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4/27/2009
08:53 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Samsung Shows Off Its First Android Phone

Today, Samsung made good on its promise to deliver a smartphone based on Google's Android platform. It announced the i7500, its first foray into the world of Android. How does it compare to HTC's hardware?

Today, Samsung made good on its promise to deliver a smartphone based on Google's Android platform. It announced the i7500, its first foray into the world of Android. How does it compare to HTC's hardware?The i7500 looks pretty slick, and its Samsung design heritage is pretty obvious. It most respects, it looks very similar to the HTC Magic in overall design. That is to say, it is a bar-style phone with a large screen and no physical keyboard.




Samsung's first Android smartphone, the i7500.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that it loses the trackball seen on the G1 and Magic, and substitutes a standard five-way directional pad instead. Personally, I prefer the trackball.

Looking at the specs, it is hard not to begin salivating. First up, it is quad-band GSM/EDGE, which means it will roam all over the world. It also has tri-band HSDPA 7.2Mbps / HSUPA 5.76Mbps 3G. Those are some swift 3G speeds. As for 3G bands, it supports the 900/1700/2100MHz frequencies. That means it can access 3G in Europe, Asia, and on T-Mobile USA's 3G network. It also has Wi-Fi.

Other niceties include a five-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash. Not bad. It also has a 3.2-inch AMOLED touch screen, which is on part with the HTC G1 and Magic. It has 8GB of storage built into the device, and also supports microSDHC cards up to 32GB, for a total of 40GB of internal storage. Nice!

Based on the lack of a physical QWERTY keyboard, we have to assume that it will be running Android 1.5, which includes the "cupcake" development brand of Android (and support for a software QWERTY keyboard).

The i7500 will launch via European network operators in June. Samsung didn't announce plans to bring it to the U.S., but it wouldn't have crammed 1700MHz support in there if it didn't plan to offer it via T-Mobile USA.

Pricing was not disclosed.

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