|Review: Samsung Galaxy Y Pro|
Friday, 03 February 2012 11:40
At R1 499, the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro is an entry-level smartphone and a possible alternative to the BlackBerry. In fact, this Samsung even looks a bit like many BlackBerry handsets.
Look and feel
The Galaxy Y Pro is pleasant to use, with a touch-screen, scroll-pad and Qwerty keyboard. The display is colourful, and navigation between the various menus is fairly simple. The device's rounded corners ensure it sits comfortably in the user's hands, while the textured back fitting helps prevent it slipping from grip.
Despite the phone's plastic feel, it is not unpleasing to the eye. It is nowhere near as thin as some of the higher-end smartphones on the market, but I'm fairly hesitant about phones that look like they might snap if squeezed too tightly.
Interface, performance and usability
The Galaxy Y Pro runs on Android Gingerbread. The interface is clean and easy to navigate, and the keyboard has shortcuts to access widgets, the home-screen, return and search.
One of the drawbacks of a keyboard-and-touch-screen phone is a smaller screen. As a result, I found making selections with the touch-screen tricky at times (and I don't have big fingers).
Having said that, the apps are well spaced on the screen, making selection easy, and the Qwerty keyboard can be used for texting and making calls. The keyboard is spacious, with rounded keys, and I found holding the phone and texting with one hand fairly easy and comfortable.
The screen locks automatically when not in use, which is great. However, I found that unlocking it by first pressing the power button was counter-intuitive.
Making and receiving calls is simple. I really like that one icon on the home display takes the user to all the call options, including making calls, the call log, contacts and favourite numbers.
As already motioned, the display is smaller than those of full touch-screen phones. The screen has a 320 x 240 pixels resolution. While this is lower than a lot of the phones Android contemporises, I found that the sharpness sufficiently displayed the phone's apps and menus.
The apps are also well spaced, making selection easy with the capacitive touch-screen.
Considering the phone's price, the inclusion of WiFi connectivity really is a bonus. I like having the option to use a WiFi connection for browsing, because it saves on precious airtime.
The phone comes with USB 2.0, which is not as fast as USB 3.0, but is sufficient for transferring small files, like MP3s and photos.
The 3MP camera on the Galaxy Y Pro is rather disappointing. To make matters worse, the camera does not have a flash. Needless to say, I wasn't able to take snapshots of my mates and I painting the town red with this phone, and it loses points in this department.
That being said, for the Galaxy Y Pro's price, the camera is adequate and users on a budget may be happy to forgo on camera capacity in order to save some money. Hey, some people still take their digital cameras out with them, and not everyone wants a phone that replaces a slew of other consumer devices.
On the plus side, users of the Galaxy Y Pro will be pleased to find the phone comes with an MP3 player and FM radio.
The phone also has a voice recorder.
Apps and features
I was surprised to find that the Galaxy Y Pro did not come preloaded with the usual social media apps like Twitter and Facebook. However, it does have G-Talk, YouTube and Google Search apps. Samsung has also thrown in some of its own apps, including Samsung IM and Samsung e-mail.
There are also shortcuts to the Samsung App store and the Android store for users wanting to boost the phone's app offering.
Being accustomed to charging most phones everyday, I was pleasantly surprised by the Pro's battery life. The phone lasts two to three days under normal usage, including browsing, e-mailing and using the preloaded chat apps.
In a nutshell
The Galaxy Y Pro does not come with as fancy a camera as some of the pricier handsets on the market, and users will have to forgo on processing power. Yet, it offers great value for money.
Here's a phone that offers users smartphone functionality, including e-mail, browsing and access to a wide range of apps, at a fraction of the cost of higher-end handsets.
Software platform: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
Dimensions: 110.8 x 63.5 x 11.5mm
Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB 2.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Sensor: Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity
Camera: Rear-facing 3MP
Battery: Standard battery, Li-on 1 200 mAh, talk time: 460 minutes (3G), standby time: 363 hours (3G)
Storage and memory: 160MB internal memory ? 2GB inbox ? microSD (up to 32GB)
Pros: Affordably priced, great battery life, intuitive OS, crisp display
Cons: Camera is a tad disappointing; display is a bit small for a user-friendly touch-screen
Price: R1 499
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