There are smartphones, and there are smartphones with 4G. Samsung’s newest 4G smartphone, the Samsung Exhibit 4G is put under the scope here in this review. How will the Korean giants’ new release fare against its rivals? We will soon find out.
The Samsung Exhibit 4G just oozes with build quality as it feels like it has been constructed really well and at the same time gives a soft touch feel although we must add it’s not as refined as the Samsung Galaxy S 4G. Its 3.5 inch LCD display was something that jumped out with its WVGA resolution. On the front is also the VGA camera for video calls or just to check how you look before going for a date. Under the display are the three capacitive touch Android buttons plus a tactile button to go back to the homescreen. Flip it over and you will find a 3.2MP auto-focus camera with LED flash as well as a speaker towards the bottom. Around the sides are the usual buttons and slots. We find a dedicated power button on the right side. The top is where the standard audio jack and the microUSB port are located. While on the left you will find the volume rocker and the microSD slot. It comes with a 4GB card but it supports up to 32GB microSD cards for those who need to keep all their stuff with them on the go.
As always, it’s important to specify what powers smartphones these days with all the dual core phones that are out in the market. The Samsung Exhibit 4G, in line with its mid-range tag is powered by a speedy 1GHz Hummingbird processor. Working together with the 512MB RAM, this phone is no slouch when it comes to speed. Running a few benchmarks on this phone gave pretty good results as it trounced the Samsung Galaxy S while it also came close to outscoring the Droid X from Motorola too.
Thanks to the power provided by the processor mentioned earlier, using the TouchWiz UI which ran on top of the Android v2.3 Gingerbread was not a problem at all. Although no UI has so far been able to match HTC’s Sense UI in terms of graphics but the TouchWiz UI gives you the feeling that it’s really easy to use which I think no one will have complains about. As all Android phones, you can personalize the widgets on the Samsung Exhibit 4G to your liking but widgets like the Buddies Now and Program Monitor provided by Samsung are worth having. As you may have noticed, there is no physical keyboard on the phone, so for those who like using portrait style keyboards you are in for a treat. But for those with bigger fingers, not so much. The keyboard’s speedy response to touch is definitely worth a mention.
The 3.5 inch screen is definitely not as big as the displays that come with smartphones these days, but it’s good enough to get the job done. The WVGA resolution is great of course as it produces crisp pictures. However, the colors on the phone are not as rich in tone as you would prefer. Besides, when the phone is tilted, the colors seemed to get washed out.
The Samsung Exhibit 4G impressed even with just a 3.2MP camera as it’s safe to say it definitely outperformed some of the 5MP phone cameras out there with its indoor pictures. That was largely thanks to its LED flash which was capable of lighting up subjects even probably about 6 to 7 feet away. However, the auto focus was really slow and you had to give a few tries at times to get that perfect picture although I’m not sure if the perfect moment will just stop and wait for your camera. Otherwise pictures were clear and good. The Samsung Exhibit 4G is rather disappointing when it comes to video recording as it only allows a maximum of 720 x 480 recording quality at 29 fps. The detail of the subjects in the recording therefore was almost not there.
When it comes to a 4G phone, we have to talk about the internet connectivity and web browsing. Therefore, for the Samsung Exhibit 4G, we do the same and being HSPA+ enabled made downloading web pages a great experience. Nevertheless, handling flash content isn’t what this phone was built for, which is a giant turn off. For those who travel a lot, the Wi-FI Calling app – which as the name suggests allows you to make and receive calls when connected to a Wi-Fi network – is a must have.
So is the Samsung Exhibit 4G capable of handling what phones were originally made for? The answer is yes, as the call quality on the phone is great with voices on both ends being very clear and loud. However, the speakerphone is a bit weak in tone, but the call is definitely still clear enough. Signal strength was also pretty good as we had good signal almost always. So for those who love to talk, you might have just found the love of your life, the Samsung Exhibit 4G. The 1500mAh battery is capable of giving up to 10 hours of continuous talk time with just a single charge. Meanwhile, you can get through a day without recharge with normal usage of things like web surfing, emailing and texting.
Pros and Cons
The Samsung Exhibit 4G is HSPA+ enabled. Frankly, I don’t what else to expect from a phone that is built with web surfing in mind. As stated previously, call quality is magnificent.
On the downside is the design of the phone itself, not many are going to like it. Camera performance was also a letdown especially when it came to video recording.
This phone gives you value for your money. Packed with great features like the high resolution display as well as its speedy processor, it’s one of the top phones in the mid-range category. The Samsung Exhibit 4G isn’t out there just for show, but it’s got substance.