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CNET First Look
Samsung Gem (U.S Cellular)With Android 2.2 Froyo and an angular design, the Samsung Gem combines high value and personality for budget-conscious Andriod fans.
-Hi, this is Jessica Dolcourt with CNET taking a first look at the Samsung Gem with US Cellular. Now, this is a starter Android phone, so you're not gonna see all of those high-end specs that you would on other smartphones. But that's okay because it really fits in with the caliber of this phone as you're gonna see. It's got a 3.2-inch WQVGA display. It's definitely not as crisp, or bright, or saturated as some of the other screens, but it will do just fine. One problem with the 3.2 inches though is that it makes the icons look really, really small, and it makes it really hard to type because the keyboard is just so much smaller, and there aren't any extra add-ons like Swype. So, if that's something you think you can get used to, then it won't stand in your way. If you've got slightly bigger fingers, then it might pose a problem. It runs Android 2.2 Froyo, so that means that you're gonna have support for Flash Player 10.1, and you're also gonna have a mobile hotspot on here that can support up to 5 devices. You'll notice that it runs stock Android, so it doesn't have Samsung's TouchWiz interface. It doesn't have all of the skins on it that give it a stylized view. When you go into the app tray, you'll just see plain black with all of the app icons loaded on to it. Inside, you're gonna find all the usual Android apps that come preloaded on the phone. US Cellular also adds 3 of their own, including a navigator and back-up app. Now, for a look at the hardware itself, Samsung loves making glossy black phones and this one is very shiny. In fact, maybe it's even a little bit too shiny for my taste. It does have a lot of angles and it's got this repeated element of sort of a point like a triangle. It actually really reminds me of the Superman logo. There are 4 hardware buttons on this phone for navigation and central select key. The buttons are really responsive and nice and easy to press. There's a 3.2-megapixel camera on the back and a micro SD card underneath the back cover that can take up to 16 gigabytes of external storage. The phone comes with a 4-gigabyte starter card to get you going. The Samsung Gem costs $30 after an $80 mail-in rebate. That's a phenomenal value and it puts the phone right on par with one of the biggest rivals, the LG Optimus U for US Cellular, which is also an Android 2.2 Froyo phone. Overall, the Gem's got all the specs that you would expect for an entry-level phone of this type. I think it's a really good value and some of the angles on the phone's design give it some personality in addition. I'm Jessica Dolcourt. This is the Samsung Gem for US Cellular.