Samsung I9070 Galaxy S Advance review: While-u-wait
Here's one to keep you busy while you wait for the Galaxy S III. One that may help the original Galaxy S finally take the hint and hang up its boots. The Galaxy S Advance is the next in a string of sequels looking to get the best afterburn out of Samsung's top-selling Android flagships.
The Samsung Galaxy S Advance could be spotted at this year's MWC along with other space-fillers like the Wave 3 and the Omnia W. Nothing wrong with either of those but the actual stars of the show were a couple of tablets and a new projector phone. Samsung had a rather underwhelming showing and used the venue to promote the hell out of their Galaxy Note.
Phoneblets and tablets must be higher on Samsung's agenda these days. Or they may've been asked to kindly abstain from major launches to give the Galaxy Nexus a good free run. Whatever the reason, the Galaxy S Advance comes at a dry time for the company in terms of major phone headlines.
- Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support
- 14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA support
- 4.0" 16M-color Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of WVGA (480 x 800 pixel) resolution; Scratch-resistant coating
- Android OS v2.3.6 with TouchWiz 4 launcher
- 1 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, Mali-400 MP GPU, 768MB of RAM
- 5 MP autofocus camera with a powerful LED flash, face and smile detection
- 720p HD video recording at 30fps
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n support; DLNA and Wi-Fi hotspot
- GPS with A-GPS connectivity; digital compass
- 8/16GB of inbuilt storage, microSD slot
- Accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- microUSB port
- Stereo Bluetooth v3.0
- FM radio with RDS
- Gorilla Glass
- 1.3MP secondary camera
- Document editor
- File manager comes preinstalled
- No 1080p video recording
- No Super AMOLED Plus, pentile matrix display suffers pixelation
- No dedicated camera key
- microSD card under the battery cover
- Launches with Gingerbread
OK, life is a series of peaks and troughs and the S Advance finds itself at the low end of the oscillation. But it's by no means in need of being comforted and reassured. This is a rather solid package we're looking at, considering it'll be competing in the midrange. The combination of dual-core and Super AMOLED puts it in the elite company of the Note, the Nexus and the Galaxy S II.
Of course there's fine print in just about every deal. The AMOLED screen of the Galaxy S Advance is the PenTile variety and the WVGA resolution isn't the best there is. The NovaThor U8500 chipset is still to prove its worth and there's no commitment to ICS upgradability as yet.
Samsung are known for trying to rule any price segment by sheer numbers and the Galaxy S Advance gives them extra penetration in the upper midrange. What we're not sure about is whether they need all that depth. Having already seen the Galaxy R at work, it seems the S Advance doesn't offer that much more.
They're perhaps meant for different markets. The S Advance for example is expected to debut in Russia before seeing wider availability. Anyway, the S Advance and the Galaxy R look very similar on paper save for the screens and the chipsets. But we won't rush to judgments before we've run our usual benchmarks. No need to tell you they're coming up, but first we'll see about the design and build.