The term is ‘Touch and Type’ and although it may have been coined by Nokia, but it’s a term that’s stuck and frequently pops up when talking about handsets that offer both Touchscreens and keypads for input. Samsung’s Galaxy Series also has a ‘Touch and Type’ option with their Galaxy Pro Android Smartphone and here’s what I think about it.
It’s an extremely likeable handset with a large 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen (landscape) display that sports a 320 x 240 pixel resolution with 256k colors. I would have liked it to be a little higher but it’s quite alright as it is. What’s quite interesting is that it has an accelerometer that will rotate the display to show you the screen in portrait mode if you like. It’s not a comfortable option owing to the fact that it has a full QWERTY keypad, but it’s there should you ever require it. Speaking of the keypad, the Galaxy Pro’s is actually very comfortable and being such a wide handset to begin with, the layout is well spaced. The raised keys are comfortable to use and facilitate speedy typing even for long stretches if need be. I particularly like the fact that it has navigation keys sitting comfortably at the bottom corner of the keypad.
Very well designed
To keep the handset small and “convenient”, Samsung has left out any sort of navigation pad. You have the touchscreen display, physical keys for Android functions like pulling up the sub-menus, Home, Return and Search, and then of course there’s the keypad. A micro USB port is located at the top under a little slider cover and can be used both for charging as well as USB connectivity. Beside that is a 3.5mm handsfree socket with a screen lock/power button located on the right and a volume/camera zoom rocker on the left. A hot Swap microSD card slot is placed under the rear panel just under the 3 megapixel camera lens.
Slim and comfortable to grip
At just 103g the Galaxy Pro is quite lightweight making it very portable and at 10.7mm in depth it’s also quite slim and although it may not look it, it’s quite a sturdy handset, capable of withstanding a few hard knocks. How I know is a professional secret (wink wink). It really is a very likeable handset.
Features and Performance
Running Android 2.2 aka FroYo on an 800MHz processor, the Galaxy Pro is a speedy handset that manages to perform quite well without much lag or disruption of the system if multi-tasking. The touch sensitivity is very responsive so getting around the features and accessing options is a breeze. What’s a little weird is that there’s also a built-in option for using a virtual QWERTY keypad instead of the physical one. I tried it and although it’s not the easiest option to use obviously, it does work out just like any other Android handset.
Did it really need an onscreen QWERTU as well...
What was a bit of a disappointment is that the Galaxy Pro lacks an indicator to let you know when there’s a message or missed call waiting to be accessed. Another let down is the absence of multi-touch functionality and a light sensor to adjust the display. Without the ambient light sensor you’ll have to adjust the display’s brightness according to your surrounding manually. Not that it’s a major problem or anything but one does expect these small things nevertheless.
The Pro’s media capabilities are more than just adequate as smartphones in this range go. The music player features a 5.1 surround sound option as well as quite a few EQ presets. As is, the audio quality via the rather comfortable handsfree (in-ear type), is not bad at all. The highs and mid range frequencies are well balanced and there’s quite a bit of bass thrown in as well. With EQ presets the audio quality and tone gets just a little better depending on your kind of music and choice of setting. The Galaxy Pro also comes preloaded with an FM radio as well that also performed quite well picking up and storing 6 of the available channels within 10 seconds and providing decent reception throughout.
Good audio quality at a decent decible
The device was able to read H264 MPEG4, 3GP and WMV video files without any issue up to a resolution of 800 x 480. The display size is conducive for watching short clips or even a couple of 40 minute episodes of your favorite TV shows but could be a bit of a strain with full length feature films.