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Android powerhouse with exciting screen and uninspiring design
on January 16, 2012
This is an upgrade of the well-known Galaxy S. It has a faster processor and a better battery.
The most important point of this smartphone is it's screen (even if it is "already a year old technology"): it is vivid, bright and has a lot of contrast. Black is really black - it is hard to see the difference between the black of the screen and the black of the bezel. Probably that's why a lot of the apps have a black background. It is also very sharp so all the fonts appear neat and crisp. It's more colourful but just not that sharp as the Retina display in the iPhone, though you have to examine closely to notice that. Even after a few months the screen continues to please. The 4 inch size makes it just that bit bigger than most other smartphones, which is comfortable and makes a lot of what is on the screen better legible, but it is not as 'huge' as the Galaxy S II, if that is of any concern.
I can't compare to the previous version of this phone, but feels powerful in use. All apps that are currently available run smoothly even on this single-core processor. There's also a lot of internal memory available, so you can comfortably install a lot of apps without worries. Call quality is excellent, FM-radio is one of the best available, the 5 MP camera is good, battery life is a bit better than on most smartphones.
The phone is made of plastic. That might give it a cheap look, but once you hold it, it is so light that you easily accept that trade-off. Oddly enough, even in this plastic shell to some people the phone looks classy and premium. Probably because of its size. It's not really a beauty. As good as the internals of this device are, the bodywork is quite deprived from fantasy and exciting design. At this pricepoint and for this size (4 inch) there aren't currently that much good looking alternatives though. Still, the uninspiring looks is the first real disadvantage - but tastes differ.
The other real disadvantage is that the S Plus probably will never get Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4). It's older sister Galaxy S (9000) won't, according to Samsung because of hardware limitations. That means they probably won't put any effort neither in adapting the mostly identical software for this version (9001), even though the hardware should be perfectly capable of running ICS. That is all guesswork from my part, but if you really want ICS, you should look into this further.
All in all, it is easy to understand why the previous version was such a huge succes and still flies off the shelves today. If you want a somewhat bigger screen but not a 4.3" like the Galaxy S II, are ok with the looks of it and willing to accept the that it likely won't get ICS, then you will appreciate it's feel, speed and most of all outstanding screen every time you grab it out of your pocket.