WordPress 3.2 Beta 1 Review – Features, Screenshot Walkthrough

The WordPress team started planning for WordPress 3.2 back in March and released WordPress 3.2 beta last week. I spend some time playing around with the next generation of WordPress to see what is new with it.

Here is a review of WordPress 3.2 and a list of the new features that you will be using when the final version comes out. Please note that WordPress 3.2 will require PHP 5.2.4 and  MySQL 5.0, so you might have to upgrade your server software or ask your hosting provider to do it for you.

Important Note: This is a beta version of WordPress, don’t install it on a production server.

New Admin Interface

WordPress 3.2 Admin Interface

WordPress 3.2 has a refreshed admin interface which does away with the curved corners and cuts down on the space used between the menus.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Review

Last year was pretty bad for Sony Ericsson. The company launched its Xperia branded Android handsets including the X10, but all the models failed to generate user interests and revenue.   The X10 was criticized for its outdated Android OS (v1.6) and lack of multi-touch. Later on, Sony Ericsson was also criticized for delaying the Android 2.1 update for its flagship handset.

Nevertheless, Sony Ericsson has learnt a lesson or two from last year, and is trying to change it this year. The company announced a bunch of Xperia branded handsets, running on the latest version of Android OS, and each standing apart from the crowd.

The Xperia Arc is Sony Ericsson’s flagship phone for this year. The handset is slim, stylish, packs an awesome camera and runs on the latest version of Android OS.

However, 2011 is all about dual-core Android handsets, and will the Xperia Arc be able to compete with its upcoming competition. Read our review to find out!

Build Quality And Screen

Right out of the box, anyone will be surprised by how thin and how long the Arc is. True to its name, the Arc has an Arc shaped design. At its thinnest point, the Arc measures only 8.79mm, which is… insanely thin!

The Arc is mainly made up of glossy plastics, but has a premium fit and finish. There is a metallic ring covering the sides of the phone. Sadly, all that glossy plastic is a fingerprint and smudge magnet.

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Like the X10, the Arc only has 3 hardware buttons – Back, Home and Menu button – in the same order. The keys are not backlit. There are two small LEDs between the three buttons, but they are of hardly any help.

The top of the Arc houses a mini-HDMI port, while the top right houses the notification light, microUSB port and a tiny volume button. Oh! There is also a camera button at the bottom right of the handset, which will definitely go un-noticed by most people. The left side of the handset is pretty empty, and only has a 3.5mm jack.

The front of the handset is dominated by a 4.2-inch LCD screen, with a resolution of 854×480 (FWVGA). The LCD of the Arc has decent contrast and brightness. The Arc does have automatic brightness control, but there is no option to turn it on or off in the Display settings.

The Arc also features Sony Ericsson’s new ‘BRAVIA Mobile Engine’. This new technology boosts the screen’s color contrast, and sharpness whenever a user is watching images or videos on his handsets. The technology definitely helps improve the image quality of the display. Images and videos look mind-blowing on the Arc’s display. The Bravia engine does not impact the screen performance in any other aspect except when viewing images and videos.

Sadly, the biggest problem with the Arc’s display is its viewing angles. The display looks washed out, if viewed from anywhere except its perfect viewing angle.

User Interface And Performance

The Arc runs on Android 2.3.2 Gingerbread, with Sony Ericsson’s proprietary UI on top of it. Unlike the X10, Sony Ericsson’s UI changes do not run right into the OS core, and are merely cosmetic changes. Sony Ericsson has replaced the black theme, which Google introduced with Gingerbread, and is using a blue theme instead.

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The changes made by Sony Ericsson are positive in all aspects. Sadly, the Gingerbread screen-off animation as seen on the Nexus S, is not found on the Arc.

By default, the phone ships with 5 home screens. Users cannot add or delete home screens if they want. The app launcher dock can incorporate up to 4 icons, excluding the ‘menu’ button in the center. The application grid offers users with a nifty feature to sort apps alphabetically, in order of their use, manually or recently installed.

