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Samsung S5300 Galaxy Pocket Review
In the realm of aptly named products, Samsung’s Galaxy Pocket fits right in. With its tiny form and sporting Google’s smartphone OS, the Pocket is aiming at capturing the throne in the lower budget smartphone segment. Of course in doing so, it will have to outperform the likes of the Spice Mi-280 and 350n and their own Galaxy Y S 5630. While there are a few differences, especially in the price tag, here’s a closer look at the Galaxy Pocket to help you decide if it’s worth your money.
The Pocket is a neat little handset that’s easy to hold in the palm of your hand, making it extremely portable. Like most Samsung smartphones, the rectangular Home button is placed front and centre, below the 2.8-inch capacitive display (240 x 320 pixels). Viewing angles aren’t the best when in broad daylight and the auto brightness option won’t make too much of a difference. You’ll have to manually set the brightness to 100 percent for better viewing, although that too isn’t optimal, but it makes things a whole lot better.
Well designed for easy grip
It weighs in at mere 97 grams, but has a weight about it that doesn’t make it feel cheap. Although the panelling is plastic, it has a quality about it that keeps up with the price, but offers a little bit of style and durability as well. The volume rocker is on the left and the power/sleep button is on the right. A 3.5mm handsfree socket is placed at the top, beside a dual function micro USB port that’s neatly covered with a flap. The Pocket comes with 3GB of internal storage and also supports microSD cards up to 32GB, making it one of the very few devices to come with this much internal memory in this price range.
Features and Performance
With an 830MHz processor powering the Galaxy Pocket that’s running on Android Gingerbread (v2.3.6), the small, but quick device proved quite handy albeit a little tiny sometimes for large fingers. We’re dubbing it a ‘ladies handset’, but with a screen this small and a full QWERTY keypad with tiny keys, slender fingers will be the call of the day. There’s also the option to switch to an alphanumeric old school keypad interface or go with a Handwriting recognition box. Overall functionality was quite seamless and while TouchWiz UX UI has its good points, you do have the choice of multiple free launchers off the Google Play store as well. But features, like left and right swiping over messages or names for dialing or messaging contacts does make for quick access when required. The drop-down menu also gives you access to networking toggle switches reducing the need for the Power Control widget that could take up unnecessary space on the small screen.
TouchWiz UX UI, looks a tad cluttered
Linpack tests gave us scores of 10.35 (average) in Single Thread runs and 8.2 (average) in Multi thread runs.
This little handset is capable of dishing out some very decent audio. Samsung included a few EQ presets that make a difference for those looking for a lightly customized experience. There’s also an option for a virtual 5.1surround experience. Although the higher frequencies seemed a tad on the sharper side, the lower (bass) tones compensated for it quite well, managing to deliver a simple, but well balanced range of audio for handset in this range. The onboard FM radio also proved to be quite an asset. It took less than 15 seconds to locate all stations, except 94.5 (that doesn’t seem to have the best signal strength yet). Reception was fair, even while commuting through the city.
Really good audio quality
The native video player features codecs for the basic video formats, like 3GP and MP4 (H.264/H.263) and supports resolutions of up to 640 x 480. With third part players, like RockPlayer you’re allowed a wider range of formats; however you will need to keep the resolution low. As long as these parameters are met with, watching videos will not be too bad. We don’t recommend watching full length movies as the smaller screen size could put a strain on your eyes. Short clips won’t be an issue.
As far as connectivity goes, the Galaxy Pocket features all the basics, like 3G, Wi-Fi (with Hot Spot) , tethering, Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and of course USB 2.0 via micro connector. The Pocket also comes with GPS and A-GPS support for Google Maps and the corresponding apps, like Latitude, Local and Navigation. Aside from the Google Play store, Samsung Apps, the company’s own app store also has a few preselected apps for the handset that will help enhance the device's functionality. Google’s array of apps that include Google Talk, Google Voice search, Google+ and its messenger app and YouTube are also included, of course. You can also access your Picasa gallery via the handset’s Gallery app. A News and Weather app has also been provided. Samsung has thrown in their Social Hub app as well to consolidate all your accounts into one space for easy access.
Plenty of connectivity
Aside from the basics, like the Calendar and the calculator, Samsung has included a few extras. Apps like Memo for taking notes that could also be emailed, sent via Bluetooth or Whatsapp or even posted to your Google+ account. A file manager and Task Manger are also provided along with Polaris document viewer and a Voice Recorder.
A few extras thrown in
Strapped with a 2 megapixel fixed focus camera with QVGA (320 x 240) video recording, don’t expect the very greatest in image quality. That being said however, the Galaxy Pocket’s camera actually fares quite well for a low-res camera phone. Image quality isn’t the sharpest, but as far as 2MP cameras go, it’s up there with the best of them. With features, like Smile Shot, auto-stitch panorama mode (up to 8 pictures) and variety of scene modes and settings, like exposure adjustment, White Balance, timer, and Geotagging, the Pocket’s camera is quite well equipped to handle the competition.
Decent for a 2MP camera
The Galaxy Pocket features a 1200mAh battery that is a definite asset to the handset’s overall performance. In our video drain test, the Pocket ran for 5 hours and 40 minutes nonstop with W-Fi running in the background downloading mails, Gtalk and Whatsapp Messages etc. It also fared well in our tech2 battery Loop Tests - it ran through one loop that consisted of two hours of video, two hours of audio, two hours audio streaming and one hour of talk time and still had about 30 percent of battery left. With that 30 percent, the Pocket still managed to start the second loop (1 hour video, 1 hour audio, 1 hour streaming and 1 hour of talk time) and ran for about 70 minutes. That included one hour of video and a little music after. In all, the Pocket gave us a total of 8 hours and 25 minutes, which is quite remarkable, especially since Wi-Fi was again constantly running in the background.
Slim and lightweight
The Bottom Line
The Galaxy Pocket comes with a price tag of 6,990 (Best Price - will vary depending on location and stores). Spice’s Mi-280 is the Pocket’s closest competitor and while priced a little lower, does not come with 3GB of onboard storage, plus MicroSD support, putting Samsung’s offering quite a bit ahead. However if you’re looking for a device in the same range with a slightly larger display, then Samsung’s own Galaxy Y (minus the 3GB of storage) is also available. Nevertheless, the Galaxy Pocket comes off as a great piece of smartphone hardware and fits well in a low-budget and your pocket.
Display Size and resolution – 2.8-inches, 240x 320
Display Type - TFT Capacitive touchscreen
Processor – 830MHz ARM 11
OS version out of the box - Android OS, v2.3
On-Board Memory - 3GB. microSD support for up to 32GB more
Net connectivity options - 3G, EDGE, GPRS, Wi-Fi
USB Connectivity - Yes (Standard micro USB)
GPS - Yes, with A-GPS support
Bluetooth - Yes, v3.0
NFC Support - No
Camera Resolution - 2 MP, fixed focus
Secondary Camera - No
Video Recording - Yes, QVGA
FM Radio - Yes
AV Out Option - Audio Out via 3.5mm socket
Noise Cancellation - No
Price - 6,990 (MOP, Best Buy)