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Samsung Gem review: Edgy personality in a basic Froyo phone

It's not often we stumble across a smartphone with both personality and a phenomenal price. Despite some mostly minor drawbacks, the Gem has the makings of a great entry-level Android phone.

Samsung Gem SCH-i100 (U.S. Cellular)
Josh Miller/CNET

Does it have Samsung's signature high-polish glossy body? Of course! But the Samsung Gem, an Android 2.2 Froyo smartphone for U.S. Cellular, also has some style all its own. With its swooping lines and repeated pentagonal, superhero-esque accent, it doesn't look like just any other Android phone.

Related links
• Read our T-Mobile G2 review
• Alltel also has the Samsung Gem
• See other Samsung phones

We're pleased that Samsung left its custom TouchWiz interface off this model, giving us the default (some would call it "pure") Android experience.

The specs are typical for a budget Android handset, which amounts to good value at only $30 for the smartphone. Since many messaging phones cost more than that and bring you less, the Gem joins the LG Optimus U as a killer deal for U.S. Cellular subscribers (compare the phones).

Watch the hands-on video review, see photos, and read details about call quality and more in our full Samsung Gem review!