Though Samsung makes plenty of high-end phones, many of its handsets in the United States are basic to midrange models. For example, take Metro PCS's new Samsung Tint. Inside its basic flip design you won't find much beyond a VGA camera, Bluetooth, and voice commands. The replaceable covers are unique, but the Tint is best suited for occasional callers. Audio quality was just average and the plastic controls won't please rapid texters. The Tint should cost about $100 with MetroPCS's no-contract service.
Straight out of the box, the slate gray Tint isn't particularly unique. Its flip-phone shape is similar to many other Samsungs before it, and it has an average size (3.74 inches by 1.88 inches by 0.74 inch; 3.35 ounces). But dig a little closer in the box and you'll find replaceable pink covers for the front and rear faces. The front cover has a floral design for even more personalization, or you can order more colors from Samsung.
The postage stamp external display supports 65,000 colors (96x96 pixels). It shows the date, time, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID. You can also view photo caller ID and you can use it as a viewfinder for the camera lens. The backlighting timer is rather short, however, and it's worth noting that the display is completely dark when the backlighting is off. Other exterior features include a volume rocker on the left spine and a 2.5 millimeter headset jack, charger port, and a speakerphone control/camera shutter on the right spine.
The 1.9-inch internal display also supports 65,000 colors (160x128 pixels). It's relatively bright, but colors are muted, and graphics aren't terribly sharp. You can change the clock style, the backlighting time, and the dialing font size. The menus are easy to use in both the list and icon styles. Five shortcut icons also sit directly on the display.
The navigation array consists of a square toggle, two soft keys, a clear button, and the Talk and End/power controls. Though you get a lot of room, they keys are flat and pretty slippery. We didn't have any huge problems, but you should try them for yourself. The backlit keypad buttons are similar--spacious, but also flush and slippery. They shouldn't bother occasional cell phone users; however, frequent texters may find that the keys feel pretty cheap after a while.
The Tint has a 500-contact phone book with room in each entry for four phone numbers and an e-mail address. You can assign callers a photo, organize them into groups, and pair them with one of 13 polyphonic ringtones. Other essentials include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a speakerphone, a calendar, a memo pad, an alarm clock, a world clock, a tip calculator, a unit and currency converter, a stopwatch, and a calculator. You'll also find Bluetooth, voice commands, an airplane mode, and a voice recorder.