Though the big four national carriers have enjoyed multiple Android phones for some time now, smaller regional carriers have been missing out. That ends with the Samsung Acclaim, the first-ever Android handset available for. Surprisingly, the Acclaim is no second-rate smartphone, though; it comes with OS 2.1 out of the gate and we found its performance to be speedy and reliable. The Samsung Acclaim is available for around $100, which we think is affordable.
Compared with the recent models, the Acclaim might seem rather dowdy. On its own, however, the Acclaim has a simple down-to-earth appeal. It measures 4.49 inches long by 2.32 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick, and it has curved corners and a rounded chin area with silver adorning its sides; its look is not unlike other Samsung touch-screen handsets. The Acclaim is wrapped in a hard glossy plastic shell, and weighs a comfortable 4.59 ounces.
By far the star of the show when it comes to the Acclaim's design is its 3.2-inch HVGA display. It's not as vibrant as the AMOLED displays we've seen, but for a $100 phone, it looks fantastic. Thanks to its capacitive screen, we found the display to be very responsive, plus there's pinch-to-zoom support. You can also toggle the accelerometer to kick in whenever you hold the phone sideways, which is useful for applications like the browser. The Acclaim also has a proximity sensor.
As an alternative to the touch screen, the Acclaim also has a square select key that doubles as an optical trackpad underneath the display. It provides a nice way to scroll through Web pages without having to drag your finger across the screen. Surrounding the optical pad are the usual Android hot keys to the pop-up menu, home, back, and search. The controls are laid out in a square rather than the more typical single line. It felt roomier, which led to fewer accidental presses.
When you slide the phone's display to the right, you'll find a full QWERTY keyboard. The sliding mechanism is quite smooth and locks securely into place. The keyboard is spacious enough, but we felt the keys were a bit too flat, with not enough delineation between them. Still, the keys had a decent feel when pushed, and we managed to type out text with few mistakes. The Acclaim also provides an onscreen keyboard if you would rather not use the physical one.