Android-powered Samsung I7500 debuts

Samsung unveils its first Google Android device, the I7500.

Samsung I7500
Samsung I7500 Samsung

On Monday, Samsung introduced its first Google Android device, the Samsung I7500. While many were disappointed to hear that Samsung had initially delayed its Android devices till the second half of the year, the I7500 will be available in major European markets starting in June. Unfortunately, plans for a U.S. release are still unclear.

There is, however, potentially good news for us here in the States. The Samsung I7500 is a tri-band HSDPA device, supporting the 900/1700/2100MHz bands, which makes it compatible with the T-Mobile's 3G network. We talked to Samsung's public relations company this morning to get more information about U.S. availability and a representative said the agency has a conference call planned with Samsung tonight where they hope to get some kind of confirmation about a Stateside release, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, we can share some of the Samsung I7500's impressive specs, including its 3.2-inch HVGA AMOLED touch screen, 8GB of internal memory, and microSD expansion slot (supports up to 32GB), and a 5-megapixel camera. The quad-band world phone also offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Of course, as an Android device, the I7500 supports Google's various services, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps with support for Google Latitude, Street View, and more.

The I7500 is more similar in design to the HTC Magic, rather than the T-Mobile G1, in that it features a candy bar-style form factor and doesn't include a physical keyboard. The Samsung I7500 measures 4.5 inches tall by 2.2 inches wide by 0.4 inch thick. It appears that Russian site Mobile-review.com got some hands-on photos of the smartphone, which you can check out here.

In other Android news, it looks like G1 owners in Germany will be the first to get the Android 1.5 software update (aka Cupcake). According to Android Guys and T-Mobile Germany, the update will be available in May, bringing such enhancements as video recording, stereo Bluetooth, an onscreen keyboard, and more.

Once again, we have no word on when the update might be pushed out to other G1 owners around the world, but the fact it's ready for release in Germany is good news. Hopefully, the States won't be too far behind.

About the author

Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.

 

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