Rounding out the design of the phone are the volume rocker and charger/headset jack on the left spine, plus a dedicated speaker and dedicated camera buttons on the right. When you slide the phone open, you'll find a camera lens and self-portrait mirror on the back.
As we mentioned, the Slash doesn't have a lot of whizbang features. However, it does have a few extra capabilities that put it above just a basic handset. For starters, it has a 500-entry address book, with each contact able to hold up to five numbers, two e-mail addresses, two instant-messaging account names, and a URL. You can also assign a contact to a caller group, a photo for caller ID, and a personalized ringtone or texttone (an alert for text messages) out of 10 sound files. Other features include text and multimedia messaging, a vibrate mode, a calculator, a tip calculator, an alarm clock, a calendar, a notepad, and a voice memo recorder. Some of the Slash's more advanced features include a speakerphone, voice dialing, Bluetooth, and a wireless Web browser.
Also, the Slash comes with a built-in VGA camera. It's nothing much, but it does provide the capability to take quick snapshots. You can take pictures in three resolutions (640x480, 320x240, 224x168), three quality settings, five white balance settings, 14 fun frames, five color tones, and with four shutter sounds. Photo quality was predictably blurry and pixilated, but it was actually fairly good as far as VGA cameras go and had decent colors.
You can personalize the Slash with graphics and sounds for the wallpaper, screensaver, themes, and ringtones or message alerts just by heading to the Virgin VXL portal and downloading them. Demo versions of three games--Gameloft Jukebox, Superscape, and Tetris--are included, and you'll have to purchase the full version via Virgin as well.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 850/1900) Samsung Slash in San Francisco via the Virgin Mobile service. Call quality was fairly good, though we did experience some static and ambient noise. Callers could hear just fine, and vice versa. Speakerphone calls were also surprisingly decent--callers did sound rather tinny, but there was plenty of volume, and they could hear us without us raising our voices too much. We managed to pair the Slash with the Aliph Jawbone 2 without a problem.
The Slash has a rated battery life of 3.5 hours talk time and 7 days standby time. We managed to get 6 hours and 18 minutes of talk time in our tests. According to FCC radiation charts, the Slash has a digital SAR rating of 0.872 watts per kilogram.