Samsung GALAXY Gio Review

Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone. It can beused with T-Mobile USA andAT&T, but without 3G.


Samsung announced a quartet of low- to mid-range Android smartphones in January, and the Samsung Galaxy Gio was in the mix there – an Android 2.2 phone with a 3.2” display, and 800MHz processor. With the four humble handsets, Samsung demonstrated that it is not only shooting for the stars with phones like the Galaxy S II, but also considering the mere mortal, price-conscious cell phone shoppers. Did it succeed to strike the fine features/price balance with the Samsung Galaxy Gio? Read on to find out...


The Samsung Galaxy Gio is thick just enough, with tapered back cover edges, and rounded corners, which make it fit well in the hand. Samsung leaves the glossy black plastic back in 2010, and on the Galaxy Gio we have dotted pattern, which looks nice.

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

The 3.2” LCD display sports the decent for its size 320x480 pixels resolution, and is of quite good quality. It is bright, with good viewing angles for a regular TFT-LCD screen, and rich color gamut. We've seen much, much worse displays on touchscreen phones at this price point.

The Samsung Galaxy Gio has a 3MP camera on the back, without a flash, next to a speaker grill. There is a nice long power/lock button on the right side, very easy to find and press, and the microSD slot is placed on the right side too, which adds to the overall comfort feel of the device, since you don't have to remove the battery cover each time you want to take out the memory card.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Gio has very simple and pleasant design, the display is good, while the buttons around the sides are easy to press. On top of that, the handset is very, very light, at 3.6 oz (102 gr).

Samsung Galaxy Gio 360-degrees View:

Interface, Functionality, Internet and Connectivity:

We are having plain TouchWiz 3.0 interface over Android 2.2 Froyo on the Samsung Galaxy Gio. The UI doesn't lag and scrolling is snappy, powered by the 800MHz Qualcomm chipset, and 158MB user-available RAM. No new widgets have been introduced with the Galaxy Gio, but your news, weather, and social network update needs are met sufficiently with several widgets.

Samsung has its own email client, file and task managers, as well as office document viewer in TouchWiz 3.0, so you have all the basics covered out of the box, before you even visit Android Market for the first time.

The Social Hub application, as usual in Samsung's Android handsets, is here to aggregate all the messaging and communication functions tidily in one place, so you can write something quickly, and choose whether to shoot it out in the open with email, text, Twitter or Facebook, and so on.

The Froyo browser is decent in terms of snappy scrolling and panning around, but double-tap is a bit slow to render, and the resolution isn't conducive of hours-long reading sessions. The biggest drawback, however, is the lack of Adobe Flash support. That's right, even though we have an 800MHz CPU, which should be enough to run Flash, it doesn't appear in Android Market, and even if you try to install Adobe Flash 10.2 as an .apk file, the unrooted phone doesn't let you to.

In terms of connectivity options, though, the Samsung Galaxy Gio delivers everything you could expect for its price range – 7.2Mbps HSDPA 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS, DLNA and FM Radio with RDS. The AllShare app that manages the DLNA functionality, allows you to link the phone to your computer or TV, and stream multimedia back and forth wirelessly. The GPS chip locked signal for the usual 3-4 minutes upon cold start, and for quick seconds afterwards.

All in all, nothing surprising in the interface on the Samsung Galaxy Gio. TouchWiz 3.0 is a decent, simple overlay on top of Android 2.2 Froyo, but the lack of Adobe Flash support in the browser is a disappointment.

Camera and Multimedia:

The 3MP autofocus camera on the back of the Samsung Galaxy Gio is managed by the TouchWiz 3.0 camera app, which offers a number of preset scenes and shooting modes like Smile shot, Continuous shot or Panorama to stitch photos together.

The humble sensor takes good pictures for the handset's unpretentious nature. The image is in focus without you having to hold your breath while pressing the virtual shutter button, colors are rich and saturated, and the handset captures as much detail, as a 3MP snapper can possibly produce. Indoor shots have a number of drawbacks, though, chief among which is the high amount of noise. The video situation is not rosy as well, since the handset records with QVGA resolution at 15fps, and we doubt that any court will accept your crime scene videos shot with this phone as evidence.

Samsung Galaxy Gio Sample Video:

Music playback
is also decent through the loudspeaker on the back – the sound is rich and clear, but not loud enough.

DivX/Xvid support doesn't come standard with the Samsung Galaxy Gio, which is somewhat surprising considering Samsung's usually hardwiring these codecs into its Android handsets, but a simple video player download from Android Market fixes that. The handset runs MPEG-4 videos even up to 800x480 pixels with ease, but the default video player has no bells and whistles, like a loop function, or any other settings, for that matter.

Performance and Conclusion:

There was a slight hiss in the earpiece during phone conversation. The output is loud enough so you don't have trouble hearing, but the voices are not easily discernible. The other party said they couldn't hear us very well, since our voice came hollow, and with a lot of static noise accompanying it. The 1350mAh battery is rated for 6 hours and 40 minutes of talk time with 3G mode turned on, which is a decent performance, but nothing extraordinary.

Overall, we were quite satisfied with the Samsung Galaxy Gio. It has a pleasant design with tapered edges and rounded corners that make it comfortable to hold and operate with one hand, plus it is very light – you can slip it in any pocket, and forget it's there.

The quality of the photos taken with the 3MP camera was a nice surprise, even on the dark, rainy day when we were shooting the samples – the colors are saturated, the sensor catches good amount of detail, and the camera focuses well even if you don't hold the phone extremely steady.

One relative disappointment is the lack of full Adobe Flash support in the browser of the Samsung Galaxy Gio. We don't know if Samsung left it out so as it doesn't bog down performance and battery life, or just that this 800MHz chipset doesn't have the instructions to support it, but it takes away from the true Android 2.2 Froyo experience.

Other than that the interface runs slick, the LCD screen is very good, and you have a plethora of connectivity options with the Samsung Galaxy Gio - what's not to like here, considering the price range.

If you are looking for alternatives that support Adobe Flash, you will have to chip in for something more powerful like the Samsung Galaxy S. If you want to stay on the same level, but prefer soft-touch plastic and chromed accents, the LG Optimus One was a huge hit, and shares the specs of the Samsung Galaxy Gio, albeit with a slower processor.

Software version of the reviewed unit:

Samsung Galaxy Gio Video Review:


  • Well-rounded inexpensive Android 2.2 Froyo handset
  • Very good picture quality for this price point


  • Below average in-call quality
  • Lack of Adobe Flash support in the browser

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

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