Jan, 16 2015

What’s missing from this android recent release list?
1. Sprint Hero
2. Motorola CLIQ
3. Motorola Droid
4. HTC Droid Eris

samsung-moment_1

Oh yeah, the Samsung Moment. The phone was released on November 1st, the same week Verizon’s Droid came out. Based on the media blitz Verizon and technology writers gave the Droid one would think the Moment was the Yugo of android phones.

Sprint really has been really quiet about advertising android. It has let word of mouth and forums like this do all the advertising for them. I was looking for reviews of the phone online and discovered there were only 2 real review videos on YouTube.
Other technology sites gave the phone a superficial look and moved over to the Droid or HTC Hero.

Then again it’s understandable. It’s not the 1st Android phone, it’s not the first android with a full QWERTY, it doesn’t have an innovative user interface (UI), it’s running a laggy 1.5 and it has a 3.2 MP camera.
However, it does have an 800MHz processor, a beautiful AMOLED 3.2, LED Flash, and 279mb of ram, which 260mb are usable.

Keyboard:
With every QWERTY phone there’s always an adjustment period, but a big part of adjusting to the phone’s keyboard is how the keys are laid out and how they are designed.
1. The keys could rise a bit more for faster typing.
2. The way the keys are laid out are not ideal. The@ sign can only be accessed by pressing the FN (function) key rather than being an individual key.
3. The direction keys are to the right of the phone rather than being on the left like most controllers.

Screen:
The AMOLED screen is stunning though there is a bluish hue. The screen is not the most responsive screen. I’m used to flicking through the 3 home screens by gently glassing my fingers over the glass. However, with this screen I’ve had to place my finger firmly and flick. Maybe adding a screen cover might help with the screen sensitivity issue.

Response:
Asides from the screen “issue” the phone is snappy and quite responsive.
Boot up time to reception and full functionality is 48 seconds on the Moment. This is significantly faster than the G1’s 1:10 seconds.
G1 boot up time
CIMG1817

Moment boot up time
CIMG1820

Software:

OS:
The Moment is running a hybrid of Android 1.5 and 1.6. Though there are certain parts that have improved from using this CDMA version of android, there is the persistent problem of lag between home screens and certain apps.
The Moment comes with the 3 standard home screens. The main home screen comes with the standard icons plus a Voice Mail icon that is used for visual mail. This app will save you on minutes and time.
The program lets you get your voice mail messages without having to call into your voicemail. It also allows the user to see how many VMs they have, their rendition and who they are from. It also lets them forward those messages as well as call the person back from the same interface.

Left Home screen:
This page is full of Sprint branded software.
Sprint TV is a great idea if it worked on Wi-Fi. Sprint asks the user to disable their Wi-Fi connection for the multimedia app to work. Performance then solemnly weighs in on Sprint’s 3G network to work.
One would think that Sprint would let people stream this through Wi-Fi to release some of the stress from their network. However, with 80,000+ customers recently leaving Sprint, network traffic seems not to be an issue.

The NFL app is a great feature for football fans. However, it lets you just track one team. The app gives you updates on your team. Once you click on the widget it takes you to a website that has video, news and articles about the team you are following.

Sprint Nascar app is similar to Sprint’s NFL app.

Sprint Navigation is a turn by turn GPS program that comes free with any of their $40+ voice and data packages. It’s similar to Telenav.

Right Home Screen:
This page is full of internet shortcuts (ESPN, CNN, YouTube, Facebook). It also has the Weather Channel’s weather widgets that works based on your location.

Additional Sprint apps include:
Nuance Voice Control:
This software is a lot like Google Voice command software. Some people could notice a difference between both. However, I’ve noticed that both have a lot to go before they are truly 100% useful.

Moxier Email/Work Task:
These two apps make it easier to sync and push emails from a Microsoft Exchange Server. It also lets the user see and edit their work calendar.

Note:
The software implemented from Sprint cannot be removed or shut down from the processes. I tried TasKiller and Task Control; however, both of these failed to shut down Voice Control and Moxier Email for more than 10 seconds. Since it’s running 1.5/1.6 I can’t see how much power each of these processes is taking up.

Google Maps:
Looking at Google Maps I’ve noticed that it’s exactly the same as the 1.6 version. One thing that is missing is the History of addresses one has searched. This feature I found to be very useful.

Music Player:
Same boring UI.

Camera:
The side camera button needs to be held firmly for about 2 seconds before the camera feature comes up. There’s a bit of a delay and that can be traced to 1.5 and 1.6.
Samsung has always been pretty good about mobile phone camera quality and adding their own photo software. The quality of the pictures are pretty good. The 3.2MP camera does have a LED flash and the camera button is very responsive, but there is a lack of creativity in the software department. Samsung decided to stick with the basic 1.5 UI. This was the one area I really expected the Moment to shine.
Below are couple of pictures in various lighting scenarios.
2009-11-12 17.37.59

2009-11-14 14.46.21

2009-11-14 14.15.15

Video

Mouse/Track ball/Touch Pad:
The touch pad is laggy at best. At times I found myself having to repeat the swiping gesture more than once only for the lag to catch on to how many times I swiped my finger.

Battery Life:
Samsung should have used a 1500MAh battery instead of the 1440MAh. With regular use and the GPS off the phone lasted around 7 hours.
However, as soon as the GPS and Location were turned on the phone’s battery life reached around 5 hours.
I think this can be attributed to the Weather Channel widget on the right home screen.
Two options could be to disable the GPS or take down the weather widget.

Looks:
The phone will not turn heads. It’s smaller than the G1, but as thick and a bit wider.
The Home, MENU, and Back keys are part of a touch screen function.
The only true buttons on the front of the phone are the Call, End and TouchPad.

Tethering:
Yes, it can be done. I used PDANET’s software and was able to make the phone work as a modem.
However, one needs Samsung’s Moment USB Drivers. You will need to manually install these as MS Windows will not acknowledge them as legit/certified drivers.

Pros:
The screen is vibrant and video playback is a treat.
The processor does really make the phone a lot more responsive.
The phone has a good feel and it’s pretty solid.
The photo quality is good and even comparable to some of the 5MP cameras out there.
A 3.5 headphone jack.
Boot up time.

Cons:
Some software can’t be uninstalled or shut off.
Battery Life can easily dwindle if GPS is on.
Android 1.5/1.6 is laggy, but no fault of the Moment.
Keyboard key layout.
Screen picks up smudges easily.
It lacks a missed calls and missed messages warning light.

Writer’s Update:
A statement about battery use was stated in the comments section. I was able to get the phone and charge it, then let it run out of battery and fully recharge the phone again.
Regular use depends on the user as well as excessive use.
Having said this, I did read the battery section on the forum before doing the review and never experienced anything over 7 hours.
Also, this is with the screen brightness set at 100%.

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