Samsung Freeform review: Samsung Freeform

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Samsung Freeform has a 3.5mm headset jack, e-mail with corporate e-mail support, GPS, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and a music player.

The Bad The Samsung Freeform's keyboard feels a little cramped and the photo quality could be improved.

The Bottom Line The Samsung Freeform is overall a decent multimedia messaging phone for Alltel customers.

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Samsung is one of the most prolific makers of messaging phone handsets, with one in almost every carrier in the country. That includes the fledgling Alltel, which still has a few markets unclaimed by Verizon Wireless in the recent Verizon -Alltel merger. The Samsung Freeform for Alltel is not a bad messaging phone, with GPS for navigation, corporate e-mail support, and a few basic multimedia options. It's available for $199.99 without a contract or for $69.99 with a one-year contract and a $50 mail-in rebate.

Unlike its name, the Samsung Freeform actually has a quite a rigid and familiar design. It measures 4.4 inches long by 2.4 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick, and it's made mostly of a hard lightweight plastic except for a soft-touch matte-black border around the sides of the phone. That, combined with its curved corners and rounded edges, makes the phone comfortable to hold in the hand. It's also rather light at 3.63 ounces, so it won't weigh you down.

The Samsung Freeform has curved corners.

Right on the front of the Freeform is the 2.2-inch display with 262,000-color support. It's bright and colorful, graphics look great on it, and text is sharp and legible. You can change the clock format, the greeting banner text, the backlight time, and the size of the dialing font.

Underneath the display is the navigation array. There is a large rectangular toggle with middle confirmation key in the center--the toggle also doubles as shortcuts to four user-defined functions when the phone is in standby mode. Surrounding the toggle are two soft keys, the Speakerphone key, the Back key, and the Talk and End/Power keys. All keys are raised above the surface for ease of use, but the Speakerphone and Back keys especially stand out because they are raised a little higher than the rest. We found this arrangement a little awkward initially, but it was acceptable overall.

The Samsung Freeform has a full QWERTY keyboard.

Though the keyboard on the Freeform is not exactly spacious, the keys are raised sufficiently above the surface so it's easy to text and dial by feel. However, the keys are rather small, and they do feel a little stiff when pressed, so we weren't able to type as quickly as we would like. The number keys are marked in black. Also on the keyboard are a dedicated calendar key and a dedicated e-mail shortcut key.

On the left of the phone is the volume rocker while the camera key and charger jack are on the right. On the top is the 3.5mm headset jack, and on the back is the external speaker and camera lens with a self-portrait mirror. There's also a microSD card slot but you have to remove the battery cover to find it.

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Where to Buy

Samsung Freeform - red (U.S. Cellular)

Part Number: SCH-R351WRAUSC Released: Oct 20, 2009
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct 20, 2009
  • Talk Time Up to 360 min
  • Technology CDMA2000 1X
  • Combined with With digital camera / digital player
  • Service Provider U.S. Cellular
  • Weight 3.6 oz
  • Diagonal Size 2.2 in
  • Sensor Resolution 1.3 pixels