Samsung releases Android smartphone

Android pioneer HTC may manufacture the majority of the world’s smartphones including the first two Android models in the G1 (sold locally through Optus as the Dream) and the G2.

But Samsung’s brand is far stronger and sits much higher in the mobile phone market – generally in the top three of most countries. (It’s current #2 in Australia behind Nokia.)

So the Korean company’s decision to release an Android phone which is expected to begin global rollout from June is yet another sign that Google’s open-source smartphone is gathering some serious momentum.

The i7500 is a full touchscreen phone – no slide-out QWERTY keyboard or even alphanumeric keypad – built around the oven-fresh Android 1.5 OS. The specs have it as a mere 12mm slim with the front panel dominated up by a 3.2 inch 320 x 480 screen.

An internal 8GB of flash storage is supplemented by a microSD memory card slot that can take cards up to 16GB in capacity.

The rest of the specs are sweet â€“ a  5.0 megapixel camera 3G HSDPA 7.2 on the 2100MHz and 900MHz band (good news for Optus and Vodafone customers) plus the mandatory 802.11g wireless and GPS receiver.

Now let’s just see how long it takes for the i7500 to make its way onto our shores…