Saturday, 12 December 2009

Samsung i5700 Galaxy Spica, Bringing DivX to Android

South Korea-based Samsung has officially unveiled the Samsung i5700 Galaxy Spica that had the speculative rumor mills on the internet buzzing as the Galaxy Lite before its release.

Samsung is right to take out the "Lite" branding as the i5700 does have improved specifications over the earlier Galaxy i7500 smartphone. This is Samsung's second Android handset targeted specially to European markets (the 4th worldwide).After what
seems like a sustained market demand, users can now watch DivX movies on the handset, making it the first Android to run DivX.

Samsung has earlier brought DivX to its flagship Omnia HD (8900), Ultra Touch (S8300) and BEAT DJ (M7600) in recognition of its excellent high quality lossy compression codec that now figure prominently in ripping High Definition disks and stored in MKV files for both home and mobile viewing. Not all mobile phones carry the feature as it still require DivX certification and licensing for any device to get it playing the codec. Android phone users, however, can still get DivX from third
party apps like the vxflash player from MobileSoft.

A Word about DivX

DivX is a brand of codec technology that makes a competent balance of high quality MPEG4/Part2 compression algorithm with files sizes that are small enough for archiving across consumer media appliances like for the home and on the road. There are now over 100 million DivX-certified gadgets from leading consumer electronics brands that is making a dent in spreading a high quality high definition video experience across major platforms.

It requires certification and licensing to get your device to run DivX but it also figures as one of many codecs commonly used for ripping discs into hard drives for transcoding in smaller files.

Features at a Glance

Apart from being able to run DivX video, its media players can play just about all the popular media files you throw at it. Headphone listening can come either from a 3.5mm headphone jack or wirelessly from its Bluetooth A2DP support.

The new I5700 Spica is a quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE on 2G and dual band 3G/HSDPA housed in a touchscreen monoblock body measuring 115 x 57 x 13.2mm weighing 124 g. There's WiFi 802/11 b/g for hotspot surfing and Bluetooth 2.1 for high speed wireless data
synchronization. It gets a powerful engine with a proprietary Samsung 800MHz CPU, making the i5700 Spica one of the fasted smartphone on in Android territory. Memory is a modest 180 MB which can be expanded up to 32 GB on its microSD slot.

It has a 3.2" TFT capacitive touchscreen supporting 16 million colors on a 320 x 480 pixel resolution. Like most other touchscreens, it has a gravity accelerometer to auto-rotate viewing orientation based on the tilt of the handset. Imaging function is supported by a 3.15 megapixel autofocus camera with geo-tagging from its assisted GPS receiver. It does not have any secondary camera despites its 3G video calling capability.

Like its heftier i7500 brother, the new handset runs on the Android v1.5 Cupcake which is a tad down from the current v2.0 Éclair Android that runs on the Motorola Droid/Milestone. It has a Java-based digital compass, Google Search, Google Maps and
tight integration with YouTube and Google talk. From its generous 1500 mAh li-Ion battery, the Samsung i5700 Galaxy Spica gets up to 11.5 hours of talk time and 27 days of standby time on a single charge - one of the best among touchscreen mobiles.

Author: Simon Drew

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