Samsung Galaxy Pro 3 Stars

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>We shouldn’t really be surprised that Samsung has come up with a BlackBerry copy – most other handset makers have done so. With the Galaxy Pro, with its QWERTY keyboard and Android 2.2 OS, Samsung has decided to aim at the budget market.

Light touch

The handset has a cheap feel to it – probably due to it’s somewhat flimsy plastic body. Of course it’s a lightweight, at 103g, yet measures 108.6x66.7x10.7mm, which means it can feel rather wide to hold. However, start typing on its QWERTY keyboard and you’ll soon forget that – this handset has definitely been designed for typing email rather than web browsing.

On the back of the device you’ll find the cover has a strange stippled pattern that is rough enough to grate cheese on – an unusual feature for a smartphone!

There aren’t a lot of buttons on the device – you’ll find a microSD port on the top, underneath a neat sliding dust gate, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack. The volume control sits on the left, while on the right is the small power on/off key.

Touching display

The capacitive screen is pretty small at 2.8 inches, and its resolution (320x24) makes everything look pixelated. Watching films or playing games is far from fun – and the small display fails to make the most of Android’s multimedia offerings. If you’re after a good-value phone, the Pro is only £130 on prepay, but we imagine you’d be hankering for a better multimedia device long before the contract comes to an end.

The best thing on the Galaxy Pro is its excellent keyboard, which is slightly marred by the fact that a thin line of Android keys for Settings, Home, Search and Back sit between the screen and the keyboard. Annoyingly our thumbs kept slipping onto the top row of keys.

BlackBerry quality

While that is a bit strange, it doesn’t take away from the fact the QWERTY keyboard is nearly as good as that on a BlackBerry. We found the keys well spaced, of a good size and slightly domed for a really decent typing experience.

There is also a camera onboard, and despite having no flash, this three-megapixel snapper makes a decent stab of images taken in low light. Mind you, it won’t take the place of a ‘real’ camera. You can also record video, but at 320x420, don’t expect too much.

We were also impressed with the Galaxy Pro’s connectivity, which includes Wi-Fi, A-GPS and 7.2mbps HSDPA. Web pages loaded up really quickly and the sat nav lock was speedy too.

Our conclusion

Anyone looking for a phone for calling and emailing, without the BlackBerry pricetag, could do worse than consider the Samsung Galaxy Pro. But if you want to get the most out of Android’s multimedia offerings, the small, low-res screen will be a disappointment.

Pros:
Decent keyboard; Android OS; good value.
Cons:
Watching movies and playing games is disappointing on the small screen.
Rating:
  • Look and Feel 3 Stars
  • Ease of use 3 Stars
  • Features 3 Stars
  • Performance 3 Stars
  • Battery life 3 Stars

Final verdict: 3 Stars

Review by Mobile Choice