Samsung Zeal: Impressive e-ink keyboard (review)

There's no doubt about it--Verizon's Samsung Zeal has an eye-catching keyboard.

Samsung Zeal for Verizon
Josh Miller/CNET

It's hard not to look at the Samsung Zeal for Verizon without feeling some reaction to its unique e-ink keyboard. Instead of characters printed on the topside, the gel-like buttons are lit from below, and morph from numbers to letters to symbols at the flick of a hinge or press of a button. However, we've seen this exact keyboard before in the Samsung Alias 2, along with the Zeal's dual-hinge, two-way flip phone.

Now, whether the phone's convertible design and interesting display grab you or feel gimmicky is the judgment at hand. I happen to be a fan myself, but it's true that the e-ink display requires several concessions to the dialpad and navigation design that take some getting used to.

Even if the Zeal is exactly your cup of tea, there are some disappointments with the phone's design and some other considerations to take into account before you decide to snatch up the feature phone. While almost everything about the design is likable, Samsung and Verizon could have kept up a bit better with the times. Read all about it in our full review.

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.

 

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