Print 28 comment(s) - last by Chocobollz.. on Aug 28 at 6:31 PM

  (Source: Engadget)
But will it vibrantly captivate the epic Android-based handset market?

By now, you most likely know all about Samsung's Galaxy S line of smartphones, including T-Mobile's VibrantAT&T's Captivate -- which saw July releases -- and Sprint's Epic 4G, set to launch August 31. The only carrier "officially" missing from the mix thus far is Verizon... until now.

Phandroid, going on some screenshots from a tipster, is reporting that Verizon's Galaxy variant, the "Fascinate," is beginning to arrive in stores, fueling speculation of a September launch. This release schedule would make sense for Verizon because the carrier has been busy the last few months launching all of its new Droid offerings. A September release would give the Fascinate more visibility in what's quickly becoming a saturated market for Android-based phones.

Specs on the Fascinate are almost identical to the Vibrant. BoyGeniusReport has obtained training documents that confirm the following:

  • 1 GHz Hummingbird processor
  • 4-inch Super AMOLED display
  • 800 x 480 resolution
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • 720p video recording 
  • ActiveSync support for Exchange 2003, 2007, and 2010 servers.
  • 512 MB ROM
  • Either 336 MB or 384 MB RAM (weird, considering other variants have 512 MB RAM)
  • 16 GB microSD card pre-installed (with support for 32 GB)
  • 2 GB of onboard memory
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (not 3.0, like the newer Droids)

The Fascinate will be running Android 2.1 at launch. According to the training documents, Flash support will be available by "Year End 2010," which means the device will be seeing an update sometime in Q4. Who knows, by then it may be getting Android 3.0 Gingerbread -- an unlikely prospect given Samsung's previous issues rolling out Android updates.

Androinica is reporting that Best Buy Reward Zone customers can pre-order the Fascinate starting today, while regular customers will be able to pre-order on August 29.

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a tepid vendor at best
By mcnabney on 8/27/2010 9:21:42 AM , Rating: 1
With all of the choices available I don't really see the need to consider Samsung if you are choosing the Verizon network. It is clearly beaten by the Droid X and 2 and I don't think it has much over on the Incredible. Samsung's lack of support on aging products pretty much makes it a non-player in the Android market since updates are a huge value-added aspect. They have proven that they can't stand behind their products, why expect anything to change. I think the only reason to consider it is if it comes in at a low price. Maybe at $100 with a contract....

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By Goty on 8/27/2010 9:34:01 AM , Rating: 3
Wait, beaten by the Droid X and Droid 2 in what way? Certainly not in performance.

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By mcnabney on 8/27/2010 9:47:39 AM , Rating: 2
Droid X and 2 have/will have in 2 weeks the Froyo OS which provides accelerated Flash and the new compiler which turbocharge anything Javascript related. Faster browser.

Also, the drop in RAM is kind of odd. Plus inferior RAM and onboard storage. The published comparisons between OMAP, Hummingbird and Snapdragon were all run on 2.1. The release of 2.2 has effectively turbocharged the Droids (and EVO)

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By teldar on 8/27/2010 10:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
Just a question.
I've been looking for the differences between the processors and which test better. Where have you found info on this?

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By theapparition on 8/27/2010 11:18:03 AM , Rating: 1
Benchmarks are all over the place. Just like old PC benchmarks, some favor certain architectures more.

Basically, the CPU in the Ti OMAP of the Motorola Droids is more powerful and power efficient than the CPU in the Hummingbird. However, the GPU in Hummingbird uses the PowerVR 540 while the GPU in OMAP uses the PowerVR 530. The Samsung has something on the order of 3x-4x graphics performance.

Little day to day difference in performance between handsets, but the Samsung will perform better for games at the cost of battery life. Choice (in my mind) will come down to screen size and/or keyboard. If you want a physical keyboard, Droid 2. Bigger screen Droid X. Samsung falls in the middle with a 4" SAMOLED screen that looks georgous (super contrast but horribly oversaturated colors). Pick which one suits you best.