The MediaScape UI, found in the original X10, has been merely reduced to a desktop widget now. The music player of the Arc looks gorgeous, and even has a few equalizer presets. However, there is no option to manually create a new equalizer preset.

The Timescape UI looked good in the X10, and it still does. Basically, the Timescape UI aggregates all the social updates of your friends from Twitter and Facebook in a 3D view. Sadly, the dialer on the Arc does not feature smart dialing. The back of the handset also features a secondary mic. for noise cancellation purposes.

During the trial period, I had no issues with the performance of the Arc. The handset totally flies, and users will hardly feel the lack of a second core, on a day-to-day basis. The phone scores around ~1400points in the Quadrant benchmark, which is pretty decent.

Camera And Video Recording

This is very where the Xperia Arc truly excels. The 8MP camera at the back of the Arc is a truly mind-blowing. In proper lighting, the images came out crisp and sharp, with more than enough details.

Below is an image sample clicked at the default camera settings 6MP, 16:9 aspect ratio – from the Arc :

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The rest of the images below, were clicked at 8MP resolution with auto scene detection :

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Sony Ericsson also touts that the Xperia Arc has an Exmor R sensor, which allows users to click some stunning low-light pictures. I clicked some pictures in complete darkness, and the results are truly stunning.

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The Arc is also able to record videos in 720p HD resolution at 30fps. The phone also features continuous auto-focus while recording videos. The back of the handset features a second microphone, to cut down on background noise while recording videos.

The camera interface of the Arc is very clean and smooth. However, the phone only offers very limited scene modes including Smile detection, scene recognition and normal mode. The camera also has touch-to-focus while clicking still pictures.

The videos taken from the phone came out clear and sharp, with no choppiness and duplicated frames were rare as well.

Web Browsing And Battery Life

The web browser on the Arc, like any other Android phone, absolutely rocks! The general web browsing performance is smooth, with no troubles. Scrolling around through web pages was smooth as well. Things did get a little jerky when browsing heavy flash based web sites like Espnstar.com. The Arc was able to playback Flash videos embedded in webpages without a hitch, as well.

Even though the Arc is insanely thin, it packs in a 1500mAh capacity battery.   The handset will easily last a day on moderate to heavy usage on a single charge. Compared to most other Android handsets, especially HTC branded ones; the battery life of the Arc is a major plus!

Conclusion

The Xperia Arc is a decent all-round phone. I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the phone. The camera, looks, battery life, and the performance of the Arc are its major plus points. The dated internal hardware of the handset can be a problem 2-3 months down the line, when nearly every phone will launch with a dual-core processor.

For the general users out there, the Arc is more than enough. They will be highly satisfied with it. However, for the Andro-geeks out there, the Arc is nothing but an outdated phone with an awesome camera.

At the moment, the Arc retails for Rs 28,000, which is quite steep for the features and out-dated hardware it offers. The phone will be a hot seller if priced below the 25k mark. Once the Arc’s price settles below the 25k mark, it will be a true VFM phone.

A Platformer without Jumping–NightSky Review

It goes without saying that a big chunk of platforming games depend on level design, ambiance and the variation of the enemies. Nifflas’ Games eliminated that last dependency and upped the ante on the other two and have presented NightSky for PC gamers. Originally conceived as a WiiWare game during Game Developer Conference 09 as Night Game that never saw the light of the day, NightSky is a muted and atmospheric physics based puzzle-platformer that will have you admiring each level’s silhouetted and dreamy denizens as you whizz past them.

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You control a ball with some sort of life force. In some levels you can speed up the ball or invert the gravity as well. In some levels, you do not have any control over the ball (except braking). That is not all. Some levels allow you to control pinball flippers instead of the ball while others put the ball inside a car, with the ball touching both the wheels of the 2D car. It is interesting to note that the game’s physics are spot-on with the ball’s spin and momentum being conserved and realistically damped. If you’ve catch and throw or any other game involving spherical objects, this game will be very easy for you to get into.

