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Samsung i5500 Corby Galaxy 5 Android Smartphone with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Touch Screen - No Warranty - Black
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- 2.8-inch TFT LCD display
- This unlocked cell phone is compatible with GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile. Not all carrier features may be supported. Network: Quad Band (850/900/1800/1900MHz), 3G Band: 900 / 2100
- 16 million Colors; Full Touch Screen
- Camera Resolution: 2 Megapixel with Digital Zoom
- Operation System: Android 2.1 (Eclair)
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS
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Be Cool, Stay Connected with Samsung i5500 (also known as Galaxy 5). This mobile is sleek and trendy with a ergonomic grip. Its asymmetric design adds modernity to the classic mobile form. You don't have to compromise your personal style. Phonebooks and calendars are all integrated and consolidated, so that you never have to search for a contact number and you never miss an appointment. Also, you can easily choose how they want to interact with people directly from the phonebook. Beside each name are shortcut links that connect to SNS, email, SMS/MMS for convenient communication. You will enjoy full integration of the Google, Outlook and Facebook calendar. What's in the Box : Standard battery, AC travel charger, USB data Cable, Headphones, Sync software and User manual.
Top Customer Reviews
They also are great for travelers since the rest of the world uses GSM. It's wasy to get cheap sim cards all over the world, saving you roaming charges.
MobileCityOnline supplied my order via Amazon. Although I requested second day air, 6 days elapsed between placing the amazon order and arrival.
They appeared new on arrival despite broken seals on the boxes. They came configured for Slovenia. So, you have to go into the settings (in slovenian) and set the language to english US. Kind of tricky but doable. Takes about two minutes.
From there after charging first time I installed $5 ATT sim cards and the phones were able to place and receive calls. The nice thing is ATT lets you choose how to pay when you set up the sim card accounts. You can either post pay or prepay. Since we're not big talkers I chose prepay. This setup actually works better than my Tracphone and my old Virgin Mobile phone. Every call pops up a window at the end showing what the cost was and how much is left. Nice. ATT's website also logs every call and transaction. Cool.
WiFi setup was straightforward. Connect to the access points it sees, maybe enter a password, and you're online. Once online you can click on the App Market icon and download whatever apps you like. The only bug I ran into is if you connect to access points that require a username/password to log in, and they use self signed certificates. You may have to use the Opera browser so the redirect works correctly and you can get connected.
Once you are on WiFi you can configure your google account and it will sync your google contacts and calendar and you have gmail in a shrunken down mobile version.
To get mobile data when I was away from a WiFi access points I had to buy an add-on data package, which can be priced at MB per 30 day period, or they have a unlimited call/data plan for a fixed price per day. I like having options.
To get mobile data to work I had to hand enter an access point name (APN) for AT&T. The the edge icon came on and I was in business.
Just google APN and android and ATT.
The phones are not running the latest Android version, not that that's a show stopper. And if you're a version snob you can upgrade the firmware yourself. KIES software comes that lets you easily bring in media from your PC like pictures and music. The phone itself is kind of small and compact compared to the bigger Galaxy S or motorola or HTC smartphones. My wife likes the size, I could do with a bigger screen but the nice thing is this one will slip in a shirt or pants pocket easily. You can tilt the screen sideways to make typing on the virtual keyboard easier.
If I only used WiFi instead of mobile data I could probably go like 2 months on a $25 airtime refill. Even with a data plan I'm convinced this is cheaper than those long commitment plans.
The phone also has a GPS and an FM radio but I really haven't used them much. An app is on the phone that shows your location on google maps, but it's not a replacement for a Garmin GPS in your car since you need live data via a data plan. It's handy though, but since the GPS eats power I usually leave it off.
These being european versions of the Corby, the charger included is the two prong euro type, with a snap on american outlet adapter. So much the better if you plan to visit europe. They also charge and sync from a mini usb cable, the phone's power connector seems smaller then the standard micro usb connector.
It has an "airplane mode" that saves power and turns GPS, WiFi and Mobile data off.
Overall, for like $150 you can have a decent little Quad band GSM Samsung android smartphone and choose whatever kind of service you like. And you can change carriers any time you like. That's only a little more $$ than a flip phone.
Overall slightly more tinkering required than a phone store but you can definitely save money -and- still have a smartphone.
People think they're getting a good deal when they get low or no cost subsidized phones but trust me... you will pay for the phone. There's no free lunch!
Not a perfect smartphone but a solid performer.
What it can do:
* Angry Birds - Some lagginess when a media player is cranking MP3s out in the background, but no major issues. Occasionally hangs up & has to be killed in lengthy sessions.
* Voice search - Requires installing the speech-to-text synthesizer, but impressive accuracy & works fine on this limited hardware.
* Froyo - The Latin America firmware seems to work. Not accessible through Samsung's provided Keis software, but available from third parties.
* Speaker - Respectable music playback & spoken word playback for its price range
* Camera - Take decent stills for its price range.
* Unplug/Plug-in pause/resume - Addictive feature, but likely common to many Android devices.
