On the phone side, the Dart has a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, and text and multimedia messaging. It also has Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi with support for tethering and the ability to act as a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot for up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Thanks to T-Mobile, the Dart can also make calls over Wi-Fi with a special Wi-Fi calling app. Calls over Wi-Fi won't take away minutes from your mobile monthly plan, so it works as an easy and affordable way to make calls.
Picture quality is not bad for a 3-megapixel camera. Images are sharp and colors are bright, with only a hint of muddiness. In low light however, images have a grainier texture. The Dart has camcorder abilities as well, but the highest resolution is QVGA 320x240 pixels.
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) Samsung Dart in San Francisco using T-Mobile. Call quality was good on the whole, but it did falter occasionally. On our end, we heard our callers clearly without any crackling or background noise. Voice quality was also decent and natural-sounding.
On their end, callers reported similarly good quality, too. However, there were occasions when the volume would drop and our voice would fade out. It only happened every once in a while, but it was certainly noticeable; you can hear it on our recorded call-quality sample below.
Samsung Dart call quality sample
Speakerphone calls were about the same as regular phone calls, and suffered no further issues.
The Dart works with T-Mobile's 3G network. We experienced decent speeds overall. We used Ookla's Speedtest.net app and discovered download speeds at around 4Mbps and upload speeds of around 1Mbps.
The 600MHz processor is quite dinky compared with the 1GHz behemoths out there, but we didn't experience much lag when switching apps or navigating the phone. We did get a bit of lag when launching certain apps like the browser and the camera, which can get a little annoying when you're in a hurry. There was also an isolated incident when the camera app froze up on us. It only happened once, so we're not sure if it's a regular occurrence, but just be mindful about that.
The Samsung Dart is a pretty simple entry-level Android smartphone with enough features to satisfy the Android newbie. The TouchWiz interface is fun and easy to navigate, and features like Wi-Fi calling are a real asset. It also has a price point that can't be beat. However, it's saddled with a small unsatisfactory screen, and we think T-Mobile's LG Optimus T is a slightly better option for the same price.