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This is also attributed to the game’s design. NightSky is made for casual play, preferably right before you sleep. The atmosphere is mellow and soft with an enchanting music track that suits the game’s feel perfectly. Each level is beautiful and silhouetted against the waning sky ,with quirky creatures of the night looking curiously at you, the player. You will roll past dark caverns (not the scary kind, mind you), grassy meadows at dusk and mountainsides silhouetted against the dark blue twilight sky in the background. Everything in NightSky is designed to ease you into the splendor of slumber.

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With eleven worlds (not including the very well designed creditsworld), NightSky will keep you entranced for quite a while, as the difficulty scales up well in the later stages. An easy game to play, NightSky is a welcome break from the hair-loss-inducing VVVVVV and Super Meat Boy.

Get the demo of NightSky at Nifflas’ Games’ website. You can buy the game at either Fastspring or Steam.

Review: Angry Birds for PSP

The Finn folks at Rovio Mobile have had quite the blast with their superstar physics-based puzzle game Angry Birds. Taking cue from simple castle destruction games of old (and other flash-based games), the developers at Rovio put together a bunch of really angry birds at war with egg-stealing gluttonous green pigs, added special powers to some birds and some great level design throughout the game and published it to the iOS. The rest is, well, the adoption. According to an interview with Rovio CEO Mikael Hed, the game became a bestseller almost overnight in the home country of Finland and thus began its conquest of all the major mobile operating systems.

So, after the iOS, Android, Symbian^3 and the WebOS, the game headed towards its first major gaming console entry: as a PlayStation Mini for the PlayStation Portable handheld console and the PlayStation 3 home console. The game’s 63 playable levels are available on the PSP/PS3 for a sum of $3.99.

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The main game is pretty simple: you have a catapult and a lot of gung-ho kamikaze birds at your disposal. You have to aim these birds at pig fortresses and kill all the pigs on a level because they stole the birds’ eggs. Those pigs are evil. If that did not make much sense, this video will.

There are five types of birds available as you progress with various powers available to them. The birds’ launch order is pre-determined, so you have to use some strategic thought to get through many of the higher levels.

The game has been ported well into the PS system. The controls are rock solid (unlike wonky touch controls that were especially fidgety on my phone), and the gameplay is (for the most part) buttery smooth. There were lag issues when a lot of destruction happened on screen at the same time, especially when the blue birds hit ice barriers and the like. Although they were minor, I really hope they don’t spoil the fun later with the black birds (aka the bomb birds) and the flying chickens. The sound is crisp, just as expected.

But is there a really good reason for buying this game on the PlayStation Store, especially when you can get the exact same experience on your mobile phone for much less (read: free on the Android)?

This is exactly the same experience that you get on your mobile phones. Nothing extra added (as far as I could tell; it has been a while since I’ve played episode 1’s levels) and nothing extra promised as yet. While the load times are a pain (as with all PSP games), the [almost] no-lag gameplay on a larger and brighter screen might hold appeal for fanboys.

As for me, I had $4.03 left in my PSN wallet, and did not know anything better to spend the money on. Do let me know of your thoughts in the comments!

Komli Ad Network Review, Best CPM Network For Indian Traffic

komli_logoOf late, I have been finding ways to monetize unsold inventory and have been looking for some decent Ad networks in India. That is when I landed up on Komli (http://www.komli.com) which is a premium ad network for Indian users.

Komli provides both a CPM based network as well as performance based network for Indian traffic. They have allowed me to fill in inventory which was unused and make money from it, which I wasn’t making earlier.

In the past couple of weeks that I have been using them, the revenue is pretty decent and on par with several US CPM publisher network like Technorati Media and ValueClick. The ads are usually targeted towards Indian users and most of the times are relevant. Overall, my experience with Komli has been pretty nice and I would recommend it to users.

Komli pays on a Net45 basis, which means that they will pay you 45 days after the month ends if your net publisher earnings is INR 800 ($25) or more. Though I haven’t received my payments since it has been hardly a month since I joined, I am impressed with this network.

Other than that, Komli uses Yield manager (Right Media) from Yahoo as a backend market place. Reporting is pretty similar if you have used networks such as Technorati Media. In addition to web based reports, you can also setup Komli to email you reports on a regular basis.

