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First Look: Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G expands U.S. Cellular's LTE

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First Look: Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G expands U.S. Cellular's LTE

2:44 /

The 4G Android device packs a QWERTY keyboard, but is limited to Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET, this is the Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G for U.S. Cellular. So by the name of it, you can tell that it is a 4G LTE enabled phone, but only in the areas for U.S. Cellular has its network. It's slowly rolling that out. Apart from the LTE support, the most distinguishing characteristic of this phone is the slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It is a full 5 rows, very spacious and roomy. It angles in a little bit to make it slightly easier for fingers to grab those buttons. I found the keys very responsive. I found it a comfortable keyboard, a little wide from my hands. Most keyboards in truth are a little wide for my hands, but I do like the precision of the typing and I like some of the extra features on here. For me because I love grammar and punctuation, I could have done with a few more of those buttons not as the secondary function buttons, but as the primary buttons. But overall, I was pretty happy with the keyboard. I'm a lot less happy with the operating system. It's Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Of course, the most recent version of Android is 4.1 Jelly Bean. A lot of phones coming out now are 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the Gingerbread. The phone just feels a little bit outdated compared to the other phones that we have right now. Some of the other features on here include a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen. 4 inches is gargantuan, but for me there was plenty of space to read and to maneuver around. I found the screen very bright and colorful and rich. On the back, there is a 5-megapixel camera with flash. On the front, there is a 1.3-megapixel camera that's good for video chats. Camera quality was pretty good on the back, definitely a 2 Samsung standards. Of course, it's not gonna be quite as crisper clear as the 8-megapixel camera, but I was satisfied with the pictures that I took on it. This is definitely more of an entry level phone with a 1 gigahertz processor on here. It's got 2 gigabytes of onboard storage and comes with a 4-gigabyte card to get you started, but it will take up to 32 gigabytes in total of external storage. There are actually 2 prices for the phone. It's $179 after a $100 mail and rebate in 3G areas, but in U.S. Cellular 4G areas or in areas where they will be getting 4G by the end of 2012, it will cost $129 and that's after a $100 mail and rebate; both are with a new 2-year service agreement. Overall, this is a pretty good phone. It's definitely isn't my favorite pre U.S. Cellular, but I think it's just fine for people who are getting started or who don't necessarily need the premium top of the line. I'm Jessica Dolcourt. This is the Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G for U.S. Cellular.

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