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Samsung mobile phone buying guide

Samsung may be best known for its high-end Galaxy range of smartphones, but the Korean manufacturer produces phones for all types of buyers. Whether it's an entry-level pre-paid phone, or a top end Android or Windows Phone smartphone, Samsung aims to produce a phone to suit every consumer.

Samsung phones that run Google's Android operating system are known as the Galaxy line of smartphones. The Galaxy range first came about back in 2009 with Samsung's first Android phone, the Galaxy Icon. The hugely popular Galaxy S — one of the iPhone 3GS' main competitors when it launched in 2010 — followed it.

The current flagship Samsung Galaxy smartphone is the Galaxy S II, which features a dual-core processor, a 4.3in super AMOLED display and an 8-megapixel camera. The Galaxy S II is widely considered one of the best Android phones on the market by experts around the world.

The Samsung Galaxy range does not only consist of high-end smartphones: the Galaxy 551, Galaxy 5, and Galaxy Ace (Telstra), the Galaxy Gio and Galaxy 580 (Optus), the Galaxy Fit (Crazy Johns), and the Galaxy Mini (Boost Mobile) are classic examples of low to mid-range Samsung Galaxy phones that suit more budget conscious buyers.

These phones offer all the regular features and functions of more expensive Android smartphones including access to the Android Market for third-party apps, an excellent notifications taskbar and automatic and seamless synchronisation with Google services, but usually make cuts in areas like the quality of the display, the design, and the camera.

Samsung's Omnia range of smartphones consists of devices that run the Windows Phone 7 operating system. The Windows Phone 7 platform was redesigned from the ground up by Microsoft in 2010, as an advancement to its clunky predecessor, Windows Mobile 6.5.

The current and only Samsung Omnia smartphone on the market is the Omnia 7, sold exclusively through Optus. It features an impressive 4in Super AMOLED display, and an excellent industrial design that makes it one of the most attractive Windows Phone 7 devices on the market.

Previous Samsung Omnia phones to launch in Australia included the Omnia Pro — the only Omnia device to feature a full QWERTY keyboard — along with the Omnia Icon, and the original Omnia i900.

In addition to Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system, Samsung has its own OS, called Bada. This features on Samsung’s Wave range of smartphones, headed by the original Samsung Wave, which launched in 2010.

The Bada OS aims to offer a middle ground solution between high-end Android and Windows smartphones, and entry level "dumb phones". It comes with the Bada application store, where users can download third-party applications specifically developed for the platform.

In addition to the original Wave, Samsung also sells the Wave 723 smartphone in Australia, outright and unlocked through retailers like Dick Smith.

Samsung also sells a range of non-smartphones, otherwise known affectionately as "dumb phones". These usually use a very basic version of Samsung’s proprietary operating system and are ideally targeted at pre-paid or low-end users with small budgets.

Recent examples of these low-end Samsung phones include the B3410, the GenoA C3510, the E1130, the Flip E1150 and the B3310.


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