Should I go for Spica? + some questionsSupport


  1. Triple-H

    Triple-H Member

    Hi

    I recently heard about Samsung Galaxy Spica, and I really like the fact that it is pretty cheap and still offers the super awesome Android OS.

    I am seriously considering buying this phone soon, but I have some questions to those of you who use Spica:

    1- How good is the touch screen sensitivity? I have a Samsung Star, and it's touch screen is not very responsive. I just want to know whether Spica is good or not compared to iPhone or HTC products when comes to touch screen responsiveness and sensitivity.

    2- Is there any lagging in the phone? On some videos on YouTube, I could notice that Spica scrolling lags many times, especially when scrolling in the app menu. This issue is of high importance to me: if Spica lags when scrolling in menu or in contacts or webpages, then I dont think I am gonna buy it. How is lagging in this phone compared to iPhone or HTC products [if you tried any]?

    3- Is the accelerometer good? I once tried an android game called Labyrinth on HTC G1 and iPhone, and I noticed it worked better on the android system. I just wanna know if Spica's accelerometer is good enough to run such games smoothly and without errors.

    4- How good is the camera on the 2.1 OS? I read that it doesn't have any options in the 1.5 android, is the same true for the new one? Also, how good is the auto focus? I like shooting close-up pictures and I really care for this issue. One more thing: is there an android app that can do auto-focus like iPhone does?[touching the part you want to focus on]

    5- Is the lack of proximity sensor a very major issue?

    6- Did any one of you try using Android Scripting Environment on Spica? How good is it?

    7- Is it possible to use multitouch in the new 2.1 update?

    8- is there any reason that made you regret buying the Spica? [plz mention it even if it is very slight] are there any limitations on software from the app market for example? is it slower than it should? is its camera not good as it should be? is its screen too easily scratched? etc,,,


    I know I just asked so many questions, but I don't want to end up being an unhappy Android user because of the phone itself. :D

    Thanks a lot!

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  2. Sgt. Keel

    Sgt. Keel New Member

    Hi,

    I've only had my Spica for a few weeks, it's my first Android device, and I don't have any real experience with the iPhone and other current smartphones, but for what it's worth, here's my two cents:

    (I use a normal unbranded German-market Spica I bought from Amazon and my provider is O2. I upgraded from Android 1.6 to 2.1 right away via Samsung's crappy official New PC Studio updater)

    No direct comparison, I only used various Palm devices through the ages, car PNAs and so on, and the Spica's touchscreen feels very responsive and easy to use, no problems there. It's a capacitive type, non-multitouch.
    The phone does lag occasionally, especially with heavy multitasking. Using the CoPilot navigation software with E-mails and my RSS reader both updating messages in the background, substantial lag can occur.
    The visual lag when scrolling through the apps seems to be entirely dependent on the home screen app that is being used. The stock Pantheon home screen has almost no lag, and right now I stick with Helix v1 which also seems to have no lag issues whatsoever. Home++ on the other hand introduced extreme lag of the whole app menu for me, even after trying all settings of the corresponding tuning options in the menu.
    Not sure about this one, haven't really tested it thoroughly.
    Being a hobby photographer might have given me too high expectations, but I dare say the Spica's camera is beyond useless. The primary gripe is the 3+ second shutter lag which by itself makes the camera pretty much useless for anything but landscape shots from a tripod :D. However, even if you do manage to snap a picture of an animate object before the latter has left the room and returned with a coffee, the picture will still be useless because the color reproduction is just sad, the automatic white balance is completely useless, and overall picture quality in terms of sharpness and distortion is also nothing to brag about. Only thing it has going for itself is that it produces reasonable 3.2MP images instead of the inflated pseudo-5MP-crap other phones pretend to give you.
    Don't buy that phone to take pictures with it :D.
    I would have thought so, but so far, my ear has not tried to place a call or download stuff while I was talking on the phone, so it doesn't seem to be an issue.
    Nope.
    Nope.
    If you heavily use the phone (3G, Wifi, GPS, Browsing, Mailing, Calling) the battery can be drained in less than a day, and the screen attracts smudges, but I guess those are general gripes with most smartphones. I've had some trouble with the phone completely freezing (had to remove the battery) after going to sleep with the WiFi enabled, but it's somehow getting better the past days, no idea why. I guess with the multitude of options and possibilities (hardware as well as software) always comes a lack of polish and reliability, but I think one knows this before going down the Android route, so that's ok for me. I think I'd buy it again, because while it's lacking some features (multitouch, internal storage, better battery, bigger screen), the price point alone makes the whole package so insanely attractive (€240,- incl. 19%VAT, brand-new, unbranded, non-locked, directly from Amazon Germany) that it's simply hard to get around this phone right now if you're on a budget (if being able to spend 200-300 bucks on a phone can be considered being on a budget, obviously :D).

