Budget Android devices are gaining popularity as the ‘high-end’ specifications are finally starting to trickle down to phones under Rs.10,000. Samsung’s latest Galaxy Y is one such example of an affordable, yet very much user friendly Android phone. It’s designed for the young teenager on a budget, something his/her parents don’t want to spend a lot on, but at the same time save the kid from being ridiculed by his peers.
Design and Build
The Galaxy Y is small and compact and with just a 3.0-inch screen, it’s clearly designed for those with small hands. It’s quite light at just 97.5g and rounded edges lend it a very sober look. Although it has been built mostly out of plastic, it does not feel very plasticky and the matt finish on the cover attracts fewer fingerprints. On the front, we just have a proximity sensor, but no front facing camera or an ambient light sensor.
A smart looking phone
The buttons, include a volume rocker and a power/sleep button and... that’s it. The 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB port is placed at the top. It’s a good setup with the buttons being easy to press and within reach of your fingers. None of the shortcut buttons are backlit, there’s just a physical home button and two capacitive ones. The sensitivity is good, but at times some of the inputs failed to register. Overall, the design is pleasing; it’s simple, yet functional. The build quality feels like it can handle accidental drops without shattering.
Samsung has bundled the latest Android 2.3.6 along with a stripped down version of Touchwiz UI. Thanks to the 830MHz ARM v6 chipset, the Galaxy Y is a peppy little phone. Swiping through homescreens and apps is quick and relatively fluid with very little to no lag.
A familiar looking interface
This being TouchWiz, you get the handy toggle switches in the notification bar and the colourful icons that go with it. My only issue with the screen is the low resolution and 240 x 320 is just too less. The edges of practically everything look a bit blurry and pixellated and there’s quite bad colour banding noticeable on the homescreen as well as videos.
Samsung once again brings its A-game in the audio department. The music player is borrowed from their other phones like the Galaxy S and S II and features 5.1 channel audio enhancements. There are also equalizer presets to play around with, but honestly you won’t need any, as the audio processor does a very good job. It sounds best when used with a good pair of in-earphones like the EP630s. Unlike their higher-end handsets though, the Galaxy Y doesn’t play FLAC.
Excellent sound quality
The video player isn’t as impressive as the music player, since Samsung have gone with the stock Android player depriving you of sound enhancements. The player supports the standard MP4 file format, but the video quality leaves a lot to be desired, mainly due to the poor screen.
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