The Android-based Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 is a massive media player or a small tablet, depending on your point of view. It could prove to be an affordable and slick alternative to the iPod touch.
The iPod touch has had it too good for too long, dominating the world of portable media players. But, just as manufacturers have taken the fight to Apple with Android smart-phones and tablets, Samsung is now aiming to kick the iPod touch in the shins with the Galaxy S WiFi 5.0. It's like the Samsung Galaxy S phone, but it doesn't make calls and it's bigger.
The WiFi 5.0 will be out in late 2011 for a currently undisclosed price. Here are our first impressions, following our hands-on test at Mobile World Congress.
We've already previewed the Galaxy S WiFi 4.0 and, as you might have guessed, the WiFi 5.0 is essentially the same device, but with a larger, 5-inch screen. It certainly feels larger than your typical smart phone -- it's more like the 5-inch Dell Streak tablet. Indeed, we're not sure whether to categorise the WiFi 5.0 as a media player, tablet or building. It's massive.
We think a 5-inch screen might be on the large size for this kind of device, and the WiFi 4.0 is certainly far more portable. Carrying around either, in addition to a phone, may take up too much valuable trouser space.
Still, we were impressed by how light the WiFi 5.0 feels. Like a significant proportion of Samsung's Android gadgets, it feels almost eerily light. If you slip this bad boy into your pockets, you won't find it dragging your trousers down in the middle of that big presentation. It measures 78 by 141 by 12mm, and has a curved back, which makes it sit naturally in the hand.
The 480x800-pixel display is massive and looks reasonably clear. It's not a Super AMOLED display like you'll find on the Galaxy S, or a Super AMOLED Plus screen as on the Galaxy S 2, but it looked okay to us, if not incredible. We're hoping that less cutting-edge tech in the display will knock a few quid off the final price.
You can't make standard calls with the WiFi 5.0, and there's no 3G connectivity, so you'll be tethered to hotspots if you want to download something or do anything that requires a Web connection. If you need to make a call, Samsung's pre-loaded the 5.0 with Skype for VoIP calls, and Qik Plus for video chat. Handy.
The 5.0 runs on Android 2.2. That's not the newest version of Android, but it's not too far off, and it still offers all the best features. Among them are access to the Android Market, widgets for your home screen, and Flash support in the browser. Android is a great operating system, and we hope it can cut the mustard on a media player. A 1GHz processor should keep everything running along swiftly.
There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back of the WiFi 5.0, which beats the 3.2-megapixel snapper on the WiFi 4.0.
If the price is right, the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 could be an attractive media player for those who want a slice of the Android pie but don't really need a new phone. Stay tuned for a full review soon.
Edited by Charles Kloet