Have any of you used Komli? What has your experience been with it? Do share your experiences in the comments.

Web Hosting Hub Provides Easy Way To Create Websites Online

Web Hosting Hub[Sponsored] Online diaries or Weblogs have grown exponentially since I started blogging around 5 years ago, and it has continues to grow at a very healthy pace. In addition to that, there are also several small businesses who are putting themselves online and being discovered by more people.

Is it easy to create a website or blog? Yes, and there are several free blogging and website platforms like Blogger and WordPress which let you setup a blog or website in 5 minutes or less. However, what if you are looking for a professionally created website on your own domain? Asking this question to people always evoke mixed reactions because they are often worried about hosting their own site and creating their own pages along with bandwidth and web space which are required to run a website.

Many people would not want to create or run their own personal or business website because of the cost involved in setting it up and maintaining it. However, the world has moved forward and there are services which provide users with affordable hosting services and domains.

Web Hosting Hub is once such web hosting provider provides users with unlimited web hosting for only $4.95 a month. Unlimited web hosting involves both disk space and bandwidth which is critical for any website to run. In addition to that, you can also host unlimited domains and get a free domain name when you sign up with them.

WH Hub provides users with a cPanel interface to manage their websites, along with email hosting and website statistics. They also provide users with a 5 minute blog setup through an automated tool called Fantastico. You can use this tool to setup a WordPress blog in 5 minutes or less without having to go through the manual steps of creating a database, etc.

Web Hosting Hub supports several platforms like WordPress, b2evolution, Nucleus, Joomla, Drupal, Mambo and PHPBB among others. In addition to this, Hub hosting also provides users with a Free Website builder which has over 500 templates which are customizable.

Web Hosting Hub also provide 24/7 support and 90 day money back guarantee. So if you are not satisfied you could take your money and go to another web hosting company.

Impressions

One of the first things I do before signing up with any webhost is searching the internet for reviews of the hosting provider. I did the same with Web Hosting Hub and read a lot of positive reviews of the company. Though I have not personally used their hosting, the user reviews make me comfortable enough to use them if I ever need to. Along with that, the low cost and 90 days money back guarantee makes it a no-brainer.

In addition to that, I also put their 24/7 support to test and used their online chat to find a solution for a fake problem which didn’t exist. I was able to quickly speak to a associate who tried to find a solution for my problem, alas it never existed.  Overall, I was happy with their claim about providing 24/7 technical support, which is a real must for any web hosting company. It is also definitely better than sending emails to your web hosting support guy and waiting for a reply when your website it down.

You can take a look at all the web hosting features that are part of Web Hosting Hub or review a chart of web hosting comparison between WH Hub and other hosting providers like Bluehost.

This is a sponsored review of web hosting hub. All the views in the post are unbiased and true.

Find SIM Only Deals For Your Mobile Phone

[UK Only] Most of the smartphones released today come with a 2 year lock-in contract with a provider, however, you can never know what kind of service you might get over a two year period, so signing a long contract could definitely be a risk since getting out of a contract will often mean that you have to incur fines.

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The best way to go about would be to have your own phone and then purchase a SIM card that you could use with the phone. However, scraping through hundreds of deals could be a pain.

If you are in UK, a site called SIM Only offer SIM Only contracts which are cheap and affordable. For example, you can buy SIM contracts from wireless providers such as T-mobile, Orange, O2 and Vodafone for as low as £15 a month.

Using the SIM Only site you can choose between several different deals and compare the amount of minutes and text messages you will get when you purchase a SIM, definitely a good site to go to when you want to purchase a SIM card without a long term contract.

Another site called SIM Only Deals also offers you a comparison between several different SIM Cards, the site provides you with 30 days contracts and allows you to keep your existing contract too. SIM Only delivers the SIM card the next day, making it easier and fast to switch between a SIM that costs you more money.

Sim Only Offers Website

When you visit the SIM Only site, you can avail of a number of offers from some big providers in UK including O2, Vodafone, 3 Mobile, T-Mobile and others. SIM Only also provides users with a easy to read comparison table which makes decision making faster. The service will help you to select the best deals that suits your needs and you can indirectly save lots of bucks.

