You have to give Samsung credit for persisting with manufacturing Android phones because their first effort in 2009 the Samsung Galaxy Icon I7500 was horrible.
Despite this they persevered and their next effort the Samsung Galaxy S was substantially better. Today Samsung phones own about 20% of the smartphone market share worldwide according to IDC.
Rewinding 10 years ago to early 2009 (a year before Ausdroid was born), I was a freelance journalist at the Australian media event launch for the Samsung Galaxy Icon I7500.
Standout features included a camera with 5 MegaPixel (actual JPG pixel size 2560×1920), Auto focus and most importantly an LED flash.
Storage Memory was 944MB to install applications (more than 10 times the space offered by HTC Magic and HTC Dream) plus 8GB internal storage (6.7GB available to use for videos, music etc) as well as supporting microSDHC cards up to 32GB in size. For the time the specs were great but unfortunately it was let down by several issues.
My review after using the Samsung Galaxy Icon I7500 for a few weeks stated:
With it’s 5 megapixel camera, LED flash, 8GB built in storage, slim shape and 3.5mm headphone jack I think the Samsung I7500 Galaxy could have provided a strong challenge to the more flashy HTC Hero Google Android phone which will be launched soon in Australia but it’s let down by a lot of usability issues.
At the time I received many comments and emails from readers detailing the many problems both with hardware, software and customer service — I had similar issues and in the end the phone itself just was not very well supported and did not offer a decent user experience.
Firmware updates were manual, and could not be performed by the user – you had to take your phone to a Samsung repair centre and pay $65 for an update — seemed ridiculous then and even more so now. At a time when Android was being updated regularly as Google rolled out much-needed features to allow it to compete with the iPhone.
There were also a multitude of fantastic upgrades for Android and its applications available that Australian Galaxy users couldn’t get because the network operator Optus blocked them. Carrier updates are still often late to arrive due to their overly thorough testing but at least they have stopped blocking updates and apps.
Were you one of the early adopters of Android who purchased a Samsung Galaxy Icon I7500? Did it turn you off Samsung forever or are you back on their bandwagon? Let us know your memories in the comments below.