday) for $199.99 after rebate and a two-year agreement.  I spent the weekend toying with Samsung's newest Android handset, and here's what I discovered:

  • Android 2.2 is a nice bump from 2.1, though with Gingerbread appearing on handsets, Froyo is so yesterday.  Joking aside, the inclusion of 2.2 brings the usual improvements - app storage on the SD card, Flash 10.1 in the browser, the ability to use cloud-based programs like Google's "Chrome to Phone," and more.  Given Samsung's track record when it comes to software upgrades, I'm curious as to whether the Galaxy S 4G will ever see any updates past Froyo.  If you're okay with that (or you're purchasing for someone that won't care), it's a non-issue.
  • The Galaxy S 4G ships with Inception instead of Avatar.  Leo DiCaprio instead of blue alien people.  Funky dream world instead of mythical planet in another galaxy (pun intended!).  Sounds like a fair trade to me.

Galaxy S 4G 2

  • Interestingly enough, I didn't notice a speed bump from Android 2.1 on the Vibrant to Android 2.2 on the Galaxy S 4G.  The 1 GHz Hummingbird processor works well enough, but the Galaxy S 4G is plagued by the usual hangups that the Vibrant suffers from.  There are some interesting quirks with the capacitive buttons, though.  Every now and then when the device is taxed, the buttons will simply freeze for 3-5 seconds; pushing them does nothing.  After a few moments, the phone jumps out of whatever temporary paralysis it was in and goes back to work.  I have no idea why it does this and if it's my review unit, but be sure to let me know if it happens to yours.
  • The front-facing camera is a nice addition, and T-Mobile bundles Qik out of the box for video calling on the fly.  Wi-Fi calling is a nice touch as well for those times where you're outside of T-Mobile's coverage area.
  • Like the Vibrant, call quality was good, with a loud earpiece and strong speakerphone.  I took the Galaxy S 4G to a T-Mobile dead zone over the weekend, and held the connection, though the audio was too choppy to carry a conversation.

Galaxy S 4G 3

  • While the Galaxy S 4G isn't the first HSPA+ device to land on T-Mobile, it is the first to offer "theoretical peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps."  As you would expect, I haven't seen anything near that in real life testing, but speeds are decent nonetheless.  I've regularly received download speeds between 5 and 6 Mbps, with one test going as high as 8.2 Mbps on the download.  Uploads range have been less predictable, ranging from 0.5 Mbps to 1.9 Mbps, depending on the location.
  • Samsung has boosted the battery from 1,500 mAh to 1,650 mAh.  While it may not seem like a lot, the extra juice made a difference in day-to-day use.  With moderate use like calling, text messaging, browsing the web, and e-mailing, I was able to make it into the second day before the phone powered down.  It's not going to keep the die-hard media fan happy, but if you're coming from another Android device with a smaller battery, you'll probably notice the difference.

The Galaxy S 4G is a good revision from the Samsung Vibrant and can easily compete with the T-Mobile myTouch 4G and G2, but given that they're all in the $199.99 price range, I'd probably recommend one of the latter two due to the speed differences.  What speed differences, you say?  You'll have to wait for the full review!


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30 Reactions to this post

"Aaron gives his first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S 4G. Is it worth buying, or are you holding out for something better?"


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Kimberly Hightower Hinojosa Sounds like my Samsung Intercept, the buttons freeze and the jump out of whatever you were doing.
Monique Renee Heidenberg Na. Not a fan of Samsung. Ill be getting my HTC Thunderbolt.
Marti Ruiz 1650 MAh can i use that to my galaxy s
Fanny Ong Galaxy S 2 is better than Galaxy S 4G
Prince Oberoni Sticking around t mobile for the galaxy s 2
Zach Cline It's a samsung. Of course it isn't worth buying.
Ali Hachem its all the same as samsung vibrant 1 except its 4g and has hd camera with no flash that sucks
Anthony Bui Looks like a iPhone 3GS, wth.
Santiago Alexander Cruz Looking forward to watching the vid, when I get off work=]
Ramón Arcadió Cabrera I'm writing this comment with my vibrate.....I loved it for a few months, but then came all the firmware.....thanx, but no thanx....I'm going to back 2 HTC, they keep any promises they make to their customers
Daniel Marcano The galaxy s2 for sprint would be bad ass if they title it the epic 2, with a keyboard like the OG. It wouldent surprise me. And its something ill def be pauing attention to. I have an evo, ny wife has a epic. I recrntly started playing with it. And I think I can do without htc sence hogging my battery.
Shana Harris Hey Aaron
Lieb Chol If samsungs on it I'm not getting it. Nothinbut HTC from now on.
Ahmed Jamal Ibraihimi @Tom Chavira and apple is waiting for 30g so that they can make 30% profit from them......
Ahmed Jamal Ibraihimi @Tom Chavira u r waiting for 5g and microsoft is waiting for 7g so that they could launch their mobiles with some g's on them which could match their no. of WP which is 7.... :-)
Robbie Estrada Im at the NBA Jam Session in L.A. amd they have the Galaxy 4G. Its super fast. Downlink at 12mbps on speedtest.net app, indoors. Camera resolution, way better than previous model. Its a winner.
Anthony Douglas Has anyone used this device in 4g? If so, how was your experience?
Victor Rios I am holding out for something better because I have the myTouch 4G and because I have to wait until next year...by then T-Mobile will have something way better.
Jackson Gainey Its on T-Mobile. The Samsung galaxy indulge is on metro PCS. and there completely different phones...I think the galaxy S 4G is going to be pretty good although I don't think its that big of an upgrade from my vibrant...
Jeremy Davenport Were still on 3g us cellular
Dan Tucker Unless it's AOSP #neveragain Samsung
Lourdes Perez sure am holding out till something better. I have the vibrant 3G and this phone looks the same except it has a camera on the front and off 4G holla at me when a 3D phone comes out or something worth getting
Tom Chavira How far is the 5G network along from hitting the mobile carriers? I'm getting tired of 4G
Ernesto Moreno and the camera still lacks flash. fail. ugly design to.
Cody Moore Do you have a droid x vs droid incredible vid posted on YouTube
Joshua Bender Horton For metro pcs its decent.
Phillip Walker It's on T-mobile bro.
Anthony Domanico That won't do it any good on T-Mobile ;) Or is metro PCS picking this up too?
John Cruz Its pretty good for metro pcs




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