The sheer amount of choice you get in the Android smartphone market is overwhelming. Even if you stick within a single manufacturer like HTC, there are several releases to juggle all of which happen in a very short period of time. Below is a list of just the HTC Android phones that have come out in the past 12 months:

Hero, Click, Bravo, Legend, Incredible, Espresso, Supersonic/EVO 4G, Buzz and Liberty.

And that’s just in the past year! Then we’ve got Android phones from Sony Ericsson, Dell, Motorola and LG. You can’t argue that there is a lack of choice in the Android market, but the vast majority of these phones aren’t perfect. In fact, it feels like every subsequent Android phone we touch comes closer to perfecting one aspect of the platform while leaving another neglected.

The EVO 4G brought us a unique form factor, but poor performance and battery life. Dell gave us our first 5-inch Android tabletphone, but coupled with an ancient version of Android it’s just not prime for its 2010 release. And seemingly all Android phones suffer from varying amounts of stuttering when scrolling around app lists or web pages.

It’s easy for a reviewer to get excited about every new Android release, but it must be hell for someone actually looking to buy one of these things.

The good news is we’re getting closer to the perfect Android smartphone. I don’t believe we’re there yet, but every single manufacturer has contributed something to the platform that someone else will eventually copy and wrap into one device.

The latest in the list of attempts at perfection is Samsung with its Galaxy S. And I must say, Samsung’s take on Android is quite possibly the most unique I’ve seen. Unique compared to other Android vendors that is.

Vectors of Innovation

Samsung innovates along three vectors with the Galaxy S. You get a new screen size (4” vs. 3.5/3.7” or 4.3”). The 4” screen size is a near perfect combination of productivity boosting screen area and portability. You get a new screen type with Samsung’s Super AMOLED that really fixes a lot of issues I had with AMOLED displays in the past. To top it all off, Samsung continues to innovate by equipping the Galaxy S with the fastest GPU in any shipping smartphone: the PowerVR SGX 540.

There are four versions of the Galaxy S, one for each of the major US carriers. There’s the Captivate on AT&T, the Vibrant on T-Mobile, the Epic 4G on Sprint and the forthcoming Fascinate on Verizon.

Easily Influenced
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  • medi01 - Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - link

    Java's JIT could create code that is faster than C/C++. Because unlike C++ compiler, it also has runtime info about executables, it could know for sure, which of the if branches is more likely to be true, for instance.

    The only part of Java that was much slower than C++ was (and I think still is) sin/cos related functions. Since Sun had to guarantee "runs anywhere" with the exactly the same results, instead of using CPU's features they "manually" calculate it.
  • Voo - Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - link

    Well java WAS slow - around ten years ago, but people have already made up their mind, it's hard to get new ideas into some heads. Though the lack of a JIT in dalvik hampered performance, but that's hardly something where you can blame the language for..

    Ah, just like all those people who still believe that manual memory managment is inherently faster than GC..
  • medi01 - Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - link

    Java is not inherently slower than C++, but it does need more memory.

    The problem with Androids up to 2.2 was Dalvik VM that had no JIT.
  • designerfx - Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - link

    what a brilliant troll, or accidental. I'm not sure, but plenty of debunked this.

    What really brings down the entire samsung line of phones is that the GPS is horrible. I have one myself, and have the same issue on the vibrant as on the epic. Samsung really screwed the GPS up bigtime.
  • lwatcdr - Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - link

    Well when faced with such a brilliant technical argument like "but Java sucks. Big time" what can one say.
    Is an article from back in 2004 about how those idiots at NASA used Java to control the Spirit rover on Mars.
    If only they had you available to show them how to do right.

    Man I get sick of this crap. I heard the same thing way back when. People complaining when programmers used high level languages to write programs instead of assembly.
    The thing is that it was all silliness just as it is now.
    What really counts isn't the language but the programmer using it.

    Android's speed issues tend to because by.
    1. Not using the GPU for the UI
    2. Using multitasking from the start.

    IOS has only just now gotten official multitasking and even that is limited.

    But really just drop the
  • Iksy - Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - link

    Umm... to be clear, this is just the user interface used on Earth, which is something Java does well. The rovers themseves are controlled using VxWorks RTOS. VxWorks itself is written in C or C++ I believe.
  • Ethaniel - Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - link

    Well, it's not the kind of technical argument everyone would like, but it gets to the point. Anand reviewed like half a dozen of Android phones, all with the same problem. So, or the companies are making exactly the same mistake with each and every model they launch, or Java is to blame. And no, I'm not trolling because I do want to Android to succeed. A troll is based on hate, and it usually doesn't check back the thread he/she started. And you haven't seen a single insult in this thread, right? ;)
  • ktwebb - Monday, September 6, 2010 - link

    Sounds like an IPhone Fanboy that is trying his best to be subjective. Samsung actually did not get it right performance wise. They use an antiquated and slow file system. For a pleasurable UI experience on Android, the N1 is still king, especially on 2.2. The only way the samsung galaxy variants fly is with root access and ext2, 3 or 4 fixes. there are GPS fixes as well however where Samsung let down actually is in the UI with Touchwiz and their ridiculous homage to Apple. No wonder this twit liked it. Android people IMMEDIATELY change the launcher. Anyway, the Hardware on the Galaxy S is excellent. Samsung did their best to eff it up and only with tweaks and root level access is it a really strong phone. Google and Androids main problem is OS sprawl and fragmentation. They get that cleaned up and the IPhone 4 is a distant second mobile OS. Right now, with the clear advantages Android phones have, specifically customization and an open source community among others, it's essentially a wash. It's about what you prefer and are comfortable with. I'm an Android guy because I like to make my phone do what I want it to, not what Jobs wants my phone to be.
  • StealthX32 - Monday, September 6, 2010 - link

    ktwebb, I don't think Anand reviewed it w/ the ext2 FS hack/fix (whatever you want to call it). The UI speed is fine from the factory; it's much better than the EVO 4G (even with Froyo) and on par w/ the N1, just not as good as it *could* be once you root it and fix the filesystem.
  • ktwebb - Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - link

    N1 Froyo is faster than stock Galaxy S Variants. And yeah, he didn't review with hacks and I certainly understand why he wouldn't. Shouldn't need them. But that is a Samsung issue, not Android. Samsung has the potential for a very good handset with the Galaxy S. They are trying their best to eff it up though. I haven't played with the EVO but had android phones since the G1 inception. The N1 was the best UI experience after Froyo was pushed. And far better than any IPHone I've used, although my experience with 4 is limited.

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