Google’s Android Ice Cream Sandwitch on a phone with a qwerty keyboard?

Say hi to the Samsung Galaxy Chat, Model GT-B5330, Running Google’s Ice Cream Sandwitch but, with a difference.

Samsung announced this phone last Month, on July the 4th.

It might not have the hottest specs around but, for some of us who still love a physical qwerty keyboard, this is a real nice deal.

Unfortunately, South Africa won’t see much of this phone unless you order it from one of the online stores.

And pricing…. I don’t wish to venture on that but, I am rather sure that it will cost less than r2000.

Oh, uh, to the best of my knowledge, just so by the way, the Samsung Chat is currently the only and certainly the first phone with a full qwerty keyboard running Ice Cream Sandwitch. unfortunately, there’s no arrow keys but, I doubt if this would be an issue.

The processor is also somewhat on the slow side running at 850MHz but, I will have to wait and see how this phone is going to handle.

I will definitely not take pictures with this phone. OCR applications will fail without a doubt. With only a 2 MP camera, I highly suspect that the pics won’t look that nice.

Regardless of these factors, there’s the qwerty keyboard to look forward to as well as experiencing ICS on the world’s first qwerty keyboard phone. Bundled with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, GPS, 3G, a microSD card (up to 32GB), 4GB internal storage and a reasonable pricetag for the entry level, I’m sure that you will agree with me that this is a phone to look forward to.

I am really excited and can’t wait to get started with this beauty.

As usual, the specifications are below:

Physical Specifications

  • Weight 112 grams
  • Height 118.90 mm
  • Width 59.30 mm
  • Depth 11.70 mm

Functional Specifications

  • Screen Type Touchscreen, TFT
  • Touchscreen, capacitive
    256K colours
  • Screen Resolution 240×320
  • Screen Size 3.00 inches (7.62cm)
  • Memory 4GB Storage
  • Expansion microSD up to 32GB
  • Connectivity GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • HSDPA @ 7.2 Mbps
  • HSUPA @ 5.76 Mbps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
  • microUSB 2.0
  • Camera 2MP

Operational Specifications

  • CPU 850MHz
  • OS Android OS 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 3G Standby Time 380.0 hours
  • 3G Talk Time 5.0 hours
  • 2G Standby Time 520.0 hours
  • 2G Talk Time 14.8 hours

Samsung Galaxy S III – Audio demonstration and opinion

Thanks to Samsung, I am able to bring you a taste of the new Samsung Galaxy s III.

Specifications are at the end of this post.

GT-I9300

Specifications

Network/Bearer and Wireless Connectivity

  • EDGE / GPRS (850 / 900 / 1,800 / 1,900MHZ)
  • HSPA+ 21 (850 / 900 / 1,900 / 2,100)
  • 802.11a/b/g/n
  • WiFi Direct
  • GAP, SSP, HSP, HFP1.5, A2DP, SPP, OPP, PBAP, MAP, AVRCP 1.3, HID NFC available
  • DLNA, MHL 1.0, HDMI 2 support
  • KIES, KIES Air support

Display

  • HD sAMOLED
  • 16M
  • 4.8″
  • 720 x 1280 (HD)

Memory

  • 16 / 32 / 64GB

Colour

  • Marble White

Services and Applications

  • Samsung Apps available
  • Game hub
  • ChatON available
  • ActiveSync available
  • B-to-B Compability : Sybase / Webex / Device encryption / Cisco etc.

OS

  • Android 4.0 (ICS)

Battery

  • 2,100 mAh
  • Upto 1,300 min (2G) / upto 650 min (3G)
  • Upto 900 hrs (2G) / upto 750 hrs (3G)

Chipset

  • Quad Core Application Processor
  • 1.4GHz CPU Speed

Connectors

  • USB2.0
  • 3.5pi, Stereo
  • MicroSD (upto 64GB)
  • MicroSIM
  • Micro USB available
  • MHL available

Audio and Video

  • MPEG4, H.264, H.263, VC-1. DivX, VP8, WMV7 / 8, Sorenson Spark, DivX 3.11
  • Full HD (1080p) Video Recording & Playback
  • Recording up to 30fps
  • MP3, AMR-NB / WB, AAC / AAC+ / eAAC+, WMA, OGG (Vorbis), FLAC, AC-3, apt-X

Physical Specification

  • 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm
  • 133g

Camera

  • 8 Megapixels Camera Resolution (Rear)
  • CMOS , 1.9MP
  • LED (1EA)

Sensors

  • Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, RGB Light, Barometer sensor

Location

  • Assisted GPS / GLONASS available

Please note: Features & Specifications may vary per country and are subject to change without prior notice

How to activate TalkBack on Android versions older than Ice Cream Sandwitch

If you already have a working TalkBack on your Android device, you can safely skip this step, or skim it in case you may find some hints that are useful. If you’ve never used TalkBack or any of the Android accessibility features, you should follow these instructions to make sure that you have a talking Android device.

