The retail box of the Galaxy S5660 Gio believes in smaller is better. The tiny box finds room for a microUSB cable and a charger, an SD-to-microSD adapter with 2GB worth of a complimentary card and some leaflets.
The disappointing thing to note is the lack of headphones (European retail unit). We got wind that some regional versions will have a set enclosed (Asian), so it will obviously be a regional thing.
Samsung tried to make amends with the 2GB microSD card but the headphones absence may not go down well with the end user.
The Galaxy Gio measures 110.5 x 57.5 x 12.2 mm and is entirely made of plastic, tipping the scales at the 102g mark. The edges of the device are nicely tapered, the phone feel slimmer and quite comfortable to hold as a result. Despite the all-plastic build the phone feels tight and well put together.
The Galaxy Gio doesn’t scream fashion. It’s a nice simple design that does well to stay away from black gloss and flashy color.
Compared to the Galaxy Ace, the Gio is lighter and more compact. It has lost a bit of screen estate but makes up for it with much friendlier size.
The front is dominated by the 3.2” touchscreen of HVGA (320x480) resolution. It does well in terms of brightness and contrast. At the maximum brightness setting, the screen is brilliantly lit and the colors look nice and punchy. When you look at the screen from an angle you’ll immediately notice a difference. Colors get washed out and detail is quickly lost.
Sunlight legibility is good though, the screen is not too reflective.
As far as touchscreen response goes we have no complaints – the screen is responsive without being overly sensitive (which can often result in unwanted taps).
Above the display, there is the proximity sensor that makes sure the screen gets locked during calls. There’s no ambient light sensor – the display brightness can be adjusted manually.
There’s the typical set of keys at the bottom. The hardware home key is in the middle, with two capacitive controls on either side: Menu and Back. The keys designations are well backlit for comfortable use.
This‘s the layout of choice for Samsung’s Android phones. A notable exception is the Google Nexus S with its four capacitive keys.
On the left hand side of the Samsung Galaxy Gio S5660 there’re the lanyard eyelet and the volume rocker. The volume rocker key is quite thin but prominent enough to use comfortably.
The Power/Lock key is on the right (as on many Samsung phones), which makes it accessible with both the thumb of the right hand or the index finger of the left. A long press of the lock key will let you set Silent or Flight mode.
The other thing on the right is the lid-covered microSD card slot.
At the top of the phone you’ll only find the 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The USB port is at the bottom of the phone, used for both charging and data connections. USB charging off a computer is enabled too. There’s also a mouthpiece.
The back of the device reminds us of the Galaxy Ace, though with an important difference. The dot-patterned back of the Gio is smooth, not finely grooved like the Ace’s. Fingerprints are out of the question but the grip is not as good as the rubbery texture of the Ace.
The 3MP camera lens is in the top left corner. There’s no LED flash and no lens protection either.
The other thing to note at the back is the loudspeaker grill.
Underneath the battery cover is the SIM card compartment and the 1350mAh Li-ion battery. It’s quoted at 610 hours of standby (460 h in 3G) and up to 11 hours of talk time (6 h 40 min in 3G).
The Samsung S5660 Galaxy is a phone of solid build and subtle styling. In a way it’s a lighter version of the Galaxy Ace – would make sense to be less expensive too. After all you’re getting a smaller screen and a downgraded camera. The rest of the ingredients of a solid and reliable smartphone are there though.
In a market of ever-growing processing power and screen size, the Gio fits right in the middle – safe from hard-hitting flagships. It’s a phone that can easily connect with its audience – with a good feature set and sensible styling.