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Samsung Galaxy Y is LIME’s sub-US$100 alternative to the Digicel DL600 smartphone

I recently went with a friend of mine who I’d met on FB to check out the Samsung Galaxy S IV and the Blackberry Z10 for myself. Given all the hype and Kelroy’s review article Samsung GALAXY S4 Made Its Debut at Digicel, I had to see the hub-bub….for myself. After all, I’ve written software and feature reviews about smartphone functionality, but hadn’t really ever road tested one, mainly because, believe it or not, I’m not quite sold on the idea of a phone that’s smarter than me in Jamaica.

Samsung-Galaxy-Y

Or worse, costs more than a Laptop but has its Processor coupled with such a small screen and limited capabilities. Why would I want that? Knowing full well that Jamaicans are price-centric, I suspect most Jamaicans do what I do: come and look at the Store model to try it out, then go online and order it from Amazon.com in the US of A or have relatives send it down to them, cost and shipping free. In Kingston, Jamaica, especially UpTown or in New Kingston, window-Shopping is a national Past-time; actual spending happens Downtown!

So off I went on Thursday May 3rd 2013 to actually see this wonder that LIME had so loudly launched in the LIME Flagship Store in New Kingston. My friend and I “link up” and after quick formalities, trundled over to the LIME Store to have a good session with the LIME Customer Service Representatives and the Blackberry Z10

The Blackberry Z10 is also featured in Kelroy’s review article BlackBerry Z10 gives BlackBerry a worthy competitor in the Smartphone Race. I noticed oddly that LIME didn’t launch the Samsung Galaxy S IV only Digicel did, but BOTH companies carrying the Blackberry Z10. This foible aside, I was very impressed with the smartphone, albeit its different swipe gestures for the Blackberry OS 10 take a little getting used to. Nice Metallic finish and convenient wipe pad to clean the Touch Screen make this a keeper.

But the sticker shock cut short my reverie: $74,095.00 on a Postpaid Plan or $78,595.00 on Prepaid Plan, inclusive a 30-day 3G Data Plan costing JA$2500.00. At that point my rose tinted glasses went on and I began to examine what I would really be getting were I crazed enough to really spend 2012 Tata Nano money on a single smartphone sure to make me a walking target.

So here goes.

The camera quality of the Blackberry Z10’s 8 Megapixel Rear-Facing Camera paled in comparison to the 13 Megapixel Rear-Facing Camera on the Samsung Galaxy S IV loaned to us by a customer also window-shopping in the LIME Store. Also, no accessories such as a carry case come with the smartphone. Coupled with the sticker shock for the price for either smartphone made me realize why Jamaicans really love shopping abroad or Downtown.

My eyes just happened to glance lazily over to another booth by the door where I spied another little wonder that sent my #TrueJamaican price-centric Radar into a tailspin: The Samsung Galaxy Y, with “Y” denoting “Young”. A basic smartphone with a smaller screen really intended for kiddies, it was familiar as I’d remember seeing another FB friend proudly posting pics of her Government Ministry issued Samsung Galaxy Y as well as on LIME’s Samsung Galaxy Y prominently referred to on their Facebook Page.

Pricing’s attractive too. Wonder why the LIME Customer Care Representative didn’t tell me about this during the Blackberry Z10 show-and-tell?

The Samsung Galaxy Y is currently on sale for JA$6,250 including GCT, but requires subscription to a 30 day 3G Data Plan, which will set you back about JA$2500. So total price is JA$8750. Postpaid is starting to look really good of late, priced attractively at JA$3125 monthly and requiring the minimum of an additional JA$2231.32 UltraPak 600 Voice Calling Plan (as if you’ll really use it!!)

I vowed to go home and check up on its specs and do an article…which is what this is by the way! The specs on the Samsung Galaxy Y are very low-end but noble for Samsung’s first crack at the Low-Budget market for smartphones.

Hardware

  • OS:  Google Android 2.3.5 aka Gingerbread

  • Processor:  830 MHz ARMv6

  • Dimensions:  104 x 58 x 11.5 mm (4.09 x 2.28 x 0.45 in)

  • Weight:  97.5 g (3.42 oz)

  • 2G Network:  GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

  • 3G Network:  HSDPA 900 / 2100

Features

  • Accelerometer

  • Proximity Sensor

  • Magnetometer powered Compass

  • GPS

  • Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML

  • Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB

  • Internal 180 MB

  • GPRS,EDGE, HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps

  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11n with Tethering

  • Bluetooth 3.0

  • MicroUSB v2.0

  • 2Megapixel Camera (1600×1200 pixels)

  • VGA Video 15fps

  • Radio Stereo FM radio

  • 3.5mm jack

Software

  • MP3/MP4/WMV/H.264/eAAC player

  • Organizer

  • Image/video editor

  • Google Search, Maps, Gmail,

  • YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa

  • Quickoffice document viewer

  • Voice commands

  • Predictive text input (Swype)

Battery Type and Life

  • Li-Ion 1200 mAh battery

  • Stand-by Up to 850 h (2G) / Up to 540 h (3G)

  • Talk time Up to 17 h (2G) / Up to 6 h 20 min (3G)

A very basic smartphone that’s graphically challenged but a worth competitor to Digicel’s DL600 that sub-US$100 (JA$10,000) smartphone, the Alcatel One Touch wolf in Digicel’s sheep clothing as mentioned in Kelroy’s article Digicel to launch Affordable Android-powered 4G Smartphone in May.

Nice colours too for this Smartphone: Metallic gray, white with changeable plastic back covers in pearly white, dark black, fruity orange, bubblegum pink. The Samsung Galaxy Y’s got a solid chrome front finish and a textured silver metallic-looking textured plastic backplate that makes this budget smartphone look good without appearing too plasticky. With a sub-US$100 price-tag, inclusive of a Data Plan, LIME truly has a competitor waiting in the wings for the Digicel DL600, slated to launch sometime in Mid-May 2013.

But for yours truly, who’s for the first time considering getting a smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Y comes highly recommended if you’re budget conscious and looking for some kiddie training wheels to get used to Capacitive Touchscreen displays. After practice makes perfect, you can then move from a feature phone or Blackberry to a smartphone using my handy guide How to transfer Phone Contacts and Data from your Blackberry to your Apple iPhone or Google Android smartphone or Tablet.

Then when your pocket is ready for a heavy duty smartphone when Data-it is has caught you full flight, you can scope out the pricier Blackberry Z10 or Samsung Galaxy S IV….which you no doubt may buy online instead of buying from either LIME or Digicel.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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