Samsung Marvel S5560 Review – Mid-Range TouchWiz Phone

Samsung Marvel S5560 Review: Released in 2009, the Samsung Marvel S5560 was one of several phones pushing the new touchscreen technology down to lower price levels. Previous models such as the original Samsung Omnia (released the year before) featured a large improvement for phones at the time, with the larger screen opening up more possibilities.

One of the downsides of the Windows Mobile software was that while powerful, it fell way behind the Apple software in terms of user-friendliness and also was not suited to resistive type touchscreens. With Android not on the scene just as yet, it was left to Samsung to develop its own. The successor to the Omnia i900 was the Samsung Jet 8000 – a real high-end phone matching Apple’s iPhone in spec with exception of the touchscreen.

The Marvel features a slimmed-down design and spec and shipped for a lower price, but also retained enough for it to be regarded as an alternative. For instance, the phone contained Wi-Fi, a microSD reader, and software features only previously seen in higher-end models.

Full specifications here.

This phone came in the middle of a hectic release schedule for Samsung, with phones being released on Android, Windows and its own proprietary software. Although Android would eventually win, there was still plenty of support for Touchwiz. The successor to this phone was likely the Samsung S5620 Monte, released in 2010. This included the long-awaited multi-touch screen and also added 3G internet.

Samsung Marvel S5560 Review Pros:

  • The phone featured a much slimmer and lighter design than previous Omnias – it was now under 100g and with a design which would be common going forward.
  • The camera was a very good one for the mid-range handset. It was 5MP with flash, and also included software enhancements such as image stabilisation.
  • Wi-Fi was introduced on this model over the Samsung S5230, which gave the phone much more potential as an entertainment device, allowing the streaming of music and video.
  • The same TouchWiz UI as seen on the more expensive Jet was seen here which was more optimised for the touchscreen and worked within its limitations.

Samsung Marvel S5560 Review Cons:

  • The screen was acceptable for a mid-range model, but was not improved over the S5230, being the same size and resolution.
  • Despite the rear camera being very good, the phone was missing a front-facing camera for video calls.
  • The phone had increased battery life, but at a cost as 3G was not supported. This made any internet access outside of Wi-FI very slow.
  • Perhaps the biggest downside was the resistive touchscreen, which was unresponsive compared to multi-touch. No stylus was provided.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects: 

These older TouchWiz phones are well dated now. Additionally resistive touch is heavily frustrating to use compared to the phones of today. The phone looks modern enough, but would not be worth as much as the better Jet phones.

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.

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