Samsung Exhilarate Review

For the better part of the last few months, AT&T’s lineup has been flooded with an array of top-shelf smartphones such as the Nokia Lumia 900, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III, and Sony Xperia ion. Pouring out high-end devices consistently is nice and all, but for some consumers, they prefer the comforts of something less comprehensive – and at the same time, easier on the pockets when it comes to price. Time after time, Samsung has been there to heed the call with a solution, and sure enough, it seems that they’re at it once again here with the $49.99 on-contract eco-friendly Samsung Exhilarate.

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Energy efficient wall charger
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety Guide


We’ve seen this device before people, seeing that it shares many of the same design characteristics found with T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy Blaze 4G. For a device that’s constructed out of 80% recycled plastic, we’re astounded that the Exhilarate doesn’t exude a cheap build with its construction. Not only is it compact and lightweight (4.6 oz), but its rubbery patterned rear casing enables us to properly grip it in our hand. Although it lacks an original design, it’s still balanced enough to come off as a decent looking device – even more when it’s the most solid eco-friendly device we’ve come across!

You can compare the Samsung Exhilarate with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

With its capacitive Android buttons, they’re scrunched up against one another, which results in some annoying accidental presses. Meanwhile, above the display, we find its front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, earpiece, and light & proximity sensors.

Feeling out its physical power button and volume control key, they’re raised enough for us to make out with our finger – while their responses are adequate. As for the rest clinging onto its sides, we’re presented with a 3.5mm headset jack, noise-cancellation microphone, microSD card slot, microUSB port, and standard mic.

Around the rear, the Exhilarate packs along a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash – while two notches nearby hiding away its internal speaker. Removing the rear cover, we gain access to its 1,750 mAh battery and SIM slot.


Just like the first Galaxy S device for AT&T, the Samsung Captivate, the Exhilarate shares the same 4” WVGA (480 x 800) Super AMOLED display. By today’s standards, there isn’t as much fanfare surrounding it, but nevertheless, it still proves to be a standout attraction on the Exhilarate. Coughing up some sharp details for its screen size and resolution, we’re able to distinguish even the finest of text with no problems at all. And considering that it’s a Super AMOLED panel, our eyes are enticed by its vibrant colors tones, wide viewing angles, and high contrast. However, it still requires some shielding when using it outdoors under the presence of the sun.

Samsung Exhilarate 360-Degrees View:



1. ImHungry

Posts: 17; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

Great review! I think i may pick this up, i really like the size an the specs of the phone! and LTE too.

2. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I don't get it....This phone is decent and all but AT&T should have made the contract free price like 299 instead of 399.

3. RamyRamz69

Posts: 390; Member since: Dec 12, 2011

"it’s rather difficult to put this into consideration knowing that for $50 more, you can pick up the Sony Xperia ion for $100" Xperia Ion is also 50$ at Sony and Best Buy stores which makes it a much, much better buy knowing it has better hardware specs and is getting both ICS and Jelly Bean. Please stop being biased, thank you.

5. vbetts

Posts: 14; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Review sites don't take 3rd party retailers like Best Buy or Radioshack into consideration, I work at Radioshack, we carry the Exhilarate, but we won't be carrying the Ion. That's why they aren't taken into consideration.

4. imkyle

Posts: 1115; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Johhhhhn V

6. dha_george

Posts: 54; Member since: Jan 27, 2010

The exhilarte has a dual core processor not a single core processor.

7. techguy21

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 26, 2012

It is dual-core: I'm tempted by this phone mainly because it's got good specs and is not gargantuan - I don't want a tablet in my pocket! I bet it will get ICS too, since it has 1GB of RAM.

8. sarahzz30007

Posts: 16; Member since: Jun 26, 2012

I really don't get why they made the contract price so high ?..

9. jim200

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 31, 2012

I bought Exhilarate 5 days ago after reading the specifications of the phone. The good: it looks nice. Now the bad: The battery charge lasts 36 hours vs specified 250 hours. Here is the info from the specs: Battery Talk: 7 hours max.   (420 minutes) Standby: 250 hours max.   (10.4 days) 1750 mAh LiIon, Removable I actually did not use this phone to make calls, play games, or anything other than checking the battery every few hours. The phone lasted on one battery charge 36 hours. Little math shows, it is 15% of the specified time. So I called Samsung. Let me say that before this experience I had Samsung in a high respect. I called Samsung and spoke with supervisor Josia. He told me that Samsung considers a phone delivering 15% of specified performance perfectly good. I asked him how do I get 250 hours. He did not know. Let me say again, the phone was not used for any calls and no aps were running. I used task manager to terminate all aps. This review is written by a computer professional.

10. Thullraven

Posts: 26; Member since: Nov 14, 2011

The Experia Ion is slow and sluggish compared to The Exhilarate. The Exhilarate even beat the GS3 in some benchmarks. I like this phone a lot, especially with my ICS update. It can do almost everything big brother GS3 can do, and it does them well. Whatever it doesn't do, I wouldn't use anyway. The battery hasn't been great, but not horrible either. I have a spare battery anyway if I for whatever reason can't charge.
  • Display 4.0" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Battery 1750 mAh(7.00h talk time)

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