Samsung Galaxy Portal review: Samsung Galaxy Portal

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Pricing Unavailable

Average User Rating

1.5 stars 4 user reviews

The Good Responsive capacitive touchscreen; fast 800MHz processor.

The Bad Poor camera; ugly button layout; no multi-touch support.

The Bottom Line We like the Samsung Galaxy Portal's speedy processor and impressive screen, but its lack of the latest version of Android and multi-touch support means it's not exactly leading the smart-phone pack. If Samsung ever gets round to updating the operating system, it might be worthy of consideration

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Hot on the heels of Samsung's first Android phone, the Galaxy , 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 HTC Legend , 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.

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Where to Buy

Samsung Galaxy Portal

Part Number: CNETSamsung Galaxy Portal

Typical Price: £300.00

See manufacturer website for availability.