The Galaxy 551 runs on Android version 2.2, which adds a few nifty extras to the standard smartphone experience. You get the basics like a rich email and web browsing experience with Android, plus you also have access to full turn-by-turn navigation with Google Maps and the ability to share your 3G internet data with your laptop or tablet using the phone's Wi-Fi hotspot feature.
The 551 connects to the web using the Telstra Next G network, plus can make use of local networks using Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n. This should cover most common household Wi-Fi set-ups. There's also Bluetooth installed for connecting to headsets and in-car speakerphones.
As we noted above, the Galaxy 551 mostly delivers a decent user experience, with most tasks executing with only minimal lag or visible dips in performance. It does a decent job of playing some of our favourite Android games, too. (Though we still feel you should be able to expect more for your money in regards to hardware.) For AU$480, Samsung gives basically the same hardware you'll find in the, though this LG Android costs less than half of what the 551 does.
We also encountered some instability in the phone's software, with our review unit spontaneously rebooting on more than one occasion. There was no similarity in the circumstances surrounding these reboots, but we patiently endured the phone restarting on three or four occasions over our two weeks with the 551.
Between Samsung and Telstra, someone has set the price of the Galaxy 551 way too high. Whether you choose to pay AU$480 outright or AU$59 per month, the Galaxy 551 just isn't worth it. The keyboard is excellent and Android 2.2 does offer loads of great features, but this describes so many other handsets too, many of them for much cheaper too. For this sort of money we want a sharper screen, a better camera and a slick user experience. Unless you can find the Galaxy 551 for sale at a third of this price, we suggest you take a look at some of the other phones on offer.