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Samsung phone has partial keyboard--Bonnie Cha shall not be pleased

The SGH-T349 is a messaging phone, but it offers a partial alphabetic keyboard.

The Samsung SGH-T349 is a messaging phone, but with a twist.

Bonnie Cha, CNET's smartphone reviewer, has not hidden her disdain for the SureType keyboard. So, call it a hunch, but I'm guessing that she won't be thrilled with Samsung's newest messaging phone for T-Mobile.

Instead of a full QWERTY keyboard, the SGH-T349 features a "partial keyboard" with two letters of the alphabet sharing the same button. It's not exactly a SureType keyboard (that's Blackberry's domain), but you won't notice any differences apart from the name. The candy-bar design is standard silver with a touch of lime green.

Besides the obvious messaging capabilities, the SGH-T349 offers a 1.3-megapixel camera with video recording, a personal organizer, stereo Bluetooth, an MP3 player, a speakerphone, and a microSD card slot. But in a disappointing move, the SGH-T349 is only tri-band (GSM 850/1800/1900) compatible and data support is limited to EDGE networks.

The handset is available now for an affordable $14.99 with a two-year contract. We'll have a review when we can get our eager hands on a model.