But I agree with the OP that Samsungs track record of support and updates has been horrid. Official 2.2 by end of year? That's way too unacceptable for a device that has been released for a while (these new versions are basically the same as the European versions of Galaxy S class phones).

These phones also suffer from several lag bugs, which have fixes. And TouchWiz just plain sucks. You can hardly tell the new motoblur interface over stock Android.

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By Goty on 8/27/2010 1:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
The only benchmark I know of that shows the OMAP 3640 ahead of the Hummingbird is Quadrant, which shows a bug in determining I/O scores when running on the OMAP processor, leading to artificially inflated scores. Other benchmarks that purely measure CPU performance (such as linpack for android) show a lead for Hummingbird.

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By mcnabney on 8/27/2010 5:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
Most of those tests between the chips were done a while ago and used 2.1.

Since then, numerous tests using the same equipment showed massive improvement when updating to Froyo. I don't think any site has revisited the OMAP vs Snapdragon vs Hummingbird tests with Froyo thrown in the mix. I think an obvious conclusion is that Hummingbird will edge-out the others on 2.1, but moving to 2.2 improves browser and Java performance massively - up to 6x the speed. So operating on 2.1 is an artificial handicap which makes any modern device on 2.2 superior.

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By Goty on 8/27/2010 5:56:09 PM , Rating: 3
Let me spell this out for you. The Droid X and Droid 2 increased in performance going from Eclair to Froyo, as you've now stated multiple times, so why do you think the Galaxy S (which essentially uses identical CPU hardware with some tweaks) will receive any [i]less[/i] of a performance boost?

I think the answer is that you own a Droid X or Droid 2 (or plan to buy one) and have e-penis envy. There is no logical reason to expect that one processor is going to gain much more when moving to Froyo than another considering the fact that they are running CPUs based on identical architectures.

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By deputc26 on 8/27/2010 5:35:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hummingbird and 3640 are both 45nm 1ghz Cortex A8s. The difference is with the GPU where hummingbird wins. The speed dif between android 2.1 and 2.2 is way greater than the diff between 3640 and hummingbird, if those two procs have a noticeable perf disparity in the first place which I doubt.

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By Goty on 8/27/2010 10:44:49 AM , Rating: 3
And you don't think the Froyo upgrade for the Galaxy S will do the same... why?

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By bill4 on 8/27/2010 5:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, to me the Galaxy S is a nice match for the Droid X and Evo. You lose a little screen size, but gain super Amoled and a faster processor/GPU. It's pretty much a wash. The Droid 2 OTOH is lackluster imo as I wouldn't touch a 3.7 screen anymore, 4+ or bust.

Now the unexplained RAM reduction in the Fascinate bothers me though. I have the Captivate though. Which has no FFC, I guess each vendor likes to gimp the Galaxy S differently lol.

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By Stoanhart on 8/27/2010 3:36:45 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Vibrant, and I would totally recommend it to anyone. It's absolutely fantastic. Also, who cares if Samsung supports it in the future (they are definitely doing 2.2 Froyo at least); they have release the driver sources and Cyanogen is hard at work adding the Vibrant as a supported model, so I know I will have support for 3.0 and onward.

Plus the hardware is just fantastic. So fast and sleek. And the screen! Wow!

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By SirKronan on 8/28/2010 2:36:33 AM , Rating: 2
But will it vibrantly captivate the epic Android-based handset market?

I see what you did there! Hahaha. :P

RE: a tepid vendor at best
By Chocobollz on 8/28/2010 6:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I will take a Samsung over a Morontola anyday.

By BOLt on 8/27/2010 9:36:20 AM , Rating: 3
The Samsung Galaxy S line is far more powerful than all other cell phones on the market at this time. See here:

I'm excited about the Fascinate because 1) it isn't gonna have the terribly cheap-feeling, plasticky body like the Vibrant or the cheesy faux-carbon fiber backing of the Captivate (or its sharp corners and spotty AT&T coverage); 2) it isn't gonna be bulky and have a (in my opinion) superfluous slide-out keyboard; 3) it—thankfully—has an LED flash. Plus it's on Verizon, which has arguably the best network in the nation.

