The second ever commercial implementation of Android on a smartphone handset from a major player has been unveiled, with Samsung joining HTC in creating a device running on Google's open source platform.
As reported over on BetaNews
, the Korean company has unveiled its I7500 smartphone handset which runs on the Android mobile platform first used in HTC's Dream – which later became the T-Mobile G1.
The design is nothing dramatic at first glance, with every box you'd expect from a smartphone being ticked: GSM and HSDPA mobile connectivity alongside integrated WiFi; Bluetooth 2.0; and in-built GPS. Where it improves on its predecessor is with an impressive 5MP on-board camera, 8GB of storage which can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD slot, and a genuine 3.5mm headphone jack – no adaptors required. The horsepower is delivered by a 528MHz Qualcomm-made ARM processor. Impressively, Samsung has opted to go for a 3.2” OLED display with capacitive touch capabilities.
The physical layout of the device is a bit more modern than HTC's offering, with the strange 'chin' of the Dream ditched in favour of clean lines. At 11.9mm thick, it's pretty pocket-friendly too. This svelte layout is helped by Samsung's choice to ditch the physical keyboard and rely on the on-screen version which will be introduced in the next version of Android – a move which is sure to divide opinion.
Whatever your opinion on the missing keyboard, the T-Mobile G1 is due some competition: the I7500 will be available across Europe some time in June this year.
If you can't wait to get your hands on the Samsung I7500 and play with Android 1.5 – codenamed 'Cupcake' – then there's a way to get access to the software early: Talk Android
is reporting that users of the Android Developer version of the HTC Dream can download Android 1.5 directly from HTC
's website. Sadly, there's no such update available for users of the locked-down retail G1 from T-Mobile – although it's unlikely to be long until some enterprising hacker gets it running.
Could the I7500 be the handset you've been waiting for, or has Samsung made an error in judgement by removing the physical keyboard? Share your thoughts over in the forums