Written on 8/24/2010 04:36:00 PM by poison_ivy
On Orange UK, it's called the Samsung Galaxy Apollo, on other networks, it will be the Samsung Galaxy 580. But whatever this midrange Android mobile phone will be called, one thing's for sure, Samsung Android mobile phoens will be filling the market from now till next year.
My review unit is the Samsung Galaxy Apollo that's sold on Orange, however, I got this one from Singapore so it's unlocked and over there, it's called the Samsung Galaxy 3 but since we have a different naming scheme in the UK, it will be called Samsung Galaxy 580. The actual Samsung Galaxy 580 that will be sold here in the UK, will have a bit different design than the Galaxy Apollo. The Samsung Galaxy Apollo has a silver mirrored front, 3.2 inch screen, touch sensitive menu and back buttons, and the middle home key. The back is made up of a smooth, black matte battery cover with Google's logo, and the 3 megapixel camera. On top, we have the microUSB slot, the power button, and the 3.5mm headset jack. On the left side is the volume rocker. Like the Samsung Galaxy Europa, there's no buttons on the right and bottom side of the phone. The silver front is sleek but is a fingerprint magnet.
The simcard slot can be found at the back of the battery compartment so you have to take that out but the microSD slot is located on the side though you still have to take out the battery cover to access that. Overall, the build quality is good, the Galaxy Apollo is not slim but it's pocketable and great for one hand use.
The Samsung Galaxy Apollo features Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 interface, similar to the one found on the Samsung Galaxy S. So if you want to experience the Galaxy S but you can't afford that much money, the Galaxy 580 can be had for half the price of the Galaxy S. With TouchWiz 3.0, Samsung didn't really do that much skinning on the homescreen compared with what they did with Windows Mobile or with what HTC did with the HTC Sense on Android but the skinning is more obvious on the menu screen with Samsung's icons. What's missing on the Galaxy 580 is the live wallpapers present on the Europa.
If you miss HTC Sense, Samsung also have their own widgets for the homescreen but like I've mentioned, their widgets is not as graphically appealing as on the HTC Sense.
The Samsung Galaxy Apollo has a 667MHz processor CPU and 256MB of RAM. Now while Samsung TouchWiz 3.0 runs okay, it's not as fast as what the 1GHz processor can do on the Samsung Galaxy S. The sweeping motions may not have some hiccups but you'll notice the slight lag.
On the messaging side, there's not much difference on the Samsung Galaxy Europa and 580, except that in the inbox portion, your contact's photo thumbnails is visible on the Galaxy Apollo and Samsung further added some skinning for the threaded messaging on the Galaxy 580 which is more similar to the iPhone. QWERTY keypad, multitap and SWYPE is available as input options and thanks to the 3.2 inch screen, it's much easier to type messages. The onscreen keypad is very much responsive and I didn't have any problems with typos.
As for the telephony side, calls come through loud and clear even using the speakers. Persons on the other end of the line have no problems with hearing us clearly too. Smart dialing is also present.
As for the multimedia side, here's where the Samsung Galaxy Apollo excels. First, the music player, although not Samsung skinned, it has added visualizations plus equaliser options. I still would have preferred some sort of CoverFlow art. What I like best about the Samsung Galaxy 580 is that it can play DivX files without a hitch, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Portal. There's no hiccups and a 356MB divX file played smoothly. Audio through the speakers and headset is excellent.
As for the Apps, there's the Android market. All of the apps I've downloaded played on the Samsung Galaxy Apollo. But what I like best on this mobile phone is that Samsung added ThinkFree Office which is a free document viewer AND EDITOR. Yep, a free document editor on a mid-range Android handset, now that's value for money.
Unlike the Samsung i5500, the Samsung Galaxy Apollo can do multitouch. The browser is excellent, fast, is capable of multitouch and has text reflow although the latter is poorly implemented. I have to change orientation from landscape to portrait in order to fit the text to the screen.
The camera on the Samsung Galaxy 580 has a 3 megapixel resolution and does not lack any options. It has smile shot, brightness, scene selections, etc. Image quality is fairly good for a 3 megapixel shooter. As for battery life, minimal use lasted around 2 days with full use, GPS, WiFi, 3G, playing of games, lasted around 1 1/2 day.
The Samsung Galaxy Apollo is as good of a midrange smartphone on the market. It has most of the features that one is looking for in a smatphone, an excellent music player, various connectivity options, applications, a good browser and a good camera. With the help of Samsung, Android is well on its way to become the mainstream OS on smartphones.