A new toy… pure joy

So, long story short. We have a simple family cell phone with Virgin Mobile and have been thinking of making the move to a smartphone for a little while. I use a 3rd generation iPod Touch for my mobile surfing/data needs.

But, it’s been a bit sluggish lately and I’ve really been jonesing for a larger screen, constant connectivity and an “all in one” type device.

So, Virgin has an ongoing contest where “members” can make their case to be smartphone testers. I had looked at the Samsung Galaxy II S when it came out and went for it. And, I made the team (which includes @kriskayoo @photothiel, @emmanently, @YYJpics, @gletham),  yay! 🙂

This means I got the phone for free (sweet) and just have to sign up for a data plan, which I’d been thinking about doing anyway. Because I’m actually not just upgrading, but getting a new number with the data plan, the phone didn’t quite come with a SIM card, so I’m wifi dependent with it so far, which is fine with me!

Got the phone on Friday (3 days ago now) and have spent the weekend playing with it, getting all the relevant/similar apps that I had on my Touch and testing out some features. As with my Touch, I’ve gone pretty app crazy, but it’s give me a chance to not install some of the stuff that was cluttering up the Touch.

One fun app that I downloaded to play with, now that I have a camera with apps, is Retro Camera. Fun, check out my first pic with it. I think it really adds something to what is just a simple pic (I’ve made this and the pics below clickable so you can see what they look at like full res. I think they’re pretty good).

retro cam

I found the Galaxy incredibly light and the back a bit slippery, which meant I would probably drop it, likely on a hard surface. So, I went out and got a skin/case for it, which happens to have a little stand, so that should come in handy for table-top watching, etc. It feels much better in my hands now, a bit more heft. It’s actually still a bit lighter than my Touch feels, but that’s probably because of the plastic vs metal housing, etc. But, feels good.

Did I mention how it looks? The screen blows me away every time I turn it on! The 4.3 inch screen is exactly what I was looking for. I have an old media player, the Creative Zen Vision W, which has a 4.3 inch screen and, after all these years, still works, playing videos, music, backing up my DSLR memory card on the road, etc.  But, this screen? Yowza. Beautiful, clear, colours are rich. It’s great on the eyes, and the extra screen space (compared to 3.8 on my Touch) makes a huge difference. Pretty much the all-in-one media device I’ve been looking for.

Now, for those of you with smartphones already, this next stuff will probably make you yawn. But, shoot a video, upload immediately to YouTube? Shoot some pics, upload immediately to Picasa/Google+? Mind blowing. I love it.

Here’s what I’ve done with it so far. My first video:

Boring, I know. But, I thought the camera handled the move from less to more light well, including when I moved it up from the keyboard to the monitors – it compensated quickly for the change in light.

Watching this also suggests that I need to do some decluttering of my workspace…

Here’s a pic I took tonight at dinner. (Note to self: While fun at first, family likely to get slightly annoyed at me playing with Galaxy at dinner… 😉 )

funny faces

So far, much fun.

I’m going to take the Galaxy with me to a work-related event tomorrow, do some live tweeting, take pics, shoot some video and really put the machine through its paces. I’ll post here after.

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Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

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