First 4G smartphone..Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate is great..4G not so..

The Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate, latest in the line of Galaxy S phones lives up to its heritage. A really nice looking phone with a kind of swoopy back that feels a bit plasticky but doesn’t detract from the overall solid feel of this phone.

Be prepared for rush when you turn on the Galaxy S Fascinate..the 4″ Super Amoled screen is ..in a word..spectacular..deep blacks..great contrast with saturated colour. The phone feels good in my hand and in my opinion 4″ is the sweet spot for screen size..big enough to be easily readable and great for movies yet not huge in the hand.

You will notice the screen features Samsung’s TouchWiz 3.0 UI..granted a considerable improvement over the previous version I still prefer to customize my visual experience..something you can do with Android Phones which is not possible with the competition. I use LauncherPro Plus with Fancy Widget for the clock and Pure Calendar. As much as I dislike Samsung’s TouchWiz I love the Buddies Now widget for favourite contacts.

Performance was great, the 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor kept things running smoothly. I was able to launch and switch between apps without incident, and there wasn’t any lag when playing games or using the multimedia features. Unlike previous versions of the Galaxy S series there were no GPS issues with this phone..acquisition was fast and navigation was accurate.

The front facing camera produced acceptable pictures for video calls..the 5MP rear camera..although with no flash..took nice pictures and the camcorder function recorded 720p video even in dicey situations. Oh yes..one more thing..once you start using the Swype keyboard you will be hooked.

Overall I was extremely happy with this phone it worked well during the two week testing period..I had no problems with the phone and I found the battery life spectacular for this type of phone. The Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate is exclusive to Telus and is a deal for $99.99 on a three year term..less of a deal at $529.99 with no contract.

Now to my big quibble..nothing to do with the phone..Some months ago I proudly proclaimed that our solid Canadian carriers would never follow their US counterparts by calling their 3½G networks 4G in a fit of marketing hyperbole. Well I was wrong. Look at these speedtests..my 3G HTC Desire is on the left and the 4G Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate is on the right.

Not a heck of a difference is there? The better radio on the Samsung provides a higher download speed..a level I have also seen on the latest 3G phones  on  both the Bell and Telus networks.  Neither comes  close to the theoretical 4G speed  specification of 21mbps. I have heard of someone seeing 13mbps in Toronto but in dozens of tests in a variety of locations I haven’t even come close to that.

Both Bell and Telus share an excellent and reliable 3G (maybe 3½G) network so I wonder why they are trying to call it 4G when it is not.. What will they do when real 4G is available next year?

What do you think? Feel free to comment below.

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One Response to First 4G smartphone..Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate is great..4G not so..

  1. Mathieu says:

    This is not 4G LTE but 4G HSPA+.
    I had the chance to use 4G LTE on Verizon US last month during 1 week and it’s not that much faster… doesn’t feel much faster anyway.

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