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Samsung Galaxy Y GT-S5360 Review

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The Samsung Galaxy Y is arguably one of the hottest handsets today and I’d like to think it’s because of the price.  The “Y”  in Galaxy Y stands for Young so this phone is obviously aimed at the young demographic with only a few thousand pesos to spare for a cellphone.   The Samsung Galaxy Y is quite attractively priced at P5,990 and for this amount, you get an Android handset running Gingerbread with access to Android market’s thousands of apps.

Is the hype justified though? Is the handset good enough for the price, or are there other handsets that offer better value?  Let’s find out.

Samsung Galaxy Y GT-S5360 Specifications

  • 3-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display (240 x 320 pixels)
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz 3.0
  • 823MHz ARMv6 processor
  • 256MB RAM
  • 164MB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 2MP camera
  • FM Radio
  • GPS w/ aGPS support
  • Li-Ion battery 1200mAh
  • 104 x 58 x 11.5 mm dimensions
  • QVGA 15fps video
  • microUSB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP, HS, 3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps
  • 1200 mAh battery

Packaging, Design and Hardware

The packaging for the Samsung Galaxy Y is just simple.  The small box housing the handset is predominantly white, with a photo of the device displayed outside and the name Galaxy Y at the bottom.

For the price of P5,990, don’t expect to get a premium handset.  The Samsung Galaxy Y feels plasticky all over, but it tries to look premium with its all black front, a silver back and a chrome trimming.  When you hold the phone though, there is no mistaking its cheap construction.  It’s light, which could be an advantage if you’re looking for a lightweight phone, but holding the handset simply tells you it’s not built for heavy use.  You just know that the phone will not be able to withstand some serious drops.  The handset is small, so there’s no problem typing or operating the device with one hand.  The problem with a small handset though, is you also get a small screen.

The handset has the standard buttons and connection slots.  You have the power button on the right, the volume rocker on the left, a microUSB port/charging port at the top covered with a flap and a 3.5mm headphone jack also at the top.  At the back are the camera lens and the speaker grille positioned beside each other.  At the front you see the Samsung logo at the top and at the bottom are the physical Home button flanked by capacitive Menu and Back buttons.  The Home button works just fine, with just the right amount of feedback, but the capacitive Menu and Back buttons are hard to use.  They are non-responsive most of the time and requires hard tapping before you get the reaction you expect.

  

Opening the back cover reveals the battery and under which is the SIM card slot.  At the left side is the slot for the microSD card.

The screen of the Samsung Galaxy Y, as I mentioned earlier, is quite small.  The display measures only 3 inches.  At this size, you should expect that Samsung will use a high resolution screen, but instead the Galaxy Y features a disappointingly low res 240 x 320 pixels display which translates to a very low 133ppi pixel density.  At this resolution, the pixels are very visible, and with handsets getting better quality screens, it’s surprising that Samsung has slapped on a poor quality display.  I remember owning an HTC Wildfire before and I can compare the resolution of that handset’s display with the Galaxy Y’s display.  Naturally, photos and videos and stuff you put on your screen are poorly rendered.   There are other similarly priced Android handsets out there that have way better screen than the Samsung Galaxy Y.  So if you are very particular with screen resolution, you may skip the rest of the review and choose another handset instead.  I suggest you check out the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 or the Alcatel Blaze Glory 918N.  These handsets have better displays .

Performance, User Interface

The Samsung Galaxy Y runs on a 832 MHz processor, faster than the processor on the Galaxy Mini.  However, the performance, although not too sluggish, is noticeably slow and clunky.  For this processor speed I was expecting something smooth and zippy, but sadly, the Samsung Galaxy Y again failed to meet my expectations.  Apps take some time to load, and if you’re expecting to play graphics-heavy games on the Samsung Galaxy Y, expect some disappointments along the way.

The Galaxy Y runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz UI on top.  The fact that the phone runs Gingerbread is an advantage for the Galaxy Y.  For this price range, most handsets run Android 2.2 Froyo.  However, the TouchWiz UI might have contributed to the phone’s sluggish performance.  The TouchWiz on the Galaxy Y is very bare, though, and the decision to make it leaner is welcome since the hardware won’t be able to handle the processing power needed for the full TouchWiz experience.  But with the Galaxy Y’s subpar screen, the UI doesn’t look good.   The apps look bad too because of the screen’s quality.  Typing on the Galaxy Y is quite a task since the screen is small and the keys are pretty tiny.

