Samsung Galaxy 3 and Galaxy Apollo review: Galactic twins

GSMArena team, 12 August 2010.
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Camera is good for a 3MP snapper

The Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 (and the I5801 Galaxy Apollo of course) don’t bet big on the camera. It’s a 3MP snapper that captures photos with a maximum resolution of 2048x1536 pixels. It offers auto focus, face, smile detection and geo-tagging but those are all the perks you’re getting.

The user interface is standard Samsung for the most part – and that’s not a bad thing. It’s easily thumbable and offers readily accessible scene and shooting modes.

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Galaxy 3 camera interface

The Galaxy 3 lacks a dedicated shutter key so you’ll have to use the virtual key. It can be half pressed to auto-focus. To activate face detection, you should switch to Smile shot mode - tapping the virtual shutter key will snap a photo even if your subject doesn’t want to smile.

The image quality is as good as you can expect from a 3MP camera. The contrast is good as is the color rendering. The amount of captured detail is satisfactory and the noise levels are kept low. 3 megapixels may not sound much to boot but the duo packs one of the most impressive 3 megapixel snappers we've seen.

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Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 camera samples

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Samsung I5801 Galaxy Apollo camera samples

Synthetic resolution

We also snapped our resolution chart with the Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3. You can check out what that test is all about here.

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Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 resolution chart photo • 100% crops

Video recording

The Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 can record videos in QVGA resolution at 15fps. This falls into the barely usable category – OK for MMS, but not much else.

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Camcorder interface

Here are the video samples.

Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3, QVGA@15fps

Samsung I5801 Galaxy Apollo, QVGA@15fps

High-end connectivity

The I5800 Galaxy 3 covers its connectivity bases quite comfortably – worldwide roaming ready quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSDPA with download rates of up to 3.6Mbps

Moving on to local connectivity – the Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 offers Wi-Fi (b/g/n), the new Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP support and USB v2.0. The USB interface is standard microUSB, which makes finding a suitable cable a lot easier.

Android 2.1 supports file transfers via Bluetooth, so there’s little else left to ask for.

The 3.5 mm standard audio port completes the connectivity tally. You can keep your favorite headphones and use them with the Galaxy 3 hassle-free.

The Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 doesn’t pack much internal memory, but it comes with a 1GB microSD card and supports cards up to 32GB. On 2.1 Eclair you can’t install apps on the memory card so you’re still limited to what you can fit on the internal memory (about 160MB are available).

Very good web browser needs more resolution

The Android browser is one of the best available on a mobile device. It’s fast, problem-free and easy to use.

The user interface is completely minimalistic (it’s the Google way). All you get on the screen is an address bar and +/- zoom buttons. The address bar is placed on top of the page, so scrolling down moves it out of view and the zoom controls auto-hide – that’s essential for web apps because they need to have the whole screen estate to work with.

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Browsing GSMArena.com on the Galaxy 3

The minimalist UI is quite powerful – hit the menu key and six keys pop up. You can open a new tab, switch tabs, refresh the page, go forward, and open bookmarks. The final button reveals even more options (text copying, find on page, etc.).

The Galaxy 3 browser supports three zoom methods – dedicated buttons, double tap and multitouch pinch-zooming. The browser also supports text reflow – a moment after adjusting the zoom level, columns of text adjust to fit the screen width.

The bookmark list shows a thumbnail of the bookmarked page and you also get a “most visited” list in addition to the history.

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Page options and settings

The screen is big enough to fit complex pages well, though the text isn’t as sharp at low zoom levels as it is on phones with higher resolution. Regardless, it’s still readable and panning and zooming are fast so the Galaxy 3/Galaxy Apollo duo scores a good mark in web browsing.

The last fortress of the Web that the Android Browser has yet to storm is Flash. Eclair can’t do it, but with a Froyo update, the Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 will be able to handle that too.

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A YouTube app partly makes up for the missing Flash support

The Samsung I5800 Galaxy 3 relies on the YouTube app to partially compensate for the lack of Flash support. Of course, there are plenty of other video sharing sites and sites that use Flash for completely different purposes, but alas those are out of the Galaxy 3’s reach for now.

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