View Full Version : Samsung Galaxy S: Captivate, Vibrant, Epic 4G, Fascinate


SlowRain
08-04-2010, 12:30 PM
(I realize two of the phones listed in the title have not been released in the US yet, but I wanted to include them for future discussions)

Is anyone on here using one of Samsung's Galaxy S phones? I'm very interested in using one as my e-reading device. Up to now, I've always used Palm OS PDAs. The screen is going on the hummer on my Tungsten E2, and I'm seriously considering a smartphone.

I'm mostly interested in the Samsung because of that Super AMOLED screen. I've seen it outdoors twice now, and I'm impressed with how it handles bright sunlight. How well does it work for reading in the dark? I routinely read in bed while my wife is sleeping; I just turn the brightness down and turn the background to black and the text to grey. Will this be possible with the Galaxy S, or is the screen too bright?

We only have one computer, so I'd like to use it for browsing the internet as well. How well does it work for that? Can you watch a half-hour, one-hour, or two-hour video on it? Is it easy to use for on-screen typing? Would it be possible to type, say, a 2- or 3-page essay on it?

I realize this is a lot of questions all at once, but I do appreciate any help you can give me.

=X=
08-04-2010, 01:09 PM
I too am interested in the Galaxy S, (Facinate).

Yes there is a way do dim down the screen. However changing background color is up toe the application. I know that FBReader does, but am not sure about the Kindle.

One of the best features of the Samsung Super AMOLED screen is that the black is "true" black. They claim that it does not use ANY light, it is also their argument for why the battery life will be extended.

I guess what I am saying is if you change your text color to gray and your background to black, you don't have to turn down your screen brightness since the screen will not emit much light.

=X=

wodin
08-04-2010, 02:16 PM
I have an HTC EVO 4G, and I love reading on it. I am used to reading on smaller format phones, and the large (4.3") screen is wonderful. HOWEVER, one thing that never showed up in any of the reviews I read is that it's nearly worthless in bright sunlight.

Since I have a full featured golf range finder app, I'm a little disappointed that it’s almost useless on the golf course, much less trying to read on it. Perhaps the Galaxy’s AMOLED screen is better.

kjk
08-04-2010, 02:54 PM
Since I have a full featured golf range finder app, I'm a little disappointed that it’s almost useless on the golf course, much less trying to read on it. Perhaps the Galaxy’s AMOLED screen is better.

My friend uses a pretty nice golf range finder app on his iPhone 3GS-but for him its not the screen, its the battery life that kills him. Can the EVO last a full 18 holes (3+ hours) on the course? (he thinks its the GPS that is the culprit)

wodin
08-04-2010, 06:00 PM
My friend uses a pretty nice golf range finder app on his iPhone 3GS-but for him its not the screen, its the battery life that kills him. Can the EVO last a full 18 holes (3+ hours) on the course? (he thinks its the GPS that is the culprit)

I don't really know, since I can't see the screen in the bright sun I've never used it for a full round. I used to have a Palm Pre, and with the OLED screen it worked pretty well and easily went 18 holes with half the battery left when done. Unfortunately it had too many other issues to keep it.

The golf app I have is Golf Card Pro ($10 on the Android Market), and it is VERY full featured.

I keep GPS and Blutooth on all of the time on the EVO, and normally get more than 12 hours battery time with light to moderate use before it drops below 20%.

Dopedangel
08-05-2010, 05:02 AM
I have the international version of the galaxy s. It is readable even in direct sunlight.
So you can use it out doors unlike an OLED screen.

HansTWN
08-05-2010, 07:08 AM
The Galaxy is nice in almost every respect. But, unfortunately, they made the screen too small. 4.3" to 5" and I would get it right away.

SlowRain
08-05-2010, 11:21 AM
I have the international version of the galaxy s.
Is that called the i9000? The i9000 is what's available to me here in Taiwan. Does Singapore have a model with a keyboard? Apparently the Taiwanese aren't big on keyboards, so the Galaxy S doesn't have a keyboard here.

Have you tried yours in complete dark, with the background set to black and the text to grey? One person I talked to said they thought it would still be too bright to read with this way. Since reading like this in the dark is something I do often, this is of chief interest to me. My Palm Tungsten E2 was too bright as well, but someone created an extra way to control the brightness, which I downloaded and use quite often.