  

Internet browsing on a 3-inch screen with 240 x 320 pixel resolution translates to a really frustrating experience.  It’s bad enough that the screen is tiny, and it’s made even worse by the super low resolution display.  The browser is fairly fast, but the output leaves much to be desired.  If you put a full website on the Galaxy Y’s screen, you won’t be able to make out the letters.  Thankfully, the handset has Flash Lite 4.0 support so there will be the occasional Flash ad but it does not handle Flash-based content.

The Galaxy Y plays MPEG 4 videos but the default player does not handle avi or DivX videos.  It can play these files on third party players from the Android Market but the quality of playback is not smooth.  The phone’s speaker is loud enough for your music or videos but it’s a little flat.  There’s simply no power, no oomph.  The headphones have decent volume but they are practically useless if you want to listen to music.  The headphones are too bad it’s as if bass has been totally removed from the output.

Calls on the Galaxy Y are pretty average.  They have a fair amount of volume but it’s not that clear.  It’s not too bad as to be a deal breaker, but i have certainly used other low-end phones with clearer call quality.

The Galaxy Nexus uses a 1200mAh battery, and in real world situations, this is simply insufficient.  If you’re into browsing and social networking, you’ll get frustrated with the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Y.  On heavy use, the Galaxy Y will not last you 12 hours on a single charge.  Eight hours is probably the right estimate.

Camera and Video

The Samsung Galaxy Y has one of the crappiest cameras i have ever used, but for the price you’re paying, this should be expected.  But the Galaxy Mini had a 3 megapixel camera so it’s quite baffling that Samsung paired the Galaxy Y with a 2 megapixel camera. Don’t buy this handset if you shoot a lot of photos.  The shots have poor resolution, bad color reproduction, and has too much noise in them.   The Samsung Galaxy Y, sadly, is not a camera phone, and thankfully it does not pretend to be.

Here are sample photos I took with the Samsung Galaxy Y’s camera.  Click on the photo to see the bigger version.

 

Shooting videos of the Galaxy Y is equally bad.  The video output is QVGA with 15fps so i didn’t bother taking a sample.

Wrap Up

The Samsung Galaxy Y is admittedly attractive, not because it has solid features but because of its price.  At only P5,990 (about US$130), you get a phone powered by an 832Mhz processor and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread.  But what you should also consider is that for this amount, you get a poor resolution display and a 2 megapixel camera.  The Samsung Galaxy Y is not the best option when you are looking for an Android handset at this price range.  The screen is small at 3 inches and it has one of the worst resolutions I’ve seen on a handset. The 2 megapixel camera is a puzzle since the Galaxy Mini had 3 megapixels, so the price is not really an excuse to use this low resolution camera.

The Sony Ericsson X8 and the Alcatel Blaze Glory 918N have better screens and better cameras.  They are also noticeably faster too.  The Alcatel Blaze Glory is dual-SIM to boot, and also retails for the same price (P5,990), and the Sony Ericsson X8 is only more expensive by about P1,000.

Admittedly, the Samsung Galaxy Y have redeeming features like Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and, to a certain extent, the design.  It’s certainly an option in this category, but for me, it’s not the best option.

Rating: 7/10

 

73 Comments

  1. MichaelFritz Reply

    nkakaamazed lng mkita ko mga comments dto, kla ko may hwak akong time machine.
    pro ito lng mssbi ko, till nw buhay na buhay prin galaxy y ko, no problems at all. I use it as my gps map/locator, wifi hotspot, wifi security camera and also for music tripping. 🙂

  2. Pde patulong kung paano ma save ung apps sa sd card …. kasi problem ko pag nagdownload ako napupunta sa internal phone hindi sa sd card pa help plss….

  3. Abayajustine23 Reply

    hindi naman pede ang 8gb na microsd.pano pa kaya ang 32gb?

  4. Ellahparale Reply

    Bias naman yung comparison. The article is not worth reading.

  5. why does back key does not work properly..?sometimes it work but most of the time it doesn’t work..?

