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Having debuted on the Sprint network, the Samsung Seek is not a brand-new model, but its pairing of a touch screen with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard is a first for Boost Mobile. Samsung knows a thing or two about churning out midlevel messaging phones, and the Seek is definitely a compact, attractive little number.
With the exception of pricing, performance, and some of the preloaded apps, Boost Mobile's Seek is nearly identical to Sprint's version. We'll concentrate on those differences in this review, but for more details, consult our full review of the Samsung Seek for Sprint. You can pick up a Samsung Seek for $149.99 with Boost Mobile for a $50-per-month Unlimited Plan, and without an annual contract.
We continue to like the Samsung Seek's compact, lightweight design; 4.1 inches long by 2.1 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick and 3.9 ounces. With rounded corners and a smooth matte back, the Seek fits well in the hand and is comfortable on the ear. Its glossy 2.6-inch touch-screen QVGA face supports 262,000 colors at a 240x320-pixel resolution. The Seek's display is smaller than we'd like for surfing the Web and composing e-mail, but it is bright and colorful.
Three hardware buttons below the screen represent Back, Home, and Call. Samsung divides the Seek's touch-screen menu into four screens for Favorites, Main, Fun, and the Web. As the Seek uses a resistive touch screen instead of a capacitive screen, you'll need to apply a bit more pressure when tapping icons on the display. While there is a little lag, overall it is not too bad.
On the right spine are a dedicated camera button, a Micro-USB charger port, and the power/lock button. On top sits a 3.5-millimeter headset jack, and on the left there's a volume rocker and a microSD slot that supports card capacities up to 32GB. On the back of the phone is a 1.3-megapixel camera. The phone face slides to reveal a QWERTY keyboard with slightly raised keys for easier typing. There are four directional buttons and a shortcut button for adding emoticons.
Editors' note: Since features on the Samsung Seek are very similar for the Sprint and Boost Mobile versions, we'll only summarize them in this review. For full details, consult our review of the Samsung Seek for Sprint.
The Seek has a 600-person address book with 20 polyphonic ringtones for customizing your contacts. It has a vibrate mode, voice dialing, a speakerphone, a calculator, a notepad, a calendar, and a world clock. Text and multimedia messaging are onboard, along with social-networking tools like instant messaging, and Facebook and MySpace apps. The phone has a Web browser, GPS, Bluetooth, and an e-mail app that supports popular Web mail in-boxes and other POP3 and IMAP services. There's also the Boost Navigator app you can subscribe to for $9.99 per month or $1.99 per day
The Seek has a simple music player that requires expandable memory to work. Again, the Seek supports microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity. Its basic 1.3-megapixel camera works, but its photos are indistinct around the edges, with slightly dull colors. You can save images as wallpaper or as a photo ID.
We tested the Samsung Seek in San Francisco using Boost Mobile, which is a Sprint Nextel subsidiary. The Seek operates on Sprint's CDMA network, while other Boost handsets use Nextel's iDEN network. The Seek's call quality was more than passable, with strong call volume and natural-sounding voices that were unfortunately slightly muffled. White noise and a high-frequency whine accompanied many of the calls on our end.
On their end, callers said they could tell we were on a cell phone and said we sounded muffled. However, the call quality never impeded the conversational flow. The Seek's speakerphone sounded a little scratchy from our end, which is typical. It sounded muffled, garbled, and had an echo from our caller's end.
Since the Seek only supports 2.5G network speeds, surfing the Web on it was slow. For example, CNET's mobile Web site took 20 to 30 seconds to load.