Samsung Transform Ultra (Sprint) review: Samsung Transform Ultra (Sprint)

(For camera performance, consult the Samsung Transform Ultra review for Boost Mobile.)

I tested the dual-band (CDMA 850/1900) Samsung Transform Ultra in San Francisco on Sprint's network. Call quality was variable. Volume sounded a little low on my end, and voices were a bit flatter than usual. There were pockets of audio distortion throughout my call, and whispers of white noise that reared every time the caller spoke. On their end, callers said the call sounded very natural, with strong volume, and no background noise. In fact, it sounded almost as good as a landline.

Samsung Transform Ultra (Sprint) call quality sample Listen now:

Speakerphone volume was a little quiet and hollow to my ears and "uncomfortably quiet" on the other end of the line, but "very good" otherwise.

Sprint's 3G connection seemed pokey. CNET's mobile site loaded in about 25 seconds, and closer to a minute to load the full desktop view. The New York Times' Web-optimized site loaded in a speedy 9 seconds, with the full site completing in 32 seconds. Ookla's app took care of the diagnostics, with download speeds ranging from 0.5 to 1 megabytes per second (Mbps), and upload speeds clocking in at between 0.3 and 0.75Mbps

The Samsung Transform Ultra is a likeable QWERTY slider for Sprint. With Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a good keyboard, and a fair $80 price, the phone will satisfy those looking for a keyboarded midrange smartphone that also has a good in-hand feel. Still, it may be worth shopping around. For $20 more, the HTC Evo Shift 4G (with a keyboard) and HTC Evo Design 4G (sans keyboard) are faster and more advanced.

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