Changing galaxies; S6802 and Me

I’m sure the last person my cousin called before boarding his flight on Monday from Abuja to Lagos was me, and his question was, “Dayo, how much you sey u wan sell that your phone?”

I’ve been using the Samsung galaxy i9003 since Aug, 2011 and that phone has served me quite well. If you’ll recollect, Samsung released the i9000 to much acclaim and then went ahead to make a cheaper version, the i9003 – for guys like me :). I bought my unit in Lagos for 60 grand and at that time, the i9000 went for N85,000…the major difference being the processor and the screen (SC-LCD on the 3 vs Super-Amoled on the 0); I could live with that!

I finally let go of my dear i9003, eyeing the new Samsung galaxy S3 and at the same time, thinking of finally joining the Blackberry branch – oh, yes I “thought” about it. I sold my phone last night, got paid this morning and headed to Ikeja to buy a replacement.

But like every prudent individual – with scarce resources and unlimited wants, I had to prioritize. I left base to get me a blackberry bold 4 and the small-ish Galaxy S6102 – it’s a duo.

Things happened and I came back with a Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos S6802  – ONLY! The Bold 2, I’ll get that tomorrow. I was bent on keeping my budget for both phones under N60,000.

So, here I am with a Galaxy S6802 and below is my personal review. First, let me paste what the specs are (credit to www.gsmarena.com)

General GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2
HSDPA 900 / 2100
2012, May
Available. Released 2012, June

 

Body 112.7 x 61.5 x 11.5 mm
122 g
– Touch-sensitive controls
Display TFT capacitive touchscreen, 256K colors
320 x 480 pixels, 3.5 inches (~165 ppi pixel density)
Yes
– TouchWiz UX UI
Sound Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Yes
Yes
Memory microSD, up to 32 GB
3 GB storage, 512 MB
Data Yes
Yes
HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
Yes, v3.0 with A2DP
Yes, microUSB v2.0
Camera 5 MP, 2592×1944 pixels, autofocus
Geo-tagging, smile detection
Yes, VGA@30fps
No
Features Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
832 MHz
Accelerometer, proximity, compass
SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email
HTML
Stereo FM radio with RDS
Yes, with A-GPS support
Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
White, Black
– Dual SIM (dual stand-by)- MP4/H.264/H.263 player- MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player- Organizer- Document editor- Image editor- Google Search, Maps, Gmail,YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa integration- Voice memo/dial- Predictive text input (Swype)
Battery Standard battery, Li-Ion 1300 mAh
Up to 570 h (2G) / Up to 420 h (3G)
Up to 18 h 30 min (2G) / Up to 7 h (3G)

It’s a pretty decent phone, and I got it off the shelves today for N34,500. Besides gorilla glass and a higher resolution display, it had everything I needed.

I’m sure you might be wondering what led me to buy a lower spec galaxy. In order to keep to my skinny budget – which also would require me buying a blackberry bold phone, I had to settle for the S6802. Also, as I had 3 SIMs, I needed a way to carry all three, without having a 3rd phone.

One thing I immediately noticed in the S6802 was an inability to “force WCDMA”, which I was able to do on my i9003. In the event that 3G signal was weak in whatever area I was, I was able to still benefit from 3G speeds by setting my network to “WCDMA only”. This wasn’t in the S6802 and it got me disappointed.

I was about to root my device and get below the hood, when I decided to check out the play store first if there was an application that provided the needed functionality. Alas, I came across “Radio Switcher” by Fabio Grasso, and it was a lifesaver. It did exactly what I wanted.

Alright, so far the battery life’s been impressive. After unpacking it, I got it fully charged and then had it tethered (WCDMA only) to my laptop for about 2 hours, it dropped a mere 33%. After taking it off charge at 82%, it went all night long (after google mapping, making frequent calls, surfing the web), and I woke up to find it at 41%.

The paltry 832Mhz processor in it barely keeps up with the capabilities of the OS. I’ve observed it crawl at-times, especially when multitasking between about 4 applications. In addition, I wish it came with a higher res screen. In my opinion, Samsung should’ve just tacked the same SuperClear-LCD they put in the i9003 on this nugget and it would have been perfect – for its price.

So, if you want something affordable, functional and handy, the galaxy S6802 is one phone that you’ll find be-fitting.