I am saddened by the prospect of a tiered data plan, though.

RE: Fascinating!
By BOLt on 8/27/2010 9:39:36 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, I almost forgot: I talked to a Verizon rep about 20 minutes ago. He said that they had no knowledge of the Fascinate being rolled out in the near future.

I am curious as to the sources for this article...?

RE: Fascinating!
By vortmax2 on 8/27/2010 9:58:59 AM , Rating: 4
Verizon reps almost never know anything about pre-releases. You'd think they would get some kind of valid info this close to a launch...

RE: Fascinating!
By DuctTapeAvenger on 8/27/2010 9:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
The cheesy back cover and sharp corners are some of the best parts of the Captivate. It makes it NOT look like an iPhone.

Also, don't forget the absofrigginlutely beautiful screen in your list of reasons to be excited.

RE: Fascinating!
By cubdukat on 8/27/2010 10:46:34 AM , Rating: 2
Will that be in place when the Fascinate launches? I thought I had read somewhere that Verizon was still considering it.

What I really would have liked to have seen was something on pricing. If there's one thing Verizon doesn't need, it's another $200 Android phone. If anything, they should price it in the same range as LG's Ally or the Motorola Devour. (It should replace the Devour!) But if it has to go up against the Incredible, Droid X and Droid 2, it's gonna lose.

RE: Fascinating!
By theapparition on 8/27/2010 11:36:10 AM , Rating: 2
The Samsung Galaxy S line is far more powerful than all other cell phones on the market at this time.

No it is not "far" more powerful, it is comparable performance as many phones on the market currently. In stock form, real world performance is quite lackluster. There is a stall fix that seems to improve performance, but the average user won't know to do this. Hopefully Samsung will fix this in an update. However, it does have better graphics performance which only translates to 3D games, so if that's your thing, than this is the best phone for graphics.

And initial reports indicate that the Fascinate will still be as plasticy as all other Galaxy S class phones. And I seem to remember seeing that it wouldn't have an LED flash, but I could be wrong there.

Galaxy S Pro Variants
By Aikouka on 8/27/2010 10:09:23 AM , Rating: 2
Out of curiosity, has there been any news of other carriers getting Galaxy S Pro variants? The Pro being the one they're using in Sprint's Epic 4G. Mostly personal preference, but I really miss a real keyboard, and Sprint's coverage seems lacking unless you're by a major highway/route.

I wouldn't mind a Pro variant on AT&T or Verizon.

RE: Galaxy S Pro Variants
By torpor on 8/27/2010 10:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
Got a practical question for you:

Since all the Sprint plans with data access have free roaming, does it really matter that much where the dedicated Sprint network is, unless your home is off it?

(I really can't see someone buying one of these phones without a good data plan, and you call out Sprint specifically)

As someone who's had Sprint for 14 years, I can say that I almost never need to go off their network, but when I do, I'm glad there's free roaming. :)

RE: Galaxy S Pro Variants
By bbomb on 8/27/2010 12:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
But when roaming on otehr networks your speed is cut to 1x.

By cochy on 8/27/2010 9:29:31 AM , Rating: 3
Bing search front and center on an Android phone :P

Fascinating indeed...
By SirWizz on 8/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Fascinating indeed...
By mcnabney on 8/27/2010 9:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
Apple was hardly the first manufacture to use an all touchscreen device that displayed a pageful of apps. In that case Android is far in advance because it has an actual desktop that is user created and includes functional widgets of varying size.

RE: Fascinating indeed...
By Goty on 8/27/2010 9:32:51 AM , Rating: 2
It's actually pretty much just Samsung's UI that looks like the iphone. UIs from other handset makers are more different.

RE: Fascinating indeed...
By semiconshawn on 8/27/2010 9:33:32 AM , Rating: 2
I heard this clone is designed with the wonderful feature of being able to make calls in any position without a case. Amazing. How original looking do you think a 4in screen is going to get? Iphone arguments are now down to which phone looks better. Bwhahaha. LOSERS. Go outside and stop staring at your phone it is a Tool to accomplish a task not a girl.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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