Samsung Galaxy 3 and Galaxy Apollo review: Galactic twins

GSMArena team, 12 August 2010.

Introduction

Congratulations, it’s twins! The Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 and I5801 Galaxy Apollo are both in our office and they’re keen to show everybody that Android is great for lower mid-range phones too as well as high-end phones.

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Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 official photos

The two phones, the I5800 Galaxy 3 and the I5801 Galaxy Apollo, are pretty much identical except for some minor differences in the hardware and the software. We’ll cover those later, but the one big difference is that the I5800 is the global version of phone while the I5801 is exclusive to Orange.

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Samsung I5801 Galaxy Apollo official photos

The Galaxy 3/Apollo is at the low end of Samsung’s Android offerings and it inevitably makes some compromises. But they do at least provide the full smartphone experience with Android 2.1 Eclair and TouchWiz 3.0 running on top of a 667MHz CPU with 256MB RAM.

Wi-Fi b/g/n support and Bluetooth 3.0 actually exceed your expectations and there’s GPS too. Naturally though some things had to be cut for the sake of price – here’s a summary of what the Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3/I5801 Galaxy Apollo have to offer.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support
  • 3.6 Mbps HSDPA support
  • Smart dialing
  • 3.2" 16M-color TFT capacitive touchscreen of WQVGA (240 x 400 pixel) resolution; multitouch input
  • Android OS v2.1 Eclair
  • TouchWiz 3.0 UI customization (on both, I5801 has Orange UI too)
  • 667MHz CPU; 256MB RAM
  • 3.2MP autofocus camera with face, smile detection and geo-tagging;
  • QVGA@15fps video recording
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n support
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v3.0
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity; Digital compass
  • microSD slot (32GB supported, 1GB in the box)
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • DNSe audio enhancement; Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Superb audio quality
  • Document editor
  • DivX/XviD support
  • File manager comes preinstalled
  • Swype predictive text input

Main disadvantages

  • Display resolution is too low; poor sunlight legibility
  • Editing complex documents is very slow
  • No free GPS navigation solution
  • No Flash support for the web browser
  • Video recording is poor
  • The all-plastic body is a real fingerprint magnet

The screen is a bit of a stretch – WQVGA resolution is low for a 3.2” screen, though the HTC Wildfire had a 3.2” screen with even lower resolution (QVGA). A 3.2MP camera doesn’t sound like much, heck these days even a 5MP camera fails to impress unless it does 720p video recording.

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Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 live shots

Other than that the Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3/I5801 Galaxy Apollo has a decent set of features that will give it an edge over other lower-end Androids.

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The Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 and I5801 Galaxy Apollo are hard to tell apart

On the next page we try to tell the Galaxy twins apart and see if there are any major hardware differences.

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