We got some hands on time with the Samsung Galaxy S 4G at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona - and we were impressed with Samsung's latest superfast but good value smartphone handset.

After hearing lots of talk about the new 4G phone from Samsung, I finally got some hands on time with the Galaxy S 4G here in Barcelona, Spain, where the 2011 Mobile World Congress is in progress. See also Samsung Galaxy Ace review.

The Google Android 2.2-powered Samsung Galaxy S 4G is, in essence, a Samsung Galaxy S with added extras. It will be sold in the US by T-Mobile starting February 23, and will be priced at about $150 with a two-year contract. UK availability is not yet known.

The Samsung Galaxy S will support up to 21 mbps if the network delivers it. 

This speed could make streaming video work very well on the phone. I found the HD video displayed on the phone's 4-inch screen to be colorful, bright and sharp. The games I played on the phone looked similarly good. The Samsung Galaxy S 4G has a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor inside, which seemed like more than enough to run smooth video and to launch apps quickly.

One disappointment here is the Android 2.2 OS. It's unclear why Samsung is not shipping the Samsung Galaxy S 4G phone with the latest version of the OS, which has been out long enough to have proven stability to manufacturers. The phone may be upgraded to the newer OS in later versions.

One could also complain about the absence of a dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera. But the real story here is the HSPA+ radio and chipset technology in the phone. The Samsung Galaxy S 4G is like last year's model with this year's wireless tech under the hood. It's not a bleeding edge phone, it's just fast - potentially.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4G has a 5-megapixel camera on the back (with which I took some sharp looking photos), and another 1.3 megapixel camera on the front to support videoconferencing (Skype comes preloaded on the phone). A Samsung rep took the phone into Skype videoconferencing quickly and showed me a live video conferencing session. The live images were a bit fuzzy, but good enough.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4G phone itself felt solid in my hand (if a bit lightweight) and I liked the rounded corner design.

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Samsung Galaxy S 4G: Specs

  • 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen
  • 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor
  • 5 MP shooter with 720p camcorder
  • Front-facing camera
  • Android 2.2 Froyo
  • 16GB memory card preinstalled
  • 1650mAh lithium ion battery
  • ST-Ericsson M5720 HSPA+ 4G modem
  • 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen
  • 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor
  • 5 MP shooter with 720p camcorder
  • Front-facing camera
  • Android 2.2 Froyo
  • 16GB memory card preinstalled
  • 1650mAh lithium ion battery
  • ST-Ericsson M5720 HSPA+ 4G modem

OUR VERDICT

In a nutshell, I'm impressed with the Galaxy S 4G. It doesn't have the features or horsepower of its brother the Galaxy S II (launched here yesterday), but to get to a bargain price point you can't have the best of everything.

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