  6. Mj_balino18 Reply

    kaka bili q lng ng phone sa cellboy 3 weeks ago 6,749.00 samsung galaxy young .. kya lng ang prob d gumagana ang back key at menu key.. plss help me..pra d na aq pnta sa cell shop..

  7. hmmm galaxy y 5990 lng, ang cheap…..wla nha bhang imamahal 2?eewwwwwww

  8. 2300 na ang price ng galaxy Y ang peke ang pangit ng features mas maganda pa ng LG-e400

  9. magkano  nlng to ngayon? Blita ko 5,4K something nlng to sa Sm Manila e

  10. plz..help me , what should i do my samsung galaxy young white gt-s5360 have a troubleshoot regarding all network i can’t connect 3 weeks already i have no signal bar.. plz help me..

  11. nice cea kaso..i dont know how to connect the mobile network with this phone.

  12. Ferrererickson Reply

    ok lng sya handy…swak sa bulsa swak pa sa applications..
     

  13. madaling ma low battery pero ok lng siya kung gusto mo mag wifi punta kna lang sa mga malls katulad ng sm yn magagamit na ang wifi
     

  14. Eveningyvonne Reply

    got mine for 2,000 petot and for its price, its a GREAT DEAL!
    Though it is an low-end budget phone, it can still compete with high-end phones. What does S2 or the iPhone has to offer that the totoro does not have? I did a review myself about its limitation and how to easily fix the device limitations (http://writerjj.hubpages.com/hub/Problems-Limitations-and-Disadvantages-of-Samsung-Galaxy-Y-or-Totoro)
    Case in point the only problem you can’t solve is the screen size (which is already acceptable) and the meager camera features.

  15. i hope may mag post kung how much ang current price nia as of april 2012.. thanks

  16. im thinking to buy this one for my mom, magkano current price nia sa malls as of today?

    • Jhaycartano Reply

      kailangan mo pang pa change ung setting sa samsung service center

  17. wifi sayang gamitin haha sarap ma upload nang games saya nang camera wifi mode=)
    galaxy y

  18.  haha orig yan ala china battery nyan ganun talga madaling maubos kaci dami application!

  19. fuckerring Reply

    fuck you all thats all crap hahahaha, it depends upon the user you pieces of shitass motherfucking a-hole

  20. awww…naapprove ang sun ko and eto ang choice ko na phone! mahilig pa naman ako mag picture 🙁 hindi ko pa nakukuha ang phone pero parang ayaw ko na tuloy ituloy 🙁 mas mataas pa yung pixel  nung my phone ko?

  21. jhez lorico Reply

    I personally used both Galaxy Y and Alcatel 918N and from my evaluation, Alcatel’s 918N raped Galaxy Y badly hehehe…

    For php6k price range, 918N is the bang for the buck android phone as of now.

  22. james craig Reply

     The Alcatel maybe a good alternative for this phone, in regards with the specs and performance but people will also think of its resale value as hindi ganun kalaki yung market ng Alcatel in the Philippines. 

    web Design london

  23. IMO, Alcatel wins in the Dual Sim category and screen size quality. In terms of Speed, 832Mhz is fast but take in consideration that it’s the screen size of Galaxy Y that turned me off on purchasing it. Alcatel on the other hand has bigger screen size and this is the advantage that the unit has.

    Im not a Samsung nor Alcatel fanboy but again in my opinion, Alcatel has the advantage in terms of comparison with Galaxy Y over the price range.

    Just my 2 cents

  24. Migs Calleja Reply

    I personally think the review is spot-on.

    1) 832 MHz sounds good compared to other phones in the same price range, but that higher processor is let down by the disappointingly low RAM. I can get better performance out of my LG Optimus One even with its 600 MHz processor because it runs on 512MB RAM.

    2) I was trying to help my cousin root his Galaxy Y a couple of weeks ago, which was my first time to handle this type of phone. My first reaction upon handling it was ‘this screen quality is kinda bad’. The smaller screen size is no excuse – the Xperia X8 managed much higher pixel quality with the same screensize a long time ago and is even available now for roughly the same price as the Galaxy Y.

    If you really need an Android phone on a budget and would be able to save up P6K for it, I suggest saving up another P1-P1.5K and getting the Optimus One instead.

