Hot on the heels of Samsung's firstphone, the , comes the company's latest offering, the Galaxy Portal. The Portal is essentially a cut-down version of the Galaxy with less memory and a TFT, rather than AMOLED, screen. This is reflected in the price, though. The Portal can be picked up from T-Mobile for free on a relatively inexpensive, £20-per-month contract. You can also buy it for around £300 SIM-free.
Chip off the old block
The Portal isn't exactly the best-looking smart phone we've ever clapped eyes on. Everything about this phone's design screams function rather than fashion. It's not overly large, measuring 57 by 115 by 13mm, but it actually looks bigger than it really is, due to its rather blocky and boring lines.
The button arrangement at the bottom of the screen also looks exceptionally ugly. The diamond-shaped five-way controller is slightly too large and there are just too many buttons grouped together in a small space. The Portal is a long way from the sleek simplicity of the, for example.
The screen, on the other hand, is very impressive for a handset in this price range. The Portal uses a TFT screen, rather than the AMOLED display used by the Galaxy. The screen still looks very bright, however. Colours are beautifully vivid and the 320x480-pixel resolution means you don't have to do an excessive amount of zooming when using Android's impressive Web browser.
Perhaps surprisingly, Samsung has used a faster processor in this handset than in the more expensive Galaxy -- an 800MHz, rather than 528MHz, chip. The difference is certainly noticeable, as the Portal feels very nippy when moving through menus or loading apps. The Portal has much less internal memory, though -- 180MB, compared to the Galaxy's 8GB. To be fair, though, you do get a 1GB microSD card in the box, and extra microSD cards aren't exactly expensive these days.