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First Look: Samsung Freeform 5 is text-ready

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First Look: Samsung Freeform 5 is text-ready

2:04 /

Outfitted with a QWERTY keyboard, U.S. Cellular's Freeform 5 is a straightforward feature phone.

Sometimes the smartphone is just way too much phone. If that's the case, then you might wanna check out something a little simpler like the Samsung Freeform 5. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET, here's your first look. Now, this is a feature phone. Its main feature, in fact, is that it has a QWERTY keyboard. It's in portrait mode here, so you don't have to slide anything open to start texting. There's a small 2.4-inch QVGA screen on here. Resolution is pretty low, so the lettering doesn't look very fine or sharp and the images don't either. However, it is easy to navigate with this deep pad right over here and the soft keys. One thing that's really nice about the keyboard is that although it's compact, the keys are separated fully and they're also raised above the surface, so it's really easy to get some traction with your finger. I didn't find the space bar quite as responsive as the other keys which sometimes mess me up while I was writing longer messages, but overall, I thought that it was pretty nice. Usability on the keyboard could be a little bit better, though. I notice that there is no spell check and it does not insert a period when you double tap the space bar. Those could be nice touches. By today's standards with jumbo phones, this one is very pocket-able and portable, so that's a nice touch too. There is a microSD card slot on the side, so you can expand memory up to 32 gigabytes. There is also a 3-megapixel camera on the back, no flash, nothing too fancy here. There is a camcorder built into it. The camera is all right for basic shots, but colors looked pretty dull and they weren't too sharp or detailed. If this phone looks familiar to you, it's probably because the design hasn't really changed in at least 5 years and neither has the software inside of it. Overall it's not a bad phone especially if you're really looking for a portrait QWERTY for not too much money. But I would shop around, because there are other options like it and this one just really doesn't blow me away. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET. You can read my full review of the Samsung Freeform 5 at CNET.com.

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