HansTWN
08-06-2010, 03:09 AM
Is that called the i9000? The i9000 is what's available to me here in Taiwan. Does Singapore have a model with a keyboard? Apparently the Taiwanese aren't big on keyboards, so the Galaxy S doesn't have a keyboard here.

Have you tried yours in complete dark, with the background set to black and the text to grey? One person I talked to said they thought it would still be too bright to read with this way. Since reading like this in the dark is something I do often, this is of chief interest to me. My Palm Tungsten E2 was too bright as well, but someone created an extra way to control the brightness, which I downloaded and use quite often.

The keyboard version is not out yet. Not anywhere.

skyline
08-06-2010, 04:54 AM
If you haven't tried it yet, disabling auto-brightness and setting it manually to the maximum might improve your visibility under direct sunlight.
If the size of the screen is not a problem then these new smartphones are really excellent for browsing and reading emails, and they can be used as readers of course. The best application for Android is Aldiko and if your device is "rooted" you might want to use "Leds Hack" from android market while reading.

SlowRain
08-06-2010, 08:40 AM
HansTWN, do you know if the keyboard model will come to Taiwan?

HansTWN
08-07-2010, 01:28 AM
HansTWN, do you know if the keyboard model will come to Taiwan?

No idea yet. Most locals do prefer handwriting over keyboards, though. On the other hand, the Touch Pro 2 (what I have now) is still available. (But I also think the keyboard version Epic 4G of the Samsung will only have a 3.7 inch screen?) If you cannot find the Samsung Epic 4G locally you can always try Expansys. I also don't know if the Samsung's 4G will work with local WiMax networks.

SlowRain
08-07-2010, 01:40 AM
Thanks.

Dopedangel
08-07-2010, 10:34 AM
No idea yet. Most locals do prefer handwriting over keyboards, though. On the other hand, the Touch Pro 2 (what I have now) is still available. (But I also think the keyboard version Epic 4G of the Samsung will only have a 3.7 inch screen?) If you cannot find the Samsung Epic 4G locally you can always try Expansys. I also don't know if the Samsung's 4G will work with local WiMax networks.

nope epic 4g is also going to be 4inc. All variations of samsung galaxy s are going to be 4inc

SlowRain
08-07-2010, 11:04 PM
Dopedangel, have you had any problems with your Galaxy S (Is it the i9000?), or have you heard of any quality issues? Samsung has had issues in the past of not supporting their devices, and they'd never been a major player in the high-end smartphone market until the Galaxy S came along. So, while I love that Super AMOLED screen, I'm approaching this purchase with caution.

HansTWN
08-07-2010, 11:23 PM
Dopedangel, have you had any problems with your Galaxy S (Is it the i9000?), or have you heard of any quality issues? Samsung has had issues in the past of not supporting their devices, and they'd never been a major player in the high-end smartphone market until the Galaxy S came along. So, while I love that Super AMOLED screen, I'm approaching this purchase with caution.

The best website to read up on all Android and Windows phones is the forum section of xda-developers.com.

SlowRain
08-08-2010, 03:28 AM
Thanks.

T3_reader
08-12-2010, 05:57 PM
I went to the store to buy one, tried it and immediately hated the pentile screen. For me it was unacceptable for ereading: text is too fuzzy and close by you can easily see the matrix of the screen.

SlowRain
08-13-2010, 08:48 AM
T3_reader, could you explain that a little more for me. I didn't notice any problem when I looked at it in the store, but, admittedly, I didn't sit and do much reading with the demo unit. How will that differ from my current Palm Tungsten E2?

T3_reader
08-13-2010, 05:03 PM
T3_reader, could you explain that a little more for me. I didn't notice any problem when I looked at it in the store, but, admittedly, I didn't sit and do much reading with the demo unit. How will that differ from my current Palm Tungsten E2?

Pentile screens actually have a lower resolution than proclaimed when it comes to displaying text. Different people experience this differently so what I see (and say) may or may not apply to others.

When you look closely at text on a pentile screen, it is slightly fuzzy. That may or may not annoy you. I found it disturbing in apps like Aldiko.

