Almost Perfect...4.5 Stars! July 27, 2011
Reviewer: SirStinky "Sirstinky" (Vancouver, WA USA) -
I got this 3 weeks ago on contract from T-Mobile for $80 with rebate. I had looked at the other premium Android-powered smartphones they had (LG G2X, Samsung Galaxy/Vibrant 4G, HTC Sensation, My Touch 4G, Sidekick 4G), but their prices turned me away to the Exhibit 4G.
Here's the run-down on the Exhibit 4G...
This is my 3rd Samsung handset and like the others it is high-quality and loaded with features. It's compact for a smartphone just 4.6 in. tall, 2.2 in. wide, and .5 in. thick, and lightweight at 125 grams. It's made almost entirely of plastic, but that's not all bad because it has great heft, and is easy to hold thanks to a soft-touch coating on the battery cover and part of the front and sides.
Hardware-wise the Exhibit packs some features found on high-end devices. The 3.5 inch, 16 million color support 480x800 LCD capacitive touchscreen looks great and has very high pixel density. The resolution and color reproduction and saturation is very good for an LCD unit, I'd say on-par with the HTC Sensation's S-LCD display. Pictures, graphics, and videos look great. Granted, it can't go blow-for-blow with the Super AMOLED displays, but for the price you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one. It is also very sensitive and responsive to inputs.
The Exhibit has a 1 GHz ARM-A8 Cortex Hummingbird processor, 512mb of RAM, and 1 GB internal storage, expandable to 32GB by a MicroSD card. There's also b/g/n WiFi, multi-touch input, an accelerometer for UI autorotate, gyroscopic sensor, and compass, proximity sensor to lock the display, and an ambient-light sensor to adjust display brightness.
There are only three physical hardware buttons and they are responsive and sturdy. The up-down volume rocker on the left side, a power/lock/unlock button on the right, and a large home button on the front. Interestingly, unlike other Android phones there are just three capacitive Android keys for menu, back, and search under the screen. Another plus is that the memory and SIM card are both accessible through a spring-loaded slots. The SD card is on the left side, and the SIM is just under the battery cover, so you don't need to remove the battery to access them. Way to go Samsung!
The software feature set is also impressive for a sub-$100 smartphone. Thankfully, the Exhibit isn't loaded down with bloatware like some other handsets. You do get exclusive T-Mobile software like AppPack, T-Mobile Mall (to browse and buy T-Mobile apps), Highlight, Name ID (costs $3.99 a month), T-Mobile TV (to watch popular TV shows), and Quix Video Chat. You also get the preloaded Google Apps like Maps with Navigation, Places, Search, and other Apps like Slacker Radio, TeleNav GPS, navigation,The Exhibit is feature packed, almost bursting at the seams when it comes to software.
It runs "Gingerbread" Android 2.3.3 with Samsung's Touchwhiz interface, which is a good one. It's easy to use and I got the hang of it pretty quickly. It's well-laid out and arranged so all the functions, menus, and "Widgets" are easy to find and use. Thankfully Samsung didn't choke out and destroy the stock Android OS, so it's customizable as well.
The small-for-a-smartphone screen does make typing on the portrait keyboard a little difficult. I have ham hands and it took me a while to get used to it. the landscape keyboard is a different story though with large keys. You do get Swype input functionality though, which is useful. There is also voice text input which works pretty good!
I really like the organizer, plus you can sync your calendar and event notifications to other Android-powered phones and Gmail accounts as well as share media and files (you can't share ones you had to buy) through the AllShare app. As a plus, T-Mobile lets you allow the installation of virtually every 3rd party App on the Market.
One area you can tell Samsung cut corners to keep costs down is in the Exhibit's camera. You don't get a 5 or 8 MP camera, and you can't shoot 720P or 1080 HD video from the Exhibit. You're stuck with a 3.2 MP (2040x1536) camera and D1 (720x480) video recording, which isn't too bad. Pictures in daylight come out good. Colors are a bit soft and you don't get nearly as many details as with a 5+ MP unit, but they are good enough to print. Low light photos suffer from lots noise which destroys pretty much all fine detail, but thankfully the LED flash is very powerful, illuminating out to 10 feet, so you can take some servicable images. Thre's a front-facing camera for video calling or photos as well.
The flash is also a video light, so videos are also servicable, but only out to about 5 feet. Like all of the Samsung devices I've used, you get a good camera interface with 13 scene modes(candle light, WDR backlight, firework, text, sports, etc.), 3 shooting modes (single, panorama, burst), exposure metering, negative, monocolor, and sepia mode, image quality, adjustable color balance and saturation, exposure value, contrast, and sharpness. Most all of those are also found in the camcorder interface as well.
There's no physical camera shutter button (like most Android phones, touch to focus and shoot), or digital zoom, and the shooting performance really needs improvement. It takes about 3-4 seconds to acquire focus and shap the picture, and I've noticed that shot-to-shot times are a bit slow, so don't count on it to get fast follow-up shots. But remember this cost $80.
