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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review: Affordable GeForce RTX performance in a slim package
- 2 Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station review: Good for venturing off the grid
- 3 Razer Naga Trinity review: The last best MMO gaming mouse
- 4 Dynabook Portégé X30W-J – a very good all-rounder
- 5 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
Latest News Articles
- HP to sponsor young Aussie with ocean-saving innovation
- Samsung launches new Galaxy A smartphones in Australia
- Samsung upgrade their Australian tablet range
- Dell launches its Rugged range
- Sony launches three new 4K HDR Home Cinema Projectors
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro: The cheapest way to get these new handsets in Australia
- 10 fun, funky, and ultra-cool iPhone 13 cases you can buy right now
- How to download proof of Covid-19 vaccination to your smartphone in Australia
- 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