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Old 05-09-2008, 09:36 PM
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Default Samsung Glyde multimedia phone

Design - Good

The Glyde is designed to look like an iPhone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Seriously, it's so similar that the button below the screen, what Apple simply calls the "Home" key, actually has a picture of a house on it. Like Apple's phone, the Glyde also uses an audio connector that is less than ideal, a 2.5mm jack in this case, and a proprietary connection for USB. At least Verizon has seen fit to include a USB cable, a rarity for The Network. The phone is thicker than the iPhone, thanks to the keyboard perhaps, but is smaller in every other way.

The interface is a definite improvement for Verizon Wireless, integrating elements of Samsung's Croix interface from the SGH-F490 and some standard VZW stuff, like the unstoppable Get It Now menu. The interface is very pretty, with a customizable shortcuts menu and some cool visual effects. We especially like the haptic feedback, as well. Basically, when you touch the screen, you get a quick buzz, and when you lift your finger, another. The overall effect is much more like pressing an actual button, as you can tell when the interface has registered a tap.

At least, the interface should have registered a tap. Unfortunately, we had lots of issues with the Glyde's touchscreen. The screen wasn't very responsive to scrolling gestures, though that wasn't the least of our concerns. Often, buttons simply didn't work. We would press them, they would light up, give us the light vibrating buzz that we had pressed correctly, then nothing. This happened quite frequently, and we grew less and less forgiving of the problem over time. We also had problems with scrolling and lists. Lists of songs or contacts would usually scroll smoothly, but often stutter to a halt when we lifted our finger, instead of smoothly rolling forward. In some apps, a list takes up only a small window, and we could hardly progress through a couple of entries at a time, even with the finger scrolling.

Calling - Good

Calls from the Samsung Glyde sounded okay, but we did have some issues. This could be because we were only getting a single bar on Verizon Wireless's network in lower Manhattan, but this is par for the course in our office. Still, calls sounded very deep and muddy, and we heard a good amount of static. Street noise wasn't as much of an issue, however. Though Samsung's spec sheet indicates that a 1300 mAh battery exists, our 1,000 mAh battery only gave us just under four hours of talk time. Samsung only promises three and a half hours of talk time, but even exceeding this promise, we thought battery life was lacking.

The phone has all of our favorite calling features. Speaker independent voice dialing had some trouble at times, but usually dialed accurately. Conference calling was easy to accomplish, and the speakerphone was too loud for our office, which is a good thing. We also had no trouble pairing the phone with our handsfree Bluetooth devices.

Messaging - Good
The phone has the standard assortment of messaging options, which is too bad because it really demands to be a messaging powerhouse, considering its slide-out keyboard. SMS and MMS messaging were easy to use, though we would prefer an auto-lookup from the recipient field rather than digging through the address book ourselves. The instant messaging client is standard Verizon fare, with presets for AIM, MSN and Yahoo, though Google is unfortunately absent. The Verizon Wireless e-mail app, a free download for this phone, didn't list Gmail among its favorites, but had no trouble finding the settings on its own. All of this is fine and good, but we'd like to see more. Maybe not Exchange ActiveSync support, but how about a better messaging client for IM? How about a buddy-list location-based service? Is video chatting still out of the question for Verizon Wireless? If this phone is going to be a high-end competitor, it needs to bring something new to the party, or at least keep up with the best.

Multimedia - Mediocre

Perhaps if you've built your entire music collection around V Cast and your previous Verizon Wireless phone, you'll be excited about the multimedia experience on the Glyde, but most folks will want to hold onto their iPods. The V Cast store has an improved interface on the Glyde, barely, but the phone has such problems with the touchscreen, especially in such a resource intensive app, that it is tough to get around and find what you'd like. Then, once you've made your purchase, at twice the price of Sprint's music store, you need to have Verizon's software installed to synchronize with your desktop. Whenever a carrier wants to add software to your desktop, it usually isn't a good thing.

Videos were no better. Again, browsing was an issue on the screen, but video playback was also disappointing. First, we tried to buy "Low" by Flo-Rida, but accidentally bought something else because we pressed the wrong icon. Nowhere does the V Cast store tell you what you've actually selected until after you've agreed to the purchase and download, so we didn't realize our mistake until the video was playing. Then, once the video started, it was tiny on the phone's wide screen, with no apparent option for fullscreen playback.

Web browsing - Very good

The Samsung Glyde's Web browser is among the best we've seen on any iPhone competitor. The full HTML browser loaded pages beautifully, and rendered near-flawless versions of our homepage and the full New York Times homepage. Flash didn't work, but that's no surprise. Navigating pages was easy, and the Web browser was probably the most responsive app on the phone. Pages glided past at the flick of our finger, and the only thing holding the experience back was the small amount of screen real estate devoted to the Web window. We'd have preferred a larger screen, with a full screen browser, but we'll take the great looking renders all the same, thank you very much.

Camera - Mediocre

The Samsung Glyde sports a 2-megapixel camera with auto focus, a flash and a touchscreen interface. Unfortunately, somebody forgot to throw in a good lens, because pictures from the Glyde look horrendous. Watching on the screen, we could actually see them go bad. The phone would focus on the subject and the picture would look good on the 240x440 screen, but then the screen would go dark, and what would show up was a blurry, off-color version of what we'd just seen. Though the camera uses a two-stage button for auto focus, our images always came out blurry. Unfortunately, the LED flash usually only muted colors to a bluish tint, which didn't help with image quality.

Navigation - Very good

The Samsung Glyde is the first phone we've seen with VZ Navigator 4, and we like the improvement. GPS is a rarity on Samsung phones, but we're happy to report the sensor on the Glyde was very sharp and found us quickly where we were. The new version adds some nice features, including 3D maps (at last), traffic information and better location-based services, including a useful movie tool that found local theaters and showtimes. The service can also display gas prices, and we found these to be only slightly off in our real-world tests. For performance, the Glyde had little trouble once we started on our route, but problems with the touchscreen came up again navigating the menu screens to the features we wanted.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:17 PM
ackleywall ackleywall is offline
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Samsung Glyde is an attractive model. It comes with best features, full high resolution touch screen that reacts in a accurate way in response to the touch low of a finger, congenital-in QWERTY keyboard to write letters with simply.
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