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Samsung Galaxy Apollo I5801 review

Barry de la Rosa
21 Dec 2010
Our Rating 

It may have updated software, but the Apollo lacks its predecessor’s excellent AMOLED screen and it feels far cheaper.

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Specifications

Android 2.1, 3.2in 240x400 display

We liked the Samsung Android Galaxy Portal and were looking forward to seeing the updated Android 2.1 Apollo. Newer operating system aside, the Apollo struck us as a step backwards: it has a lower resolution screen - 240x400 as opposed to 320x480 on the Portal - and it's a normal LCD instead of a superior AMOLED display. The reduced resolution makes text slightly blurry.

Samsung Galaxy Apollo I5801

Unlike most Android phones, the Portal’s home screen is on the left rather than in the centre, and the application tray scrolls sideways rather than vertically. The combination of this and Samsung's custom TouchWiz icons made the phone hard to navigate initially.

There are some software improvements over the Portal. Social networking account integration is far better. You can import contacts from Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live, Google, Yahoo! and MySpace into a single Contacts app. Your Inbox can aggregate messages from multiple services, and the Calendar integrates with Google and Facebook.

Snaps from the 3-megapixel camera were average for a phone, but the lack of a flash dooms low-light shots. Video can only be captured at 320x240, which is barely good enough for posting to YouTube. Battery life was good, although it's highly dependent on your use of WiFi, 3G data and GPS.

Samsung Galaxy Apollo I5801 Port

Build quality is inferior to the Portal. The Apollo's rear casing is made of a cheap-looking black plastic, and the ridged design looks tacky. The front has a mirror finish around the screen which highlights greasy fingerprints. Worst of all, there's only a single, central Home button which replaces the four-way navigation rocker on the Portal. Instead of physical buttons for Back, Search, Menu, Answer and End Call, you just get touch-sensitive Menu and Back buttons.

Samsung Galaxy Apollo I5801 side

The Apollo is a poor follow-up to the popular Portal. The HTC Wildfire has a better screen and camera, along with HTC's Sense software, or you can Motorola's new Defy now for the same price.

Details

Rating**

Hardware

Main display size3.2in
Native resolution240x400
Second DisplayNo
CCD effective megapixels3-megapixel
Video recording format3GP
ConnectivityBluetooth, WiFi, USB
GPSyes
Internal memory170MB
Memory card supportmicroSD
Memory card included1024MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
Wireless dataEDGE, HSDPA
Size114x55x13mm
Weight109g

Features

Operating systemAndroid 2.1
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord/Excel/PowerPoint editors, PDF viewer
Email clientPOP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format supportAAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WMA, AMR, WAV, MID, OGG
Video playback formatsMPEG4
FM Radioyes
Web BrowserWebkit
Accessoriesheadset, USB data cable, mains adapter
Talk time7.2 hours
Standby time21.3 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback)30h 42m

Buying Information

Price on contract£20-per-month, 18-month contract
SIM-free supplierN/A
Contract/prepay supplierwww.t-mobile.co.uk
Detailswww.samsung.com/uk

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