A Day With The Samsung Transform…

Some background to this story…

-I have 4 phones on my family plan
-1 month ago I ordered 3 Samsung Intercepts & 1 Samsung Epic
-I was happy with the Epic, but I felt like the Intercepts were just not up to par for a 2010 Android device (they were on the slow side, had a low resolution screen, slow internet connection b/c of evdo rev 0, and no flash with the camera) – don’t get me wrong, I know that the Intercept is a low to mid range Android phone, but I felt like it was only marginally better than my G1, the 1st Android phone, which was released 2 years ago!  I couldn’t accept my family having to deal with these inferior phones for 2 years on a new contract.
-I was excited when the Samsung Transform came out 2 weeks later with specs that were definitely more respectable (same speed processor, but higher resolution screen, faster internet connection b/c of evdo rev a, dual front & back cameras with a flash on the back)
-despite these improved specs, reviews on the Transform were very poor
-however, I stuck with my gut and decided to exchange the Intercepts for the Transforms
I received the Transforms in the mail today and here are my impressions

PROS

  • much snappier than I expected, especially since it uses the same speed processor as the Intercept and reviews said the phone was sluggish (going in and out of apps was very responsive)
  • -let’s not forget that this phone is running Android 2.1 operating system.  Android 2.2 should bring significant speed improvements to make this phone even faster, and Sprint has stated that it will be updated to Android 2.2 by year’s end.
  • keyboard is amazing (I like this keyboard so much more than the Epic keyboard.  the keys are a great size/shape.  i’m able to type without hardly looking at the keys, whereas this is completely impossible for me to do on the Epic.)
  • phone looks awesome (just like a mini Epic 4g)
  • camera pictures were decent under good lighting…the flash comes in handy in the dark, but are a little washed out
  • clearer voice calls than the Intercept
  • evdo rev A internet connection definitely feels faster than the evdo rev 0 of the Intercept
  • GPS was very quick and accurate

CONS

  • some software bugs to work out
  • –ex.  the homescreen doesn’t rotate from portrait to landscape when sliding the keyboard out…however, if you are in an app, then the screen does rotate
  • –ex.  when you have the browser & the messaging apps open, for some reason if you try to click to go back to the messaging app, it opens the browser app instead

Why did this phone get poor reviews???

  • 1.  sluggish? this phone comes with a feature called “Sprint ID’s”.  these are kind of like different skins that you can use to customize your phone to your interests  (ex.  if you like video games, there’s an EA Sports Sprint ID).  when you use these Sprint ID’s, it can slow down the phone a bit.  however, if you choose the simplest Sprint ID, named “Clean”, it doesn’t install anything extra, and the phone remains very responsive.
  • 2.  expensive? if you buy this phone from Sprint, it costs $249 with a $100 mail in rebate.  so it’s not a cheap phone because with tax it’s almost $300 out the door and you have to deal with a rebate.  however, if you buy this phone off Amazon, the phone is only $99 no tax, no rebate.
  • 3.  front facing camera doesn’t work with popular video chat software? i haven’t tried this feature yet, but i believe the reviews if they say it’s not working, and that’s a bummer…  but honestly, it’s just a matter of time before the software becomes compatible with the hardware, and when it does, it’s awesome that this mid-range Android phone has a front facing camera that’s ready to go.
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