updated 09:15 am EDT, Mon April 27, 2009
Samsung i7500 Android
Samsung today became the second company ever to formally launch a smartphone based on Google's Android platform. The i7500 is one of the thinnest full touchscreen phones at 0.47 inches deep and is also billed as one of the most advanced: it centers on a 3.2-inch, 320x480 AMOLED screen that not only provides much better color accuracy and brightness but also helps extend battery life. A 5-megapixel camera with autofocusing and flash gives it the most advanced photography of any Android phone, while it's also the first with the OS to have 8GB of built-in memory on top of a microSDHC card slot.
The Android 1.5-based phone also supports the full HSPA spec for 3G and carries Bluetooth 2.0, GPS and Wi-Fi for its peripherals, mapping and networking. O2 Germany will be the first carrier to pick up the i7500 and will launch it in June with a one-month exclusive in the country until July. Whether or not it will come to the US isn't specified, though Samsung has previously said an Android phone would reach the country sometime in spring. It supports 3G on the 1,700MHz band needed for use on T-Mobile's US network.
The launch of the Samsung phone is crucial to Android as it becomes the first phone on the platform from a top 5 phone manufacturer, increasing the potential for market share. Previous phones have been made only by HTC and have been limited to T-Mobile. Other carriers are only getting the option of Android devices in May with the release of the HTC Magic on Vodafone, TIM and other networks. Through the limitation, Android has been growing half as quickly as iPhones in terms of data use and has just a small fraction of the actual market within the the US as well as abroad.