The Samsung Galaxy S phone was released to much fanfare in March of 2010 and quickly became the most successful phone in the history of Android phones, selling 10 million units worldwide by the end of 2010. Versions of the Galaxy S included the Epic 4G, the Fascinate, the Samsung Vibrant for Bell Canada as well as a Vibrant brand for T-Mobile in the U.S. Less than a year later, in February of 2011, T-Mobile introduced an upgrade to their Vibrant, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G.
At first glance, there does not look to be much difference between the Galaxy S 4G upgrade over the Vibrant. The design of the two smartphones are nearly identical, with only cosmetic changes made to the design, but there are some improvements under the hood, as well as some added features.
The most obvious change is the addition of a 2-megapixel, front-facing camera, missing in the Vibrant, allowing for video calls. In addition, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G ships with a larger battery, offering a talk time of 6.5 hours, a significant improvement over the Vibrant.
The impressive features of the Vibrant are left intact. The Samsung Galaxy S 4G features the same AMOLED touch screen as the Vibrant, an excellent display technology that needs no backlight, featuring bright, rich colors and true blacks. A 5-megapixel camera in the back is capable of 720p HD video recording, offering sharp, clear videos even in low-light conditions.
The Samsung Galaxy S 4G's download speeds are snappy, with speeds advertised up to 21 Mbps. Mobile websites display instantaneously and even large, high-quality web videos load quickly and play well.
Accessories bundled with the Samsung Galaxy 4G include a USB cable, a 16GB microSD card, a headset as well as the 2010 Leonardo DiCaprio film, "Inception."
In addition to cellular calls, utilizing T-Mobile's towers, the Samsung Galaxy 4G is able to make calls over a Wi-Fi network for no additional charge. Samsung's Media Hub video store allows users to purchase videos on the go by charging purchases to their monthly bill.
On the downside, the camera for the Samsung Galaxy 4G does not come with a flash, unlike other Android smartphones. Curiously, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G ships with only a 16GB SD card and no internal flash storage. Although navigation is brisk, this lack of internal flash limits the number of apps that can be stored, a common user complaint.
In the end, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G is an impressive smartphone and for new T-Mobile customers, the Samsung Galaxy 4G is one of the best smartphones on the market. For existing T-Mobile customers with the previous generation Vibrant, especially those still under contract, there are probably not enough added features to upgrade.
Need to know: Samsung Galaxy S 4G
1. The Samsung Galaxy 4G's AMOLED touch screen display is truly world-class. The colors are vibrant and the blacks are deep and rich. (The Good)
2. The 4G speeds of the Samsung Galaxy 4G are impressive. YouTube videos, even of high-quality, load quickly. (The Good)
3. The Samsung Galaxy 4G comes with a front-facing video camera, missing in the Samsung Vibrant, giving users the ability to make video calls. (The Good)
4. A lack of internal flash memory limits the number of apps that can be stored on the Samsung Galaxy 4G, a common complaint from users. (The Bad)