At just over r2,200.00, The Galaxy Gio S5660 is another entry-level phone from Samsung that offers a really bright display and visually attracktive body. However, this phone is not recommended for totally blind people due to the fact that it lacks a decent form of navigation.
A virtual trackpad is available from the TalkBack screenreader but, something in the setup is preventing it from being activated.
I was able to get the speech to work on the phone and, I even managed to swipe around and get to some items but, the main problem I faced was the lack of a navigational keypad, be it software or hardware. Without this, it is not easy to navigate.
It is possible though that some of the new accessibility applications currently under development, might actually address this.
The – TouchWiz v3.0 UI provides smooth navigation and a generally good experience to a sighted user.
Inside, the Gio is powered by a Qualcomm QCT MSM7227-1 Turbo 800 MHz processor running on Android OS, v2.2 (Froyo), upgradable to v2.3 with 158 MB of internal storage and 278 MB RAM.
The phone weighs 102 g and measures 110.5 x 57.5 x 12.2 mm
Connectivity wise the Gio has the usual v2.0 microUSB, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP, WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, 3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps, EDGE and GPRS.
A 3.5mm jack can be found at the top of the phone, more towards the righthand side, if the phone’s screen were to face you.
The loudspeaker is not the best that there is but, it is doable. If you really want to listen to music, use earphones.
It has an average 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels with autofocus. According to other users, the camera is relatively good. I wasn’t able to judge the quality of images since I am totally blind myself.
The phone has rounded corners and is light enough to slip into a pocket without making it feel too uncomfortable.
In conclusion, the Samsung Galaxy Gio is a nice phone with reasonable specs that may serve a partially sighted person when speech is activated. However, there are other more suitable options available, even for the partially sighted.
Alternatively, it is also available on Prepaid from Hi-Fi Corporation at r1,700.00 on Vodacom, for how long, I won’t be able to say.
Mtn is also offering the Samsung S5660 Galaxy Gio on an Off Peak 50 MTN contract at r50 PM for 24 months Available from 16 to 30 November 2011 or while stocks last. Also note that there is a cost involved for Once-off SIM and connection fee.
Go to your nearest MTN Store to enquire.
Thanks once again to Samsung Mobility for providing us with a demo device.