Want the speed of LTE 4G, but don't want to shell out a few hundred bucks? Then the Samsung Exhilarate may be for you. Price at $50 (at the time of release) with a two-year contract, of course, AT&T's budget LTE device is the answer for consumers who have a need for speed, but not a lot of cash to blow.
But just because it's considered "affordable" doesn't mean it skimps on the features. In fact, the Exhilarate, closely related to the Skyrocket, offers all the high-end features you might expect -- such as Android 2.3, albeit not 4.0 ICS software, and a 5.0-megapixel camera.
That's AT&T's strategy to take on Verizon -- push its LTE service on the cheap. AT&T's LTE service, while not as comprehensive as Verizon's network, manages to hold its own. A significant upgrade over HSPA-plus, you'll be able to see a noticeable difference in speed. In addition, Samsung, known for its outstanding AMOLED touch screens, included a 4.0-inch gem on the Exhilarate, so you can be sure to enjoy vivid and clear imaging for streaming videos and Web browsing, indoors and out.
Aside from a few minor improvements, or downgrades, not much is different from the Skyrocket -- both have 4G LTE speeds, a slightly improved 1.2-gigahertz dual-core chip, and a lower-resolution 5-megapixel camera with 1.3-megapixel lens for video.
One new addition includes Vlingo's Voice Talk. Consider it a watered-down version of S Voice on the S3, if you will. Rather than intelligent voice commands, Voice Talk will process simple requests like making calls, sending emails or playing music. There's also a "Driving Mode," which will read back e-mails and text messages so you can keep your eyes on the road.
Lastly, Samsung touts the Exhilarate as an eco-friendly phone -- it's made of 80 percent recycled materials, and includes a nifty charger that alerts you when the phone is powered up.
But the biggest draw is the price. You can't really beat the bang for the buck. So if you don't want to spend a fortune on a smartphone, but you want a few bells and whistles, then the Exhilarate is the one for you. ♦
I took a lot of time testing phones, including Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 4. But I didn't buy either. The S3 was too large for me, and the iPhone was too limited in fine-tuning. I wanted a phone that had the features of the S3 and the sleek look of the iPhone -- enter the Exhilarate.
This phone has it all -- a stunning 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a fast 1.2-gigahertz dual-core processor without stalling or freezing, Android 2.3, speedy 4G speeds and 1-gigabyte of RAM. There's even Wi-Fi with hotspot capability, and a 5-megapixel lens with optical zoom. Not to mention high-definition video recording, with a second lens for video chat. But the best thing is you don't need iTunes to import songs.
The call quality and signal strength are rock solid. No dropped calls here. And the 4G is the fastest I've used. I get around 25-megabits per second for downloads and over 5-megabits for uploads. That's better than most laptops. If there's a better phone, I haven't found it. Love it!
The battery life is rather disappointing. But that's a problem in nearly all smartphones. The power just isn't what they used to be on feature phones, but I guess they didn't do that much back then. I can usually get around two to three days off a charge with light usage, and around two days with heavy use where I'm making long calls, sending a lot of texts and browsing the Internet.Was this review helpful to you?
I just picked up this phone from AT&T. My initial impressions are good. The 5-megapixel camera / video quality are great! The speaker is loud and clear, and the Wi-Fi and LTE are quick. I'm loving the Android software. And for just $50, you really can't go wrong!
I don't see anything too bad with it so far. I used to have a Palm and the OS blows compared to Gingerbread. This smartphone is definitely better.Was this review helpful to you?
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