Anticipated for months, Samsung’s first Google Android device, named the Samsung I7500, has been officially launched on Monday. With the launch of its newest mobile device, Samsung became the first company among the global top three mobile phone manufacturers to unveil an Android-powered phone.
“Samsung is among the earliest members of the Open Handset Alliance and has been actively moving forward to introduce the most innovative Android mobile phone,” said JK Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Mobile Communication Division in Samsung Electronics. “With Samsung’s accumulated technology leadership in mobile phone industry and our consistent strategy to support every existing operating system, I believe that Samsung provides the better choices and benefits to our consumers” he added.
The handset is more similar in design to the HTC Magic, rather than the T-Mobile G1, in that it features a candy bar-style form factor and doesn’t include a physical keyboard. The Samsung I7500 measures 4.5 inches tall by 2.2 inches wide by 0.4 inch thick (a slim 11.9mm waistline).
Samsung I7500 is a cutting-edge smartphone, equipped with a 3.2-inch 320 x 480 pixel AMOLED screen of HVGA resolution. The device runs on the latest 1.5 version of the Andorid OS and is equipped with a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, 1,500mAh battery, 8GB of internal memory, and microSD expansion slot (supports up to 32GB). The phone also offers all the connectivity features one might expect in a 2009 flagship phone: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Of course, as an Android device, the I7500 supports Google’s various services, such as Google Search, YouTube, Google Talk, Gmail, Google Calendar and more. The integrated GPS receiver enables the comprehensive use of Google Maps features, such as My Location, Google Latitude, Street View, and detailed route description. Hundreds of other applications are available in Android Market. For example, the application Wikitude, a mobile travel guide, allows consumers to access details of unknown sights via location-based Wikipedia articles.
The Samsung i7500 will become available in the major European countries from June. Unfortunately, plans for a U.S. release are still unclear. There is, however, potentially good news for those in the States. The Samsung I7500 is a tri-band HSDPA and HSUPA device, supporting the 900/1700/2100MHz bands, which makes it compatible with the T-Mobile’s 3G network.
The price isn’t yet officially announced. Rumor has it that it will be in the region of 300 euro before taxes and subsides.
In other Android news, it looks like G1 owners in Germany will be the first to get the Android 1.5 software update. And, according to the info posted on androidguys.com, the update will be available in May, bringing such enhancements as video recording, stereo Bluetooth, an onscreen keyboard, and more.