Review: Samsung Galaxy Exhibit for T-Mobile
The Exhibit comes with all the requisite Google Play apps for purchasing and consuming music, movies, books, and magazines. The stock music and video players are also on board, and do a fine job of playing back any content you might have sideloaded onto the Exhibit yourself. The stock YouTube app is of course installed.
The Exhibit comes with Samsung's Media Hub. The Media Hub is an alternative place through which to purchase and/or rent movies, television shows, and music. It works fine, but requires a Samsung user account. It's also not the more recent version of the Media Hub that's on Samsung's high-end phones. It is the older version of the Hub. That's actually good news in terms of usability, which I think is worse on the newer version.
The Exhibit has a T-Mobile-branded Music Hub app, too, and Slacker is pre-installed if that's the way you like to get your music streaming on.
Last, the Exhibit comes with T-Mobile's Live TV service. This $10-per-month feature lets you stream live and pre-recorded television content over the network. The selection includes programming from stations such as EPSN, Disney, and Nickelodeon. The performance of the app was mixed over T-Mobile's HSPA+ network.
The Exhibit includes a 5-megapixel shooter. The phone does not have a dedicated camera button, but the camera can be launched via the lock screen shortcut.
The layout of the camera controls is typical for a Samsung smartphone. There is a control strip down each side of the screen. The settings strip - which is fully customizable - offers access to features such as the flash, exposure controls, scenes, shooting modes, and so on.
Once you've spent a moment familiarizing yourself with the controls, the camera is a breeze to use. You can choose to use touch-to-focus if there is something in particular you want to be in focus. The one caveat is that the camera app is slow to load, and somewhat slow to focus and take shots.
The images I captured with the Exhibit were decent for a 5-megapixel camera. On a sunny afternoon, I was able to get some great shots of some neighborhood kids playing in the pool. For the most part, images were sharp, colorful, and well exposed. The Exhibit certainly captures its share of photos worth sharing via your favorite social networks, though there were definitely some misfires along the way. For example, some pictures were completely out of focus, and others had inaccurate white balance.
Video also looks great. The Exhibit records at a maximum resolution of 720p HD, and the results were often clean and pleasing. Focus, exposure, and white balance were almost always accurate, and the video was free of distortions or odd movement that I've seen in other phones.
The Exhibit's gallery application is the stock Jelly Bean gallery app. The basic view includes a mish-mash of photos from all your accounts in one huge grid. Using the tools at the top of the page, you can shift the view to specific folders or collections of photos (camera roll, Google+, Flickr, etc).
The Exhibit has the same photo-editing features that most Android 4.1 smartphones do. Images can be cropped and rotated easily, as well as straightened, corrected for color/exposure problems, and red-eye. The gallery app lets users share images quickly and easily via dozens of avenues.
The Exhibit comes with a typical mix of Google, Samsung, and T-Mobile apps. You can't delete most of the pre-installed apps, but you can at least hide those you don't use. Either way, there's plenty of on-board storage for your own apps. The Samsung App Hub is available if you want to see which apps Samsung recommends for the Galaxy Exhibit.
The Exhibit's Bluetooth radio worked flawlessly. It paired and connected with every device I have sitting on my desk. Phone calls sounded good when routed through a headset, as did music when played back through stereo headphones.
The Exhibit ships with the standard Android browser and Google's Chrome browser. Both browsers are highly capable of rendering attractive web sites. Chrome offers a few more features than the stock browser, but as far as how web pages look, they are on even footing. The Exhibit worked well enough on T-Mobile's cellular network. On HSPA+, loading web sites was sometimes quick and sometimes slow.
There's a white digital clock on the lock screen. It is big enough to be seen at an arm's length, but the style of the lock screen clock cannot be adjusted. There are a multitude of clock widgets available for the home screen panels, though.
The Exhibit has Google Maps and TeleNav's Scout for navigation. The GPS radio worked really well. It pinpointed me quickly, though accuracy varied between 25 and about 50 feet. I didn't have any trouble routing directions between points, though, with either application. Google Maps is a bit more feature rich for navigation, and Scout does a really good job of showing you what's nearby (such as gas stations or restaurants). Scout is free to use.