* Decent battery life - I've been charging it every two days or so, with regular use of the Wi-Fi in the evening and 3-4 hours of daily use as a media player with the screen turned off. Otherwise always kept in standby. (Again, this is SIM-free, no GSM radio usage.)
* Wi-Fi - WPA2 Wi-Fi support. Tethering seems to be an option in the Froyo firmware. Didn't check the stock.
* MicroSDHC - No issues & good solid seating for my 16gb MicroSDHC card. Located behind the snap-on/snap-off battery cover, but the battery does not have to be removed to get to it. A 1 or 2GB card was included with the phone.
* Video - Converting to a lower bitrate seems to be necessary for most of my videos, but no complaints. Small enough screen that there's nothing to be gained from sticking with higher resolutions.
What it does poorly:
* Wi-Fi disconnections - With both with stock firmware and the official Froyo build, my experience has shown the device to be prone to dropping the Wi-Fi connection when in use by certain apps, or more commonly when leaving.
* Volume levels - I frequently find myself wishing there was some sort of equalizer or system-level volume boosting functions I could use to compensate for low volume levels in certain audio tracks. Fine for normal music, but often inadequate with soft-spoken announcers in audio books and podcasts with heavy traffic noise. I will definitely have to buy amplified headphones prior to taking flying with this device.
* VPN connections - The Froyo VPN tool looks nice enough, but is extremely finnicky.
* FM Radio - Depends on a wired set of headphones for the FM antenna. A common problem, but slightly annoying.
* Apps-to-SD - This Froyo feature seems to be somewhat overrated. Frequent problems with apps that say they support the move, but then disappear from the application menu afterwards. Still, even after giving up, with some 30 apps installed, I have 30.8Mb of the 170Mb of internal flash available. Apparently this just isn't that big a deal.
What it won't do:
* Multitouch - Unfortunate, but made up for in large part by the numerous buttons & the D-pad.
* Flash (bulb) - It doesn't have one, not that many do in this price range.
* Flash (Adobe) - The processor seems to be incompatible with the current builds of Adobe Flash. Haven't personally tested it, but it's not all that likely to work. There may be other workarounds.
Notes for battery hoardin' folks:
* Uses MicroUSB chargers - Tested with BlackBerry charger & a solar charger without problems.
* 3.7v, 4.44wh, 1200mAh li-ion battery. M/N: AB474350BU
A few quick 5500-tested App recommendations: MortPlayer Audiobooks/Music, BeyondPod, Pulse, Aldiko, Comixology, Droid Comic Viewer, Angry Birds, and File Expert (That last gives integrated FTP & HTTP file management - I basically never use a USB connection for data transfers.)
Market glitches from use overseas, in Chile (not yet in the paid-app country white-list):
* I don't know whether this is because of the firmware or my physical location, but it was impossible to obtain numerous free apps and ANY paid apps out of the box or after updating to Froyo. Using the new web-based app market, I can see paid apps, but none will allow me to install and many apps that ARE available through the normal market refuse to install due to "carrier restrictions" on this unlocked, SIM-free phone.
* Free apps I was unable to install included: Amazon's Kindle & MP3 stores, Google Books, the voice-to-text synthesizer, and Google Listen. Free apps loaded on the phone that I was unable to update included Gmail, YouTube, and Google Search.
* The issues above can be wholly resolved using Market Enabler, but that requires rooting the phone. I would be very interested to hear if a VPN to the US or simply being present in the US or another country with paid-app access has these same issues.
[Aug 2011] A couple quick updates, six months in:
* Wifi disconnections - This proved to be largely an issue of signal strength. This device has a perfectly usable wireless range, but it's still not quite as good as some other devices in my appartment. A second router and setting the wifi sleep mode to "never" or "never when plugged in" was enough to resolve this issue.
* GSM use - Took the device home to the US on vacation and picked up a prepaid TMo SIM. Worked just fine, but only EDGE (at least using the i5500L Froyo ROM). That was enough to eliminate the need for the Market Enabler. Allows purchase of paid apps even after my return to Chile.
* Battery life update - Massive change in battery life when I was stateside. With heavy use of the browser & Google Maps and occasional use as a phone, I found myself needing to change batteries at mid day every day while on vacation. Fine for tooling about town, although it still drained much quicker than w/o a SIM, but constant Maps use while playing the tourist in NYC absolutely killed the battery life.
My phone still runs great 3 years later. It got dropped, tossed, and kicked. I've dropped it a few times on concrete to the point where the back case and battery popped out; yet it still worked without issues. And aside from scratches on the case, it held up perfectly. Just be sure to find a good protective case to make it last longer.
The speed is nothing to be proud of. It is slow. That's because it's a very small inexpensive phone that's meant for light internet use. If you just like to check email or facebook, this phone is great. The browser is slow as dirt, but again, it's not meant for the hard core internet user. Games are hard to play due to the small screen size, but i managed to get a few playable games in there.
Perfect for your middle schooler who wants a smart phone. It won't break the wallet if they abuse or lose it, but it's a smartphone nonetheless. So if you want speed and more options, pay for the newer Samsung Galaxy phones. But if you just want a phone that has Android and can keep you connected to email, this would be perfect for you.