Tech Report – Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate
By Paul O’Reilly
The Android phones just keep on coming. Hot on the heels of the Droid X and Sprint’s EVO, comes the Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate for Verizon, which more than holds its own among the heavyweight competition.
latest generation of super-phones are at the leading-edge of smartphone
technology, turning the once mundane cell phone into pocket-sized
multi-media hub. Of course the iPhone led the way, but it’s once-a-year
makeover puts it at a disadvantage as the Android production line keeps
The first thing you notice about the Fascinate is its
weight. At just over 4 ounces, it’s ridiculously light. Its mostly
plastic design doesn’t have the solid feel of the Droid or the EVO, but
it will fit in a shirt pocket and you won’t even know it’s there.
4-inch super-bright AMOLED screen rivals the iPhone’s Retina display
for clarity and is easy to see outdoors, even in bright sunshine. The
Fascinate comes with a 5 megapixel camera with built-in flash, and
records 720p HD video at 30 frames per second, resulting in
camcorder-quality brightness and sharpness.
The TouchWiz interface
offers an easy-to-understand set of menus, which are ideal for someone
making the transition from a regular cell phone. The on-screen keyboard
is very responsive, as is the touch screen generally, whether you are
tapping, Swyping, or using the pinch-to-zoom feature.
Fascinate can be synced with multiple e-mail and social networking
accounts and will automatically sync address books pull-in updates. It
comes with Blockbuster On Demand, Bing, Kindle for Android, EA’s Need
for Speed Shift, Tetris and various other custom apps. It also has
access to the 70,000 app Android Market and the dedicated Verizon app
The Fascinate can be used as a mobile hotspot for up to
five other devices, although you will need to sign-up for Verizon’s
$20-a-month mobile broadband plan to access this feature. Although the
Fascinate is currently shipping with the Android 2.1 operating system,
an over-the-air upgrade will be available at the end of this month.
life, which has been a problem on other Android phones is excellent on
the Fascinate, with up to 7 hours of talk time and 13 days of standby
time. Most users have found they can go a full day of calling, texting,
e-mail use, and web browsing without requiring a second charge.
The Samsung Fascinate costs $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and requires a two-year Verizon contract.