Thread Author (OP)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Device(s): Nexus 10, Samsung Galaxy Fit
Carrier: Not Provided
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How I feel about the G-Fit
Just some initial impressions about the Samsung Galaxy Fit:
I am a new user of Android having spent most of my time on Symbian and a brief period of time on Win Mob 6.x. My last phone was a Nokia E63, which was a so-called "business phone", albeit at the low end of the Nokia range.
While I had no complaints with the Nokia, it did feel a bit clunky and I restricted myself in using it for SMS and calls on - nothing that a cheaper "feature phone" cannot do. I gave up on the E63 because (1) it was randomly dropping network connections and there were nagging problems with network reception and (2) because I was gifted a phone - in the sense that I was given the money as a gift.
Choice of Brand
Why did I choose Samsung? No particular reason. I had never even seem a Samsung phone before this. Though I did once see a HTC a few years back. I have used Samsung products before though - their ACs, fridges, an external monitor and other such stuff. At one point I also thought of buying a Samsung laptop and their most recent S9 or whatever it is called looks very good. But I am heart a ThinkPad user and that is what I bought. All this to say that the brand is known to me - just their phones were not.
Choice of OS: Android
Let's face it. I am a user of Google products. I am overly dependent on Gmail. I do use Docs (but less so after the launch of Office Web Apps). I spend time on the web using IE9 and Chrome. I do use Google Calendar.
I have been reading about Android for a while now but had never had a chance to use it. Having said that I should also add that the choice of an OS (except in the case of my laptops) have never been of any importance to me. Of course, I like flexibility, but stability is important too, which is why though I did try Linux (on my laptops) from time to time and loved the experience, I always reverted back to Windows with which I have never had a problem of any kind. I have never been partial to Apple products though they look very good and I have never used them. Again, there is no reason for this. I have never had a chance to use a Mac or an iPhone or iPad for that matter.
My experience of Win Mob 6.x was a Palm 700 series phone. While I loved the phone, the OS was a bit jaded. To me even Symbian was better than that.
Since I did not want to use Symbian and WP7 is rare (and expensive) in my neck of the woods, I opted for Android.
Choice of Galaxy Fit
Principal reason was budget. When I went into the shop I knew I wanted a Samsung (I did think about the HTC, but...). I don't think I made a mistake. I saw the Galaxy Fit and some other similar models - don't remember the names. Though I think I did make a mistake in the sense of not having opted for the Ace, which I never even saw till after I had already bought the Fit.
The G-Fit is a smart phone and by smart, I mean in looks. It has a clean shape and form-factor. I wish the "home" button (the only physical button on the phone) had a pointer function. As it is, it is useless to be since I seem to be using the touch-based "return" button more.
The screen is not bad. I am saying this because I have not seen any other screen. But from what I read in the reviews, it is not a very good one. I can attest to the fact that the screen is virtually unreadable in sunlight. To me, however, the colors look sharp and bright when indoors. It is also pleasant to touch. Flipping between screen is, while not smooth, not essentially jerky either.
The phone froze on me twice since I have had it - around a month. In each case, I had to take out the battery. This leads me to comment on the backcover. While it is nice n all to look at, it is a pain to open to access the battery (or sim card). It is difficult to work with. I wish the design were different.
I don't really know what I was expecting from Android, but nothing in the world has changed significantly since I started using it except for the following:
(1) I was amazed to have Gmail on at all times, natively! While this is good, it does concern me in terms of security and related matters. Same with Gtalk.
(2) Similarly the access to Docs was also welcome. Though the limitations of Docs is quite evident on the phone.
(3) The GPS and mapping functionality is awesome - and free (well, except for the data charges, which in my case is very low upto a limit of 2GB).
(4) To be able search the web through Google (and voice enabled at that) directly from the palm of my hand gives me a liberated feeling. It is something that has helped me materially in a number of ways over the last week.
I found the Market place to be confusing and ultimately boring and full of generally useless stuff. I have not bought any apps yet and have limited myself to only the free ones. But I can see that there are a few apps that I will need to buy (like Docs2Go or Mobile Office) to make the phone truly useful. I did try some of the games. The experience is OK - especially if you are stuck in an airport waiting on a delayed flight. Otherwise nothing spectacular.
I have taken only a few photos with the camera and they have not been bad, but then again, I am not a photographer and don't know much about these things. I do note the lack of flash though, which may be a problem sometimes - like not being able to use it as a flashlight!
The music player is not bad at all and the Samsung supplied earphones that came in the box though cheap-looking deliver an above average sound. I found it strange that I could not stop the player. But then someone advised me that in Android apps are relegated to the background and are called back without needing to restart all over again. Interesting concept, but it also means that one could end up with a lot of processes running in the background all the time - probably impact on battery life negatively?
On the whole I think that if one wants to get introduced to the Android scene, the Galaxy Fit is a good phone given its relatively low price point (which can now only drop further). This is a phone to muck around with. So, in the coming days (and as my cash reserves build up), I will be looking to root the phone and start using custom ROMs. Best to try this stuff on a low-end phone than on a high end one. I have dropped the phone twice. Nothing seems to have happened to it. I don't detect any scratches on the screen and I do not have a screen protector on. The phone is compact and comfortable to hold.
Biggest Problem: Battery.
If you use Wifi when available and the mobile data connection when not, if you are constantly looking things up on the web, if you make and receive at least 10 calls per day averaging anywhere between 1-10 minutes, and if you have the GPS on all the time, then you can expect a serious charging problem. You will either need to carry an extra battery (which I don't) or the charger (which I do, only sometimes).
I am in a bit of a quandary. I know that I am going to buy a new phone within the next 12 months. The question is whether I will continue with Android (choosing either a Samsung or HTC platform) or should I go with WP7 on a Nokia platform? The latter has the advantage of the presumed tight integration between WP7 and the Windows eco-system (which aside from Outlook I use extensively). On the other hand an Android unit coupled with a paid version of Docs2Go etc. may also work. But that is a little into the future.
If you are looking for an entry level Android phone that is "smart", then the G-Fit is a good candidate for your consideration. After the first 6 months or so, you can get a bit experimental by playing around with custom ROMs etc. The working assumption is that you will be buying another phone within the next 12 months or so - call it an upgrade or whatever.