Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.0 and 5.0 Hands-On: iPod Touch Killers?

Whether you call it a small tablet, a PMP, or a phone that doesn't make calls, the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi has a ton of potential. Available in 4 or 5-inch screen sizes, the Galaxy S WiFi has all the apps and features you'd expect from a phone without the cellular service and require contract.

Dubbed the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.0 and WiFi 5.0, both sizes sport 1-GHz Hummingbird CPUs capable of playing 720p video, dual cameras, and Android Froyo with the typical Samsung TouchWiz icons and colors (blue battery / Wi-fi icons, attractive application shortcuts). However, there are a couple of subtle differences between the two sizes.

The WiFi 4.0 has a much more colorful and vibrant "super LCD" screen, but only a 3.2-megapixel back camera. The WiFi 5.0 has a dull screen, but a 5-MP back-facing camera. And putting the two side by side there's a huge difference in color quality between the screens. No doubt we prefer the WiFi 4.0's screen by a huge margin and its smaller chassis is a better fit for the hand, though some may like the larger screen on the 5.0. Both screens share an identical WVGA (800 x 480) resolution.

Both Galaxy S WiFis have identical software collections which include the official Android Market and Google applications like Gmail, and Google Maps. This means you can use the device just as you would a phone, except that you can't make calls over a cellular network. However, Samsung preloads Skype for making VoIP calls and Qik for making video calls. So as long as you have a wi-fi connection, you can indeed make calls through software.

The two devices look very much like Samsung Galaxy phones, right down to the glossy black finish and shaping. However, the bright white backs and white USB cord each had attached seemed reminiscent of either the back of the Sprint Samsung Galaxy Tab or, more likely, of an iPod. Considering that this device competes squarely against the iPod Touch, we have to wonder.

We have no details about release dates, pricing, and whether or not either product is coming to the U.S., but we have to believe that at least one of these devices will hit North America. The Galaxy S WiFi's rich Android experience, with Samsung's premium design and the full Android Market, is extremely compelling for users who either don't want a smart phone or those who own non-Android handsets and want to be able to enjoy Android features and software today, including strong media playback.

Check out the hands-on videos and photo gallery below for a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.0 and Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0.

Avram Piltch
Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master's degree in English from NYU.