Samsung Galaxy 551
A touch screen mobile with a sliding QWERTY keyboard is what a college boy dreams of and Samsung Galaxy 551 lives up to it. Things gets better when the phone runs on the Android OS. The whole combination is exactly what we get in Samsung’s Galaxy 551. Though this is not the first phone with such a combination in the market, it is Samsung’s first. Samsung has taken a leaf out of its Corby Pro model to come up with the Galaxy 551. Sony was the first to come up with an affordable QWERTY messenger with its Xperia Mini Pro. Though there are high end QWERTY messengers like Motorola Milestone and HTC Desire Z, Samsung’s Galaxy 551 promises to be the phone for the entry range buyers. The Galaxy 551, among the series of Galaxy mobile phones gives tough competition to Sony Xperia Mini Pro, Nokia C6 because of the physical qwerty and also proves too good for the HTC Wildfire. The Galaxy 551 is also one of the very few Samsung phones to come with Android 2.2 Froyo out of the box. There have been many positive reviews about the phone and we are going to see a review that covers the positives along with the negatives. It is the Samsung Galaxy 3 + QWERTY keypad and it is way ahead of the Galaxy 5.
Samsung Galaxy 551
Design and Build
This smartphone comes in black, though a few white ones are seen. On the first look, most of the people are likely to mistake the handset for a bar phone since its sliding QWERTY keypad is well hidden. The front of Galaxy 551 is like a regular capacitive touchscreen. There are three buttons on the front, one for the menu, the home button and the other for back. The buttons are quite solid and very easy to work with. The left side of Galaxy 551 has only one button for screen lock. The bottom has the mouthpiece. The right side of Galaxy 551 has a volume rocker and the sliding QWERTY is beneath it. The top of Galaxy 551 has a covered mini USB port which is used both for data transfer and charging. The phone does charge itself when connected to a computer. There is also a 3.5mm jack on the top for all the music needs. The back of Galaxy 551 has a speaker which never fails to impress you.
The QWERTY keyboard is surely one of the best in the class. Typing on the keypad feels so awesome. The four row QWERTY has well-spaced out buttons and these keys are slightly bulged to ensure comfort for the fingers. Each of the keys light up when the slider is opened and this is really useful when typing at night. The QWERTY has four arrow keys for navigation and Samsung seems to have avoided the D-pad navigation like in Nokia C6.
The only hard feeling about the design is that it does not feel solid. The phone is fully made of plastic and that accounts for its light weight (117g). The back of Galaxy 551 seems to be too toy like and attracts all sorts of scratches. The slide is definitely not the smoothest either.
Samsung Galaxy 551
Features and Specifications
The Galaxy 551 is powered by a 667 MHz processor which is not superfast, but sufficient for all the tasks that is asked of this phone. 284MB RAM is what Galaxy 551 is given and it does just enough to keep the phone going. With 160MB internal memory, the phone supports up to 32GB with micro SD card. The 3.2”inch display is a very rare type because it sports a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels. This is definitely one of the major drawbacks of the phone. The display fails to impress and the sharpness that Samsung is known for; in its displays; seems to be missing here. The 1200mAh battery is yet again a disappointment as it hardly seems to last a day.
One thing about Galaxy 551 that makes it a front runner is that it runs Android 2.2 Froyo. Though Android 2.3 Gingerbread is the latest, most of the devices run on Froyo for the time being. The Android OS is overlaid by the Samsung TouchWiz 3.0 launcher. The integration of the TouchWiz 3.0 launcher with Froyo is seamless. The phone book is quite good and has the ability to sync with Facebook, thereby displaying their Facebook display picture. There are lots of useful apps that are preloaded, but one misses the app for editing and creating documents out of the box. The default browser of Galaxy 551 is quite good for browsing the internet, but takes a big time to load for the first time. With the Android market, one can easily get any app for either browsing, editing documents or anything.
Music is simply superb with the DNSe feature in the Galaxy 551. The default Android music player is fully loaded and never fails to impress each time you hear music. The default headphones are quite good and being in-ear type, they are sure to cancel out any noise from the outside world. The RDS enabled radio is quite useful when you forget your memory card. The gallery is one awesome thing in this phone. The 3D gallery is just too good and it gives the pictures a whole new feel. The pictures are automatically arranged and scrolling through them is just fun. The multi-touch feature makes it even better allowing you to pinch for zoom. The default video player of the Galaxy 551 is quite good too. When the videos are put in at proper resolution (240 x 400), video watching in this phone just gets better.
Here comes the best part of the Galaxy 551. The 3.2 megapixel camera that comes packed with Auto-Focus makes this phone stand out. Photos come out so superbly with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels and there are just lots of options to choose from. There are various modes to shoot from and there are also lots of editing options. The autofocus feature makes sure we get what we want in a picture. The macro feature is sure to be enjoyed and is capable of creating many aspiring photographers. Unfortunately, there is no dedicated button for camera. This is really a big disappointment. All the focusing work has to be done using the touch screen, but it sure is fun. Video recording is not great, but it does what it is asked of. It records videos with resolution of 640 x 360 pixels at 15fps.
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS are never seen to be eliminated these days and all these features find their place in the Galaxy 551. The Wi-Fi feature is quite good and what is even better is its Portable Wi-Fi hotspot feature. This creates a wifi network with phone as the modem and others can use this network. The Bluetooth is the regular one and 3G is quite useful these days. The lack of secondary video camera in the Galaxy 551 indicates that 3G is for only data purposes. The phone guarantees great speeds with HSDPA. GPS along with A-GPS (assisted GPS) makes navigation so simple and fun.
- Phone with Battery
- USB Data Cable
- 2GB micro SD card
- Manual and Guarantee card
Why you should get Samsung Galaxy 551?
- Android 2.2 Froyo OS
- Superb QWERTY keyboard (excellent for messaging)
- Excellent 3.2 MP Camera with Auto-Focus
- Affordable ( price Rs10,500 )
- Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS (with A-GPS)
- Android Market
Why you should avoid getting Samsung Galaxy 551?
- Poor build quality and Scratch prone
- Slider feels clunky
- Poor display
- No dedicated camera key
- Very less RAM and internal memory
Samsung Galaxy 551 – Final Scores
If you are looking for an Android QWERTY mobile phone around Rs10000, then without any doubt it is Samsung Galaxy 551.
If you are looking for any touch screen mobile and QWERTY is not so important, then LG Optimus One should be your choice over the Samsung Galaxy 551.