Review: Samsung Galaxy Light for T-Mobile
Samsung offers a smaller handset for the phablet averse with the Galaxy Light, an Android phone for everyman.
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Is It Your Type?
Samsung has updated the Galaxy Exhibit with LTE, NFC, and a better screen and changed the name to the Galaxy Light. This warmed-over smartphone is a pocketable device that offers reasonable performance for the price. If you're in the market for a less-expensive phone and happen to prefer Samsung's treatment of Android, the Galaxy Light has but a few shadows.
If there's one thing you can say about Samsung, it would be that its phone designs are consistent and recognizable. The Galaxy Light bleeds Samsung blood through and through, from the curved edges to the home button to the materials. It's also one of the more compact devices available at the moment, which should appeal to those who have small hands or who dislike phablets.
The Light is squat almost to a fault. It’s short and somewhat tubby looking thanks to its thick front-to-back dimensions. It borders on simple, but offers just a touch of class thanks to some thoughtful design choices made by Samsung. For example, the grill covering the earpiece is silver-colored, as is a thin rim that outlines the Home button. The Light doesn't have the chrome-esque band encircling the front face like the Galaxy S4 mini, but the material used to frame the display has its own texture and color that creates a similar effect.
It’s quite comfortable to hold and use the Light, thanks to the size and rounded shape. All of the surfaces are glossy and smooth, and the edges are gently curved. There's a bit of an edge where the glass on the front meets the sides, but it's nothing terrible or uncomfortable by any stretch. It feels solid and well made. The materials may be the same cheesy plastics that Samsung has been using forever, but the phone is assembled tightly. It has a nice weight to it. The Light will easily slip into most any pocket.
The Galaxy Light is proof that not all glass is created equally. The black panel that covers the display is more prone to collect fingerprint slime than most other devices I've reviewed this year. It's quite gross and requires constant cleaning. Ick. The physical Home button below the display is quite easy to find by sight or by thumb thanks to its shape. The travel and feedback is pretty good. There are capacitive buttons for Menu and Back on either side. As with most Samsung devices, the capacitive buttons don't stay illuminated long enough for my taste.
The volume toggle is on the left edge, very close to the top. The profile is excellent and the button is a cinch to find. I didn't care for the travel and feedback, though, which is one of the few things about the Light that feels a bit cheap. The screen lock button is on the right edge. It has a small profile and travel and feedback were a bit mushy. The stereo headphone jack is on the top and the microUSB port is on the bottom.
Like most Samsung devices, the battery cover forms the entire rear panel of the phone. It has a bit of a brushed metal look that should be familiar to anyone who's seen a newer Samsung phone in person. The cover peels off easily enough. The battery itself can be removed, which has become a special "feature" to look for nowadays. The SIM card and memory card slots are stacked vertically. You have to yank the battery to access the SIM card, but the battery can remain in place if you only need to grab the memory card.
The Galaxy Light may be a little bit light in the personality department, but it manages to look good all the same. Toss in the comfortable form factor, and you have a winning combination for those preferring a smaller phone.