In my quest for the perfect messaging phone, I scoured the web – and my providers website – for something I could hold comfortably in my hand, that had a slide out qwerty keyboard, and features like email and GPS. I liked the idea of a touch screen, but I didn’t want to have to use it for everything, and I wanted it to be easy to hold. After 3 or so months of research, I ordered the Samsung Impression, which won CNET.com’s best phone of CTIA title in 2009.
After using this little phone for a couple of weeks, here is my – ahem – impression.
Look & Feel
After being an iPhone user for two years, it was nice to have a phone I could actually grip when talking. Sure, it’s a bit thicker than alot of those other touch screen phones out there, but when did thinness become a huge necessity when it comes to a gadget you need to hold to use? At about an inch thick, it feels good in the hand. And the best part – I don’t feel as if I am going to drop it as I use it. The phone has some heft to it, and even though it is made out of plastic it doesn’t look cheap or breakable. It is a very nice looking phone. I got the midnight blue version.
The controls for volume are right where they need to be, by the thumb, so when you need adjust the levels while you are on the phone it is easy to do.
The controls for answering and hanging up calls are on the bottom – and even though it took me a moment to find out how to end a call the first time I used it, the buttons are right where they need to be. They are also big enough to push with your thumb without flipping the phone out of your hand (are you sensing a theme here?)
The camera shutter button is on the right side, so you can use the phone as a 3 megapixLogan digital camera by holding the phone sideways.
Which leads to my only control complaint – the unlock button. The phone locks itself up when not in use, and you have to hold down this button to unlock it. I assume it is so you don’t accidentally “butt dial” someone, but it is in a place where you feel like you have to slide open the keyboard in order to push it down for 3 seconds to unlock the phone. But for physical controls that is my only beef.
Touchscreen This phone features a touchscreen, as many new phones do. The screen is bright and vibrant, and responsive enough not to frustrate me too much. Apple has that feature down, but I digress. Unlike the iPhone touchscreen, there is feedback whenever you tap on something with your finger – so you know you have actually selected the feature you want to use. I like that.
email & Messaging Voicemail, pictures, email, GPS, messaging – they are all right in the menu for your taping pleasure. To my surprise, messaging included a connection to my yahoo! IM account, very nice for keeping in touch while on the go, and not using up my alotted texts. Mobilemail also hooks up to your yahoo account, as well as a few other web based email: Windows Live Hotmail, AOL, BellSouth, Comcast, Earthlink, Juno – among others. You are not able to hook up to gmail, but you can access your Gmail account through the browser also accessable through the menu option.
Full Qwerty Keyboard as I said before, I didn’t want to have to use the touchscreen for everything – especially typing. When you need to type out all those messages via text, messaging service, or email you can use an onscreen number pad (yuck!) or the lovely slide out qwerty keyboard. Now, this is my first experience with a keyboard on a phone and my complaints are few. It slides out wonderfully, and the keys are nice and large for all you thumb typers out there (including me!) Switching between numbers, punctuation, and letters is as easy as holding the function key or shift key with one thumb while typing with the other. The keyboard is easy to hold, and lights up when typing – very useful for texting during a movie or any other in-the-dark situations…or it just makes it easier to read! =D
The 3 megapixLogan camera takes good pics, and there is an editing suite on the phone so you can crop them on the go. I don’t really see myself using this feature too much, so I haven’t fully investigated it, but I think someone who would use it regularly would find it easy to use and very handy.
The phone is 3G, so it is very fast. It cannot be hooked up to a wifi point as some phones can, but with the highspeed 3G network I really don’t miss it. While it isn’t made to be used as a smartphone, the applications it features makes it easy to use as a entry levLogan smartphone.
All in all, I am very happy with my purchase. This phone does everything I wanted it to do, in a nice, neat, intuitive package. The price wasn’t bad either, only $150 and $40 a month for unlimited data, text and 1500 calls on my family plan. This phone is on the AT&T network. I am giving it a 5 out of 5 because as far as a messaging phone goes, this is the best.