How SIM Only Offers Work?

You have to order a SIM card from SIM only which will be delivered to your doorsteps through within next few days, most of the time it is next day deliver. Once you get hold of the SIM card, just replace it with the one you are currently using.

The biggest advantage of using SIM Only is that you can retain your mobile phone as well as your old number along with saving lots of money every month. Currently SIM Only offers are available only in United Kingdom.

The above review is an unbiased review of the product.

First Look At iTunes 10

Apple announced the iTunes 10 today at the special music event, and I was able to download it just before 10PM Eastern Time. As compared to earlier version of iTunes, iTunes 10 is only about 72.2MB in size.

The installation of iTunes went fairly well, and it was up and running in a few minutes. The new interface in iTunes 10 is almost similar to iTunes 9.2, however, Apple has used a pretty weird looking icon for iTunes 10 and has also changed the buttons and other icons. Overall, I did not like  the new look for iTunes 10.

After downloading and installing iTunes 10, I spent some time looking at it and found it to be pretty OK as compared to what was expected of it. Here are some of my views about the new features in iTunes 10.

TV Show Rentals

iTunes 10 TV Shows Rental

iTunes 10 has added a new feature where users could rent out TV shows for 99c. They offer episodes from the latest TV shows and also some classic TV shows. Shows include the usual suspects like Family Guy, Glee, The Cleveland Show, Prison Break, Bones and so on. However, you will also find similar shows for free on Hulu.com.

iTunes 10 TV Show Rentals Download

I tried to watch a free TV show, 30 Rock Recap Special and the download in itself was set to take 20-30 minutes, so it could not be done in time for the review. This is particularly annoying on an high speed network. I will update this review with my views on the quality of the videos.

iTunes TV Show Rental Quality

Update: The TV Show finally downloaded and the quality is pretty good and definitely on par with Hulu.

iTunes TV rentals will allow you to watch the TV shows within 30 days of you renting it, however, once you start watching a show, you have to finish it within 48 hours or else you will not be able to watch it again. The TV shows can be watched on either you PC, or . There is no option for users, but iPad users will also get the ability with iOS 4.2 for iPad and AirPlay.

iTunes Ping

Apple introduced iTunes Ping today, a social networking for music lovers and probably a rival. I tried out Ping and found it to be pretty decent. Ping can be accessed from the left sidebar of iTunes and requires you to use your Apple account to login.

iTunes Ping Welcome Screen

Once you have logged in, you will be shown a series of screens that ask for your profile information. Once you have logged in, you will see a list of people to follow, which is something typical to what you will see with Facebook and .

iTunes Ping Recent Activity

iTunes Ping also allows you to connect with your Facebook friends who are using Ping. Just like any other social networking, the key to Ping is people. So you will have to start following people to see their activity, music recommendations and more.

One thing I noticed is that Ping is quite buggy and you will notice quite a few problems while using different features with it. For example, I had to try several times before I could connect my Facebook account with Ping. Also the navigation is buggy, sometimes clicking on page numbers will do nothing and so on. However, this service is quite new and will be polished with time.

Another downside to Ping is that, since it has launched today, I could not find many people to find or follow. I will leave it at it and see how it works when I have more people to follow and recommend music to.

Faster Synching With Devices

Apple promised faster synching and more real-time storage indicators with iTunes 10. I tried synching my device by adding some music and sync was definitely more faster than what I have seen on earlier version of iTunes. However, I had some problems with iTunes recognizing my device and it took unplugs and iTunes restarts to see the device in iTunes.

These are just some of the new features I have toured in iTunes 10, of course might be several more enhancements in it, but these are the core features that you should be looking at if you want to upgrade to iTunes 10. Also Apple might require users to upgrade to iTunes 10 to install future updates. So go ahead and give it a try, you can download iTunes 10 by visiting http://www.apple.com/itunes

Alien Swarm Mini Review

Why I term this a mini review is because I have not played this game online. Considering the fact that this is mostly an online-only co-op game, I have not played much. Nevertheless, the little bit of Alien Swarm that I have played shows that this game is pretty much one of the most generous gifts by Valve to the modding community at large. It’s also a pretty cool free game. Completely, utterly free.

