Moment Review: The Samsung Lost In Time

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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  • Darin

    I own a Samsung Moment and I enjoy using this phone. I was an iphone user from the very first day and went original iphone to 3g iphone to Palm Pre (got rid of it because the phone always felt like it was ready to fall apart) to the Moment which I would have to say I am really impressed with. I actually like using Android more than the iphone os and way more than Palm’s webos. Sturdy phone with a nice keyboard. Only issue I have is the battery which gets me through barely a work day if I don’t put it on a charger during the day. But overall I am very happy with this phone and I paid full price for it too.

  • Brad

    “Android 1.5/1.6 is laggy, but no fault of the Moment.”
    Interesting comment, as it implies that Android 2.0 is inherently faster. I wonder how much faster the Hero/Eris will be once they’re running Android 2.0. I look forward to the upgrade.

  • Colin

    I’m surprised no one has called you on the battery life yet. Moment users are easily getting 12-15 hours of moderate usage if you condition the battery; I leave my GPS and BlueTooth on all day and easily make it through, even amidst the myriads of e-mails, RSS feeds, and web browsing I do every day. The problem with the battery is the meter software, which doesn’t correctly the remaining battery. There is a huge thread on this on Android Forums:
    http://androidforums.com/samsung-moment/13783-possible-battery-quirk.html

  • Dennis

    I think it’s important not to get too caught up in the version numbers game. A version upgrade may not necessarily be faster, especially if your adding new functionality. 1.5 wasn’t “laggy” to me, and 1.6 doesn’t seem faster.. Am I happy to have the upgrade ?, yes of course.. but do I think I am going to be shouting on the mountain if and when I get 2.0 ? .. I doubt it.. I would hate to see Android go the way of the PC, where the OS becomes so bloated that continually purchasing new hardware becomes a requirement, just to maintain basic livable usability.

  • http://l3reak.blogspot.com l3reak

    Console controllers may usually have the d-pad on the left, but all keyboards, including most phone keyboards, have the arrows on the right. Even the Droid Does. It’s just a standard keyboard thing.

  • a

    $99 at bb now.

  • http://ukstokes.com/blog Ben

    Thanks for the review. It doesn’t seem to have that much going for it apart from the camera, which is outstanding compared to HTC’s android devices. Everything else can be pretty much shrugged off with a ‘meh’ … unfortunately it’s come out a few weeks too late and the Moto Droid does everything better.

  • Lowendall1880

    @I3reak

    We all know that it’s standard for the arrows to be on the right on a computer keyboard, but this setup most certainly decreases the functionality of this phone in comparison to ones with the d-pad on the left. If there is a trackball/optical mouse, then there is really no other reason to have a d-pad except for gaming function. The d-pad on the right is a waste of space for this phone.

  • a

    the moment has fewer quality control issues than the droid, and a much better camera and screen technology. android 2.0 is the droid’s main selling point over other android phones. 7 hours of continuous use is pretty much unprecedented for an android phone.

  • Fred

    @Fred – wow, a Droid fanboy? The Samsung Moment hardware size is much more ergonomic than the Droid. And the Droid doesn’t blow it away at all. The Droid has far more issues on its release than the Samsung Moment.

    Check yourself before you write clueless comments like that.

  • Morenojose

    I purchased a moment on November 2. loved the fact that is very sturdy. Until I started having glitches with it last week, the moment will turn off by it self, volume will increase & decrease as i listen to the mp3 player and to make it more worst it wouldnt foward my msgs, text, ring, the reception sucks. I was waiting for this phone for so long and got dissapointed. May be samsung will fix the small problems that some moments are having to improve for their next android. Now I own the HTC Hero until now no problems.

  • CrPercodani

    The Droid sold wayyyy more units the the Moment which is why your hearing about more issues. Pretty much any phone that sells over 100k in the first week will have a good amount of “lemons”. Also the Droid was marketed a lot better then the Moment so you have users who are new to Android and don’t really know how to use it, most people who bought the Moment are upgrading from another Android phone, or some other smartphone.