The Touchwiz media player is very good and easy to use. There are 9 settings (one customizable) for equalizer, visualization, effects, and file management. Sound quality with media and calling were pretty good. It does what a phone is supposed to do and does it well with good voice quality and clarity. The earpiece and speakerphone could be more powerful though. I have to turn the volume up high to hear callers over the speaker even indoors. Although it's adequate, the media volume could also use some improvement as I had to turn up the volume when listening to a video or song. Plug in the headphones and it's a different story. I enjoyed the sound quality and loudness.
Web browsing is very good. The Exhibit supports both 3G and HSPA+ 4G connectivity which is a theoretical 21 mbps, but I only saw 6 down and 2 up using Speed Test app running on the network with good signal strength, and about the same on WiFi. It has full Flash support as well, but sometimes pages with lots of Flash content load slow and even stall. To avoid this, you can set the Flash setting to on demand.
Battery life is great. You get a 1500 mah. Li-ion battery that gave me about 3 days with moderate use before it beeped at me. Heavy calling, camera/camcorder flash use, Web browsing, and media player useage will quickly drain the battery, but you'll still get a day and a half out of it which is impressive.
So there's the major stuff.
Ridiculously low on-contract price
Samsung's Touchwiz interface is customizable and easy to use
High quality construction and good feel
Impressive handware and software feature set
Camera flash/video light
Adjustable camera settings
No need to remove battery to access MicroSD and SIM card
Competent Web browsing
Good call clarity
Good battery life
1 Ghz processor
Smallish screen makes using portrait keyboard difficult
3.2 MP camera and subpar D1 video
Poor shooting performance
No digital zoom
No AMOLED display
No physical shutter button
Web browsing could be better
Wished it had Dolby's DNse 5.1 audio enhancement feature
Speaker phone, earpiece, and media volume could be louder
I am being a little picky here, but for $80, you can't beat it. If you want a high-end phone but don't have or want to shell out $200 or more, take a look at the Exhibit. You will find most of the premium features for a very un-premium bottom shelf price. I was sold and after living with it for a few weeks, I am glad I chose the Exhibit.
Great Starter Smart Phone October 9, 2011
I'm a tech lover, but didn't really need a smartphone yet. When I went to upgrade, I noticed this device and it's low price. I ended up getting it because it has many of the same specs as the Galaxy S, but cheaper. The screen is smaller than most smart phones, but I actually like it that way. The smaller screen makes the phone size more manageable for me and fits in my pocket better. If you want the latest and greatest phone, then this isn't for you. If on the other hand, you are looking for an introductory smart phone that can do most everything the "big boys" can then I would seriously recommend the Exhibit.
Actually love it!! October 21, 2011
Reviewer: JenB "luvin music" (Los Angeles, CA USA) -
I just purchased my phone and I just have to say that I love it! I've been a Blackberry user for quite sometime, however my Blackberry was starting to fizzle out with me. My text messages were being deleted BEFORE I could read them and several other problems. This phone is just the right size for me. I'm still tinkering with it to get it to my specifications but I have time, no rush. As long as I can call out and hang up when necessary, I'm good. The web is pretty fast which is great asset. I'm not really big on tech speak but I recommend this phone for the look, the size and especially the price!
Impressive Call quality - good phone for first time smart phone users. January 5, 2012
Reviewer: Rapscallion (Athens, AL United States) -
I'm old fashioned and the primary function of a phone for me is for making voice calls. Smart phone functions like having a calendar, calculator and camera are nice extras and being able to check email and do web searches and check weather updates is nice too. But it all has to start with good call quality and that's where the Exhibit really shines. Another plus is that the battery life is very good if your primary use is as a voice phone, just keep wifi turned off when you don't need it. I actually bought a used Exhibit on eBay to keep as an extra phone but the call quality was so much better than my HTC HD7 that I'm using it all the time. I have to say that I prefer the Windows Phone 7 os much better than Android, but Gingerbread is more stable and usable than earlier versions of Android. For a relatively inexpensive smart phone the Exhibit is a keeper.
It shoud be a great phone, but not quite there June 29, 2012
Reviewer: Wendy Scher (Brooklyn, NY) -
As a full-featured Android touch-screen smartphone, I was impressed with the features. Fast web browsing, good quality photos and videos, the ability to upload attachments at will, voice operated text, a million apps to choose from - and all for a really low price with contract.
I wanted this to be everything, but it still falls short. I've had it about six months now, and it freezes fairly often, which is nothing short of frustrating. The battery has half the life it once did. (I suspect the tethering feature killed it - don't forget to turn it off when you're finished using it!) The touch screen keyboard is annoying and awkward, but I suspect it's no worse than most other Android phones. The camera, I realize now, isn't THAT good - it has no zoom capability, and captures low light/shadows terribly. More significantly, all the pictures have a subtle fish-eye lens tendency to them, which makes none of them actually accurate! (It also makes your face look too big!) That's probably the single most annoying characteristic of this phone, next to the system freezing of course.