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What’s that? Access to a modding community, did you say?
Yes, sir. Alien Swarm is a decent game on its own right, but the included Source SDK as well as a level editor pretty much makes this game infinite. It also allows anyone to dive into some of the best games and mods available these days. I’d personally recommend FLIPSIDE and Weekday Warrior for anyone looking for a different gaming experience. Note: Mods that rely on existing content of Source-based games such as Half Life 2 or Team Fortress 2 will, of course, remain unavailable to those who only have Alien Swarm.

That’s all very good but how good is the game? Get on with the review man!
Oh yes, the game is very good. Pretty good in fact. Considering that this was originally an Unreal Tournament mod, the game has turned out to be something that we can waste lazy afternoons with!
The basic premise has you being in control of one of four classes of soldiers:-

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The Officer with passive boosting aurasand access to the class-restricted shotgun.
The Special Weapons soldier dealing massive amounts of damage with autoguns.
The Medic the game’s healer who is invaluable when fighting Parasites and other aliens in general.
The Tech who has access to special weapons as well as the person who can open locked doors with a mini game. (I can imagine how flustering the experience would be when playing under hard mode!)

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The game features quite a lot of weapons most of which I sadly have not unlocked. They will be opened in due time with online play and leveling up, I am sure!

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The game is quite good to look at, with soft bounced lights, realistic shadows of unrealistic things (see next screenshot) and some great effects. There is talk about how you can play this game in first person and the video does not look bad at all!

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In all, this game is pretty awesome and I can’t wait to see some Indian servers go up. Not until they stop playing Counter Strike: Source, of course.

Get Alien Swarm today!

Samsung Galaxy S Hands-On Review

Apple has been a runaway success, but Android phones are also selling like hotcakes with over 160,000 device activations per day. Most of the high-end phones are similar to each other in terms of hardware. They feature the usual 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB of RAM, and an AMOLED/TFTscreen with its size varying from 3.7-inch to 4.3-inch.

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The only exception to my last statement will be the Samsung Galaxy S. The Galaxy S is a true high-end Android phone with many new features, which are yet to be found in any other Android phone. I have been using the Samsung Galaxy S phone for more than a week now and here is a hands-on review of the phone.

Unboxing And Build Quality

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The retail box of the Galaxy S has a pretty much O.K. size. I would have preferred a smaller box, as it would have been a bit eco-friendly but then Samsung would have had a tough time packing in the charger, and other accessories of the phone. The retail box consisted of:

  • 1x Samsung Galaxy S
  • 1x Travel Charger
  • 1x G7 1500mAh battery
  • 1x USB Data Cable
  • 1x In-Earphones
  • 1x Leather Case

The build quality of the phone is pretty ok. The handset is primarily made up of plastic, with just a metal frame running across the body of the phone. The back cover of the phone is way too thin. In fact, the first time I opened the back cover I thought I would break it in a week or so. Thankfully, I have been proved wrong.

The back cover is made of tough plastic, and will not break off on a day-to-day basis usage. The phone has a very slim waistline of 9.9 mm. Even though the phone has a 4-inch screen, it is extremely light. Stats say the phone weighs in at 119g, but when you hold the phone, you will surely doubt the stats! Galaxy S gets an extra brownie point point for the nice mircoUSB sliding cover.

Hardware

Samsung Galaxy S is the first Android phone to feature a 4-inch Super-AMOLED screen, and it is just BRILLIANT! The blacks on the Super-AMOLED screen are even deeper than my black hair. The screen has a very wide viewing angle, and has great sunlight legibility. I had no problem whatsoever in using the Galaxy S under direct sunlight.

