Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Samsung SCH-u740 from Verizon Wireless

(Review) - Samsung has been making quite a splash these days with cell phone innovation. Take the BlackJack, for instance. It’s a great phone in its price range with good multimedia features. Similarly, the SCH-u740 is another solid offering for Verizon Wireless exclusively. The really neat thing about the u740 is its dual-flip design and a QWERTY keyboard. Needless to say, QWERTY keyboards aren’t for smartphones anymore. They are a must have for messaging nuts, and companies are filling the gap very well.

As always, Samsung and others tend to be very conservative with the general exterior of their phones. As such, the u740 presents a mixture of black and metallic hints for a classy feel. The front of the phone has a camera lens that supports five separate resolutions (1280x960, 640x480, 320x240, 160x120, and Picture ID); fine, normal, and economy quality settings; lighting adjustments, such as white balance; self-timer; up to 4x zoom and a whole slew of options that are fairly standard these days. The photo quality in our tests was acceptable, but there’s only so much you can do with a megapixel camera. What a pity!

Also on the front are music controls that you should expect from the latest of mobile phones. They are touch sensitive, so the usability factor is amazingly sleek. Just swipe your fingers across the controls and you are set. Unfortunately, however, every time you need to work with the controls, you will have to unlock them. That’s the default setting, which you could change, but just be ready to be annoyed when the selection skips around with a slight touch. Since the u740 is from Verizon, it supports the company’s VCAST video and music services. The audio quality was downright amazing from earphones and the phone’s speakers. Awesome!

As you move down, the left edge of the device is equipped with a Hold button (to lock or unlock the aforementioned music controls), volume control and the insertion jack. The right edge, on the other hand, has a microSD expandable storage slot and the speakerphone key. Disappointingly, there’s no dedicated camera key on the outer edge of the phone; therefore, the only way to use the camera is to flip it open. It’s a minor, but annoying quirk.

The SCH-u740 is certainly sturdy and durable with its weight and a thin, comfortable hold.

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