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)
Reviews (7.8/10 Avg. rating)
The Galaxy S 4G is an example of incremental progress done right
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 brings T-Mobile’s particular brand of 4G (HSPA+) to the fold.
I honestly wasn’t expecting too much given the piecemeal rollout of this next-gen data network, but the difference was noticeable immediately. Heavy hitting image-rich sites like (ahem) Wired.com loaded with virtual... Full review
It is nothing less of an entertainment powerhouse
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 everyday memories with excellent quality, and the gaming experience is fun.
Though there were some issues with voice quality and a few minor frustrations relating to the lock screen and access to the camera settings, the Galaxy S 4G is a solid device with some impressive features.
If you'... Full review
An exciting addition to T-Mobile's high-end Android lineup
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 first choice. But if you absolutely require HSPA+, we highly recommend the Galaxy S 4G. It beats the myTouch 4G with a larger, higher quality display, a less pervasive skin, and a lower price (after mail-in rebate). It also improves upon the Vibrant with HSPA+ and a front-facing camera, at the exp... Full review
A disappointment from T-Mobile and Samsung
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 Vibrant can't get the Galaxy S 4G at a discount. Even if they were able to, it's really a negligible upgrade, and in all honesty, a step backward.
The lag is a huge killing factor for the Samsung Galaxy S 4G. In addition, while the battery size has been increased to 1650 mAh, it seems to run out... Full review
A good choice if you’re into catching bugs
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 appearing very frequently. Uninstalling the apps didn't seem to help, so it will likely need a hard reset instead.
If you're looking for the newest Android 2.2 smartphone with very fast HSPA+ network support, Wi-Fi internet sharing, a gorgeous Super AMOLED screen, Qik video calling, WiFi... Full review
It’s a Samsung Vibrant with faster data speed and video calling capabilities
Overall callers were impressed with the Samsung Galaxy S 4G. They said we sounded a bit distant and real nasally (in fairness we are a bit congested) but not hollow and they had no issues hearing us clearly. They rated us an 8.25/10, and we would probably rate them about half a point higher than that. Their voice sounded natural and clear, and though we could hear background noise from the store they were at it did not take away from the conversation. The battery has been beefed up to 1650mAh (from 1500) but the rating remains the same at 6.5 hours of talk time.
We were fairly im... Full review
Nothing you haven't seen before
The Samsung Galaxy S 4G has sung, and we have listened. But rather than walk away feeling entirely refreshed, as one would having seen an emotionally-clad symphony, we were left feeling like we just saw a cheap sequel to a box office smash hit. It was good, but included a lot of the same material. Obviously, the phone shines with its HSPA+ speeds and upgraded software, but we hear it mumbling "We're not so different, you and I," to the Samsung Vibrant.
The bottom line is this. If you live within 4G territory, then we'd recommend the Samsung Galaxy S 4G. It is T-Mobile's fastest... Full review
It feels like the Vibrant, but only faster and fancier
You're sure to love the Galaxy S 4G as much as you liked the Vibrant
The Samsung Vibrant was my daily phone for quite a few months. I really enjoyed using it, once I dealt with the lag issue, that is. Luckily, the Galaxy S 4G has no such lag issues and does pretty much everything as well or better than the Vibrant. It runs Froyo out of the box, has a new front camera for video chatting, and offers absolutely blazing data speeds. Add Wi-Fi calling and 3G Hotspot support to the mix, and you've got a really nice smartphone.
Even with the advances in display technology that we're seeing, I still find the Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy S 4G to be a... Full review
It's a fast phone on a fast network
In concluding our mini-review of the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, it's safe to say that it is a (slightly) better phone, even if you can't tell the differences at first glance. The network speeds are extremely fast, and have an obvious effect on browser, Market and app performance. Anything requiring the network simply connects and downloads faster.
The presence of the second, user-facing camera is a welcome addition, too. The bummer is that Qik's software is so inconsistent and frustrating to use.
These differences aside, if you were intrigued by the Vibrant (or any of Sams... Full review
best phone i have ever been on
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