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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  • Alexo - Thursday, September 9, 2010 - link

    I agree with gvally, this discrepancy between the results should be explained.
  • jasperjones - Monday, September 6, 2010 - link

    Ultimately if you’re trying to give someone a more iOS-like experience on an Android phone, Samsung gets the job done.

    more iOS-like experience? do not want
  • dvinnen - Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - link

    Luckly because it is Android and you can do what you like with it there are home screen replacements on the market. I use the open source ADW replacement and got rid of the iOS knock off crap
  • spathotan - Monday, September 6, 2010 - link

    TouchWiz is the sole reason im avoiding these phones. HTC still has the best UI and their devices run good without having to root and use bootloaders.

    The device is a total failure if you have to root it and use hacks/bootloaders to get it to perform "good".
  • StealthX32 - Monday, September 6, 2010 - link

    Hey, at least it's easy to root... ;)

    It's 2 steps versus 30 or so that you need to on the EVO 4G.

    That said, I do agree with you; the product should be judged as released.
  • Dane74 - Monday, September 6, 2010 - link

    Sprint has excellent warranty. they handle it in store themselves for warrantable problems for free for one year even if you purchase NO protection plan. So rooting it, which voids warranty if detected, carreis some risk of a lost substantial benefit.
  • sprockkets - Monday, September 6, 2010 - link

    That's the problem with Samsung. Motorola's CEO (or someone high up) called them Samesung. They are like the KIA of smartphones, copying Honda.

    That being said, I might check up on the Vibrant. Then again, a more vanilla G2 is just around the corner.
  • afkrotch - Monday, September 6, 2010 - link

    Actually, phones like these have been out a while now. Just not in the US. The Galaxy S looks the same most of the other Samsung phones that have been on the Korean market for the past 1-2 years.

    I would have much preferred the Samsung Haptic Pop, than the Galaxy S. Sadly, we'll never see the Haptic Pop in the states. I have the T-Mobile Galaxy S. It feels too much like an iPhone. Only thing I like, the AMOLED screen.
  • bearxor - Monday, September 6, 2010 - link

    Sure you haven't been watching too much 30 Rock? In the beginning of Season 3, Will Arnett's character claims that he 'sold the E (in GE) to Samsung. They're Samesung now."

    That's the only place I've heard anything like that.
  • bigboxes - Monday, September 6, 2010 - link

    As a Palm Pre user I know the pain of poor battery life. I thought the Super AMOLED display was suppose to improve batter life by almost double over the EVO. What happened? As far as the Pre goes I have mine o/c to 800Mhz and it's very snappy. Add the almost cooperative nature of Palm to the homebrew community means that I can customize my phone to make up for the OS shortcomings. The GPS on the Pre is craptastic as well. Hopefully, Palm will improve on these when they release new models this fall.

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