Samsung Galaxy Apollo i5800 review

Galaxy S style on an entry-level budget

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For some bizarre (and no-doubt extremely tense) political reason, the Samsung Galaxy Apollo ships with two entirely separate Android launchers, along with a custom app that lets you switch between the pair of Android skins at will.

Samsung galaxy apollo

There's the Orange Home screen design, which presents the phone's Android 2.1 OS skinned in a general Orange way complete with some rather clunky widgets, plus there's an alternate Samsung Home screen layout option, which gives users a totally different skin that incorporates many of the TouchWiz 3.0 features that helped win the Samsung Galaxy S its high-scoring review.

This move will surely utterly bewilder Android newcomers, who will find themselves greeted with the option to switch launchers – and the entire look and feel of the phone – each time they navigate from an app back to the phone's Home screen, should they fiddle with the launcher selection tool at any time.

Samsung galaxy apollo

We favour the Samsung OS skin option, which brings across the same icon tray system found in the Galaxy S, also putting four quick launch icons – phone, contacts, messaging and apps – along the bottom of every screen in a convenient and stylish floating dock.

It's much cleaner and brighter than the darker, orange-coloured Orange skin.

The Samsung version of the Apollo's desktop system also gives you seven separate Home screens to place your icons and widgets on, while the Orange one only sports five – two of which arrive pre-filled with massive and rather ugly picture and messaging widgets.

Samsung galaxy apollo

So we'll stick with the Samsung TouchWiz launcher. Its two most impressive features are its extra large widgets, which offer you a social network aggregator in the form of its Feeds & Update toy, which pulls in status updates from (and only from) Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, presenting them all in one unified mega-timeline just like Sony Ericsson's Timescape feature found in the Xperia X10 range.

Samsung galaxy apollo

There's also a large "Buddies Now" widget which offers you a visual, flickable interface for quick access to selected contacts.

Sadly these data-hungry apps are a bit of a hindrance to the phone's operation, with the Home screens often crunching up a little when you swipe your way from screen to screen past these complex widgets.

It's a shame, because using the Apollo is usually a pretty glitch- and slowdown-free experience. Bin the few fancy widgets and the phone operates just fine.

Samsung galaxy apollo

Many of the OS features and widgets are shared across both the Orange and Samsung skins, with the Orange widgets available for installation on the Samsung-themed Home pages and vice versa. You can create your own little mash-up combo of TouchWiz and Orange's Android 2.1 skin if you so wish.

But we can't help but worry about the poor average consumer, though, who's going to be utterly confused about the way his phone comes with two wildly different visual styles.

It seems like a very, very silly way of doing things, but it presumably kept the pen-pushers at Samsung and Orange happy.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory170 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, HSDPA, GPRS
SAR Value0.85 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution3 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time15.17 Hour
Product ModelI5800 Galaxy Apollo
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution240 x 400
Weight (Approximate)109 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Maximum Video Resolution720 x 480
Processor ManufacturerARM
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.1 Eclair
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height113.5 mm
Width55 mm
Depth12.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time620 Hour
Product NameI5800 Galaxy Apollo Smartphone
Processor Speed667 MHz
Processor TypeARM11
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I5800DKAXEU
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Go ahead - use your influence. To keep you connected in style, the Galaxy Apollo seamlessly integrates the social networking sites and calendars you use every day - planning, updating, and sharing your world all happen in one place - the palm of your hand.

Package Contents
  • I5800 Galaxy Apollo Smartphone
  • Battery
  • Travel Adapter (Charger)
  • Quick Start Guide
Limited Warranty2 Year