It’s quite the task reviewing all of these Samsung Galaxy S phones because differences between them are very marginal. It’s hard to write new 2,000-3,000 word reviews which mostly say everything you’ve said before. Such was the case with the Samsung Mesmerize from US Cellular compared to the Samsung Fascinate from Verizon that we’ve already reviewed, and it’s the strongest example that of what I’m talking about that I could conjure up: the hardware on both of these phones only differ in the carrier branding. Take a look at some shots of both below.
While I’d love to take the time to write a full review for US Cellular’s version, there just wouldn’t be any point: I’m not saying what hasn’t already been said in our Galaxy S i9000 and our Fascinate reviews. The software difference between these two phones warrants a second look, though, so that’s exactly what I’ve focused on in this side-by-side comparison.
At the end of the day, unless you’re shopping for a new carrier as well as a new phone, the Mesmerize on US Cellular is by far their best Android phone, and there’s really no reason to switch to any other carrier if this phone piques your interest even by only a little. Throw out any Samsung horror stories and the fact that – on the brink of receiving Gingerbread – they have yet to deliver Froyo, and you still have one of the finest phones on the market, let alone the best on US Cellular.
And I personally believe you win even more if you’re already happy with US Cellular: their version of the Galaxy S really doesn’t smack you in the face with preinstalled software like the Fascinate does. Aside from their own-branded navigation, ringtones, contacts backup, and a help guide for new Android users, you’re getting as pure a Galaxy S phone that you can hope to get. And it doesn’t force you to use Bing. That, alone, could be worth it for some folks.
To get more of an idea of what to expect from a light phone like the Mesmerize compared to the bloat that comes with Verizon’s Fascinate, be sure to take a look at that video above. PS: the “phone” part of it works fine in an area where I’m only awarded moderate US Cellular coverage, as does the GPS.