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Samsung Propel Pro

As far as hardware, the hot trend at CTIA 2009 was messaging phones. One of the models to debut at the show was the Samsung Propel Pro for AT&T, which will be available April 14 for $149.99 with a two-year contract.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:Corinne Schulze/CNET
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Like the Samsung Propel with more punch

The smartphone looks similar to Samsung Propel, but the Pro is designed more for business users and adds Windows Mobile 6.1 along with a toned-down look that's more appropriate for the board room.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:Corinne Schulze/CNET
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Thick and wide

The Samsung Propel Pro measures 3.9 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick, and weighs 4.8 ounces, so it's quite a bulky handset. It's also got a squarish shape, which is a bit different.

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Back of the phone

The Propel Pro's shiny surface gets dirty pretty quickly, as it holds many fingerprints and smudges. Also, the back of the handset can feel slick--almost greasy.

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Not so pocket-friendly

The smartphone feels wide when held in the hand and you might want to put this into your coat pocket or your bag, since it's not going to easily slip into a pants pocket.

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Samsung Propel Pro vs. Samsung BlackJack II

Two of Samsung's messaging smartphones: the Samsung Propel Pro and the Samsung BlackJack II (right). Both are available from AT&T.

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Navigation controls

Below the display, you get two soft keys, Talk and End buttons, a Home shortcut, a back button, and a navigation joystick. The controls are fairly easy to use, with the exception of the joystick, since it doesn't provide the most precise method for scrolling and selecting menu items.

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Slider design

To access the full QWERTY keyboard, simply push the screen up. The sliding mechanism is smooth and the screen securely locks into place.

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QWERTY keyboard

The Propel Pro's QWERTY keyboard features good-size buttons with nice, tactile feedback. However, the layout is a little cramped and we wish the space bar was larger.

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3-megapixel camera

The Samsung Propel Pro is equipped with a 3-megapixel camera with video-recording capabilities and auto focus. It's located on the back of the front cover, so you need to slide the phone open to use it.

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Impressive photo quality

The Propel Pro's camera took some excellent photos. Images were sharp and we're delighted to see that the colors weren't washed out.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:Corinne Schulze/CNET
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Expandable memory

On the left side, you'll find a microSD expansion slot, which can accept up to 8GB cards, Internally, the smartphone offers 126MB RAM/256MB ROM.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:Corinne Schulze/CNET
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