Thursday, 24 November 2011

Samsung Galaxy Fit S5670 - Falls Just a Little Short of 'Fit'

A neat liittle handsetWide but slimDecntly spaced keyapd
Samsung’s Galaxy series of Android devices are not only affordable but have been enjoying quite a bit if popularity amongst the lower budget smartphone segments. The last low budget Galaxy I reviewed was the Galaxy 3 and as much as I hated the design, the handset worked like a charm. One of the latest in the series is the Galaxy Fit or the S5670 and here’s a closer look to see if this one fared as well.

Form Factor
In the looks department the Galaxy Fit is definitely more attractive than the Galaxy 3, although significantly wider but much thinner at just 12mm in depth. What was a bit disappointing (but only to a small degree) was the 3.3-inch capacitive display that showcased just a 240 x 320 pixel resolution. The 16 million colors support did make a little difference though, in its defence. At that price a slightly higher resolution would have been so much better but you can get by without complaining... too much. At least the 240 x 400 pixel resolution the Galaxy 3’s display was slightly better for overall viewing.
Wide but slim
Wide but slim

The micro USB charging/connectivity port is located on the top near the 3.5mm handsfree socket and comes with a slide-over cover. On the right side is the power/screen lock button while on the left is where you’ll find volume/zoom keys and a microSD card slot. The two touch sensitive keys on either side of the large Home button did not seem to light up at all which was a bit annoying. Overall, it’s a light weight and well balanced handset.
Large screen, low res
Large screen, low res

Features and Performance
Running on a 600 Mhz processor, FroYo functioned quite well on the Fit. Not being a fan of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI though, I switched to Launcher Pro and found the fluidity of the system to have gotten much better. Scrolling through menus, desktops and accessing most of the normal apps worked without a hitch. All of FroYo’s goodies from tethering to creating a Wi-Fi hot spot and shifting apps to your memory card to create space all worked out just fine.
Decntly spaced keyapd
Decently spaced keyapd

I was hoping Swype would have been part of the deal and although the keypad settings have an option for Swiping it’s not what I thought. All that meant was swiping over the length of keypad would take you to the capital letters, numbers etc. the handset does support handwriting recognition though, but that turned out to be a little bit slow. A Power Control option is available right in the drop down menu. Social networking integration with the phone book may be a onetime thing but it’s a painstaking process and not as automated as HTC’s Sense UI. 

Thanks to Samsung’s DNSe audio enhancement that adds EQ presets and 5.1-stereo functionality to your music, you’ll have a great audio experience. Tone quality is tight and well balanced for loud and clear listening. It’s a pity the video player didn’t seem to support DivX or XviD codecs, though Rockplayer (universal video) played all files just fine. Even with the low resolution display, I found it quite comfortable to watch an entire 2 hour movie without issue. Just doesn’t expect the colours to be too spectacular. The Handset’s FM radio worked out just fine picking up signals quite well in most locations. Google Voice Search option and a voice recorder are both present. 
The Galaxy Fit is a 3G enabled handset that also supports EDGE/GPRS and Wi-Fi (without DLNA support). Bluetooth with A2DP, USB2.0 for PC interfacing and tethering worked just fine. Samsung’s Social Hub allows you to view links to all your social networking sites or apps like Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Google in one place. It’s not really something that’s too handy, but it’s there if you need it. However it only seemed to display Messages and a Facebook link that took me to the web page instead of the app. Setting up multiple email accounts (POP/IMAP or other) for Push services is as easy as any other Android or Smartphone device. With Adobe Flash 10.2 support web browsing was more than comfortable even with the 320 x 240 pixel display.
UI handling was smooth
UI handling was smooth

What was disappointing, and I do hope Samsung has not been shipping these devices like this, is that the Galaxy Fit came almost devoid of anything other than standard Google Android apps – Gmail, Gtalk, Google Maps, Places, Latitude and Google Navigation to be used with the built in GPS module. The application to access Samsung Apps came up empty with no updates issued whatsoever. 

Misc. Apps
Like I said, other than basic apps like the calendar that syncs with your FB and Google accounts, QuickOffice, a memo Pad for notes, Calculator, Alarm clock with a built in weather updater there’s not much else to entice you. Of course you can always download off the Marketplace whatever you need or want including games et al, but one does hope for a little extra that comes preloaded. 

A saving grace for the Fit is the 5 megapixel AF camera. It comes with a plethora of features like White Balance, Smile Shot with Face Detection, auto stitch Panorama mode, Burst or Continuous mode (that only seemed to capture blurry images if you or the subject moved) and plenty of scene modes to keep anyone happy. Geotagging plus a timer and ISO settings (up to 400) were also available. Image quality was not bad. In daylight picture quality seemed reasonably sharp with colors more or less intact. Low light conditions weren’t too bad either. Face and smile detection was quite accurate.
Good image quality
Good image quality

The Fit also records video but only in a 320 x 240 resolution. 

The battery life of the Fit did not impress me. The camera and Wi-Fi seemed to literally drain the battery before my very eyes. Video playback caused the drain at even faster rates. I’m of course comparing this to other handsets in the same league. On an average, the talk time the Fit was able to give me was just about 3 hours and change. I found that if it were in “Always on” mode for my Push services, Wi-Fi or not, I had to charge the handset daily.
A neat liittle handset
A neat liittle handset

The Bottom Line
With a price tag of Rs. 10,700 (MOP), the Galaxy Fit is not a handset I would recommend over theGalaxy 3. While it seemed to fare well enough overall in the media department and is equipped to handle all kinds of connectivity, it lack a little something in pizzazz. I can even look past the display’s resolution, but the just about average battery life and absence of any frills in the way of preinstalled apps was a disappointment. I’d suggest spending a little more and opting for either the Galaxy 3 or LG’s Optimus One, both equipped with FroYo as well.

if you've had a different experience with this handset let me know via our comments, or go ahead and rate it yourself.

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