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Samsung Replenish - onyx black (Boost Mobile) review:

Samsung Replenish - onyx black (Boost Mobile)

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Even though Gingerbread supports Adobe Flash Player, you won't be able to play Flash video or Flash games in the browser--unfortunately, the Replenish's beginner hardware just doesn't pass muster. I could still play Flash video through YouTube and other downloadable apps. Unlike the Replenish for Sprint, Boost's version doesn't support hot-spotting.

Indoor shots weren't so good. The Replenish turned our studio shot mud-brown.

In terms of producing clear images, the 2-megapixel camera was pretty impressive for a shooter of this type. Photos still looked clear when expanded on the computer screen to their full size. Colors weren't as vibrant in photos taken indoors, however, and I did notice that objects took on a blue or brown cast. For editing, there are typical tools and presets for color balance, night mode, self-timing, and so on. The same goes for video, with the typical choices to shoot in high-quality (up to 30 minutes) or lower-quality modes (up to 30 seconds for multimedia messages). The Replenish has 512MB internal memory and holds up to 32GB external storage.

I tested the dual-band (CDMA 800, 1900) Replenish in San Francisco on Boost Mobile's network, which rides on Sprint. Call quality was pretty good overall. I enjoyed strong volume and a clear line, but voices on the other end sounded fuzzy and had a lisping quality. Voice tone was also a tad uneven, which gave callers a faintly rickety cadence.

On their end of the line, callers gave the Replenish a thumbs-up for volume and clarity--there weren't any interruptions nor any background noise. Unfortunately, my voice also sounded unnatural and maybe a little scratchy, probably the cause of distortion.

Samsung Replenish (Boost Mobile) call quality sample Listen now:

Speakerphone wasn't bad when I tested it by holding the phone at waist level; I didn't have to strain to hear like I often do. Also, voices--while a bit hollow--sounded refreshingly true-to-life, not shrill, or metallic. The phone also buzzed in step with the speaker and sounded "hot" and overloaded.

Gone are the days when a 600MHz battery is considered adequate for a smartphone. Yet that's what the Replenish has. As long as you're patient and can wait out a little lagginess, you'll be all right.

3G data speeds were available throughout San Francisco. It took almost a minute to load CNET's mobile-optimized site and 17 seconds to load the New York Times' mobile-optimized site. Both times were many seconds slower than other 3G networks have provided, which could indicate less robust network speeds. Of course, many factors affect your phone's performance, so your results may differ.

The Replenish has a rated battery life of up to 5.4 hours of continuous talk time and 9 days of standby time on its 1,600mAh lithium ion battery. According to our tests, it has a talk time of 6 hours and 5 minutes. According to FCC radio frequency emission tests, the Replenish has a digital SAR of 0.3 watt per kilogram.

Samsung has done a nice job of creating an entry-level eco-phone that balances cost and convenience. About $100 gets you a Boost smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard, making it the contract-free carrier's lowest-cost smartphone. While it felt cramped at times, I was also able to type effectively. The Replenish took surprisingly clear and sharp photos for a 2-megapixel camera, and most other features behaved as expected. The lack of effective Flash support in the browser was the biggest disappointment on a smartphone that otherwise lives up to humble expectations. If you're a cost-conscious consumer seeking an off-contract smartphone with a keyboard, you could check out the Replenish. However, if you're planning to spend much time online, it might be better to level up.

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