Samsung Exhibit 4G Review

Introduction and Design

For the longest time now, smartphones packing along WVGA displays and 1GHz processors are normally designated as high-end devices, but as technology continues to advance, these once perceived top shelf handsets are now being positioned in the mid-range category. Interestingly enough, that’s exactly where the Samsung Exhibit 4G finds itself at, with its affordable $79.99 on-contract price to make it a clear contender in its product space. Featuring some contemporary hardware under the hood, it combines some of the lovable characteristics that can make any device instantly admired, but more importantly, it needs to excel highly in all aspects to prove itself as a strong contender against its higher-end counterparts.

The package contains:

  • Samsung Exhibit 4G
  • microUSB Cable
  • Wall Charger
  • 4GB microSD card
  • Stereo headphones
  • Start Guide


Not as refined in form compared to the design of the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, the Samsung Exhibit 4G is appreciable with its soft touch feel and acceptable solid construction. Thankfully, its plastic exterior is durable enough to withstand some punishment, and at the same time, it contributes in giving it a good balance in weight. Indeed, it’s not the prettiest thing we’ve seen and could be mistaken as a feature phone, but it’s nonetheless fitting for a mid-range handset.

You can compare the Samsung Exhibit 4G with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Sizing up with a reasonably sized 3.5” LCD display, we’re actually attracted to the fact that it employs WVGA (480 x 800) resolution to produce sharp looking details – though, colors are rather light in tone. Looking at it straight on, colors retain their appearance, but tilting the handset even slightly washes it out. It’s surely nowhere close to the level of AMOLED displays, but it’s more than sufficient for this case scenario.

Bucking the trend, the Exhibit 4G employs three capacitive touch Android buttons, with a tactile physical one used to get back to the homescreen. Moreover, its tucks in a VGA 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera for all your video chatting and self-portrait needs.

Around its sides, we find a dedicated power button, 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB port, volume rocker, microphone, and slot loading microSD cards. Luckily, all of its buttons are clearly decent in size and responsive when pressed.

In the rear, it’s sporting a 3.2-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash – with three notches towards the bottom end for its speaker. Finally, removing the plastic back cover provides access to its 1,500 mAh battery and spring activated SIM card slot.

Interface and Functionality:

You know the saying about never judging a book by its cover? Well, it’s something that applies to the Exhibit 4G seeing that it’s packing a speedy 1GHz single-core processor that provides the big guns to make the platform experience gratifying. Running the TouchWiz UI on top of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, we’re able to navigate around the platform without much fluff when a static wallpaper is used. Conversely, enabling a graphically intensive live wallpaper can strain its movement and operation – but still, it’s more than appreciable. Even though you’re treated with the usual assortment of personalization you’d expect with any Android smartphone, there are still a few useful widgets offered by Samsung – such as the Buddies Now, Feeds & Updates, Program Monitor, and Finance Clock.

Mainly because of its screen size, using its portrait style keyboards can be challenging for those with larger digits. Luckily though, both the Samsung and Swype keyboards exhibit a good amount of responsiveness to keep up with speedy nature of some people. Of course, the landscape options present the best experience with their roomier confines – thus enabling a comfortable and error-free typing experience.

Being more of the same, the Gmail experience is obviously satisfying on the Samsung Exhibit 4G primarily because it tastefully emulates the desktop experience – while essentially offering the same features. In terms of setting up alternative email accounts, it’s pretty straightforward by providing your email address and password. And in some instances, it may require additional pieces of information to properly set up.

Showing its ties to T-Mobile, the handset comes preloaded with an abundance of T-Mobile branded applications – such as T-Mobile AppPack, T-Mobile Highlight, T-Mobile Mall, T-Mobile Name ID, T-Mobile TV, and Visual Voicemail. Additionally, there are also a handful of third party ones that some might find useful – like AllShare, Bejeweled 2, Doodle Jump, DriveSmart, Scrabble, Slacker, TeleNav GPS, ThinkFree Office, and Qik Video Chat.

