The slim phone phenomenon continues with the Samsung SGH-T519 for T-Mobile. Also called the Trace for reasons we can't quite determine, the T519 is almost a carbon copy of the Samsung SGH-X820 save for a few design adjustments and feature changes. Though we prefer the SGH-X820's all-back color over the SGH-T519's silver skin, the Trace is still a sexy phone with a sleek shape. And though we are getting a little bored with the thin phone mania, we don't mind the T519's eye-catching form factor. The Trace is reasonably priced at $99 with service.
When we first saw the SGH-T519 Trace, we did a double take as we knew we'd seen it somewhere before. For all intents and purposes, it is a twin of the SGH-X820, but a closer look reveals a few changes beyond the obvious color difference. Several buttons have been rearranged, and the SGH-T519 is just slightly bigger at 4.5 by 2.0 by 0.3 inches and marginally heavier at 2.5 ounces. The heftier weight gives the mobile a more solid feel in the hand while remaining easily portable.
Other external features are largely the same. The SGH-T519 Trace's 1.8-inch (220x176 pixels) display is equally beautiful, with support for 262,000 colors. As is the case with most Samsung screens of this caliber, it's bright and vivid but is a little hard to see in direct light. The menu interface shows some welcome changes from previous phones from this company. Instead of the flash- and graphics-heavy interface that became a Samsung trademark, the SGH-T519's menu design features a basic grid of colored icons on a black background. It's still colorful and eye-catching, but it's more user-friendly and functional. You can change brightness, backlight time, and font size, style, and color.
The navigation and keypad buttons are a carryover from the SGH-X820 as well. The navigation toggle has a central OK button and can be programmed as a shortcut to four user-defined shortcuts. However, the toggle is rather difficult to use as there's no clear separation between the toggle and the OK button. Also, since they're flat with the surface of the phone, we had a few misdials. Other navigation controls were better as their large size countered their flush design. There are two soft keys, a clear button, and the talk and end/power keys. The flat backlit keypad buttons are tactile but hard to dial by feel.
Like the SGH-X820's, the SGH-T519's camera lens is at the top rear face of the phone where the casing thickens ever so slightly. Unlike, the SGH-X820, however, the Trace adds a small speaker. In another change from the SGH-X820, the SGH-T519 adds a Micro SD card slot on the left spine just above the camera shutter. As a result, the headset/charger jack moves to the right spine just below the volume rocker.
The SGH-T519 Trace comes with a generous 1,000-contact phone book (the SIM card holds an additional 250 names). It's similar to the SGH-X820's but with a few changes. Each entry holds five phone numbers (as opposed to four), an e-mail address, and notes. You can organize callers into groups and pair them with a photo and one of 37 (instead of 20) polyphonic (64-chord) ring tones. Basic features include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a world clock, a calculator, a currency and unit converter, a timer, a stopwatch, an alarm clock, and a calendar. Higher-end offerings include a speakerphone, a voice recorder, and full Bluetooth. Again we were hoping for voice commands and dialing, but sadly they're not onboard the SGH-T519.