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Samsung Galaxy Pro Review

Samsung Galaxy ProCandybar type Android smartphones are becoming rarer nowadays, there are actually very few around, the exceptions to the rule are handsets like the Droid Pro, Samsung Replenish and Motorola Charm. Enter the Samsung Galaxy Pro, a mobile device with a QWERTY keyboard much like the classic BlackBerry, but with Android Froyo and a 2.8-inch touchscreen. Boasting the same layout of hybrid touchscreen and physical keyboard layout as the Droid Pro and Samsung Replenish.

A slim handset, the Samsung Galaxy Pro is just 10.7mm thick, which makes it just 1mm thicker than the iPhone 4, but 3.5mm thinner than the BlackBerry Tour, but perhaps more importantly, the Galaxy Pro is the lightest by far. Despite this light weight, the Galaxy pro still feels sturdy enough. The 2.8 inch capacitive touchscreen has 320 x 240-pixel resolution which would have been class leading in 2008, but is positively antiquated in 2011. Limited resolution aside, the big attraction for most users will be the full-sized hardware keyboard, rather then relying on a virtual keyboard on a touchscreen. This particular keyboard is constructed well from a tactile rubbery material which provides satisfying feedback when you press a particular key.

The Galaxy Pro runs Android 2.2 Froyo with an unnamed 800MHz processor with 512MB of internal memory (expandable up to 32 Gb with a microSD card). The retail pack includes a meagre 2Gb card however, but at least you don't need to remove the battery to access the microSD slot. The Galaxy Pro offers a full suite of Google apps (Gmail, Market, Google Maps with Navigation), but the usability suffers slightly from the smaller screen size. There is also a full range of sensors such as proximity sensor, ambient light sensor and  an accelerometer. Connectivity wise you have Bluetooth 2.1 and WiFi.

The Galaxy Pro is an amazing little phone but it certainly has its pros and cons. Though it has a QWERTY keyboard, the layout makes it a bit of a chore to use. The lack of multitouch make the Android experience slightly less enjoyable. Despite these drawbacks, it's possibly the best Android BlackBerry rival so far from Samsung, however there has not been much  competition in this format. Although the physical keyboard could have been implemented better, the typing experience (helped by the Samsung intelligent auto-punctuation and capitalisation), makes the Galaxy Pro one of the better typing experience this side of BlackBerry devices. If Samsung had seen fit to provide a decent screen, the Galaxy pro could have been a serious Blackberry killer, at the moment, the HTC ChaCha or INQ Cloud Touch should also be considered as Blackberry alternative

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