Samsung Galaxy Pop Review


Over the recent past, Samsung has realized that there is a lot of scope for entry and mid level Android smartphones in Asian countries, specially India. The result is in front of us, the recently launched Galaxy Fit, Ace and Pop, which we are going to review today.
Most affordable of the lot, Galaxy Pop is the same phone which was launched as Galaxy Mini in other markets. It comes in two versions-  GSM and CDMA, and both have been priced pretty decently, which will interest first time Android buyers.

Pricing:GSM Version: INR 9500 [Street price might differ]CDMA Version: INR 9750 [Street price might differ]

Full Specifications:

There is no visible or specs difference between GSM and CDMA variants except network support. We used the CDMA version in our review, running on MTS network.
  • Android 2.2 Operating System
  • 600 MHz processor
  • FM Radio with unlimited channels to store
  • Upto 3.1 Mbps of Download Speed using HSD Network
  • Freedom to choose your CDMA Operator – OMH
  • 3.15MP camera
  • SD card support up to 32 GB
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, HSD, USB, Bluetooth 3.0, Auto sync
  • USB/WiFi Tethering

Hardware:
Similar to other entry-level Samsung devices, Galaxy Pop is small and lighter and feels plasticy, but we don’t expect much in this price bracket. There is a 3.1 inch display, along with the three Android buttons, power button and microSD card slot which are on the right side, while the volume rocker on the left. USB slot is on the top with the 3.5 mm headset jack.  A dedicated camera button is missing, which could end up annoying some of you.
I feared that the thin plastic battery cover might break while I was taking it out. You will find the SIM slot below the battery. The insides are quite clean, Samsung has done some nice work here.
Personally hardware-wise, I am pretty satisfied with the device apart from the missing camera button and the thin battery cover.Geeky Details:There is a Qualcomm 600 MHz processor inside along with 292 MB RAM. Other details include 150 MB Internal storage with 32 GB microSD card support.

Software:
Galaxy Pop comes with Android 2.2 with Samsung Touchwiz UI. I am not a fan of Samsung UI, but it surely brings some welcome UI tweaks like quick settings in notifications bar, Gingerbread style end of menu animations, which will surely make the user experience better.
The presence of Android 2.2 is surely welcome addition and will give the users some respite. Performance as well as utility-wise Android 2.2 was a big upgrade and Samsung has taken a wise decision of providing these phones with FroYo rather than going Motorola’s way of putting Android 2.1 in every devices, which truly sucks.
The software is quite snappy for normal usage but after putting lot of apps and widgets, you might face some lags. If you are a normal user, you will not have an issue with the phone, performance-wise.
Gaming and well as heavy app support will surely be a concern and do not expect this phone to be your gaming powerhouse.

Pre-installed Apps:
Samsung hasn’t filled the phone with too much, and there are only a few pre-installed applications like QuickOffice, Swypw and a Memo app along with Social Hub.

Camera:
Pop comes with the basic 3.14 MP camera, and it is such a letdown. You can only expect to take pics in broad daylight; any wish for a good night-time photoshoot will surely remain unfulfilled.
The fixed-focus and lack of flash is another reason for concern here. Considering camera is an integral part of  the smartphone experience, Samsung loses out here. Galaxy Pop also lets you record videos, but the recording is very basic and you cannot use them anywhere apart from in MMS.

Battery Life and Connectivity:

Galaxy Pop comes with a 1200 mAh battery, which gives you enough juice to pass 48 hours with medium usage.If you are a heavy user, you will have to charge it daily.
Apart from the cellular CDMA 1X, EVDO Rev. A in CDMA version and quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSPA in GSM version, Galaxy Pop’s connectivity package offers Wi-Fi (b/g/n), Buetooth v2.1 with A2DP support and USB v2.0. The USB interface is microUSB, which has  become a standard these days, so you can find a compatible cable anywhere.

Display:
Samsung Galaxy Pop has a 3.14 inch LCD TFT with 320X240 pixel resolution. The low resolution could be a  problem while installing apps and games. Display’s touch sensitivity is good, and I wasn’t really expecting such a touch screen in an entry-level device. Using the virtual keyboard is easy due to the capacitive touch. Samsung has also put in Swype in case you don’t like the Samsung keyboard, but Swype works great on bigger screens with more resolution.

Wrap-Up:

So, how does Samsung Galaxy Pop perform overall, Not great but really good. The phone has been priced and designed for the first time Android buyers, so don’t expect a Nexus S out of it.
It is surely a value for money, and the presence of FroYo and decent looks with nice capacitive touch makes it worthy as your first Android phone.
On the problematic front is camera is so-so and the low resolution will limit your choice of apps . The Adobe Flash is missing due to un-supported browser.

Positive:

  • Price
  • Android 2.2
  • Touchscreen

Negatives:

  • Low screen resolution
  • Fixed focus camera
  • No flash, no dedicated camera key



Post Author: Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav Shukla is the editor of AndroidOS.in. If you'd like to reach him, drop an email at 'gaurav@androidos.in' or connect with him on Twitter (@gauravshukla).