Samsung has been very good to us lately – yesterday, I came home to find the (pink) Intercept on my doorstep, and today they delivered a Captivate to Chris (yea, I got the short end of that stick.) This may not be the crown jewel in Samsung’s collection, but it serves as a phone for the masses.
It’s funny (but not surprising) to see Android moving down the phone spectrum – or rather, maybe Android is just keeping its spot and the hardware has caught up to it. Either way, this is interesting in that it’s the first Android phone that I see as being targeted at the featurephone crowd. The specs match that target:
- 3.2” 240 x 400 px LCD display
- 4 row slide-out QWERTY keypad
- Android 2.1
- Samsung S3C6410 ARM 11 CPU @ 800 MHz
- 512 MB ROM, 256 MB RAM
- 3.2 MP Camera (with video)
- 802.11g, Bluetooth (2.1), headphone jack
- 2 GB microSD card in the box, support for up to 32 GB
- EV-DO rev. 0 (slower than EV-DO rev. A)
I owned an enV Touch (enV-T) before my EVO, and I’d have to say this is a very similar device. The enV-T certainly had a better screen (twice as many pixels at 480x800), but at the same time, it was resistive, so you really had to press on it to get it to register. The capacitive touchscreen on the Sammy is a joy to use in comparison. The keyboard on the Intercept is squishy, while the enV’s was clicky; typing on each device is a very different experience, but I’m going to wait until the full review to elaborate.
The build quality is typical Samsung – solid as a whole, with some minor niggles (the backplate is somewhat flimsy and a pain to get off – I actually thought it might be broken, but when it finally did snap off it flew 3 feet away). The slider feels on the lower end of average – not awful, but definitely not top-of-the-line. The phone is light (especially compared to the EVO), and fits nicely in the hand. As a whole, the quality feels good, despite the low weight.
Initially, compared to my EVO, using this phone was a big step down; for my girlfriend, compared to her enV 3, it was a big step up. After I played with it for a few hours, though, I adjusted to losing some screen real estate (and pixel density) in exchange for gaining a keyboard. Now that I’ve adjusted, I’m content with this phone, and I imagine most people in the target demographic will be as well.
I’ll go into more detail in the full review, but the software isn’t nearly as powerful as what you’ll find in higher-end phones (although it’s still much better than the proprietary stuff you’ll find on most featurephones, such as the enV-T).
All things considered, thus far I’m certainly content with the Intercept. Check back next week for the full review – I’ll be running benchmarks, comparisons between this, the EVO, and the enV Touch, and (figuratively) tearing the phone apart. (I may also spraypaint it black - I don’t know how they expect me to use a metallic pink phone all week).