Review: Samsung Galaxy Y


[This review originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of Gadgets Magazine]

By Michelle Callanta-Toledo

Form factor: Candybar
OS: Android OS, v2.3.5 (Gingerbread)
LCD size and classification: 3-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen, 256K colors; 240 x 320 pixels
Physical Dimension: 104 x 58 x 11.5 mm
Weight: 97.5 g
Band: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900; HSDPA 900 / 2100
Internal memory: 180 MB; microSD, up to 32GB

Say you wanted to get acquainted with Android and all of the things Android can do but don’t want to break the bank. Then I recommend the Samsung Galaxy 7 for starters. Of course there’s no denying that the Php 4,990 retail price with Smart’s Netphone Edition is nothing short of appealing. But aside from that, you get a phone that’s intuitive, easy to use, and no-nonsense. And though you are paying for what you get in some areas, like the modest 2-megapixel camera, you do also get a nice 832 MHz processor for that smooth, responsive Android 2.3 experience.

Now you don’t have to worry that the phone will only be appealing on the inside as the Samsung Galaxy Y does not look like some run-of-the-mill bargain phone despite its price. Small, slim and incredibly sleek, the Galaxy Y looks very much like other high-end phones when it comes to design (if not better looking) with its smooth mirror-face and metallic-like trimmings, as seen with the back cover (though it’s still made of plastic) giving the phone a more sophisticated look and durable feel. To maintain its minimalist sophistication, the Galaxy Y has only one home button right in the center while the back and menu buttons remain flat and are part of the phone’s face just below the screen. The power button is on the phone’s right side, volume buttons on the left, USB port and 3.5mm jack on the top, and the microSD and SIM slots are at the back and inside of the cover along with the battery – a battery that can last you 2-3 days with average (simple call and text) use. Calls were clear and crisp. There weren’t any dropped calls although I did sometimes forget I had to slide the touchscreen first before I could answer my calls.

Entry-level users will like the Galaxy Y since it is very affordable and appealing considering it has practically all the apps Android has to offer (which may or may not be good for students who should do more studying and less app-downloading). Connecting to the internet is fast with its Wi-Fi connectivity while simple browsing is nothing short of delightful. Even the sound quality is not bad, as I watched videos on Youtube and listened to some of my favorite tracks (stored in my microSD card).

But for all of the aforementioned pluses, the only thing that would probably hinder you from truly enjoying the overall experience of using the Samsung Galaxy Y is the screen. If it had been just one inch bigger, had it maximized the remaining space on the screen, it would have been much easier to use. I felt the human effort to work the phone as it just wasn’t as seamless as I’d hoped. Texting was a chore and, at one time, I was yearning for a stylus. But I suppose there’s always that trade-off.

What’s Hot:
832 MHz processor
Runs on Android 2.3

What’s Not:
Small screen makes it difficult to use

Buy Meter: 8

If you want an affordable entry-level Android that can give you more than its price, the Samsung Galaxy Y is definitely one to consider.