Note: If you are not able to use your Android device without speech, please ask a sighted person to assist you with the initial setup of Talkback.

  1. If you have a good Android version [minimum, 1.6], and device, log onto the Android market and get the following components installed:
    • Accessibility preferences
    • ¦TalkBack
    • ¦SoundBack (optional if you want to hear sounds when navigating and activating items)
    • ¦KickBack (optional if you also want haptic feedback when navigating and activating items)
    • ¦Eyes-Free Keyboard (for devices without a physical keyboard)

    Note that if you use Android 4.0, KickBack and SoundBack are integrated into TalkBack, so you only need to install that to get the functionality of all three.

  2. Activate accessibility for Android v1.6 to 2.3 through the following steps:

    • Go to Settings
    • Select Accessibility
    • Enable Accessibility checkbox
    • Enable TalkBack, KickBack, SoundBack checkboxes
  3. The result should be that TalkBack, SoundBack and KickBack give you spoken, sound, and haptic feedback when navigating with the directional controller.

  4. If you also installed the Eyes-Free keyboard, refer to its documentation on how to use it.

Samsung Galaxy Gio S5660, not as accessible

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.

Introduction to the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro

The Samsung Galaxy Y Pro, also known as the Samsung Galaxy Txt, sports a rather impressive set of features for an entry-level Android phone.

 

With the fimiliar candy bar design, powered by an 832MHz CPU and weighing in at a mere 108 grams, this phone might not look like an interesting or colourful device but, for those with visual impairment and looking for a speaking phone, this phone is certainly a viable option.

 

In this podcast, I’ll introduce you to the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro and let you here the responsiveness of the speech.

 

Oh, did I mention that it has a qwerty keyboard?  Though not as nice as the Keyboard on some higher-end devices, it is still a nice keyboard.  There are dots on the F and the J and even two customizable hardware keys that can come in quite handy.

 

Before we jump into the phone specifications, I would just like to thank Samsung Mobility South Africa for loaning us a demonstration model of the Galaxy Y Pro.

 

 If you’d like to start listening, go ahead:


 

Rightclick here and select save as, or the appropriate option, to download AccessTech, Episode 1 – Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Review

Alternatively, you may read on:

 

Samsung Galaxy Y Pro B5510 Physical Specifications
Weight 108 grams
Height 110.80mm
Width 63.50mm
Depth 11.50mm
Form factor Candy bar with full QWERTY keyboard

Functional Specifications
Screen Type TFT
Touchscreen, capacitive
256K colours
Screen Resolution 320×240
Screen Features QWERTY keyboard
Accelerometer
Optical trackpad
Screen Size 2.60 inches (6.60cm)
Phone Memory 150MB
Expansion Slot microSD up to 32GB
Connectivity GPS with A-GPS support
GPRS
EDGE
HSDPA @ 7.2 Mbps
HSUPA
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
microUSB 2.0
Camera 3.15MP
Geo-tagging
Face detection
Other Features Stereo FM radio with RDS
3.5mm Audio jack
Java MIDP emulator
SNS integration
MP4/WMV/H.264 player
MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
Organizer
Image/video editor
ThinkFree document viewer/editor
Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa integration
Adobe Flash support
Voice memo
Predictive text input
Standard battery: Li-Ion 1200mAh
Samsung Galaxy Y Pro B5510 Operational Specifications
CPU 832MHz CPU
Operating System Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread)

At the time of this entry, VirginMobile has this phone available on a very reasonable 24 month contract package.

Here’s what you get:
R100 airtime p/m
Plus 1000 FREE SMSs
And then the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro.

This is available on the Classic Phone Contract 100. And before I forget, According to them, you will pay a R20 towards the Mandatory Itemised Billing.