Samsung Exhibit II 4G Review

Introduction and Design

Wasting no time in bringing the Samsung Exhibit II 4G to market (its predecessor first busted onto the scene this past summer), it's being introduced this time around as both a prepaid and postpaid option. With the former, it's being blessed with an impressive $200 pricing, which goes hand-to-hand with T-Mobile's recently introduced $30 per month unlimited plan. Seemingly considered to be a mid-range offering, dictated by its hardware specs, it'll be interesting to see how this affordable Android smartphone is able to distinguish itself from its rivals.

The package contains:

  • Samsung Exhibit II 4G
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • User Manual
  • Terms & Conditions


In the design front, the only thing new about this conventional looking handset is that it omits the optical trackpad from before, and utilizes a plasticy patterned design back cover . Not surprisingly, it feels little bit on the cheap side, but then again, it's a little bit better than your typical prepaid phone. Nonetheless, it's compact and light enough to go unnoticed in the pockets.

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

The Samsung Exhibit II 4G features a larger 3.7" WVGA (480 x 800) display, which produces some sharp and crisp looking details. Furthermore, we dig the deep and distinctive color tones that it's able to muster – pretty good for the price. Howver, its brightest output is on the weak side. Add to that its poor viewing angles, it's rather difficult to see things on-screen properly when using the handset outdoors.

We're still finding ourselves accidentally pressing its set of Android capacitive buttons, since they're positioned very close to the edge. Meanwhile, above the display, we find its earpiece and front facing camera for video chats and self-portraits.

Looking around the phone, we find things like a volume rocker, dedicated power button, microUSB port, and 3.5mm headset jack.

Flipping around to the rear, it's packed with an unchanged 3.2-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, with a couple of notches found towards the bottom edge for its speakerphone. Pulling off the rear cover, we're given access to its 1,500 mAh battery, SIM card slot, and unoccupied microSD slot.

Samsung Exhibit II 4G 360-degrees View:

Interface and Functionality:

Rather than using the same Hummingbird processor used by its predecessor, the Samsung Exhibit II 4G utilizes a single-core 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor instead, which is coupled with 512 MB of RAM. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to handle as well because we experienced many instances of slowdown and lag while navigating across its home screen with a live wallpaper activated. Obviously, things are a bit better a when a static one is used instead, but its inconsistent performance whittles away its overall allure.

Featuring the latest TouchWiz user interface running on top of Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, there is plenty of personalization found with it. From its resizable widgets to various live wallpapers, it's more than adept in surrounding us with an exceptionally deep experience. Also, we're given control in how the app panel is organized – such as adding new pages and folders. Even though it might not be as refined as HTC's Sense UI, it's nevertheless sufficient in surrounding us with a resounding experience.

Mainly because of its screen size, the layout of its portrait style on-screen keyboard is more on the cramped side – especially if you happen to have larger sized fingers. Still, its responsive action enables us to quickly compose messages with very little pause. And of course, we're presented with both the Samsung keyboard and the Swype one to manage all of our messaging needs.

When it comes to the Gmail experience, there's nothing astoundingly new with the handset – since it's essentially the same as all other handsets before it. Regardless of that, set up is a simple procedure as it requires our email address and password to complete the process correctly.

Both Samsung and T-Mobile are well established in the apps front, as we're presented with apps like 411 & More, Kies air, Media Hub, T-Mobile Mall, T-Mobile Name ID, and T-Mobile TV HD. In addition, there are numerous third-party applications preloaded, which include AllShare, Bejeweled 2, Blio, Lookout Anti-Virus, Slacker, TeleNav GPS Navigator, Tetris, Qik Video Chat, Yelp, and Zinio Reader.

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With its 3.2-megapixel camera, its overall quality is rather lackluster. Colors are rather washed out, and details is not very good, but they are still usable. Indoors under low lighting, the image is also not great. Fortunately, its LED flash is able to cast enough light up to 5 feet away to correctly balance out its color production.

Taking into account the hardware it's packing, we're dumbfounded to find that it only offers VGA video capture. It's shocking, obviously, but we suppose that it's fitting for a handset of this caliber. Needless to say, videos are absolutely pixilated if you watch them on a big screen, so they are suitable only for basic clips for YouTube and so on. We like its capture rate of 30 frames per second and clear audio recording.

Samsung Exhibit II 4G Sample Video:


There isn't anything particularly exciting about its music player interface, since it's bare-bones as they come. Even though its audio output isn't the strongest, the neutral tones that it produces doesn't crackle at the loudest volume setting. And to better fine-tune things, there are numerous equalizer settings to better adapt its quality to specific genres of music.

Sure it might pale in comparison to other handsets with significantly larger displays, but nevertheless, it's equipped in playing high definition videos. In fact, we are able to load our test video that's encoded in MPEG-4 1280 x 720 resolution – with no fluff found with its playback. Plus, its quality is visually appealing enough to keep our eyes fixed on to it the entire time.

Multimedia buffs will find the 2GB of internal storage insufficient for their needs, but at least you can throw in microSD cards up to 32GB into the available slot to increase its capacity.

Internet and Connectivity:

Not only do we like its fast HSPA 14.4Mbps speeds, but we’re mesmerized by its wickedly responsive navigational controls. In fact, it's still able to exhibit a buttery smooth movement with its operation when Flash content is present. For a mid-range offering, it gives some of the high-end devices a good run for their money in the web browsing department.

Voice calls can be placed anywhere around the world with this handset of course, but it's limited domestically to for HSPA connectivity. Besides that, it packs all the traditional connectivity features such as aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality.


Even though its earpiece isn't the strongest out there, we're gladly accepting of its calling quality because we’re greeted with clear and noise free voices on both ends of the line. Naturally, we're able to hold down conversations relatively fine – even when switching over to using the speakerphone.

Displaying a solid connection to the network during our testing in the greater Philadelphia area, the Samsung Exhibit II 4G didn't drop any phone calls.

Using the handset profusely for things like texting, email, web surfing, and the occasional phone call, it's able to get close to one solid day on heavy usage, which is more than adequate for our needs. Simply, its lengthy battery life will easily entertain light users.


After giving it a good rundown, it's blatantly obvious that the Samsung Exhibit II 4G isn't the shiniest thing out there, but if you're able to overlook some of its inconsistencies, you'll find a reasonably priced smartphone that's equipped in handling most basic needs. Even better, it's not going to drain your pockets thanks to its $29.99 on-contract price – plus, you can pick it up for $199.99 as a prepaid option too. And if you choose to go with the latter option, it'll go perfectly with T-Mobile's new $30 per month prepaid unlimited plan, which offers 100 voice minutes, unlimited texting, and unlimited data. In the end, it's not a huge step up from its predecessor, but at least you're paying significantly less this time around to experience something newer.

Android Version: 2.3.5
Kernel Version:

Samsung Exhibit II 4G Video Review:


  • Affordable no-contract cost
  • Buttery smooth web browsing performance
  • Clear calling quality


  • Some slowdown with its platform experience
  • Cheap feeling
  • No 720p video recording

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

6 Reviews

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