Camera and Multimedia:

Siding with a 3.2-megapixel auto-focus camera, its image quality isn’t terrible, but rather, tolerable enough to swallow for most people. Outdoors, it produces some soft looking tones with its details, with color production appearing washed out. Taking it indoors, its overall quality naturally drops, but its LED flash is remarkably potent with its output. In fact, it’s able to properly light up subjects that are 7 feet away.  

Sadly, the Samsung Exhibit 4G’s maximum 720 x 480 video recording quality is rather disappointing as a whole with its lackluster visuals. Although its audio recording is distortion free and that it shoots consistently at 29 frames per second, details are non-existent and tends to make the entire thing appear muddy. Come to think of it, some might confuse its quality to be some sort of QVGA video instead.

Samsung Exhibit 4G Sample Video:

Finding the TouchWiz music player on board, it’s undeniably both functional and visually appealing with its presentation. Instead of hitting the usual on-screen controls to reverse or forward a particular song, we find disc mode not only to be equally functional, but its glitzy carousel effect tastefully complements its appearance. Putting out a good amount of volume with its speaker, it can sound sharp and irritating to the ear when it’s positioned at the loudest setting. Fortunately, it packs a variety of equalizer settings to perfectly tune it with specific genres of music.

More than satisfactory to the eye, high-definition video playback isn’t a problem with the Samsung Exhibit 4G. Loading a video encoded in MPEG-4 1280 x 720 resolution, its playback is smooth with no evidence of any slowdown or lag.  Although it’s able to play 720p videos, we’re unable to load any that are in 1080p.

For some, its included 4GB microSD card might be sufficient in size, but if not, you can always switch it with others up to 32GB in capacity.

Internet and Connectivity:

We love that the Exhibit 4G is an HSPA+ enabled device for speedy web page downloads, but after attempting to navigate through our web site, we’re utterly sad to see it struggle in the face of Flash content. At times, the handset seems to stall and even locks up when trying to kinetic scroll. However, when setting the browser to load plug-ins “on demand,” it’s a little bit more tolerable with its performance.

Global trotters will adore using the handset for voice phone calls in most parts of the world, but we’re receptive to the fact that this HSPA+ enabled handset is able to get average download and upload speeds of 4Mbps and 1.3Mbps respectively. Additionally, it offers connectivity features like Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, and aGPS. Lastly, it packs along the Wi-Fi Calling app that allows you to place and receive voice calls when connected to a Wi-Fi network.


Happily, its calling quality is more that acceptable with clear and distinctive voices heard on both ends of the line – with no distortion or static being heard in the background. Producing some moderate tones with its earpiece, it’s able to make voices audible, but still requires a little more power to make it prominent. Additionally, its speakerphone is weak in tone, but at least voices are comprehendible.

Displaying an adequate amount of bars with signal strength in high coverage areas, we didn’t experience any dropped calls or major fluctuations during our testing in the greater Philadelphia region.

If you’re big into yapping away on your phone, you’ll be ecstatic to know that we’re able to get 10 hours of continuous talk time on a single charge, which is more than sufficient for some people. However, as for normal every day operation, it’s able to get by through a solid day of normal usage consisting of mostly emailing, web surfing, texting, and some light phone calls.


Looking at the big picture, one of the more alluring things about the Samsung Exhibit 4G is that it packs a ton of value for the money you’re paying. Packing features like a high-resolution display, 1GHz single-core processor, HSPA+ connectivity, Gingerbread, and a front-facing camera for video chat, it’s indeed very boastful on paper with its offerings – even though it might not excel in all areas. For most people, getting the most bang for the buck is seemingly preferred over getting consistent performance across all categories, but nonetheless, the Samsung Exhibit 4G easily fits that description. Therefore, if you don’t want to shell out $200 to experience a high-end smartphone, but still want something with good specs, then the Exhibit 4G will easily be the ideal solution to fit your needs.

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 2.3.3
Kernel Version:

Samsung Exhibit 4G Video Review:


  • Good value for the money
  • HSPA+ enabled
  • Clear calling quality


  • Sluggish performance with web browsing
  • Shoots some lackluster photos & videos
  • Conventional design

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

3 Reviews

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