Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
8/25/2011 5:59:53 PM
Lightweight, compact form, runs on Android Gingerbread, costs under £100
Touch-screen is nothing to write home about, processor is often sluggish, low-res display
It’s all too easy to lose sight of the fact that a phone’s primary function is to make calls and send texts, with features like web access and apps an added bonus. So you should probably ask yourself, what do I really want from a new phone? The Samsung Galaxy Y is a step up from a basic pay-as-you-go handset into smartphone functionality, and at a price that will tempt most to take the plunge.
Even at first glance you can tell it’s a Samsung phone, with its curvy, lightweight build, flush buttons and easy to navigate menu system giving the game away. The Galaxy Y houses a modest three-inch display with on-screen Menu and Back buttons located either side of the physical Home button at the bottom middle of the handset. On the top of the phone you’ll find a 3.5mm jack and USB charger port; a power button resides on the right hand side and raised volume rocker on the left. Turn the phone over and to reveal the camera lens embedded in the metallic-effect, textured plastic backing. The Galaxy Y weighs just 97g and is 11.5mm thick, so it’ll fit into most pockets quite snugly. However, if you’re a little clumsy that lightweight form might not survive a short, sharp fall to the ground.
The Galaxy Y runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is extremely easy to navigate: both the Home and Back buttons are self explanatory, while the on-screen menu button highlights what options you have in any given app or screen. You can have as many as seven home screens, but four icons remain static as you browse them: Phone, Contacts, Messages and Apps –and the default home screen includes essentials such as Gmail and Android Market apps. The Galaxy Y also comes with loads of useful apps preloaded such as an FM Radio, task manager and Samsung’s Social Hub. Being an Android handset you’ll be able to instantly access your Gmail account following setup, and any other content you’ve backed up to the service. Where the phone falls down is in its low-res screen, which at 240x320 pixels is pretty average – text appears very fuzzy at times. Sadly, surfing the internet is also a bit of a chore with no tabbed web browsing and a pinch-to-zoom function that at times was maddeningly unresponsive. The touch-screen also leaves a lot to be desired and comes over very hit and miss. The 830MHz processor is not bad, so long as you don’t demand too much of it – open a few too many apps and it will start to slow down. But all that said, where this phone wins big is accessibility. It’s very rare to find a phone that has even basic Android functions and features at such an impressive price.
Not everyone wants or needs all the whistles and bells of a smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Y is certainly more than a basic calls and texts handset, but it is an excellent starting point for those looking for a more advanced operating system without forking out hundreds of pounds. The Galaxy Y is no Galaxy S II in terms of its functionality, display sharpness and form factor, but it never claims to be, and with a price tag of less than £100, this is an undeniably great value Android handset with plenty of features to recommend it.