It has been a while since I’ve used a phone with a physical keyboard – the last being a Sony Ericsson K800i, so I was quite anxious to try out the Galaxy Y Pro. Will I have a hard time using it? Let’s find out.
At first glance you’d think that this phone is a Blackberry. From the overall shape, chiclet-type QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad, down to the button layout. The similarities end there though.
Power up the screen and you’ll be greeted with that unmistakable Android digital clock widget. The 320×240 TFT screen may sound small and outdated but Samsung was able to design a clean and concise default home screen layout that maximizes every available pixel space. User interface animations and transitions are smooth and quite snappy. The touchscreen is precise and sensitive. There’s one thing that I found strange though – since the screen is normally in landscape mode, some apps like Speed Test would require you to tilt the phone 90 degrees to the side. Not a big deal but takes getting used to.
The keyboard is well-spaced and well-illuminated. I was able to type almost error-free with ease considering that I’m accustomed to touchscreen phones. The optical trackpad is fast and very intuitive to use. You can also assign your favorite app to each of the 2 function keys on the lower right side of the keyboard. The 4 hardware buttons could use some backlighting though. Clicking the optical trackpad does not turn the screen on. You will need to press the power button. This is a bit disappointing since on the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note, you can wake the phone up by pressing the center/home button.
Under the Hood
Powered by an 832Mhz CPU (the Apple iPhone 4 runs at 800Mhz), the Galaxy Y Pro is no slouch. Angry Birds is very much playable albeit the small screen size. Jumping from one app to another is fast. Internal memory is 160MB only but can be augmented by adding a microSD card up to 32GB. The phone is 3G-capable (HSDPA up to 7.2Mbps) and has Wi-Fi (b/g/n) and Bluetooth as well. A-GPS support is also present.
The Galaxy Y Pro is powered by a 1200mah Li-Ion battery which has a manufacturer rated standby time of up to 800hrs (2G) / up to 500hrs (3G) and talk time of up to 17hrs (2G) / up to 6 hrs (3G).
The Galaxy Y Pro has a 3.2 megapixel non-autofocus camera. It has several scene modes (Landscape, Night, Sports, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Dawn, Color of Fall, Firework, Candlelight, Backlight) and effects (B&W, Negative, Sepia) for those who want to be more creative. For the photographers, you can also manually adjust the white balance, metering mode and exposure compensation.
The photos come out decent with good lighting but is quite grainy in low light conditions. It doesn’t have an LED flash to help the cause either. I guess this is to be expected with a camera phone at this price point.
If you’re looking to ditch that old candybar phone but is not yet able to let go of the physical keyboard, then the Galaxy Y Pro is for you. The price is also not bad considering the plethora of features it has to offer. It retails for about 9,500 pesos.
Pros: Physical keyboard with good spacing and good illumination; Decent speed (832Mhz CPU);Decent camera (3.2 megapixels) with various scene modes
Cons: Clicking the optical trackpad does not turn the display on, you need to press the power button; Low SMS alert volume; Only 160MB of internal memory