Much of my reading is done at night, just before going to sleep. I am nearsighted so I typically hold the screen of my Palm T3 pretty close to my face. When I did that with the Samsung, I saw the oversized red pixels of the screen as small color artifacts on the edges of characters. The irregular grid of the Super Amoled screen also became noticable. The Palm T3 has a much lower resolution but does not display thin black lines between its pixels.

Google around on 'pentile screen' and you'll find some discussions about these weird artefacts. If you don't see them or are not annoyed by them, so much the better. There is much to like in Samsung's Galaxy S. I really wanted to buy it and liked everything except the way text is displayed. Since ereading and surfing were as important as the phone functions itself, this became a deal breaker for me.

becsta
08-15-2010, 09:54 PM
I have been reading with my Galaxy S since I got it the other week and the text looks fine to me. I read every night before going to bed.

Sonist
08-17-2010, 10:11 PM
Pentile screens are perfectly fine for reading, unless you stick your nose to the screen.

It's like saying that if I put my face against my plasma TV, I can see pixels, so it's no good for movies....

If I get close enough, I can see pixels on my 24" Apple monitor too.

HansTWN
08-17-2010, 11:24 PM
Pentile screens are perfectly fine for reading, unless you stick your nose to the screen.

It's like saying that if I put my face against my plasma TV, I can see pixels, so it's no good for movies....

If I get close enough, I can see pixels on my 24" Apple monitor too.

But for many of us, that is exactly the point. I am near sighted, but like to take my glasses off for reading, so I basically have to stick my nose very close to the screen.

SlowRain
08-18-2010, 09:28 AM
If you don't see them or are not annoyed by them, so much the better.
So far I've looked at three demo models of the i9000 (I believe it's Samsung's international version of the Galaxy S) and I can't see the red dots. I think I'm immune.

SlowRain
08-25-2010, 01:52 AM
It looks like the Samsung Galaxy S smartphones have gorilla glass: http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/24/samsung-galaxy-s-sporting-gorilla-glass-to-protect-that-precious/. There's a link within that article to a demonstration of the strength of gorilla glass on a Dell Streak. Warning: not for the faint of heart.

hel
08-25-2010, 11:05 AM
I don't see any "pentile problem". I had about 10-15 PDA during the last 10 years. The screen of Galaxy S is extremely sharp and bright. The black is really black here. You could change font and background, and backlight in book reader program to find what would be the best for you. Huge jump in screen quality from my previous HTC HD (blackstone).

fencepost
09-08-2010, 03:10 AM
I've been reading recently on my Vibrant (T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S). One thing that may make a big difference is to basically always use "night" mode - because the screen is LEDs rather than a backlit LCD, the brighter the screen the more power it's consuming. White or grey lettering on a black background has much lower power consumption on these devices.

I've been using Aldiko, and it also has a useful feature - if you run your finger up or down the left side of the screen, it adjusts the screen brightness. I've found that on low brightness the screen is indeed hard to see outside, but with the brightness turned up it's amazing. It's also nice that if I download an epub or open one from Dropbox.com Aldiko automatically imports it. This has turned out to be a very convenient way to get books onto the device, all I need to do is put them in My Dropbox on my PC, then click on them in Dropbox on the phone and they automatically pop into Aldiko. (the mobile device versions of Dropbox don't sync items to the device unless you request them due to space and network traffic concerns).

I experimented with FBReaderJ but didn't find a compelling reason to go with it, and if needed I can use it on Aldiko's library - FBReaderJ allows you to change the directory it uses for files. Unfortunately the Android version doesn't currently support the wide range of formats that the regular version does - at this point it has the same basic support as Aldiko.

I also tried Laputa (?), but it's not a good fit for the Galaxy S or other OLED phones - even its night mode is on a grey background, and there doesn't currently seem to be any provision for changing the display colors. That was a deal-breaker for me, but other than that it seemed to have some nice features.

SlowRain
09-08-2010, 10:34 AM
Thanks for posting all of that, fencepost. It was very informative.

labzuk
09-08-2010, 10:45 AM
Don't count too much on Samsung firmware upgrade. I've got a Galaxy i7500 and it's only coming to android 1.6 and will not go to 2.2.

Thanks to the guys from the gaosp project 2.2 is already available though, even if it's not an official release.

