Samsung Galaxy 551
A smartphone just for SMS ?
Galaxy 551 its the first phone with a slide-out keyboard that’s made by Samsung. It shows some weakness in autonomy and multimedia features. We think the phone was made just for old fashioned lovers of SMS.
This smartphone was officially announced in Europe in October 2010. And now it has finally arrived in Romania, as well. For this new device, Samsung – one of the biggest players in the industry – decided to incorporate a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a feature particularly used by fans of classic SMS and social networks. At first view, the Galaxy 551 is packed with a lot of attractions, starting with its very operating system (latest Android 2.2 Froyo). Its multimedia features, the CPU limited to 600 MHz and a small 3.2-inch screen make from this phone a desired gadget. We want to know if for a price below 300 euros this smartphone is a good choice. Let’s see the test performed for this short review.
Like almost all Samsung models, the Galaxy 551 has a glossy black coat and combines, under its touchscreen display, three classic buttons. One of them tackles menu access and then brings you back to the center ! It was a little bit tricky, but we loved the sliding keyboard with four lines. This smartphone definitely looks very good.
The newest Galaxy is full of connectivity options and other usual features found on a smartphone (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Micro USB port, 3.5 mm jack). The device incorporates a Micro SD reader – to supplement the low internal memory (just 160 MB in default configuration). This phone comes with a 1 GB card to store your images and also with a start button. The photo sensor with good resolution is just another feature of the Samsung Galaxy 551.
Not able to read Flash files
Because it runs the latest version of Google Android OS, the Samsung Galaxy 551 can be turned with ease into a good GPS with Google Maps navigation. At the same time you have access to mobile Internet or Wi-Fi 3G + (mail, browser and platform application downloads from the Market).
Anyway, a very weak point is that the smartphone is not able to run Flash files. The Froyo OS seems to integrate a compatible Web browser with Adobe Flash 10.1, but the Galaxy 551 is not able to read Flash files. Anyway, competitors (LG, for example) have solved this problem, but Samsung is still in expectation. What are they waiting for ?
Multipoint zoom on the keyboard
We tested touchscreen navigation and the menus had a strange delay effect (even if they worked without issues). If you want to compare to other smartphones produced by Samsung (like Galaxy S for example), the interface on this model is still multipoint to zoom in / out of a pinch. Input from the keyboard is accurate and fast, but a little bit weak compared to various other models recently reviewed.
Even if the Samsung Galaxy 551 is not full of striking features, it leaves us a little bit curios. Photos taken with the 3.2 megapixel camera are quite good if you have enough light and use no zoom. Video file format has a limited resolution of 320 x 240 pixels and images tend to be blurred. Other features of the phone are an FM radio and a TouchWiz interface. The phone fails to mention the lack of any support for video files. That means that DivX, Xvid and WMV are not supported.
Another cons of this phone is the battery life limited to around 5 hours and 20 minutes of talk time (3G network).
After our tests we can say that the Galaxy 551 is a smartphone which is pleasant to use, especially if you need a good keyboard. Because the price is low, Samsung has decided to cut some features. Anyway, they were not very inspired in doing that. Because Flash, DivX, Xvid and WMV formats are not able to be used. The battery life is not very long.
|Keyboard / Touchscreen||Keyboard + Touchscreen|
|Resolution Height in Pixel||1536|
|Resolution Width in Pixel||2048|
|Video resolution in pixels||320 x 240 (QVGA)|
|Height in mm||111|
|Width in mm||55|
|Depth in mm||15.3|
|Weight in Grams||117|