  • http://www.brainhandles.com Greg

    I like my Moment, get good battery life (except when I play Robo Defense half the day which ends up having the screen on for 30-40 minutes a play). I’ll second the battery quirks. It will rapidly go from say 100% to 70% or 80%, sit there for an hour or two of use, then do a quick drain down by 20-30%, then sit at that number for 2 hours or more. When I did the first drain down to condition my battery, it was at 15% power for like 90 minutes despite my running a flashlight app most of that time.

  • David

    I love my moment and will surely keep it but I am having battery issues also, it drains down really fast, I have not let it drain down until it shuts off but when it gives the warning LOW BATTER, the screen goes dim, and will not return to full brightness until it is recharged. Does anyone know how long it stays on when the screen goes dim and you get the warning??? Also you can have up to 7 home screens or extentions by downloading Open Home from the market!

  • Jason

    My Moment lasts approx 18 hours with fairly heavy usage (and GPS on) before it needs a charge. I downloaded a task killer and kill things like NFL mobile to help. You definitely want to drain the battery completely until the phone shuts off and re-charge a couple times.

    David – Open Home does allow for 7 screens. I set mine to 5 though. I have Open Home on my Moment, but I do not let it be the default. When I hit the home screen button, I choose between Home or Open Home. I have heard stories of Open Home not loading correctly, then basically bricking your phone because it keeps rebooting. Not setting it as the default keeps that from ever happening (it may not ever happen anyways). Open Home works great on my Moment, and I would recommend it.

  • ByteEnable

    We can all read spec’s. What is this a review of?

    Problems with the Samsung Moment:

    1. aGPS does not work.
    2. Audio pop from speaker when dialing.
    3. Audio skip/stuffer/distortion on initial playback.
    4. Wireless WPA2 Enterprise protocol not supported.
    5. Battery charge indicator broken.

  • Pingback: Sprint’s Moment: Open Source Released By Samsung | Android Phone Fans()

  • eeeee

    I don’t have any issues with the GPS on the moment. I just
    used it today. I love this phone!!

  • Cody

    I transitioned from the Droid to the Moment solely on the Verizon plan being near double what I’m paying now.I’m pleased to say I enjoy the moment and when it gets the android 2.0 it will beat the Droid processor wise.I seemed unaffected by the screen clarity. Does anyone remember having a razor? I have a feeling that the Droid will suffer from the hardware going to shit like most Motorola phones… Not that I hate the Droid I just don’t trust motorola…

  • Rich

    ByteEnable – not sure where you got your information (perhaps you’re having these problems with your phone?) but I have a moment and have none of the issues in your list. WPA2 DOES work – that is what my network at home is and I connect fine to it. I haven’t had it long enough to see the battery problem – mine lasts all day and I don’t worry about what the indicator says mainly because everyone else is saying it’s inaccurate. I have not had it power off on me yet. I wish they would do an update to 2.0, but it stands worlds above my last phone which was an HTC Titan!

  • http://phandriod ajiarcher

    I purchased my first monent in mid november. I’m sorry to say phone has been a problem. In fact this is my second phone, first one was replaced after three weeks because of os freezing, could not shut down without removing battery twice.
    Other issues are gps rarely works even outdoors,even more rarely inside car or bus.
    Missed calls due to phone going into either airplane or silent mode by itself.
    Not being able to turn off silent mode, when I do in settings it turns on in start up, really frustrating, have to reboot phone.
    Battery life is about 4 hours, will try draining ’till it shuts down and then recharge.
    It’s a shame I like the phone setup, this is my first pda phone, screen is excellent, also like full keyboard, but so far the moment had been more of a monster.

  • titmanager

    I got the moment the day it came out. The only real issue I had was with Pandora. Apparently (as per the tech support guy) Pandora does not work too well with the Moment. The only thing I am irritated about is my signal in my house. Its garbage, and my battery life sucks as well. I talk for 30 minutes and I am down to 30%. However, seeing as how I don’t have any money for a new phone I just have to make due. Just one question here. Is there anyway to get a UMA app or something so I can synch it to my wireless router?