    Cheers
    Markus
    Anil Kumar likes this.
  3. Beerkan

    Beerkan Well-Known Member

    Markus,

    Are you using Android 2.1? Later 2.1 firmwares are much faster than 1.6.

    And in 2.1 the camera fucntions much better. While it's no match against a dedicated camera, it does take a few seconds to start up the camera. But to take a piccy you don't press the button down. You release it. i.e. Press and hold it down, then release to take a picture. Pretty much zero lag. I believe Samsung did it that way to reduce camera shake.

    It's most likely a new Spica will come with Android 1.6 firmware. So if you do go for the Spica, updating it will improve many things. Including camera, battery life, speed etc.
  4. Triple-H

    Triple-H Member

    Thank you for your replies!

    There is one weird point here: you said that the battery is too weak, but it seems that the only thing Samsung is bragging about is Spica's big battery.

    Compared to HTC Hero, websites say it's better. Anyway, no phone can survive having wi-fi/GPS turned on for more than one day, so I that's not a big problem.

    Thanks again!
  5. Sgt. Keel

    Sgt. Keel New Member

    @Beerkan
    Yes I updated to 2.1 right away when I received the phone, still don't fancy the camera, though.

    @Triple-H
    As I said, I don't have a real comparison, my main benchmark is my 1999 IBM Workpad/Palm IIIx which had a standby-time measured in months :D...No, seriously, I have no idea how the Spica's relatively large battery compares to the competition, I get by with it just fine. As soon as the initial euphoria wears off, i.e. as soon as I can stop fiddling around with the phone and browsing the market all the time, I'll hopefully find out if the real-world stand-by time is any good. If you use any of the wireless/gps services for prolonged periods of time, you'll have to charge the phone every 24 or 48h, but again, I think that's not specific to the Spica.
  6. remolon

    remolon Member

    I'v been using SPICA for more than two months now and am completely satisfied!!!

    There are certain grey areas that you should look for!
    Here in my blog i have reviewed SPICA completely though with Android V1.5
    Check this BLOG.

    In my opinion SPICA is worth what you are paying for!
  7. Beerkan

    Beerkan Well-Known Member

    Even better with 2.1
  8. Rogdor

    Rogdor Member

    I'm pretty happy with my Spica. For a budget phone (I got it very cheap), it's been great. Especially since I was able to update it to 2.1.

    Stuff I really like:

    - For a low cost phone, it's pretty fast in games and apps, especially with 2.1.

    - It plays DivX and XviD .AVI files directly! Great video playback.

    - Loud and clear audio, which is very important to me with a phone (I always find the iPhone soooo quiet).

    - Really robust Wi-Fi signal for me. I can take it further than my other devices and it's still connected to my LAN.

    - Huge battery, lasts longer than most Android phones.

    I've got lots positive I could say, it compares well to my gf's HTC Magic, but I figured you'd best be served with the cold hard negatives, even if I think they're minor they may be important to you.

    Stuff that sucks:

    - No Multitouch. It probably will never get multitouch, but there's a slim chance someone might be able to hack it in. Double-tap to zoom is what I prefer most of the time, but lack of multitouch does limit some games (though I hate on-screen gamepads).

    - The GPS sometimes hiccups and crashes apps. I'm not sure why. This was worse with 1.5, but still happens for me. Seems to depend on how the app polls the GPS, because some work great.

    - The camera is a bit slow too.

    - The compass in my Spica is really awful. It makes augmented reality apps like Google Sky Map and Celeste a bit useless.

    - The touchscreen isn't as sensitive as the HTC's or the iPhone. This has also improved with 2.1 though.

    - Samsung's custom "Pantheon" interface with 2.1 is a pain, the app drawer doesn't alphabetize and they seem to be trying to go for an iPhone look. You can just install a home / launcher to replace it though (LauncherPro is really fast on the Spica for instance).

    That's all off the top of my head for now. Even with the quirks, I love this thing.

    For me, this is a great low cost phone while I try to justify whether I'll shell out for an unlocked Galaxy S. For you, well I guess it depends which features are most important to you.
  9. Beerkan

    Beerkan Well-Known Member

    MultiTouch is copyrighted by Apple. That's why we're unlikely to see it.
  10. Rogdor

    Rogdor Member

    Actually that's not that simple. They've said it's patented technology, but Apple hasn't filed a definitive patent for Multitouch specifically and there's probably a lot of valid prior art in various UI gesture patents. Even the lawsuit against HTC doesn't contain a specified Multitouch patent.

    From what I've heard, the problem with the Spica is the difficulty in updating the screen driver to enable multitouch. Those drivers are not part of the OS firmware apparently.

    There's multitouch on the new Samsung Galaxy S. Quite excellent multitouch control from what I've seen in demos online. So even if Samsung was worried about Apple's patent claims before, they don't seem to be now.

    Either way, I guess it's all semantics, because it's unlikely to come to the Spica. =/

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