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Review: Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate for AT&T

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The stock Android messaging tools are on board and cover the basics. The SMS application remains simple yet powerful. Messages are threaded in a conversational style, and media (photos, video, audio) fall in-line with the text. The usual two Android email applications are also present. There's the generic email app for POP3/IMAP4 and Exchange, as well as the native Gmail application.

On the instant messaging side of the equation, the stock Google Talk application is on board for Google IM users. Samsung's Social Hub is on board, which lets owners manage nearly everything — email, SMS, Facebook, IM, Twitter, even calendar — from a single portal. Social Hub supports Windows Live and Yahoo IM messaging services, but not AIM. The Hub can be your one-stop-shop for managing myriad communications. It is a convenient tool if you prefer to skim through messages rather than really dive into them. For example, it is easy to jump from Facebook to Twitter to email to SMS and back without having to actually switch applications.

Speaking of which, Facebook is pre-installed, but Twitter isn't; you'll have to download that yourself.

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Other social apps/services on board include Google Latitude, Google+, and Google+ Messenger. Qik's video chat application is also on board, which lets you conduct real-time, two-way video chats with other users of the Qik application. However, at this point, Google+ offers a much better video chatting experience that is free, and supports large group "Hangouts."

A few words about typing on the Exhilarate. The device ships with three different keyboards (Android, Samsung, Swype). I found using either the Samsung or Android keyboards to be quite difficult because they've been shrunk. These two keyboard options are scrunched down along the bottom of the display, and offer drastically smaller buttons than on other keyboards. Bottom line: Swype is your best option.


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