SlowRain
09-08-2010, 11:00 PM
I've heard Samsung is bad about that, but are you sure the specs for the i7500 can handle Android 2.2, or even 2.1 for that matter? For instance, I've heard Android 3 will only run on devices with a minimum 1GHz processor and a minimum screen resolution (I forget which size). If this is true, that means all those devices--HTC, Samsung, Acer, Sony, etc.--not meeting the minimum specs will not be able to run Gingerbread. Perhaps it's the processor or the screen that is restricting any chance of upgrade with the i7500.

But, like I said, many people have complained about Samsung's failure to support their products in this way.

labzuk
09-09-2010, 03:59 AM
Well the specs looks fine as it's currently running 2.2 without any problems. It's only a shame Samsung doesn't see fit to release an official version.

As mentionned above xda-developers.com is a great site for android users.

SlowRain
09-09-2010, 04:23 AM
You mean to say that some programmers have found a way themselves to make the i7500 run Android 2.2 without any snags? I'm sorry, I didn't understand that from the original post. If that's what you mean, it seems likely someone will come up with a similar hack, considering there are so many Samsung Galaxy S-type phones out there.

kennyc
09-11-2010, 05:58 AM
I have an HTC EVO 4G, and I love reading on it. I am used to reading on smaller format phones, and the large (4.3") screen is wonderful. HOWEVER, one thing that never showed up in any of the reviews I read is that it's nearly worthless in bright sunlight.
...

Applies to the Droid X with it's larger screen as well. I've had it a week and on an overcast day it was fine outside, but in bright sun, fergitaboutit.

:eek:

beryurt
09-16-2010, 07:58 PM
hi,galaxy s i9000 can read pdf formats ebooks??I know that i9000 use aldiko ebook reader.and aldiko read epub format ebook.but I dont know if i9000 can read pdf format.if it doesnt work which mobile phone you offer for reading ebooks in pdf format.
the ebook that I will read ,re nearly 50 mb size,and include lots of picture.

Sonist
09-16-2010, 10:51 PM
hi,galaxy s i9000 can read pdf formats ebooks??...

You can install pretty much any ebook reading app, or PDF app, available for Android.

I've looked at a PDF occasional for work, but I personally would never read for pleasure on a 4" or 4.3" screen.

Dopedangel
09-17-2010, 01:50 AM
You can install pretty much any ebook reading app, or PDF app, available for Android.

I've looked at a PDF occasional for work, but I personally would never read for pleasure on a 4" or 4.3" screen.

Samsung Galaxy s comes with thinkoffice pre installed it read pdf as well as all microsoft formats such docx ppt etc

kennyc
09-17-2010, 06:22 AM
You can install pretty much any ebook reading app, or PDF app, available for Android.

I've looked at a PDF occasional for work, but I personally would never read for pleasure on a 4" or 4.3" screen.

I never thought that size would be very good either til I got my DroidX and while I'd not try to read pdf's on it, I find it quite pleasing for most text-based reading...at least when not in direct sunlight.

Sonist
09-17-2010, 07:58 PM
I never thought that size would be very good either til I got my DroidX and while I'd not try to read pdf's on it, I find it quite pleasing for most text-based reading...at least when not in direct sunlight.

You are lucky. It's not only that I find it somewhat unpleasant to have to flip or scroll constantly, but my eyes get tired after reading on a small screen for 30 minutes or so. Things get fuzzy when I look at signage in the distance....

It must be the screen size, because I get this both on my iPhone and on the 4" Galaxy S, while the effect is virtually gone on the iPad and nonexistent on my desktop monitor or a laptop.

kennyc
09-17-2010, 08:11 PM
Interesting and I'll bet the font size is about the same...

Sonist
09-17-2010, 10:17 PM
Interesting and I'll bet the font size is about the same...

Yep, but I think it's the narrow field the eyes have to work in, rather than the font or the backlighting.

kennyc
09-17-2010, 10:28 PM
Most likely.

SlowRain
09-18-2010, 01:31 AM
Yep, but I think it's the narrow field the eyes have to work in, rather than the font or the backlighting.
Yeah, most likely. I've done all of my e-reading on Palm OS PDAs (Handspring Visor Deluxe, Sony Clié PEG-SJ22, Palm Tungsten E2) and haven't had that kind of issue. However, I can't read a black background with white text on my computer monitor, yet I routinely use a similar combination for reading on my PDA at night and with the lights off.

I think each person has to test out what screen size/style/settings work for them, and not to expect something which works for other people will also work for you.

