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>> Hi. I'm Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET.com, and today we're taking a First Look at the Samsung Saga. This is one of the few world phones for Verizon Wireless, so if you travel overseas a lot for work or pleasure, this might be the smartphone for you. Talk about the design first a little bit. The Saga shares a very similar design to the Samsung Epix and the Samsung BlackJack II. It's got a slim profile and a full QWERTY keyboard on front, so it's great for email and text messaging. The keys have a nice might of spacing between them. And the buttons aren't as stiff as the BlackJack, so I found I was to compose messages easily and without too many errors. The Saga also has a couple of other nice design features. First Samsung added touchscreen capabilities, which is always nice since you can simply launch applications and navigations by tapping the display. And you also get an optical mouse, so instead of using your finger area, you can use the optical mouse to achieve the same effect. And you can use it to kind of move around the screen. There's a track bed here that's large enough that I found it's easy to move the cursor around. If you don't particularly like the feature, you can turn it off using the settings menu. Overall, I'm a big fan of the design. If anything, the soft touch finish is a little too slick, so it's hard to remove the back cover here, which is where the sim card and micro SD expansion slots are located. As I mentioned before, the Samsung Saga is a world phone, and Verizon ships it with a sim card. So when you're here in the United States, it'll work on the Verizon CDMA network, but if you're traveling to a country where they run on the GSM network, the phone will automatically switch to that network. Again, it's great if you have to travel a lot since you can keep the same number and not have to worry about getting a sim card over there or anything like that. Aside from that, the Saga's pretty much a standard Windows Mobile device. It runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition with full document editing and email capabilities. Verizon has also included a link to its application store so you can add more programs and utilities to suit your needs. It also has Windows Mobile media player for enjoying music and video and features a two-megapixel camera on the back here. And it took some decent photos. So it's not a bad multimedia device either. Performance-wise, there's a little bit of sluggishness, but nothing too crippling, and it has decent call quality. It's also reasonably priced at $199.99 with a two-year contract. So I think it's a definite consideration if you're on Verizon and need a world phone. I'm Bonnie Cha, and this has been your First Look at the Samsung Saga.
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