  • george

    I love the moment but I have replaced mine three times now it will shut itself off w a full bettery at times and I have to take the ?does anyone know if a bad app or charger could cause this?

  • Mayo

    @Rich: You have to read carefully. What ByteEnable said is true. You don’t have WPA2 Enterprise at home. Nobody has. You’re using WPA2 Personal at home. It works with Moment no question. But Moment doesn’t hook up to WPA2 Enterprise, which is used in companies or schools, just like my campus network. It actually is an Android problem, not restricted to Moment. At least that’s what the IT guy told me. WPA2 Ent can’t even be detected by Android phones. But Sprint has good EVDO coverage at my school. So not a big deal for me.

  • http://dibbsolutions.com DibbSolutions

    I wish I could find a driver for this thing!

  • krista marie

    My moment is a dream. I had the g1 before and the only things I could really complain about is that I don’t have the led notifyer for texts and that I wish the keyboard light stayed on longer but other then that the battery life is twice as long, sound is better, screen is so clear, touch screen is super responsive and never freezes… I love this phone and I guess there’s a couple apps that’ll make the notification light blink so problem solved! Plus this is by far the best looking android out right now and the camera is rediculously clear.

  • http://None Nancy

    I hate this phone! I have had it for three months and it calls people without me touching it, freezes up when trying to answer a call (Have to remove battery to get it back to normal) Constant application issues (force closes) and the best part of all is I have hardly any apps keep wifi and GPS and bluetooth off and my battery dies within 4 hours?! WTF?! I went to the sprint store where I bought it and they are rude to me and say that the phone is a pocket computer and to expect the battery to die quickly… Ummm I need a phone first and a damn computer second! This is thw worst android phone I have ever had (I Have had 3; Mytouch t-mobile,Hero-Sprint & Moment-Sprint)
    I just bought an Iphone and I am leaving sprint due to dis-satisfaction!

  • http://None Nancy

    Oh FYI… I did condition the battery, download advanced task killer, keep my GPS,Bluetooth, and WIFI off at all times and the phone after a few text messages was down to 15% battery… Within minutes of that my phone battery died. The phone had only been off the charger for literally 4 hours.
    I know my unit is defective, however Sprint is in denial that the moment has serious issues and didn’t offer to help, instead they gave me excuse after excuse and made it seem as though I was an idiot. When I have a degree in Computer Science and understand how “computers” work. I WOULD NOT RECCOMEND THIS PHONE… PERIOD!

  • Kimando

    I just traded in my HTC Hero which I have had for 2 weeks. I used to have the Blackberry Curve, and really liked the phone, but I broke the screen. Cheaper to renew my contract and get a new phone. The Hero was more money than the Moment, and I thought it would be a good upgrade. Needless to say, it was one of the worst phones I have ever seen. The android operating system was super slow. I missed calls because to took the phone too long to respond. I pulled the battery, and reset the phone several times. (Who wants to do that all the time?) I’ve only had my Moment for 4 hours, but WOW what a huge difference. It is very fast to respond, the touch screen is actually accurate, (Hero was horrible). I’m very pleased with what I have seen so far! The battery life can’t possibly be worse than the Hero. The phone is a bit bigger, but is actually easier to handle because of the larger size. Good job Samsung!

  • Thurman

    Samsung Update..

    Sprint has just released a software update from android 1.5 to android 1.6. The update has addressed issues to the Moment including: Battery Life ( shutting down background running apps and rendering of battery draw ), GPS ( fixed the problem of no reception or off target reception indoors ), among a few others. I find the new update has rounded off an overall well performing phone. My only complaint is video playback ( from on-phone mpg’s or youtube ) is never full screen like on my friend’s palm pre ) and the keys on the physical keypad need to be raised a bit..