SlowRain
11-23-2010, 12:53 AM
Earlier, I mentioned that the red-and-green-pixel problem didn't affect me, but it does in low light. I never noticed that in the store because the lighting was always good. I used Aldiko for a while, setting the background to sienna and the text to black for daytime use, and the background to black and the text to dark brown for nighttime use. This seems to work okay for me, as it uses the red and green pixels rather than allowing them to cause that little problem (at least that's my thinking, anyway). However, the nighttime setting was still a bit too bright for reading in the dark.

I'm now trying Moon+ Reader, and their system allows you to mix RGB to come up with your own colors. It's more flexible, but requires a knowledge of mixing colors, which I don't possess. I've downloaded a simulator (http://www.vias.org/simulations/simusoft_rgbcolors.html), and I'm now playing around with it.

Has anyone come up with a good color combination for reading e-books on the Super AMOLED screen, both daytime and nighttime?

jhempel24
11-23-2010, 01:10 AM
Applies to the Droid X with it's larger screen as well. I've had it a week and on an overcast day it was fine outside, but in bright sun, fergitaboutit.

:eek:

I use Aldiko, and with the brightness up, and a screen protector, I can read it just fine....sure it's not as bright, but there is no problems for me on the Droid X in reading in daylight.

kennyc
11-23-2010, 08:05 AM
I use Aldiko, and with the brightness up, and a screen protector, I can read it just fine....sure it's not as bright, but there is no problems for me on the Droid X in reading in daylight.

I'm talking direct sunlight. I said I could read if overcast. In direct sunlight it's just as worthless as an ipod, ipad or any other lcd screen.

If you can read it "just fine" in direct sunlight then you have alien xray eyes or soemthing. :p

Dopedangel
11-23-2010, 10:37 PM
I'm talking direct sunlight. I said I could read if overcast. In direct sunlight it's just as worthless as an ipod, ipad or any other lcd screen.

If you can read it "just fine" in direct sunlight then you have alien xray eyes or soemthing. :p

Galaxy S phones are readable in direct sunlight actually the word is usable more than readable. You wont enjoy reading in direct sunlight but the screen is visible that you can check email caller ID etc.

kennyc
11-23-2010, 10:44 PM
Galaxy S phones are readable in direct sunlight actually the word is usable more than readable. You wont enjoy reading in direct sunlight but the screen is visible that you can check email caller ID etc.

I can do a number of things (badly) with my DroidX as well. It has exactly the same type of screen it is useless for reading any amount of text in directly sunlight. Yeah it's visible, barely and pretty useless.

jhempel24
11-23-2010, 11:59 PM
I'm talking direct sunlight. I said I could read if overcast. In direct sunlight it's just as worthless as an ipod, ipad or any other lcd screen.

If you can read it "just fine" in direct sunlight then you have alien xray eyes or soemthing. :p

The eye doc did say that while I wear glasses my eyes are getting better and not worse LOL, they said it should be the opposite at 32! Even lowered my prescription....hmmmm.....maybe I do have alien eyes LOL.

Buy the whole sunlight thing has to do with the type of diffusing the screen protector does as well, it's not just the screen. LOL.

It's not ideal, but it's readable for me....although I don't read outside for more than 5 minutes waiting for my son to get out of school.

kennyc
11-24-2010, 12:03 AM
The eye doc did say that while I wear glasses my eyes are getting better and not worse LOL, they said it should be the opposite at 32! Even lowered my prescription....hmmmm.....maybe I do have alien eyes LOL.

Buy the whole sunlight thing has to do with the type of diffusing the screen protector does as well, it's not just the screen. LOL.

It's not ideal, but it's readable for me....although I don't read outside for more than 5 minutes waiting for my son to get out of school.


5 mins is not what I consider serious reading on it in direct sunlight. I'm talking like an hour or two on the beach or reading while walking for 2 miles (45 mins) as I do at lunchtime.

jhempel24
11-24-2010, 05:15 AM
5 mins is not what I consider serious reading on it in direct sunlight. I'm talking like an hour or two on the beach or reading while walking for 2 miles (45 mins) as I do at lunchtime.

Yeah outside I don't do some serious reading, and walking and reading, man, I can't do that, I'd go off into space and walk into traffic LOL.