Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 Review
The Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 launched in the Philippines a few weeks ago. We were able to get a loaner unit from Samsung to test out for a couple of weeks for this review. We’ve pretty much put it through the paces already and we’re ready to share with everyone what we think about it. Before that though let’s quickly go over the specs.
Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 Spec Sheet
- Single core, 1GHz CPU
- 512 MB RAM
- 8GB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via micro-SD
- 4.2-inch Display, 480 x 800 pixels, ~221ppi
- 2 megapixels rear camera, 0.3 megapixels front facing camera
- OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- 1500 mAh Battery
The question we want to answer with this review is this: who should buy the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.2? It can be confusing since while it’s priced lower than the iPod Touch, it doesn’t have the same number of apps. You also might want to just forgo this and buy a mid-range Android phone instead. Based on our testing though there is a market for this, a pretty big one at that. I think we’ve found the answer to the question posed above so read on to find out.
Hardware Design and Build
Samsung manages to knock the ball out of the park when it comes to the design. The Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 is like a cross between the Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3. It literally looks like a phone and you wouldn’t know it wasn’t unless you take a close look and start playing around with it. Slim, lightweight, and solid when in your hands.
The volume rocker and the sleep/wake button are on the right side. The mini-USB port for data transfer and charging is at the bottom together with the headphone jack. On the display you’ll find the standard Android buttons at the bottom as well as the speaker grille. At the back is the rear-facing camera. There’s a front facing camera as well for video conferencing.
The backplate is removable which means that the battery is replaceable (always a good thing). There’s also a micro-SD card slot for additional storage. Just get a 64GB card and you’re pretty much good to go.
I look at the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 as more of a smaller and more pocketable tablet than a smartphone without telephony. You can do almost everything you can do with a tablet using it. Social networking? Check. Reading and sending e-mails? Check. Browsing the web? Check. Playing games? Check. Watching videos? Check. Video conferencing? Check. Listen to your music? Check. Download and enjoy Google Play apps? Check.
That said let me take this opportunity to correct something. There’s this misconception that the Google Play app selection is lightyears away from the Apple App Store. I can’t say they’re both on the same level but one thing is for sure: there are tons of apps on Google Play that will keep you busy and happy. You also have to note that there is a pretty good selection of free apps on Google Play. The best example here is the Angry Birds series. You don’t actually have to fork out cash to be able to play the entire game (because Angry Birds is ad-based on Google Play).
The Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 also comes pre-installed with several premium apps. One of them is Need for Speed. I’ve spent countless hours already playing that game in the last few weeks. It’s a great way to pass time. You can also play FIFA if you’re a football fan.
Most of the games we played didn’t lag. If ever it did it was because the phone would release several notifications from e-mail and our social networking accounts. Based on our testing the 1GHz processor held up and was able to power the apps we regularly used.
If ever I do have criticism for the software of the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2, it’s that it’s still running Gingerbread. There are a lot of functionalities and enhancements that both Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean bring to the table that you just can’t ignore. While there haven’t been any announcements of future updates for this device, we doubt there ever will be due to the 1GHz processor. Yes, it’s enough to run the core functions but it might not be enough for ICS and JB.
The Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 delivers very well when it comes to the media player department. You can play a variety of videos on the default video player. If you have anything that it can’t play you might want to download any of the free or premium players that can. I watched around 5 episodes of Suits on this thing while I was in the car (I have a driver, don’t watch and drive) and I have no complaints. Why not watch it on a tablet instead? Well there are times that I don’t want to reach back into my bag and get the iPad. With the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 I can just easily get it from my pocket.
When it comes to music the default app is good but there are a lot more of apps that you can buy that will enhance it even more. You might want to check out WinAMP, PowerAMP, or Voodoo. These apps will really make your Galaxy S Wifi 4.2 and your headphones sing. If you manage to put in a portable amplifier as well then you’re pretty much golden (it goes well with the FiiO E11).
By the way, ditch the earphones that comes in the box and buy good headphones or in-ears if you want awesome listening sessions.
One complaint that I hear often about Android portable media players is that there are no accessories for it. I assume people are talking about stereos with docks. That’s not really something to consider since you can connect your player via cable to most speakers. Also the latest speakers are mostly bluetooth enabled as well (check out the Soundfreaq Sound Kick, Divoom BlueTune, or the foxL V2) which the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 has built-in.
UPDATE: We just got sent a demo unit of a speaker from Philips with a dock for Android devices. This one is compatible with the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2. Expect a review soon.
Pricing and Availability
The Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 sells for Php9,990. It’s already available in most gadget shops as well as Samsung Mobile stores.
Like what we said earlier the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 is like a mini Android tablet. You get tons of features in a smaller package. This makes it more versatile and useful than the iPod Nano and while it doesn’t have a wider selection of apps than the iPod Touch you’ll definitely have an easier time loading videos into this since you don’t need to keep converting every single video you have to MP4 just so you can load it via iTunes.
How about the question on either getting this or a mid-range Android smartphone? Well this answer is not for everyone but a lot of audiophiles will agree with me on this… I hate getting notifications or getting interrupted by texts and calls while I’m enjoying my music during my downtime. Of course if you’re scrimping then you can settle with your smartphone and not get a separate media player but if you can really like it and you can afford it then why not?
So back to the question… who is the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 for?
If you’re looking for a beautifully designed dedicated portable media player (something you can pocket) with massive storage (thank you micro-SD) that also lets you do e-mail, enjoy your media collection without any hassle, social networking, and play games then the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 is for you. It’s literally an Android tablet that you can pocket.
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