Samsung Galaxy Icon review: Samsung Galaxy Icon

Typical Price: $749.00
Compare These
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Sleek design. 8GB storage and 3.5mm headphone socket. HSDPA, Wi-Fi, GPS. Android Cupcake OS installed.

The Bad Bad battery life. Poor multimedia support. Touchscreen isn't as responsive as we'd like.

The Bottom Line Samsung puts Android into a nicely designed handset, but doesn't take it to the next level by customising the Android build. The hardware is nice, but we'd love to see Samsung deliver an Android smartphone with all the trimmings of its Windows and Symbian devices.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.9 Overall

We've been looking forward to this; finally a second manufacturer has released an Android phone in Australia. This is nothing against HTC, mind you, we've loved its take on Google's OS so far, but with competition comes innovation and we want to see the next generation of Android phones storming into mobile phone stores.

El Mariachi

OK, hands up who remembers The Three Amigos? This may sound silly but every time we look at the Samsung Galaxy, with its piano black finish and squiggly silver icons on its buttons, we're instantly reminded of the flamboyant, embroidered jackets worn by Mexican mariachis. This isn't to say that the Galaxy is an ugly phone, in fact we like it. Its 3.2-inch screen size and overall footprint give this phone the same feeling as the HTC Magic, which fits perfectly in the hand.

The Galaxy makes use of five external face keys plus a five-way nav pad, in addition to being a full touchscreen. These front facing keys include a context menu key (an essential hardware inclusion for an Android phone) and a home key alongside the standard calling buttons. On the side of the handset, under the volume rocker, Samsung positions a screen lock button, but the Galaxy has to be the slowest phone to "wake up" that we've ever come across. From having the screen in standby it takes a full three seconds of holding down the lock key to gain access to the home screen, which you have to do every time you want to use the phone.

The AMOLED display is a great looking screen, but it isn't the most responsive capacitive touchscreen we've seen lately. Simple gestures, like scrolling between the three home screen spaces or down the list of your installed apps can be jerky, with the screen always feeling like it was a step behind your commands. This shouldn't impair your usage of the touchscreen, but some processes will have you tapping at the screen with increasing frustration.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus

    Starting at: $1,499.00
    4.5 stars

    With improved speed, better cameras (plus optical image stabilization), and a pressure-sensitive...

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5

    Starting at: $779.00
    4.5 stars

    The Note 5 boasts a redesigned stylus and a giant screen -- and a price tag to match....

  • Google Nexus 6P

    4 stars

    With metal materials and competitive specs, the well-priced Nexus 6P comes out swinging.

  • Apple iPhone 6S

    Starting at: $1,279.00
    4.5 stars

    3D Touch promises a new type of future input on iPhones. It joins an improved camera and...


Discuss: Samsung Galaxy Icon

Conversation powered by Livefyre