Android phones continually exceed our expectations when it comes to bang for your buck. A great example is the Samsung Galaxy Y — Telstra has just announced that it will sell the phone for the bargain basement price of $129 on pre-paid.
There isn't anything new or remarkable about the Galaxy Y. It's a candybar phone with a small 3in touchscreen, a 2-megapixel camera and an MP3 player. The phone is 11.4 mm thin and is available in coral pink or metallic grey colours — all in all, it has a straightforward set of features.
For $129 though, that standard features list includes full access to the Android Market. There's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a GPS receiver. The Galaxy Y even comes pre-loaded with the Navigon GPS application. This provides full turn-by-turn navigation using the Galaxy Y's built-in GPS receiver. Telstra says the Samsung Galaxy Y is Blue Tick rated, so it should provide superior mobile network coverage in regional and rural areas of Australia.
As with most budget smartphones, you need to find out what you're NOT getting rather than what is included. The biggest issue will no doubt be the small 3in screen: we suspect this will be fine for general use, like swiping through home screens and dialing phone numbers, but it is likely to result in a cramped on-screen keyboard. Though we won't judge the Galaxy Y until we get our hands on it, we expect Web browsing to be significantly affected by the small screen, too.
One feature that may be a saviour for text input is the addition of Swype technology, an optional, on-screen keyboard that allows you to slide your fingers over the letters you want to type in a single motion. It's a nice inclusion considering the Galaxy Y's low price tag.
The Samsung Galaxy Y is available now on Telstra's pre-paid Cap Encore offer. A $30 recharge gives you $250 worth of total credit for talk and text along with 400MB data to use within 30 days. The offers includes free calls and text messages to all Australian numbers from 6pm-6am until 23 April.