The Samsung Galaxy S is a very slim, attractive handset. The AMOLED screen is vibrant and expansive, the loudspeaker throaty and the call quality more than adequate. So why do I feel like burning it?
Certain design choices act as small tributaries of annoyance to that torrent of dislike. One is the placement of the USB port at the top of the phone, making it awkward to use the device while charging it. Another is the decision to assign the leftmost of the seven Android app screens as the homescreen, which makes it tiresome at best to search through more than two or three screens of apps.
It is also far too easy to get past the swipe screen that's meant to stop the handset turning on in your pocket. It frequently does activate in that position, with hilarious consequences.
But no, it's the bugginess of the device that gets me. I'm currently on my second Galaxy S review unit, having returned the first for: black-screening; suddenly quitting apps; hanging apps; and, most delightfully, going beserk when a call is incoming then freezing, making it impossible to answer.
When I tweeted something about the phone's apparent bugginess, I got an impressively swift and concerned call from Samsung's representatives, who put me in touch with a Samsung engineer who diagnosed that my baseband version was out of date. Apparently this could be updated through Samsung's Kies software — yes, the same Kies software that can reportedly send your phone back to factory settings or void your warranty, although the latter is not Samsung's fault — but the engineer accepted that I already have way too many conflicting phone management suites on my laptop, and had Samsung send me a newer, more up-to-date phone.
And hurrah, I'm no longer getting the black-screening or hanging apps. What I am getting — and I'm not sure if this is new or had simply been ignored until now — are noises to wake me up. Firstly, there's the noise it makes to proudly announce it's fully charged. You know, in the middle of the night.
Secondly... well, the Sherlocks among you may note that I'm posting this piece early on a Monday morning, in fact, on a bank holiday Monday morning. The first Monday morning in recent memory on which I've been free to sleep late. Last night I deleted (not deactivated, but *deleted*) my weekday alarm, in honour of this event. But no, somehow it went off.
Sad to say it, but this really is one of the worst implementations of Android I have yet encountered.