Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G review: Thumbs wanted

GSMArena team, 7 October 2012.
Pages: 12345678

The retail package won't blow you away

The retail box of the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G is hardly what dreams are made of. Inside it, you will find a microUSB cable and a charger - nothing else.

Samsung Galaxy S Relay
The retail package

Headphones have slowly, but surely made it out of the retail boxes of US market smartphones. You will have to get a pair of those on your own dime.

Design and build quality

Let's face it: the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G will surely not win any beauty contests. The smartphone is hardly any different than a number of 2011 Samsung offerings, save for the presence of a hardware home button below the display.

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The smartphone is hardly a thing of beauty

Build quality is good. The Galaxy S Relay 4G is mostly made of high quality plastic with some metal bits present as well.

The hardware keyboard of the smartphone is not an unfamiliar sight. It is similar to the unit found in the Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G from a couple of years back. The five-row QWERTY keyboard offers well-spaced buttons, which feel sturdy built, and ready to take plenty of abuse.

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The hardware keyboard is one of the phone's highlights

The device's measures are 126 x 66 x 13.5 mm, while its weight tips the scale at 147 grams. For a QWERTY device, the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G certainly belongs on the elegant side of the scale, thanks to its plastic costruction and modestly sized 4" display.

The 4" Super AMOLED display with WVGA resolution is a familiar sight - it has been featured in numerous Samsung smartphones this far, and will likely find home in future ones as well.

However, its PenTile matrix and relatively low pixel density are beginning to show their age. We don't believe they are a good fit for a device in this price range.

Samsung Galaxy S Relay
The PenTile Super AMOLED display is showing its age

Above the screen you will find the earpiece, the ambient light and proximity sensors, the front-facing camera, as well as the notification light. Below the screen you will find the homescreen button at the center, flanked by two capacitive ones on its side.

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The view above and below the screen

The volume rocker is on the left side of the device. It is also where the QWERTY keyboard opens from. The power/lock key is on the right.

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The volume rocker on the left • the power/lock key on the right

There is a 3.5mm audio jack on top, as well as a latch for removing the battery cover. The mouthpiece and microUSB port are located on the bottom.

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The view on top and bottom

On the top part of the back of the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G, you will find the 5MP camera and LED flash. The loudspeaker grille is located at a light hump on the bottom.

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The view on the back

There are no surprises under the device's back cover. The regular sized SIM card is under the battery. The microSD card is hot swappable.

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The view under the back cover

The 1800mAh battery of the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G did a fantastic job in our traditional endurance test. It got the device an endurance rating of 49 hours. This means that you will need to recharge your smartphone every two days if you use it for an hour each for telephony, web browsing, and video playback every day.

Handling the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G is an easy task. The back cover has a grippy texture, which makes accidental drops unlikely. One handed operation is possible with the hardware QWERTY staying in.

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Handling the smartphone is easy

While the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G is hardly the best looking smartphone out there, it makes up for it with a solid build and impressive battery life.

Following next is a look at the software tricks up the smartphone's sleeve.

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