Gadget Review: Samsung Galaxy S 111 A Solid, Sexy Swipe at the iPhone and Blackberry

This Samsung Galaxy 111 is an initial and massive missive into the Blackberry World that is Jamaica and the Caribbean. The  Samsung Galaxy 11 was a whisper, the 111 now, is a jump, scream and shout of a product and here’s why. I got the phone at the Samsung launch in Kingston with its local partner Digicel. It was just before I left for London vacation, so it was a great time of summer with the Olympics and all, to give this phone a good workout. So my review reflects how I used it, what I loved most and what I discovered by accident as well. Hence the Sexy, the Screen, the Camera, The ScreenShot, the MicroSim experience mini headings.

The Sexy

At first look the phone seems big, because the  huge screen. That big screen is perfect for photo and HD video playback, reading articles and documents on the go and not to mention fantastic for gamers. But let me start with that first catches your eye with this Phone, it’s sexy. This casing I have is the glossy marble white, but it’s when you switch to the Apps screen and those icons pop out at you in vibrant technicolour that you smile.

The Screen and my Flipboard App

The wow about the screen came for me when I used the Android FlipBoard App. The app based on how you set it up, aggregates your favourite blogs, sites, social feeds into a social magazine and its constantly updated. I love the app. And reading it on the screen this size is pure pleasure.
The 4.8 inches of screen is the first thing you notice about the SG 111. It’s big. In fact you can fit an entire iPhone on the screen alone. For some this may be good or bad, for me it was all good. Having a large screen is great for so many things, yes you camera, your photo and HD video playback, reading your Twitter timeline and when reading the blogs and site you visit regularly, you really appreciate the large screen and the touch screen controls to make the pages, text even bigger.

The Camera

I gave the front facing camera and the 30fps, no shutter lag features a test when I was roadside at the Olympics Men’s Cycling. I started by contextualising where I was using the front facing camera, though not unique to the SG 111. Then I stood with my finger on the trigger to catch these guys as they sped by at top speed. What resulted is a mini photo essay of sorts.

Then if you are venturing out alone you and are too shy to ask people to take a photo of you, well, set up your shot on your screen, switch again to front facing camera and click away. This is what I did while strolling along Big Ben and heading to the London Eye in SouthBank. The other tech specs  of the camera are that it has 8 megapixels, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash. Additionally when you take a photo with your friends the social/face tag feature pops up allowing you if you want to tag your friends and then share the photo of course. While I didn’t test this feature, it’s sure good to know you have it -simultaneous HD video and image recording.

Front Facing Camera captured The London Eye in the background

Front Facing Camera captured The London Eye in the background

 

The ScreenShot
Yes you read that right. I discovered this feature by accident actually. I was cleaning the screen of the phone and heard that loud familiar camera shutter sound you hear when taking a screenshot on your laptop. When I had a look there it was a screen shot of my website. It’s officially called the Palm Swipe screen capture feature. This is very useful for people like myself who read and research online alot and likes to archive information for later use.

 

The Syncing of Contacts and Media from another phone.

I had saved my contacts at One Media Hub, so what was not on my SIM, was there. So it was a matter of downloading the One Media App on the phone, then click Sync and all of my contacts are there. I also just took the media card out of the previous phone and inserted in the slot of this one. Transfer was seamless. All photos,videos and contacts transferred with ease.

 

The MicroSIM Experience
When I opened the back of the phone I realised it needed a MicroSIM, which means I had to cut the one I had as getting a new phone number was not an option. Now I could have tried my own skills, but chose to call around. One established Smartphone serving store I called told me JMD$6,900 as it’s a one use kit and very successful. After gasping in horror, I said that you and went on to calling other places. I found a store in Manor Park that did it for me in 5 seconds at a cost of JMD$300, now that was the right price and time for me.

 

The Other Features
OS
Android OS, v4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

NetWork Connectivity
2G Network GSM 850/900/1800/1900
3G Network HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100
4G LTE where available

Memory
Card Slot – microSD up to 64GB
Internal- 16/32/64 storage, 1GB RAM
And you can get more detail tech specs on the www.samsung.com

In the end.
So I know you are saying ok the phone is sexy, screen is vibrant, sharp and pic, it takes fantastic photos and HD video, it’s very social in it’s features, it’s fast, can handle 4G and is a pleasure to read, watch movies and tweet from, but what about the instant messaging. Come on now people, no need to worry about that. I’m sure by now you would have heard about What’s App, the free download instant messenger that allows you  to communicate with your friends on other platforms such as the BBMessenger or on the iPhone. So now you are truly sorted.
My experience with the SG 111 has been seamless and exciting, and I discover new features as I go along, there are alot. The only question remains, will this flagship Samsung Galaxy 111 smartphone be enough to sway the Jamaican/Caribbean market to the Android platform from the seemingly entrenched love for the Blackberry and the flirting relationship it seems to be having with the iPhone. Only time and the consumers will tell, but without question, this phone is a sexy, solid swipe at its competitors.