  25. 832Mhz vs 650Mhz? hmm a video comparison between Galaxy Y and OT-918N will be helpful… for me, the one who is snappier is the winner

    can you do this for us technobaboy?

  26. For a price of less than 6K+ I’d say this phone is good. I’m not saying its the best under the 6K price but it’s good.

    It is expected that you can’t expect much from a 6k+ phone. I’m also using Galaxy Y. I have few complaints, such as camera quality not good, sometimes (if not most of the time) it lags. It’s kinda slow. response time is sometimes slow especially when you have installed to many apps. But remember it’s only a 6K phone. My Sony Ericson W700 was worth 12K, but Galaxy Y is far better than my previous phone.

    So basically what I am saying is, we can’t compare one phone from another which are not on the same bracket price. 

    I think TB just wrote what he thinks about the phone. I haven’t tried other phones so I can’t say if the Galaxy  Y is the best phone for the 6K price bracket or not.

    But considering it’s price, generally the phone is good. ^_^

  27. by tried did you mean use it casually for a few minutes? what’s so impressive about the phone if i may ask?

  28. When I got the phone, I was not expecting something great because of the price it came with and I downgraded from an Iphone 4. The Alcatel maybe a good alternative for this phone, in regards with the specs and performance but people will also think of its resale value as hindi ganun kalaki yung market ng Alcatel in the Philippines. Just my two cents. Good review!

  29. Haha. Natawa naman ako sa violent reactions.  I’m no Samsung hater as in fact I just bought a Galaxy Nexus.  And I’m not comparing the Galaxy Y to high end phones.  I am trying to be objective here.  The screen is bad, the camera is bad. Since you are asking for an alternative, check out the Alcatel Blaze Glory 918N.  There is a photo above.  I will also review this unit. First impressions? It’s faster compared to the Galaxy Y and has bigger screen and higher resolution.  If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourselves. The price is P5990.

  30. Hater si kuya boy na blogger. hehe Ilang beses ko na nababagsak tong phone na to pero di naman nagkakaroon ng problema.

    • i’m not a brand hater. i’m a gadget lover 🙂 good thing it survived a few drops.  as i did not do a drop test, your experience is a testament that the galaxy y can survive drops. thanks for sharing.

  31. I can see a Samsung hater here. I have bought mine a month ago and I have no problem with the unit. Samsung Galaxy Y is the best Android phone in the price range of 6K under. Maybe this guy reviewed s different phone. 

    • it’s the same phone i reviewed mind you. though i didn’t do a drop test so yeah, maybe the phone ca handle a few drops 🙂 It’s not the best under 6k. 

  32. awts. I bought it 1 month ago. From a first-time android user’s perspective, I find the phone a bang for the buck. I have read forums as well and they were very satisfied with the phone. The screen may be small but typing on it came very fast and easy after a few days even I have big thumbs. If you’ve been using high-end phones sir, you’re making a wrong comparison and you’re certainly the wrong person to review this phone. Could you tell me which phone would be better than Galaxy Y at a price of P5,900+, a Cherry Mobile, a Torque one?

    • Tama!!! How can you compare a entry level from a high end smartphone? i mean 6k from samsung is already a steal. Torque technobaboy?

        • i dont think Samsung Galaxy Y is a bad choice,

          i had one and i am very happy and satisfied because its cheap and i can do things like I phone.heheheh

          anyways i love Korea so i love there products as well.:)

          • for the price its not a bad choice. the point here is that the Galaxy Y is not the best for the price range and the review merely pointed out the weaknesses of the galaxy y.  

            • what is the basically problem from this phone samsung galaxy young …….i should research for that phone there many people said… this phone is many disadvantages like unworking  with the menu key and the back key……like problem in unworking wifi connection……..i should be doubtful to buy this phone in december……. rather than i will research properly and check the nice specs and the disadvantages about samsung galaxy y…..i want really i wont disapoint in buying this phone…….what is the nice and benefit phone from me? SAMSUNG GALAXY YOUNG or SAMSUNG GALAXY POCKET….

      • agree ako sayo TechnoBaboy.as for now, Alcatel Blaze ang best bang for the buck for 6k range.

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