  • Mari

    I have had my moment since 12/22 and I an on my fourth phone and it is not getting any better. The worst part is that after my 2nd I called sprint and he told me to try all of this upgrade crap and if that didnt work in a few days to go to my sprint store for service and when i did that I had the phone 33 days so they gave me a reconditioned phone which still sucked and it was scratched up and looked like crap. The phone still freezes, forces close, drops calls or calls on its own and after about 3 hours of it sitting on my desk not even in use I pick it up and it says I only have 15% battery left. It is the worst phone I have ever had and sprint has my money so they dont care.

  • nate

    Can all of you please just stop expecting cell phones to be perfect? Obviously they will have their issues….. I work at Radioshack and sell sprint, att and t-mobile. I have customers return phones because of ignorance more often than phone issues. I had one customer return 3 different touch screen phones, one htc, one samsung and one lg. All for different touch screen issues,and complaining that they hate sprint and will never use sprint again because the phones suck……Last time i checked the touch screen is made by the cell phone manufacturer, not the carrier. This brings me back to ignorance. Buy a damn flip phone if you will complain about every other phone out there….

  • michelle

    I love my Moment, except for the battery life. I usually run my GPS and Bluetooth, but doing this my phone barely makes it 5 hours without the battery going completely dead. Turning the GPS, Bluetooth off, and getting rid of my weather app helps a little. It’s like I have to carry a second battery just to make it through the day!

  • Lisa

    Owned this phone since it came out. No love or hate, it’s a phone, can deal with the qwirks. Just wish the phone numbers in the contacts were larger font. Would also like to have seperate call logs for incoming, out going. At one point it stopped charging and I was given a new one, but it took 9 days to get it and no loaner phone.
    There should be a back plan in place for something that we rely on so much.

  • Dennis

    Worked for Sprint for 10 years. Sampled various phones. Favorite was my Treo 655 and 755P. Replaced TREO with the Moment. MISTAKE!!! I had the 800W treo all of 27 days and returned it due to bad battery life. Not because it was running the windows OS as it was great, but the battery.. I need a phone to last longer when it’s not in use. My Moment is the F450 superduty of phones. It gets 3mpg just sitting in the drive way. Other then the unexplained shutdowns, lagging when it tries to do 2 things a once (gets confused I guess) and the REALLY BAD battery life, it love it’s great screen and camera. Did I mention I’ve had it replaced once due to the shutdowns? So, it’s not really a phone if it can’t stay up under it’s own power without having to remove the battery to reboot it. So, I guess I have earned the right after had worked for the company for 10 years is THIS PHONE SUCKS!!! I’m going back for my 2nd replacement, I’ll go back for a 3rd, 4th, 5th till they offer me a replacement with something that’s reliable. I’ll even settle for a crack berry. Or, they can refund my money (past 90 days here) and I’ll go back to my treo. Rant off.

  • Missy

    Hated this phone since the day I got it. I bought it right when it came out. I am VERY impatient when it comes to phones, I like to do multiple things on it at once. This phone WILL NEVER let me answer an incoming call. I am on my 4th Moment, and every one is the same. I just tell everybody my phone is a POS email or text only. I have tried a lot of different task killers and kill it frequently. My battery lasts 4 hours max!! I have to carry a charger wherever I go (that is NO JOKE). It also freezes randomly and shuts off… then takes 10 minutes to reboot! Also, it RANDOMLY calls people!! Not on my call log, just random in my phone book! People I have not talked to in YEARS have received calls from me and it has called people at midnight on a work night. The camera takes nice photos (once you hold the button forever and people quit smiling). I have HIDEOUS service with this phone too… everybody else can have full bars and I can have 1. SIGH… DON’T BUY IT!!

  • Jessica

    I have had the moment for 10 months and I HATE it! I cannot wait until February to get my upgrade. I can be touching the screen and it turns off, battery life is very small, freezes, turns itself off mid application, force close all the time…I could go on and on….I am in the Sprint Store at least once a month, which is rediculous. I could see once or twice in a year, but once or twice a month is not acceptable. My mom has the moment also and we experience the same problems.

    Do not buy the Moment…I like the Epic but it scares me to get another Samsung, so I will have to read reviews between the Epic and Evo or maybe there will be something else in February.