The Aim of this blog is to have one repository of user reviews of the gadgets used by them.

Show your support by becoming a follower of this blog.
If you wish to share your review of your device, just send in the abstract to: techenrepot@gmail.com
and then you will be added as a co-author after which you can post any number of reviews or write ups.




Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Samsung Galaxy SPICA Review: Part II

5)Multimedia capabilities:
________________________________________


Pictures:


You can view pictures/videos stored in the card by maneuvering to the gallery. SPICA automatically organizes all the pictures/videos found in the card into the folders namely:

All Pictures: here all the images stored in the card irrespective of any folders are listed.
All videos: here all the videos including the one captured using the phone is listed here.
Camera pictures: all the pictures taken from the mobiles camera are listed here.

While opening any of the folders above, a thumbnail view of all the images is displayed. The user can customize as to how much thumbnails can be displayed at a time. The image viewer does not come with too many options. You can zoom in/out for which the option is displayed when you touch the picture. You can go to the next/previous picture by just pressing the respective arrows. The image viewer also has options to have a slideshow. Other options include share, rotate and crop. Overall the Gallery viewer is simple and is very breeze.


Videos:


Galaxy SPICA is a DivX certified phone that means you can enjoy watching any DivX movies in the phone. When you see a mark such as DivX certified it means that the device is tried and tested to play various DivX/Xvid videos and is guaranteed to give a good experience. This is one aspect where the Samsung phones with android OS are unique. Though you can have a third party DivX player but nothing can be as good as the DivX certified device.

The playback was very smooth and there was no stuttering except for few milli-seconds while seeking through the seek bar. So far I did not experience any problem in viewing the conventional .avi files that are hot favorites nowadays. So all those time consuming file conversions is not needed here. This is the place where SPICA utilizes its muscle power of 800 MHz processor to give smooth play back.

The video player is very simple. With it you can play/pause and then move forward/backward by few frames. Considering the DivX/mp4 player that I had which was flawless but for seeking which it took couple of seconds but SPICA does a great job in playing that aspect.

Other than DivX it can also play .mp4,. H263/. H264 and WMV.


Music:


SPICA can play MP3/eAAC+/WMA files without any problem. No matter what bit rates the mp3 files are, SPICA plays them smooth.

The music gallery displays the tracks by organizing in four different ways: Artists, Albums, Songs and Play lists. Music gallery also displays album art and comes with options such as shuffle, repeat and play lists as mentioned earlier. So no matter how you organize your songs by creating folders in the card, SPICA will scan all of them and show them in the categories mentioned.

The volume keys can be used even if the screen is locked but if you want to change the song you need to get to the interface to change the track. The volume key is used to +/- volumes when any of the multimedia aspect is running say if you are playing a song/video, speaker volume while on call and else where it can be used to reduce the ringer volume.

The audio quality is pretty good but not the ones like the MOTO ROKR branded or the SE Walkman. It is very loud but at the maximum volume, the quality seems to break up. But its fine at 2-3 points less volume.

The supplied earpiece output quality is really very flat and it spoils the quality sound from the device. I tried it with a pair of creative earphones and the outcome was very good but nowhere close to the Walkman series.

Plus:
+Seamless compatibility of multimedia files with different bit rates.
+Smooth DivX playback
+Decent audio quality.

Minus:
-The 65k color restriction shows up very well in the videos.
-Music gallery/Image gallery UI is very basic
-No presets/equalizers

6) Connectivity, GPS and Android Market:

________________________________________


Connectivity:


SPICA has quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSDPA rated at 3.6Mbps.It has Wifi, Bluetooth and USB connectivity as well.

Now here is the twist: SPICA utilizes Blue tooth to pair it up only with the headset and cannot be utilized to transfer files. Since this restriction is from the software, a firmware update to Android 2.1 will fix this.

SPICA has a Micro SD card slot and it supports Micro SDCards up to 32 GB that means lots of space.

GPS:

SPICA has a GPS receiver and has Google Maps pre installed. It took just 5 second on the maps to get my current location although the accuracy is 100m in/around the marker. Google maps also have options for navigation from a source point to a destination point.

Google maps can operate in 3 modes:

1) Map mode: just shows the roads/rail track.
2) Satellite mode: shows the satellite view similar to the ones that can be seen in wikimapia.
3) Street view: shows 360-degree view of the current location.

Android Market:


The highlight of an Android mobile OS is its application support. Android has an application market place just like the iPhone’s called Android Market. It has more than 50K application both free as well as paid. Most of the applications are free and with which you can customize your mobile with rich content and increase your productivity.

SPICA gives you the option to install or uninstall any application. You can also get updates for the installed applications. Unfortunately paid apps support is still not available in India.


7) Battery and Opinion:


Battery:


SPICA comes with a 1500 mAh battery with talk time of 11 & a half hour for 2g and 6 hrs 50 mins with 3G.

I was impressed with the battery back up provided by SPICA. I tested the battery back up by draining it from full battery to zero with the following usage:
ð 2 hrs browsing including 1 hr of youtube video streaming.
ð 2 hrs of DivX video playback (one full film).
ð 2 hrs of calls.
ð And half hour of music.
The battery lasted for one and a half days with the above usage, which I should say, is impressive. With few battery saving tricks you can increase the life to 2 full days.

If you are a casual user then SPICA can last up to 3 to 3 and a half days(With only occasional calls and SMS).

SPICA takes exactly 3 hrs to charge from zero to full.


Opinion:
________________________________________

I was looking for a multimedia phone with a touch interface and I was more inclined towards the android lineups. But JET proved to be a master feature phone and I was looking forward to buy it. The one soul thing that was a concern in the JET was its unstable OS with no 3rd party apps support. So I was in a dilemma choosing between JET and the SPICA. But SPICA with a capacitive touch screen and the Android OS was the perfect blend. And getting such a combination of hardware and software for 12.5k is just a killer buy.

As the review indicates there are couple of grey areas like camera department and the bluetooth file transfer. But when the announcement for an upgrade to Android 2.1 was there which almost makes them void, then I had no second thought. I sacrificed the camera department, AMOLED screen of JET and bought the SAMSUNG Galaxy SPICA.After all my content of cognition was Android all the way J.

5 comments:

Prabhagaran said...

Though lengthy, its a thorough review dude :-)

It will be a good guide for those who are thinking about buying this phone..

Recently a friend of mine bought Samsung's Monte. Its bundled hands free just looked same as SPICA's. I was also disappointed that it sounded very very flat to me. May be the size of ear buds matters in this case too.

I wish i could write up something on my Nokia 6303 too :-)

-->Prabhagaran

Tech-Enrepot said...

Hey thanx dude!!!
"I wish i could write up something on my Nokia 6303 too :-)"
Oh sure dude. Go ahead, if its demanding then go ahead. Why dont you just write a "preview" of the Monte phone so it would help others?

The success of this blog is in the hands of not only the authors but also the readers of this blog whom i request to contribute.
Thank you very much for the support dude.
Waiting for your reviews and opinions :)

Jithin Saji said...

great review dude... just make your blog more visible on the net.. you will surely get a lot of comments and views...!

people are slowly getting the hang of Android and the amazing price of the spica... things are really hotting up on this front!

Tech-Enrepot said...

@Jithin
Thanx jithin. I am taking all possible steps to make it more visible. But @ the same time it is you readers who make this blog a success.

Again as said if you feel you can review your gadget you too can publish. Show your support by becoming the blog follower.
Thank you once again.

Anonymous said...

great work yaar...awesome..

/....srinivas...