So, judge for yourself I guess. I chose it as the best compromise between ratings, price, and radiation level. I'm sure you have different options now.
Fits my hand!!! February 10, 2012
I love the size of this phone. I have small hands and appreciate the slant at the bottom and the side power button. I've had the phone since Sept 2011 and it's been fantastic. The griper surface prevents me from dropping it as much as my old phones.
Great intro to 4G- no more Blackberry August 17, 2012
I left Blackberry for my first touchscreen, the T759 you see here (Samsung Exhibit). Android 2.3 is easy to use, the keyboard took about a day or two to get used to (learn the SWYPE function, it's pretty awesome) after being a Blackberry user for 10 years. VERY clear screen, great quality. 1 year and still no scratches on the glass. It was worth a couple bucks for a gel-skin to keep my daughter from destroying the case when she plays with the phone. That's right, it stands up to a 2 year old abusing it! The fact that it can access Google Play means you can get all the apps you need like Google Maps, which has turn-by-turn audible directions, it's just a great phone. I even watch Netflix when I'm particularly board and have a good signal, or listen to Internet radio... However since I have a 16GB microSD card in this thing (I bought it separately) I have all the music I own with me all the time. It's fun goofing off with the front-facing camera using the Qik video chat program. It's spotty in my experience, you probably will have the best results over WiFi versus the 4G.
One thing that's VERY handy is that it charges via mini-USB port, and the travel charger is basically a wall plug in that you then plug the USB cable into. Its output is 5 volts, which means the charger will actually charge anything you have that uses USB as a charging source. Very handy when you have devices that are both Mini USB, and standard USB. As long as you have the proper cable it's all good! I charge my tablet with the same charger, but use the standard USB cable instead of the mini USB they provide.
I'm sure there's better phones out there with slightly larger screens, and I can say that I wish they'd sacrifice some size and weight for a thicker battery. A day of heavy use as a search and rescue volunteer means I have a dead battery by 4pm or 5pm. I'm going to have to buy a new battery to have a spare ready for a long day, but you can find them here on Amazon for >$20, and that includes a charger. For those that are new to phones like this, it's normal. When you can run GPS, WiFi, Cell radios, all at once... and you're using the screen... you're going to be consuming a lot of juice, that's just the cost of doing business. If they'd add 2mm of width or thickness in order to give you a battery that lasts 4 hours longer... I'd take that trade anytime, personally.
I believe they built this phone to take people away from Blackberry. I can't say I'd ever go back and I'm a loyal consumer when I find a good brand. I just cannot beat what I have here and I probably won't get a new phone for another 3 or 4 years. It's fast, functional, strong, no need to get the next "best thing" every 2 years when you have a device like this. I mean, even if I don't have a cell signal, if I have WiFi I can make calls... good thinking T-Mobile/Samsung!
Piece of Crap!!! April 23, 2013
Exhibit 4G keeps adjusting the setting by itself. One minute I go normal texting mode, then the next it jump to predictive text (auto finish the word I intend to text). Very difficult to text. Screen is very small and all packed into tiny space. Need to click "send" but the button has been blocked. I tried to send picture text (normal pic) but it automatically converted into multimedia file. I ended up not being able to send any type of pic. Had to change phone. It was a piece of crap. These are not the only problems. Can't transfer pictures from camera to micro card - can't move anything from one file to another, even within the cell phone. Stupid apps don't do anything. Can't open any adobe file when i tried to open pdf from email. I have wireless. Display light keeps jumping to dim - can't see a thing. I didn't do anything. it was automatic. Cell got hung up while talking- did i press the "end call" button while i talked, nope!!! Fudge!
This phone is sucks! February 21, 2013
Reviewer: Elesandel Manlapaz (New York) -
dont buy this phone because touch screen is very slow and battery drains after 3 hours, always freez you have to re start your phone again and again until you wanna throw it on the wall.
Just terrible November 29, 2012
Reviewer: Johnny O
This is an awful, awful phone to have. It freezes frequently, and if it doesn't freeze it takes forever to get to where you want it to go. The battery drains quickly and is only good for about a year before it dies. Seriously, don't buy this phone unless you need something to throw against the wall. Save yourself endless frustration and get something else.
This phone sucks. July 12, 2012
Was ok, few months later, it just keeps restarting, sometimes it will keep restarting for hours so it is unusable, Need to buy another. Do not get this one.
SO MAN PROBLEMS February 17, 2013
after a while this phone will go through so many problems. the screen will stop working, then the screen will still and won't work until you take the battery out. the problem me and many others are having now is that the phone keeps restarting itself so that i am unable to use the phone. it also wont connect to the wifi.
Just do yourself a favor and DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE.