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Samsung Galaxy Fit review

The Samsung Galaxy Fit is low cost, but is it also short on features. Does it make a good introduction to Android? Find out in our full review.

Even by smartphone standards the Samsung Galaxy Fit has an odd name. It is the kind of name that implies some sort of special features – fitness related features. And as there is a GPS on board, and the Android Market has a whole host of tracking apps available, at the very least we expected Samsung to have pre-installed a selection for us to try. But that’s not the case. And in fact, the Samsung Galaxy Fit is a pretty standard, entry level Android smartphone.

Small in size the Samsung Galaxy Fit is well designed for smaller, childlike hands. The black and silver chassis design is a little old fashioned, but it feels robust enough, apart from the very flimsy backplate.

The 3.3 inch screen is large enough to cater for web browsing and video viewing with reasonable ease in theory, but in practice the 240 x 320 pixel resolution is a real disappointment. Web browsing is not an especially pleasant experience, and indeed text and graphics look fuzzy most of the time. An additional issue for web fans is that the relatively low spec processor doesn’t allow the Samsung Galaxy Fit to support Flash.

Beneath the screen there are two touch buttons for Menu and Back functions and a large D-pad. Press its centre and you go to the Home screen, or long press it for the task manager showing recently used apps. On our review sample this button felt rather flimsy.

Samsung has put Android 2.2 inside the Samsung Galaxy Fit and overlayed its familiar TouchWiz interface on top. Sadly there are just three home screens, but TouchWiz gives you four shortcuts at the bottom of each of them for Dialler, Contacts,  Messages and the Apps menu.

We mentioned the lack of fitness related apps at the start of this review. In fact, Samsung has added very little to basic Android. There is a little memo maker app, an FM radio, Samsung’s Social Hub, a voice recorder, Samsung Apps and QuickOffice to bulk Android out.

Social Hub brings your Facebook and Twitter action together in one place. Samsung Apps is Samsung’s own app store – less well populated than the also present Android Market. QuickOffice gives you the facility to view Microsoft Office documents, though on a smartphone with a screen of the quality that’s here we doubt you would want to do that too often.

One very welcome addition is Swype, the text entry system you use by running a finger around the keyboard without removing it from the screen. You can select this by choosing input method when viewing the keyboard itself. If it works for you it can be a lot faster than using traditional tappity-tap style keyboard input.

Wi-Fi, HSDPA and the already noted GPS are all here. But memory is short at just 280MB of RAM and 160MB of ROM. You get a 2GB microSD card to boost storage capacity out of the box, though, and the card slot is on the left edge of the chassis under a hinged cover.

It might be surprising given the generally fairly low specifications, that the camera shoots stills at 5 megapixels. It produces reasonably good shots, but without a flash and with few photography tweeks it is a bit of a point and shoot camera, but we had expected a smartphone with the Galaxy Fit’s specifications to have a 3 megapixel camera, so 5 megapixels is a definite plus.

Overall, we can’t identify a lot that makes us want to recommend the Samsung Galaxy Fit. Yet again we come back to the Orange San Francisco as the best handset at around this price we have seen.