Samsung GT-I7500 Galaxy

As of December 2009, the Samsung Galaxy is the best Android GSM phone officially released so far, in terms of hardware. Its arch-rivals are the HTC Hero (see the Samsung Galaxy vs. HTC Hero comparison) and the Verizon CDMA Motorola Droid. However, with the advent of the Nexus One, the Galaxy has been dethroned.

UPDATE: I have sold my Galaxy and will no longer maintain this page. Your best bets are on the Samsung Galaxy forums.

Essentials

Known issues

In certain circumstances, the screen shimmers, as if faint wavy waveforms would dance up and down the screen. The effect has also been described as pulse ripples and is easiest to notice on a solid dark background. This has been confirmed on the O2 forum and seems to happen while there is data activity.

PC software (Windows only)

The phone synchronization/management software is called Samsung New PC Studio (old version) and has been described as "rather rubbish". Note that even the latest version of NPS may not support the GT-I7500.

Disable Settings -> About phone -> Additional settings -> Mass storage only. Otherwise NPS will not detect any phone at all.

NPS will only update the phone if the phone has a CSC (an operator-specific flashable piece of software).

Connecting to the Galaxy via SSH

See http://androidforums.com/samsung-i7500/11603-putty-galaxo-over-usb.html

Samsung Galaxy community forums

IRC: #android on freenode.net.

Firmware updates, custom ROMs, and rooting

You can update the Samsung Galaxy with official Samsung firmware updates or with a custom ROM. New ROMs tend to appear at androidforums.com.

The clear winner custom ROMs at the moment is the GalaxHero ROM authored by drakaz. NOTE: you need to be logged in as a registered user on the hdblog.it forum to download the ROM. If you see "Clicca qui per registrarti...", that's Italian for "Click here to register". (I consider it highly stupid to have a forum about an international phone in Italian, but the people on hdblog.it don't seem to give much shit about that.)

The GalaxHero ROM adds an HTC Hero-like skin to the Galaxo ROM. To install the GalaxHero ROM, follow the instructions below.

Paul O'Brian of MoDaCo has released a MoDaCo ROM based on II5, but his support for Galaxy has been discontinued.

Flashing official Samsung firmwares

To figure out when a firmware was released, see firmware version numbers decoded. So far, Samsung has not provided any changelogs of the updates that went into firmware releases.

  1. Install Samsung New PC Studio and all USB Drivers it may come with (check the CD also if you have one).
  2. Download Odin, the firmware updates, and launch Odin
  3. Power off the phone (long press on the End call/Power button), then put it in download mode (Volume down + OK + End call/Power)
  4. Select the update file(s). If you don't want operator-specific customization, don't flash the CSC file, or delete cache.img from the TAR archive if you're using the "one package" option in Odin.
  5. Click start and wait.

Samsung firmware updates

Newer firmwares can be obtained using the Samsung FUS downloader, and are also often made available by the community:

Flashing the GalaxHero v1.1 ROM

These instructions are adapted for clarity and simplicity from the original instructions by drakaz on hdblog.it, with amendments and more precise steps. They don't require adb, but note that it's a good idea to have a fully functional adb in case you have to troubleshoot problems.

  1. Install version 4.4 of the recovery image:

    • download and unpack the recovery image per instructions

    • download the Android SDK for your OS. Starting with December 2009, the SDK is much smaller and includes by default only the "Android SDK Tools", which is all you need for this task, along (possibly) with the "USB Driver package" (which installs the ADB drivers on Windows, and which you can install by launching SDK Setup.exe from the SDK).

    • have ready for execution the following command line, replacing the correct path to the fastboot executable. You'll only have 15 seconds to launch it while the phone is in Fast Boot mode: C:\Android\android-sdk-windows-1.6_r1\tools\fastboot.exe flash recovery C:\Android\Galaxy_Recovery_4.4\recovery.img

    • For fast booting, you may need to install the SAMSUNG GALAXY Fast Booter USB device driver. The driver can be found in Android 1.5 SDK, Release 3, in the subdirectory usb_driver/x86. Perplexingly, the Fast Booter drivers are no longer included in Android 1.6 SDK, Release 1.

    • reboot the phone in Fast Boot mode: power off, then press simultaneously both Call buttons

    • within 15 seconds from the phone displaying the Fast Boot screen, launch the command above, then wait for the phone to reboot.

  2. The phone will reboot in normal mode. Mount the USB storage and copy the GalaxHero ZIP to the root of the "sdcard" (actually the Galaxy's internal storage) as update.zip. Copy the II5 firmware as II5.tar. The .tar will be necessary to restore Google applications, which due to a Google decision, can no longer be included within custom ROMs.

  3. Reboot in recovery mode (Volume down + both Call buttons) and choose "Nandroid backup" to save a backup of your current ROM just in case.

  4. Then, choose "Wipe data/factory reset". The phone will reboot in recovery mode again.

  5. Choose "Apply sdcard:update.zip" (second menu entry on the recovery screen)

  6. Restore Google applications ("Restore G.Apps")

  7. "Enable root (su)". Don't worry if you get an Error enabling su ! here - it means superuser access is already enabled and the phone has previously been rooted.

  8. "Reboot system now" and enjoy.

  9. Remember to thank drakaz for his work by donating.

Troubleshooting adb error: device not found

Note that if you use the steps above (as opposed to the original instructions at hdblog.it), you won't need to use adb.

  1. If you get this error, first make sure you installed Samsung New PC Studio and the USB drivers (some come with New PC Studio, others may be on the CD that ships with the phone). New PC Studio is rubbish and probably won't detect your phone, but it comes with some drivers that enable the Android Debug Bridge (adb) to work.

  2. Uncheck Settings -> About phone -> Additional settings -> Mass storage only. Windows will detect a bunch of drivers: Samsung Android USB Device, Samsung Mobile Modem, USB Composite Device, Modem etc.. Next, check Settings -> Applications -> Development ->USB debugging. This will enable the discovery of the Samsung Galaxy Composite ADB Interface device. Installing the driver for that is mandatory for adb to work.

Flashing the Galaxo v1.1.1 ROM

Galaxo (drakaz's optimized ROM) is now at version 1.1.1, but doesn't come with the Hero theme. Instructions on how to flash it are at hdblog.it.

Hacks

Accessories

ZAGG released an invisibleSHIELD screen/body protector for the Samsung Galaxy GT-I7500. Other accessories can be found on eBay.

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