The Galaxy S is powered by an ARM Cortex A8 processor running at 1 GHz. The Cortex A8 processor is better than the Snapdragon in all the benchmarks we conducted, but not by a huge margin.   The 512MB of RAM also make sure that the phone is never low on RAM. The phone comes in two storage capacities of 8GB or 16GB. Of the available space, 2GB of the space is used as the ROM of the phone. So users never need to worry about running out of free space while installing applications and games from the Android market.

The Galaxy S is also the first Android phone in the market to feature Bluetooth 3.0. The back of the phone features a 5MP camera, with touch focus and smile detection.

Software

The Galaxy S runs on the Android OS v2.1 (Éclair). On top of the Android OS, Samsung has loaded their TouchWiz 3.0 UI as well. TouchWiz in its latest form has improved a lot. TouchWiz has added options to switch on – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Silent Mode and Vibration mode to the popular Android notification bar, which is definitely very handy. TouchWiz also automatically imports your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google Contacts. Another nice feature of Touchwiz is that a right swipe on the contact will initiate a call and a left swipe will message the selected contact in the Contacts application.

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The 1 GHz processor ensured smooth operation of the phone. The phone never felt slow, except sometimes when the stallingissue occurred. Sometimes, the messaging, contacts application on the phone takes some time to open up, whereas third party applications work just fine. At the time of writing this article, new firmware for the Galaxy S was released. The stalling issue has been fixed to a certain extent with this new firmware.

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Samsung has also pre-loaded the phone with quite a few applications. There is a third party eBook reader on the phone – Aldiko eBook. Samsung has also loaded the phone with the AllShare application which makes your phone acts as a media server. Other pre-installed applications include Layar, ThinkFree Office, Daily Briefing, File Manager and Social Hub.

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Along with the Android Market, there is also a Samsung Apps store. As of now, the Samsung Application store has only 5 apps including Asphalt 5. The phone will get some extra brownie points for the support of Xvid, DivX, and mkv codecs. The phone easily played back a 4.7 GB mkv file without any hiccups.

The music quality of the phone is decent as well. The Galaxy S also features an equalizer, along with 5.1 channel Dolby surround sound and music effects. The music player of the phone simply looks outstanding on the 4-inch Super-AMOLED screen.

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Camera, GPS And Internet Browsing

The Galaxy S features a 5MP camera at its back. Sadly, the phone lacks a LED flash so night photography with this phone is a strict no-no. The 5MP camera is a decent performer in good lighting conditions. A major problem is that the 3D Gallery of the phone does not show you the camera pictures at their full resolution.

Also thanks to the Super-AMOLED screen,   any snap you click from the camera looks good on the phone. It is only when you view the picture on your PC, do you notice how the picture has come out in reality.The phone is also capable of recording videos in 720p HD resolution. The quality of the videos is pretty decent, and the fps of the videos shot hovers around the 30fps mark.

Here are some camera samples of the device :

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The GPS of the phone is a mixed bag. Using Google Maps, I was never able to get a satellite lock inside my house. Outdoors, I was able to get a GPS lock in less than 10 seconds.

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The Galaxy S is made for Internet browsing. The superb web-browser of the Android OS and the Super-AMOLED screen of the Galaxy S are a match made in heaven. The web-browser also supports pinch to zoom. Pages load quickly, and text reflow automatically adjusts the text on the screen for easy readability. The web-browser has a minimalistic interface, which certainly works in its favor. The only downside of the web-browser is that it lacks Flash. However, the phone will get Flash support with update to Android 2.2 (Froyo).

Battery Life And Conclusion

The Galaxy S is a super-phone. The Super-AMOLED screen, and the 1 GHz processor make this phone a must buy. The pros of the phone easily outweigh the cons of it. The battery life of the phone is also pretty remarkable, even though the phone has a 4-inch screen and a 1 GHz processor. The phone lasted me a day of heavy usage on a single charge. This is definitely better than most of the power-packed Android phones like the HTC EVO 4G, Incredible etcetera.

The 16GB version of the Galaxy S is available in India for Rs 28,500. At the current price point, I don’t think there is any other phone which can offer a better VFM than the Galaxy S. If your budget permits, go for the Galaxy S without a doubt! The phone definitely lives up to its tagline of Future Beyond.