Samsung GALAXY Gio Review

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.

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