Still Waters Run Deep
The Samsung Galaxy Europa – the modest phone with a big heart
a better than average mid price phone with great connectivity and Web browsing abilities
What We Like
We are thrilled that Samsung appears to have totally embraced Android and that it is becoming readily available for the more reasonably priced phones such as the i5500 Galaxy Europa.
This is quite a slim line phone but it is reassuringly sturdy enough so that we did not feel that it was going to fall apart at the slightest knock.
We thoroughly enjoyed using the Europa; it has a capacitive touchscreen, so that we were able to make precise commands, which is quite important when the display is on the small side, which this one is at 2.8 inches. The colours, though, are bright and clear, which makes the whole experience of using a phone like this so much more pleasurable.
There are five home screens that you can scroll between with just a swipe of your finger. These are populated with widgets, which are shortcuts to the apps that you use the most. These are all completely customisable so that you can drag and drop them round as much as you like.
You can search through a more detailed menu simply by tapping an icon on the screen, and you will also have access to the Android Market app store, so your choice is almost limitless, and many of them are free, which makes it even better.
In the past, we have found that mid price phones have a tendency to be a bit on the sluggish side, but we were thrilled to find that this isn’t the case with the Europa. Connectivity is good, too, with both Wi-Fi and 3G available, and we were more than happy with the on board Web browser, which is sufficiently quick enough.
What We Don't Like
We were disappointed that there is no Flash support on the Europa, which meant that we were unable to watch many online videos, and the resolution of 240 x 320 pixels does not make for the greatest of viewings.
There is no pinch-to-zoom facility on the Europa, either, which makes looking at maps and Web pages a little awkward at times.
The 2 megapixel camera and the camcorder are not up to much; apart from less than average shots and shaky footage there isn’t a great deal that can be said on this subject, though the camera software itself is quite good.
The Samsung Galaxy Europa looks like a pretty modest phone; it doesn’t scream flashy at you but underneath that cool exterior, there’s a lot going on. The powerful operating system, access to Android apps and good connectivity makes it better than a lot of other phones in this price range. It’s true that the battery life isn’t brilliant if you are using the Europa’s 3G capabilities often, but that is only to be expected.