Although the Samsung Galaxy Music smartphone does not boast the best specifications, LIRON SEGEV finds that its affordable price and music capabilities will appeal to many South African teens.
Like many people, I use my phone to carry my music collection with me, and while most phones do an acceptable job when it comes to audio, I find there are some niggly frustrations. After all, these devices focus on being a phone first.
A frustration we encounter when it comes to audio is that the phone has its speakers built into the back of the phone. Sound is however directional, meaning that when you want to show someone a cool video clip or you want to listen to music, you tend to turn the phone over so the speakers face you. This is a problem when you want to see the screen too or want to change tracks.
But, Samsung has brought out the Galaxy Music phone which, as the name suggest, is specifically optimised for music.
I took the phone on a road-trip and here are my findings:
Look and Feel:
The phone is small, measuring at 110.1x59x12.3mm and weighs in at 106,9g. It has a sexy cool feel to it and is kitted out with a chrome bevel around the edges and two metal grids covering the two front facing speakers. Samsung hasn’t used metal on their other Galaxy devices.
The device fits comfortably in your hands and you can easily operate it with one hand. It’s rounded edges make sliding it in and our of your pocket’s easy too.
It has the traditional Android buttons at the bottom, but these are not backlit which can be irritating in low light conditions as you aimlessly push in the general area hoping to tap the correct button.
On the left is the Volume rocker and the Galaxy Music has a microSD slot on the left should additional storage be needed. There is no need to remove the battery to access the slot and the 32GB microSD is hot-swappable which means it does not require a reboot to ‚”see‚” the new music on the newly inserted microSD.
On the right is the Power button and the dedicated Music button below that. Tap the Music button once and it pauses the currently playing music, another tap resumes it. Hold it down and it launches the music player all of these functions happen regardless if the screen is locked or not.
The Samsung Galaxy Music won’t win any wow-awards, as the device is pretty average.
The screen is a TFT capacitive touchscreen with 256K colours at a 133 pixel per inch density.
It has 4 GB of storage and 512 MB RAM running on a 850 MHz processor sporting single-core Cortex-A9 architecture. It does tend to stutter a bit when launching multiple apps but this stutter is not frustrating enough to notice.
The Galaxy Music runs Android 4.0 (Ice-Cream Sandwich) which is supposedly upgradeable to 4.12 (Jelly Bean).
When it comes to connectivity, the Galaxy Music connects to cell networks at speeds up to 3G, it has Bluetooth and WiFi connections too.
The camera is a rear-facing 3MP which does good job.There is no flash but there are included features like Panorama and Smile Shot.
It is important to note that the SIM is a regular size SIM making it ideal for those pre-paid SIM cards that you get at most large convenient stores.
Having the font facing speakers makes such a difference to the listening experience. The phone is not excessively loud but does hold its own, even in a room full of chatting people. It is certainly much nicer to listen to than other devices with rear-facing speakers. The Galaxy Music has a built in FM tuner and unlike other devices, it does not require headphones to be plugged in to listen to the radio.
There are some sound setting that you can play with to enhance the music experience further.
The Galaxy Music is a basic device that has a certain appeal to it. It does look the part so can be a hit with teens who are looking for a music device and not looking to spend too much money. With a recommended retail price of R1799 it is certainly cheaper than the iPod Touch but places it in the iPod Nano territory. At the same price you also have the choice of the Huawei Ascend G510 which does boast better specs but it not so in the music department.
I could not find major flaws in the device and it coped with the everyday tasks admirably well. E-mail and Web browsing were good enough and using the music-dedicated button was rather cool and will be missed on other devices.
Finally a big plus is the hot-swappable 32GB microSD that makes the sharing of music content with friends an absolute breeze.
Overall, a nice phone that is wee priced.
* Liron Segev is also known as The Techie Guy. You can read his blog at http://www.thetechieguy.com or follow him on Twitter on @Liron_Segev