My first Android – the Samsung Galaxy S i9003

It’s been a while since I posted manually to the blog. Hopefully, that’ll change with my new phone with the wordpress app.
I got the phone last week and have been playing around with it ever since. It’s got Froyo on it and I’ve installed a ton of apps on it already. The experience has been quite similar yet different from my iPod touch. The app availability is quite similar, but the always connected nature of the phone opens up a new bunch of use cases.
I’ve been making use of the gps quite a bit with the My Tracks asp in particular to plot the routes I take. There have been some wow moments, particularly with the Google Goggles app. The built in tethering feature is also really handy though a bit of a battery hog. I’ll be posting more on the apps later with help from appbrain.
Battery life has however been on the poor side (most likely due to my heavy use) with almost 2 charges being required per day. Then again, my iPod doesn’t do much better if I use it heavily either. I’m currently using a Vodafone prepaid connection with 3G enabled on it. Speeds are pretty decent and a great leap over the GPRS days for sure. I also appreciate the openness of the Android platform as it allows one to work across apps quite nicely. There’s also the App Inventor to create your own simple apps.
I also had plans to buy a tablet – most likely the ipad – this year. However, the Android platform looks really promising on the tablet too, and in a year or so we should be having a well populated Android market for tablets to go with some very good hardware. That said, the iPad 2 remains the best tablet for the next few months.
And last but not the least, swype rocks. I wouldn’t have dreamt of typing out this post from my phone otherwise.

20 thoughts on “My first Android – the Samsung Galaxy S i9003

  1. Adi, hope you have installed some task manager apps to kill processes that aren’t running. Have a wildfire, on mine I get about 4 days with one charge (I use it mostly for calls for about 30 mins per day). Good thing about froyo is that it allows task manager to kill apps that are idle (and not those that are in use), in eclair I had to manually exclude apps from getting terminated.
    Strongly believe that android would overtake iOS because of its open nature and its availability on a number of devices (some say this is also the weak link, having too many OS versions & customizations in use, like Linux) in a broader price range.

  2. I’m currently using the Task Manager that came with the phone, and it seems to get the job done. It comes with a “Free Memory” option and the ability to exit running apps. I did try using a battery management app – Juice Defender – but it didn’t seem to do much other than creating a service & eating up some RAM\CPU time.
    As for Android vs iOS, the multi-tasking potential is definitely better on Android as it allows apps to interact with each other & gives us access to a common file system unlike iOS. On the tablet front, it’s only a matter of time before the hardware gets commoditized (2-3 years maybe) and the comfortable form factor gets decided. That’ll pretty much help Android pull in front of iOS on all factors, since they’re pretty much on par for phones.

  3. Hi Aditya,
    I also bought this phone, few days back. Battery life really sucks. Even when I disable -packet data, google backend service, wi-fi,GPS etc. In other words when I just use the phone for telephony, even then the battery drains at the rate of aroun 3% per hour. So a standby time of max 1.5 days. This really sucks.

    Did you have any issues with Google Maps? The location pointer on my map gets stuck a lot when GPS is on and the position doesn’t get refereshed. I am not using 3G connection. Does it happen because 2G doesn’t provide enough speed?

  4. Hi Abhishek,
    I manage to get around 25-30 hours between charges now if I don’t use it too heavily. For me, setting a dark wallpaper, disabling GPS, wi-fi, background sync & setting auto-brightness (there’s a built-in widget for this) seems to have helped. Tethering is another feature that really drains battery.
    As for GPS, I think it’s due to the design defect of the Galaxy S phones that causes the location problems rather than 2G vs 3G speeds. You’ll find a lot about this on different reviews of the phone. In fact, there are a bunch of apps on the Android marketplace that claim to alleviate the problem (don’t think they help much though).

  5. Hello Aditya,

    Nice post!

    I also bought the I90003 two weeks ago and is also my first android phone but I’m quite disappointed with the mediocre battery life even on light to medium use. I have already turned off most of the battery hog features (GPS, Bluetooth, 2G only, WiFi only if needed, auto brightness) yet my phone barely makes it through the day. Usually, I’m around 20-30% by the end of the day.

    One thing I noticed though, Cell Standby and Phone Idle is always at the top of my battery usage screen even on heavy usage. I think there is definitely something wrong with that. As far as I know, the Display should have the most battery consumption on heavy usage. Could you please check if that’s the same on your phone? I am suspecting that I got a lemon. 😦


  6. Hi orly,
    I also got an I9003 recently. I also get only the same battery life as you mentioned. So it seems to be a common problem (or behavior as designed !)

  7. I have the identical problem with my I9003 battery life. When I look at the battery usage, about 90% is the total of “Cell standby” and “Phone idle.” I get about 18 hours usage with low to medium use.

    I have my display set to Low, have GPS off, Gmail updates off, WiFi off. The only thing I don’t have switched off is the mobile phone !!!

  8. I bought Samsung I90003 last week and the battery life is less than 24 hours for minimum usage. I really disappointed.

  9. Dear all i9003 i reed all of your abt the phone so i am very confused abt the buying this phone can u given right suggestion i will buy this phone or not ?

  10. Since my last post, I’ve upgraded my firmware from XXKA3 to XXKC1. I’ve had a remarkable improvement in battery life. Now, very little battery is used when my phone is idle. On medium usage, I can get about 1.5 days worth of battery life. Since I’ve upgraded the firmware, my GPS is now working as well πŸ™‚

    There is a Gingerbread version for the i9003 available.

  11. Hello Aditya
    Which iPod are you using? What do you mean by heavy use of that iPod – All Day? How can one listen to iPod for more than 5-6 hours a day? I listen to 3-4 hours per day including a lot of track changing, and it still lasts about 4-5 days. BTW it’s 4 years old. It’s all about maintaining your gadget and using sensibly. Hope you reply. Thanks.

    1. Hi Aaron,
      I’ve got the 3rd gen iPod Touch (almost 2 years old now), and I use it not just for music & videos, but also for games & browsing. So, 5-6 hours of use a day is nothing. The battery life of the iPod has however gone down considerably since my post which is to be expected with Li-ion batteries.

  12. I am also a new user of the i9003 and i must say that the battery is indeed poor. But you should also know that you can always extract the best out of android from rooting it, so that the battery life would never be the same. I’ve seen many people commenting that their battery life has improved like anything either after upgrading their firmware or flashing a custom ROM. So I believe that we need not be stuck with this same battery problem forever. That’s the real power of Android πŸ™‚

  13. hi,
    i have purchased it tomorrow. i am having problem of bluetooth which shows sending failed after searching other device to transfer file.
    Please provide any suggestion

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