Samsung Galaxy Apollo GT-i5801 review: Samsung Galaxy Apollo GT-i5801

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The Good Responsive touchscreen with multi-touch support; fairly long battery life; good camera; impressive video playback.

The Bad Chunky design; screen is on the small side.

The Bottom Line The Android-based Samsung Galaxy Apollo GT-i5801's slick touchscreen, reasonably powerful processor and impressive multimedia features help it rise above the moderately priced smart-phone competition

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8.3 Overall

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The Samsung Galaxy S is one of the best smart phones you can currently buy. But its high price means many people simply won't be able to afford it. This is where the Galaxy Apollo GT-i5801 fits in. It offers many of the best features of the Galaxy S, including version 2.1 of the Android operating system, in a much cheaper handset.

You can pick the Apollo up for free on a £20-per-month, 2-year contract. It's also available on a pay as you go deal for around £150, or for about £225 SIM-free.

Chunky charm

The Apollo doesn't look as classy as some of Samsung's other recent smart phones, but it's not without its charms. It's rather chunky, at 13mm thick, and the rear of the phone is basically a single piece of dull, black plastic. But the front has a much sexier, mirrored finish that really looks the business, even though it's a magnet for fingerprints.

Beneath the screen, you'll find a triangular home button flanked by touch-sensitive buttons for the menu and back functions. The top of the handset is home to a micro-USB port hidden behind a plastic flap, a standard headphone jack, and a power button that doubles as a lock switch. On the right-hand side, there's a volume rocker, but the Apollo doesn't have a dedicated camera button.

Treat your fingers

Thankfully, Samsung hasn't used a resistive touchscreen on the Apollo. Instead, the phone has a capacitive touchscreen that supports multi-touch, so you can pinch your fingers together to zoom into Web pages, maps and pictures. The sensitive screen also makes it a breeze to enter text using the virtual keyboard. That said, the 81mm (3.2-inch) display is on the small side, and, although its resolution of 400x200 pixels isn't bad, text and graphics don't look as sharp as they do on high-end handsets.

The Apollo runs Android 2.1, which fills our shrivelled hearts with glee

The phone runs on a processor that ticks over at 667MHz. The handset generally feels nippy but, if you've got plenty of widgets open on the home screen, some sluggishness is occasionally noticeable. The Apollo definitely isn't as quick as higher-end handsets with 1GHz Snapdragon processors, such as the HTC Desire.

But the Apollo's relatively small display and comparatively slow processor do seem to help it perform better than most smart phones when it comes to battery life. We found we could easily get 2 days of use from it before it needed recharging. Higher-end phones often struggle to achieve this. The Apollo's call quality is also excellent.

Adulterated Android

The Apollo uses version 2.1 of the Android operating system, which is a fairly recent release. As such, it benefits from an improved user interface and an updated Web browser, as well as that all-important multi-touch support.

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