Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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A Hi Tech Phone... At A Bargain Price!
Samsung GT i5800 Galaxy Apollo
Member Name: blonde_girl774
Samsung GT i5800 Galaxy Apollo
Date: 19/07/11, updated on 19/07/11 (202 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to Use, Great Range of Features & Even Better Price!
Disadvantages: Battery Can Deplete With No Warning.
Having accepted I wanted a phone as similar as possible to the Galaxy, yet a much cheaper version, I visited my local Vodafone store who tried to offer me a HTC £190 model! Instead I decided to visit The Carphone Warehouse and found a really helpful member of staff who suggested I try the Samsung Apollo at the much more appealing price of £64.95 (the actual phone is priced at £49.95 but it was subject to a £15 pay as go top up charge as well). The member of staff informed me that it was virtually the same as the Galaxy (which would have cost me in the region of £300 to buy on pay as you go) as it had the same processor, the same touch screen and ran the same Android system... the only thing that wouldn't be quite as good was the screen as it wouldn't be quite as clear as the Samsung Galaxy.
The Samsung Apollo is a basic black phone with the touch screen taking up the majority of the front. The size is 114mm by 55mm by 12.9mm which means it's smaller than your average smart phone these days and does look quite sleek. It's thinner and shorter than the Galaxy S but not as slim. It weighs just 109g making it quite light. The front face is made of metal and glass, which looks very smart, while the plastic back does cheapen it just a little. There are three buttons at the bottom, all of which are not touch sensitive unlike more modern models. I must admit it isn't quite as modern looking as other models such as the new Samsung Galaxy S II or the Apple Iphone but I personally think it looks just fine.
Switching the phone on and off is controlled by a small button on the top of the phone, which is also where the battery charging socket is located as well. The phone takes about 30 to 40 seconds to switch on and to find a signal before you're ready to go. After that everything is really quite simple, the four touch icons at the bottom of the touch screen are all you really need to get started - phone (allows you to see recent call logs), contacts (allows you to scroll through your contacts), messaging (allows you to access your messages and various folders) and applications (allows you to access the main screen of the phone where all applications are listed). It took my dad only minutes to work out how to use it.
The Samsung Apollo features a TFT display of 16 million colour and 240 by 400 pixels which is less clear than my Samsung Galaxy, however not enough to cause me any problems. The screen itself measure 3.2 inches which is a decent size. It comes with a 4GB memory plus there is a slot on the side where a memory card can be inserted. The phone offers a 3 megapixel camera which has autofocus, face detection, smile shot and 4x digital zoom (but no flash!) as well as video recording. There is a music player and you're able to access FM radio, the sound it really clear although it could be louder. You are able to connect using WiFi, Bluetooth or a USB cable - all of which work absolutely fine I've found.
Calling is very simple on this phone - you can manually enter a number or you can browse through your contacts and highlight one before selecting "Call." Once on the call you have the options to mute it or to switch it to speaker. The blue tooth feature means that it can be connected to other speakers such as the one I have fitted in my car. Messaging is also easy, you can create a new message from the messaging icon or you can again browse through your contacts and highlight one before selecting "Send Message." This phone features Samsung's famous swype method of text inputting where you can swipe your fingers across different letters and it will produce the word on the screen - I love this!
The sound quality is very clear on this phone, when I make a call I can clearly hear the speaker and adjust the volume if I need to using a button the left hand side of the phone. I've made quite a few calls on this phone now and have never had a problem with not being able to hear or interference at all. It might be also worthwhile mentioning here that the screen does lock itself after 30 seconds (the time can be altered on the settings) but after that there is an ever so slight delay when you press to unlock the phone again, only a second or two but this might bother some people. I've had no other technical issues or problems with this phone apart from that very minor one though... luckily!
The main reason I bought this phone was so I would be able to access the internet and applications like Hotmail and Facebook. The internet connection is slightly slower than your average smart phone (3.6 mbps versus 7.2 mbps) but I can't say I've actually noticed a difference whatsoever. It runs the Android 2.1 operating system so it has access to tens of thousands of applications, many of which are actually free which is a huge bonus. The phone does come with about thirty or so applications already installed on it which include Calculator, Google Mail, Google Maps and Samsung Applications. You will need a Google Mail account to access the internet and enable you to purchase further applications here.
Purchasing applications is very simple using the already installed Market Place application - using the search icon on this you can easily search for any sort of application you want, or you can merely browse the different categories. There is literally an app available for anything; my most recent ones have been Angry Birds, Ebay, Sky and Trip Advisor, all of which were free. Last thing to mention is that the phone has GPS and the Layer Reality Browser which combines the camera, compass and GPS to identify the phone's location and then displays information on the screen - to be honest it does make the phone look very hi tech indeed! All in all this phone features everything I could ever imagine needing.
The battery is a 1500 mAh battery which apparently offers talk time of 7 to 15 hours and can be put on standby for 510 to 620 hours according to the advertising information. As the screen is smaller than your average smart phone it does mean you get slightly longer use from the phone between charges which I've definitely noticed. I'd say I make about two calls a day (of around five to twenty minutes), send about forty or so texts and access the internet about four or five times. Based on that usage I find I have to charge my battery every night and the only strange thing is that one minute it'll have half a battery and then the next it'll be flashing saying the battery is near dead... very strange!
I found the cheapest offer for this phone was to buy it from The Carphone Warehouse on the 3 network for £49.95 plus a £15 top up charge, 3 phones are apparently unlocked which mean it was fine to use with my Vodafone sim card. To buy it on O2 or Vodafone is £89.95 plus a £10 top up charge from The Carphone Warehouse and on contract it's free with pretty much any contract you choose, even those starting from as little as £10 a month. I haven't been able to find it cheaper in another store or online so if you're considering this phone on a pay as go basis I'd certainly check out The Carphone Warehouse. If you are interested in insurance it's just £3 a month from The Carphone Warehouse too... bargain!
When you compare the Galaxy Apollo to other phones on display in any phone shop I'm sure you'd agree that it's starting to look just a little bit dated. It certainly isn't as flash or as hi tech as some of the more recent models that have entered the market. However it does everything that many of these more recent models do, as I've mentioned I can only find a few differences between this and my old Samsung Galaxy, plus it's priced at just a fraction of the cost of other phones. Browsing the internet, making phone calls and sending texts are all straightforward. It's actually a pretty good phone and I'm giving it the full five stars, it's affordable, it's reliable and it's got a great range of features for a smart phone.
Thanks for reading.
Summary: A basic phone from Samsung which is modelled on the Galaxy S.
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