Samsung Galaxy W review
|Review: November 2011|
In a nutshell: A mid-to-high-end phone running Android Gingerbread and sitting between the Samsung Galaxy Ace and the Galaxy S2.
Today's best buy: Samsung Galaxy A5 SM-A500 from Tesco Direct (£211.53)
It's not going to win prizes for its name, but the Galaxy W is a solid mid-to-high range Android phone. Samsung have made some superb high-end Android smartphones, particularly the outstanding Galaxy S2, but their mid-range offerings like the Galaxy Ace have often been lacklustre. The Galaxy W looks set to fix that. It's not a groundbreaking phone by any means, but it makes lots of Android goodies available to those who can't afford the S2.
The first thing to note is the exterior, which is rather standard fare for a mid-range Android device. Not inspirational, but functional, it manages to be rather slim at 11.55mm, but it's not in any way a stunner. The screen is a decently-sized 3.7 inch LCD display. Again, not a stunning Super AMOLED display, but a competent LCD screen with a nice 480 x 800 pixel resolution. The W runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), and with Samsung's own modifications to the user interface it's a very satisfying phone to use. One of the reasons for this is the extremely fast 1.4GHz processor zipping away behind the scenes, making everything happen almost instantaneously. Plus, with 4GB of built-in memory and up to 32GB memory cards supported, there's little danger of running into memory problems.
The camera is just right for the price. With 5 megapixels, autofocus and a power LED flash it does everything you'd expect a camera on a mobile phone to do - namely, take good quality shots under a range of lighting conditions, suitable for uploading to facebook or printing as snaps. It also records video at HD resolution.
The Galaxy W ticks all the other standard smartphone boxes. It has assisted GPS with Google Maps. It plays music and video. It connects to most other devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and USB 2.0. It has fast 3G data access (14.4 Mbps download) and supports quadband GSM, making it usable anywhere.
An extra large 1500mAh battery gives very good battery life.
So, the W may have a mysterious name, but there's nothing unexpected about this £20 per month smartphone. It does absolutely everything you'd expect, with no nasty surprises. We'd say it was Samsung's second-best phone after the Galaxy S2.
Samsung Galaxy W features include:
- 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, power LED flash and 4x digital zoom
- HD video recording
- Display: TFT, 16 million colours, 480 x 800 pixels (3.7 inches) capacitive touchscreen with auto-rotate
- Music player with 3D sound
- FM radio RDS
- MP3 ringtones
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, instant messaging, email
- GPS with Google Maps
- Personal organiser functions, Document Viewer
- Memory: 4GB plus microSD memory card slot (up to 32GB supported)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack
- Internet: Android browser, GPRS, EDGE, 3G, HSDPA 14.4Mbps
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900), dual band 3G (900/2100)
- Size: 116 x 60 x 11.55 mm
- Weight: 115g
- Battery: 1500 mAh
- Talktime: 500 - 1070 minutes
- Battery standby: 420 - 570 hours
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Samsung Galaxy W user reviews
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Average rating from 19 reviews:
Reviewed by dawn from uk on 28th Apr 2012
Galaxy W seems a bit of a mixed bag.
Good. Nice screen, good battery life, great camera, ok design
Bad. LAG. According to task manager there's virtually no free memory, that's with only three homes screens and one widget, the clock?! (only downloaded couple of apps so far too)
Poor call quality.
Maybe I have a faulty unit as others haven't mentioned the lag.
Think I might send this one back and go for a mid range Sony, shame coz phone ticks most boxes.
Reply by dawn from uk on 5th May 2012
Exchanged the W for S2. OMG. Am blown away! S2 is amazing. Finally found a phone that will keep me happy.....
Reviewed by SAM from Algeria on 24th Apr 2012
SAMSUNG The BEST For Android Phones!!
Reviewed by Mohib Haddad from Egypt on 24th Apr
The galaxy w could be put in a better housing. It is over average Android phone that has decent features but could have done better if in has been put in a better looking housing. Battery is average.
Pros: fast processor and fast internet browsing. All Android market is there for you.
Cons: Cheap looking, poor earpiece sound quality, below average speaker. The TFT lcd screen is totaly washed out under sunlight.
Reviewed by John from England on 20th Apr 2012
had This Phone 2 Months. Overall good but ocassionally freezes. & have to remove battery to re-boot.
Reviewed by mury from Indonesia on 13th Apr 2012
I bought this phone for like a month ago and i gotta say i love it!!!! Great screen, reasonable size of screen not too big not too small ;) and the speed is top notch
Reviewed by kumaran from India on 6th Apr 2012
So far so good for one week usage. One time hanged during playing angry birds .but removed battery and put and on again .no till today.
Reviewed by JOSEPH from HONGKONG on 28th Mar 2012
Its o so good and everything runs smoothly only the memory is small for me 4GB well its not the worst
Reviewed by Jimbob from England on 4th Mar 2012
My first smartphone. Convinced myself I didn't need one for ages, but after playing with my mate's Galaxy S II, I got the bug. So impressed with Android and just how customisable it is. And the Galaxy W is a great phone for someone who wants a powerful phone, but maybe doesn't want to pay for top-of-the-line like the Galaxy S2. Samsung are at the top of their game now and I'm not surprised they've just overtaken Apple as the world's biggest phone manufacturer.
The only bad things I can say is the screen is hard to see in direct sunlight, what with it only having a run-of the mill LCD screen (but a super sharp one at that with proper high res). Downloaded a widget that let's you toggle full brightness though and that helps. I've been charging once a day, but that's probably because I've been hammering it, with wi-fi on constantly. And also it can get a bit sluggish if you've opened too many apps. Just a quick memory clean solves it though. Shame it hasn't got a bit more memory and a dual-core CPU; but I guess if you want those you're gonna have to go higher up the range to an S II or something.
Overall, really impressed with this little box of tricks. Best mid-range phone out there I reckon.
Reviewed by kiara from United Kingdon on 2nd Mar
Hi there… I bought this Samsung Galaxy W two weeks before from this prepaymania.co.uk. I got a really good deal there. Overall the phone is great. It doesn’t have a Gorilla Glass or a stunning Super AMOLED display, but a competent LCD screen with a nice resolution, good clarity, and smooth touch and can tap, swipe, pull and pinch to navigate around phone. Kies allowed me to sync my phone with my PC. Its android so I am having fun with all those apps, games and songs that I could download through it. It connects well with wifi and Bluetooth. The exterior of the phone is cool but yes it is made of plastic. But I would say overall it’s a best buy for me for the money I paid.
Reviewed by Paul from England on 20th Feb 2012
Maybe it's just my phone, but the W is very slow and buggy, won't update to a new software version which I read is available it keeps telling me it's up to date. Fails to send text messages every time you seem to move to a new part of the house. You delete an app and there is a gap in the UI there is no auto flow, has a stupid lock screen that you can't switch off, apps don't close even if you think they are closed, available RAM is about 85MB even with no apps running. It freezes at least 3 times a day and have to take the battery out, I can't delete certain Apps that came with the phone, overall not impressed with Android or this phone tbh... when it does work however it's great! :(
Reply by JAGo from Sweden on 15th
You should contact samsung and ask if you could send it for repairs. My Samsung Galaxy Gio had almost the same problems but they couldn't fix it. And after half a year of having it, the last time I sent it in they asked if I wanted to get a brand new GIO or get the money back which were 130pounds. While it now costs 100pounds. And now I am going to buy the W. Cheers. JAGoMAN. For more questions, tweet me. @JAGoGAMING
Reviewed by Mark J from Wales on 17th Feb 2012
Overall very pleased with the phone so far. It has a great screen and works at a reasonable speed. Sometimes loading an app takes a little longer than expected.
Only worry is that the phone hangs up more often than I think it should. But that maybe a function of a loaded app.
Battery life good as long as GPS and maps are not overused. If car navigation is needed the get a car power adaptor.
Reviewed by Phil Davies from UK on 15th Feb 2012
Having been a Blackberry fan for years, and recently using an Iphone 4s, I decided to give this phone a go,well very pleased to say its a cracking piece of kit. Everything works like a dream and its fast very fast, plenty of bits and bobs on the phone call quality is first rate and battery is one of the best out there. If I have a gripe its that I personally like my mobiles to have a bit of weight to them and this phone lack that but thats just me just not a lover of plastic. All in all a first class phone reasonably priced certainly better than the Iphone 4s and does all you want and more well done Samsung.........
Reviewed by Andrew from England on 3rd Feb 2012
It's good, but has several prohardly ever connects to wifi, and 3g signal is often poor, internet crashes 90% of time used, about a quarter of all texts don't send. Other than this its really good.
Reviewed by Rei from Philippines on 11th Dec 2011
A mid-range android phone that can wipe the floor with the iPhone 4? What's not to like? I recently upgraded from an iPhone 3GS but didn't want to buy a very expensive smartphone so i settled for the Galaxy W after reading some reviews. I never knew what i was missing in terms of phone customization until i moved to android. Made me realize how boring and closed iOS was. The Galaxy W is fast, sturdy, easy to use, and satisfies my inner nerd for customization. All the games i downloaded runs smoothly. I can even play some old PSX games on this thing! Awesome!
Reviewed by pinaki mohanty from india on 9th Dec
it's the best samsung phone at good price........
Reviewed by Malc from uk on 25th Nov 2011
What a fantastic little phone.Ultra quick and lovely screen,cant fault it.If your looking for a s2 but smaller this is it at half the price.
Reviewed by Cal from UK on 18th Nov 2011
As a first-time smartphone user I have to say this is generally impressive, considering how cheap it is in comparison to the top-end stuff. The only problem I am having is the battery... can't even get 24 hours out of it! Otherwise very impressive phone.
Reviewed by Josh from UK on 18th Nov 2011
I've had an Android phone before, my beloved HTC Hero. This is certainly a massive step up, with a processor that clocks around double the speed and is basically better in every way. Fingers crossed I won't have to root this one! I've only had to do a force shut down on it once when it got stuck (for not much reason), but otherwise it's been great. Really great. Super speedy, games play on it with no lag (loving fruit ninja) and the screen looks really good. Mine came pre-installed with Swype which is also a nice addition, it doesn't seem to be on the Android market anymore! The music application has all the same controls as my ipod touch but obviously the battery won't last as long on the phone, but the sound quality was decent. The camera takes pretty nice pictures and the flash really helps it along. Probably not the best for viewing at wallpaper size but it's not at all bad either. I got mine second-hand and have no idea why someone would want to trade it in.. it's a great phone. Pretty much the same as the S2 but a bit smaller for your pocket.
Reviewed by Chris from UK on 9th Nov 2011
Admittedly this is my 1st Android phone, so I do not have much to compare it to apart from occasionally using friends phones. But after a week of use, the phone is very good. It's fast and scrolls between pages/apps very quickly. Screen quality/resolution is brilliant. The battery life is reasonable (for a smartphone) and last about 2 days with moderate use. In decent light, the camera and video quality are pretty good too and not far off a digital camera. All in all it is a high spec phone (free on a £20/month contract) and is a good size for me compared to something larger like the Galaxy S2.