Samsung Galaxy Portal lands in the UK

Samsung Galaxy Portal

Samsung has launched the Android-powered i5700 Galaxy Portal smartphone in the UK.

The Galaxy Portal is already on sale elsewhere in Europe as the Spica, and is a more affordable alternative to Samsung's first Android phone, the Galaxy i7500, which was launched in September.

The candybar-style i5700 is slightly chunkier than the i7500 at 13.2mm thick, but otherwise looks all but identical to its more illustrious stablemate.

It's powered by an 800MHz processor and features a 3.2in capacitive TFT with a 320x480-pixel resolution. A 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus is also on board, and there's assisted GPS, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD slot supporting cards of up to 16GB.

High-speed HSDPA internet is present and correct, while networking is taken care of by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the USB 2.0 connector.

The new arrival may come with Android on board, but until Samsung rolls out an update it's only version 1.5 a by-product of the fact that the Portal isn't a new handset, even if it is to these shores.

Along with the associated Google software on board, you also get the Layar augmented reality app for a visual guide to your surroundings and Samsung Football Pub Finder, which gives you info on venues in your vicinity showing live football.

Samsung claims battery life of 650 hours on standby and 11 and a half hours of talktime.

The Galaxy Portal is available in black and white, and is exclusive to T-Mobile until mid-February though the black version will stay exclusive for a further two months after that. The cheapest deals to get the handset free start at 18 per month over 18 months, which gives you 200 minutes and texts a month.