Samsung Galaxy 5 Android smartphone
Samsung Galaxy 5 review: the cheapest Android smartphone on the market that doesn't skimp on too many features.
- Capacitive touchscreen
- Loses minimal capabilities of more expensive devices
- Swype text input
- Glossy finish
- Low resolution display
- Poor camera
The Samsung Galaxy 5 is the cheapest Android smartphone currently available in Australia. The reasonably stylish Galaxy 5 has most of the capabilities of more expensive devices, though its low res display and mediocre camera aren't impressive. At this price, we have few complaints though.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Not to be confused with the flagship Samsung Galaxy S, the Galaxy 5 smartphone is an entry-level prepaid smartphone. Excusive to Telstra and retailing for just $199, the Samsung Galaxy 5 is the cheapest Android phone on the market but despite this it doesn't skimp on too many features.
The Galaxy 5 looks similar to the Samsung GenoA and the Samsung S3653, which were also entry-level mobile phones. It has a distinctive, rounded design with a curved back; this makes it comfortable to hold, but it rocks slightly from side to side when placed on a flat surface. The Samsung Galaxy 5 has an attractive glossy black finish with chrome edging, but the handset quickly becomes grubby with fingerprints and is hard to keep clean.
Most of the Samsung Galaxy 5's front is taken up by a 2.8in capacitive touchscreen, while below this sit the standard Android shortcut keys (menu, home, back and search) as well as a five-way navigational pad and answer and end call keys. The navigational pad doesn't get much of a workout as the capacitive touchscreen is responsive and easy to use. A capacitive display at this price point is a real plus, though its low 240x320 resolution — the same as the HTC Wildfire's display — means viewing angles aren't the best, nor is legibility in sunlight. The small size of the display also means both the on-screen keyboard and the Web browser do feel a little cramped.
The Samsung Galaxy 5 runs the 2.1 version of Google's Android operating system and it includes all the regular features and functions of more expensive Android smartphones. Access to the Android Market for third-party apps, an excellent notifications taskbar and automatic and seamless synchronisation with Google services are all part of the experience. The Galaxy 5 can have up to seven home screens for live widgets and shortcuts, and Samsung has also opted to use its TouchWIZ interface which includes Feeds and Updates (Facebook, Twitter and MySpace aggregator), and Buddies Now (a rolodex of photo contacts). Though the Feeds and Updates widget is fairly useful and stops you having to log in to separate applications all the time, it lacks some advanced features, such support for multiple Twitter accounts and URL shortening when tweeting.
Samsung says the Galaxy 5 "may" be upgradeable to the latest 2.2 version of Android (called Froyo) but hasn't specified a timeframe. Froyo will add full Flash support, built-in wireless tethering, and the ability to store third-party apps on your SD card, as well as a range of other improvements.
One of the more impressive features of the Samsung Galaxy 5 is Swype text input, an option that allows you to slide your fingers over the letters you want to type in a single motion, letting the software work out the word you are trying to write. Swype is an excellent feature and considering the small screen of the Galaxy 5 compared to the larger Android phones like the HTC Desire, it is a smart inclusion.
An annoying aspect of the Samsung Galaxy 5 is the excessive amount of Telstra customisation built into the software. Although you can arrange your home screen shortcuts and widgets in any way you like, the main menu has exactly 25 shortcuts to Telstra applications and services and while some of these may be useful, most are simply Web links.
Samsung has cut corners when it comes to the phone's camera and the screen. The basic camera is just 2-megapixels and lacks a flash for night-time photography. The smaller display has a negative impact on Web browsing. The Galaxy 5 also lacks multitouch support, meaning you can't pinch the screen to zoom in and out of applications like maps, the browser or photo albums. Other features include a built-in accelerometer, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a digital compass and a GPS receiver. The Samsung Galaxy 5 has a microSD card slot for extra storage, located behind the rear battery cover. Samsung includes a 2GB microSD card in the sales package.
The Samsung Galaxy 5 is exclusive to Telstra and will be available in mid-October for $199 on a prepaid plan.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Apple iPhone X
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Micro
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Xbox One X
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- The Best Australian Black Friday Tech Deals That Aren't On Amazon
- Wolfenstein The New Colossus Review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTCloud ArchitectNSW
- TPEL1 Business AnalystACT
- FTApplication Packaging EngineerOther
- FTAccount Management/Customer Service - MULTIPLE ROLESSA
- FTSenior IT Business AnalystOther
- FTAgile Project ManagerOther
- CCLevel 1 and 2 Help Desk OfficerQLD
- FTUser Experience PractitionerACT
- FTMultiple Axway rolesOther
- FTBusiness Analyst - Change Management - Government backgroundOther
- FTOperations Process Improvement ManagerOther
- FTInfrastructure Solutions Architect - Converged InfrastructureOther
- FTVBA DeveloperOther
- FTChange Analyst, Transformation, SAPOther
- FTField Service EngineerOther
- CCTest Analyst - BrisbaneNSW
- FTProgram Manager - Technology & EngineeringOther
- FTData ModellingACT
- CCMid-level SAP ArchitectQLD
- TPScrum MasterNSW
- FTApplication Support Team Lead l Experience with health applicationsNSW
- CCDigital Reporting AnalystNSW
- FTLinux Systems EngineerOther
- TPSenior Business Analyst - Sunshine Coast HospitalQLD
- FTAsset and Configuration ManagerSA