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Samsung Galaxy S 4G review

7.8/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Samsung Galaxy S 4G
  • Samsung Galaxy S 4G
  • Samsung Galaxy S 4G
  • Samsung Galaxy S 4G


7.8/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy S 4G currently has an Informr score of 7.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 12 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

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)


Operating system
Android
Processor
1 GHz
Screen Size
4"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Wired

The S 4G is essentially a mildly tweaked Samsung Vibrant with a couple of extra goodies. For those keeping score, a lot of the Vibrant’s perfectly serviceable features are back. So, what’s new? Android 2.2, for starters. Also, as the phone’s awkward moniker boasts, this handset bri...

- Terrence Russell, Wired
Brighthand

The Samsung Galaxy S 4G is an entertainment powerhouse. If you're looking for a phone that can offer excellent photo and video quality, with excellent choices for live and on-demand TV, this is the phone for you. The screen is gorgeous, the battery life is impressive, the camera/camcorder capture ev...

- Jen Edwards, Brighthand
Engadget

It's an exciting time to be a T-Mobile customer. There's never been a better selection of high-end AWS-compatible Android devices before. The Galaxy S 4G, Nexus S, myTouch 4G, and G2 each bring a unique flavor of Android to the table. We think "pure" Android 2.3 trumps HSPA+, so the Nexus S is our f...

- Myriam Joire , Engadget
Bright Hub

The Samsung Galaxy S 4G ranks in the 'Average' category. While the original Samsung Vibrant was a breath of fresh air to a stagnant T-Mobile line up, the Galaxy S 4G actually acts as a bit of an insult to T-Mobile customers. It hasn't even been a full year yet, meaning customers who bought the Vibra...

- Robert Faustus, Bright Hub
Pocketnow

The Samsung Galaxy S 4G worked really well for the first week or so. I was impressed with how stable and improved it was compared to the previous Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant. Unfortunately, after I installed literally two apps (Google Maps' update and Speedtest.net), force quit error dialogs started ap...

- Adam Z Lein, Pocketnow


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Galaxy S 4G user manual here.


Samsung backs up the Galaxy S 4G with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Galaxy S 4G has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




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Quick view

Screen Size
4"

The Samsung Galaxy S 4G's screen size is 4 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1 GHz

There is a Samsung Hummingbird Cortex A8 1 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
5+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
No

Internal memory is No. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1650mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1650 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 19 days standby time.

Galaxy S 4G Specs

Overview
Release date February 23, 2011
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+ 21.1
Mobile / Cellular Data
SIM card size
Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Samsung Hummingbird Cortex A8 1 GHz
Internal Storage No
RAM 512 MB
ROM 1 GB
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.9 W/kg
Body: 1.23 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Headset, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1650 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 19 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12.2 x 6.5 x 1.0 cm (4.8 x 2.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 118 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 4 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry XT9
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 3.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
4x digital
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, ISO, Panorama, Self-timer, Smile detection, White balance
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WMA, WAV, OGG
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, GIF, HTML, JPG, PDF, PPT, PPTX, RTF, TXT, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed ()
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung Fascinate 4G, Samsung Vibrant 4G, Samsung SGH-T959

For T-mobile available version with 1700/2100 UMTS
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy S 4G Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy S 4G
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