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CNET First Look
The Samsung ArrayThe Samsung Array sticks to basic phone features, but the user-friendly design and satisfying performance outweigh the disappointing camera and Web browser.
-Hi, I'm Kent German, senior managing editor at cnet.com. I'm here to take today to take a first look at Samsung Array. This is a new phone for Sprint. It's also out for Boost. For Sprint, that price will require 2-year contract, while Boost is contract free. Now, you're probably look at this phone and you're saying, gosh, this thing looks really old, looks like I just dug it up a drawer from maybe 2005. Yeah, it does look a little old. It's very tried and true design, it's very familiar, but it's a slider phone. It's feature device made for texting, so really there's not much you can do to really mix that design up. So, I think, it's perfectly straightforward, easily use, maybe a little boring, but certainly it's very user friendly. On the front is candy bar design. The display takes almost about 2/3 of the front space. It is a pretty low resolution. It's colorful. It's bright, but you can see distinct lines, which give you different color shades. So, don't expect a lot of fancy graphics, but you really wouldn't anyway because this phone doesn't have a lot of apps, any games. You certainly not using for those things. Down below is the navigation control. These are well designed. There's a square toggle with essential key button. They are silver. They're little reflective, so they stand out from the black key pad below. There are also 2 soft keys. There's the dedicated speaker phone key, a back key, and the talking and power buttons, and down the below is the alpha numeric key pad that's coat in black of course. I found this to be little squash together. Also didn't like the key pad buttons were perfectly flat with the surface of the phone. The added controls are raised, which is nice, so if you can use them by feel and there's some definition. Here on the top, there is a 3.5-mm headset jack and on the bottom, there is the micro USB port, which is also used for the charger. On the left, there is a volume racker. It's easy to find when you are in a call. Over here, you have the micro SD card slot that fits cards up to 32 gig and the camera shutter. Now, if you wanna open the phone, just slide it up like this and you see that the screen rotates 90 degrees automatically. There is no need to change it or do anything like that. The phone doesn't have an accelerometer, so if you chip it, the screen doesn't gonna change, but it's only when you open and close the phone. Down below are 2 soft keys. Those are only used when the phone is open and the correspond to commands right above. I do like the keyboard. It's pretty roomy. It's pretty spacious. The keys are slightly, slightly raised above the surface of the phone, which is nice. There are 4 rows of keys so that means the letters share space with numbers and punctuations and symbols. It's not a big deal. First, I'd like 5 rows of keys, but you're gonna go for a compact phone, you certainly need to live with 4. The switch back and forth between the different functions of the key is using the shift of the function key. Nice space bar in the middle. It's pretty wide. It's right where it should be and there's a dedicated.com key, which is nice. The are arrow buttons over here and there's a dedicated @ key, so you didn't have to go and use the shift when you're typing at e-mails. Now, this phone really is about for communication. The menu system is pretty simple. It's just got the icons on the front. Then you got internal menus that all less spaced. It does have a 2-megapixel camera. You can see here on the back. Photo quality isn't very good. Video quality isn't good at all, so it's really not worth taking photos unless you just need something on the fly and then, again, don't count anything spectacular. There's bare-bones music player. There is Bluetooth. There's a WAP browser. So, if you're used to using a smarthphone, you're not gonna get those full HTML page or even the mobile pages. These are gonna be WAP pages, which means that they are even more stripped. So, just lines of text, maybe the occasional photo, no graphics. It's cranky to use because you're moving the cursor around with this navigation keys. There's not touch screen, so I really don't think WAP browsing is worth it on the phone. It's also 3G EV-DO. So, even on those simple pages, they to take a few seconds to download. Good thing though is texting is very easy using that keyboard. Call quality is good. It is a phone that excels with communication just what phone should do. Just don't count on it for really anything else. If you wanna keep in touch, this Samsung Array is not a bad buy. I'm Kent German and this is the Samsung Array. It's available for Sprint and Boost Mobile.