The Good The Samsung Gravity Txt has a functional feature set and admirable call quality.
The Bad Samsung Gravity Txt is not the best phone for an optical joystick. Although the QWERTY keyboard is spacious, the buttons are stiff and the placement of some shortcuts is disorienting.
The Bottom Line We didn’t like everything about its design, but as an inexpensive, easy-to-use cell phone to make calls, Samsung Gravity Txt does the job.
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At this point, you might think that Samsung’s Gravity phones are about as many as Galaxy’s phones. Okay, we’re a little exaggerated, but Gravity Txt is actually the sixth device for T-Mobile. We first had original gravity back in 2008, followed by Gravity 2, the Gravity 3 , the Gravity T and Android Gravity Smart with Android. Like most of its predecessors, Gravity Txt is a functional device built around messaging. The keyboard can be a little stiff, and we don’t like the optical joystick, but the simple design and decent call quality have been a bit of a complaint.
Compared to previous Gravity models, the Gravity Txt, also known as the SGH-T379, most closely resembles the Gravity 3. Instead of a tiny touch screen like the Gravity T, you’ll find a more comfortable location with a full keyboard hidden behind the slider design. Indeed, this is the perfect example of a phone where less is definitely more. Even more unpretentious is the basic gray skin, which is imbued with an emerald-green strip around the edge. The size of the phone is 4.41 inches, 2.09 inches wide, 0.59 inches deep and weighs 3.59 ounces.
Gravity Txt is easy to hold.
The 2.4-inch display (QVGA) supports 262,000 colors. Although not particularly bright, on a phone like this, perfectly fine. You can adjust the brightness and lighting time and choose a color theme and wallpaper. Moreover, the orientation of the display returns automatically when you open the slider (there is no accelerometer). Powering your phone is Samsung’s basic user interface, which should be easy to learn.
Below the screen is a navigation array, which we found to be one of the most exciting features of Gravity Txt. Instead of the standard four-way switch with the center OK button, the handset has a square optical joystick. Swiping on the joystick allows you to scroll through the main menu based on the grid and longer lists in the internal menus. Although in principle we do not agree with the concept of the optical joystick, in practice it does not quite work. The joystick is too small, especially for people with big hands, and the movement just feels a little awkward. We got used to it, but it took time.
The Gravity Txt keyboard is spacious but rigid.
Around the joystick are two softkeys, a shortcut for messaging, a back button, and the Talk and End / Power controls. They are flush with the surface of the phone but spacious. There is an alphanumeric keypad at the bottom. The keys feel quite tight together, but it’s not a big deal. On the right, you’ll find a Micro-USB charger port and a camera shutter. The volume rocker and microSD card slot are on the left, and the 3.5mm headset jack is on the top end of the phone. The camera lens sits on the back near the sole of the sole.
Fortunately, the QWERTY keyboard, under the sturdy slider mechanism, feels bigger. It takes up the full width of the phone, leaving a lot of space between individual buttons, and you get a great assortment of highlighted shortcuts for emojis, messages, web browsers and social media applications. The letters divide the space by numbers and punctuation (there is even a “.com” button), some of which are highlighted in green. The Alt key is also conveniently highlighted in green.
However, the keyboard did not go wrong. The keys are flat and relatively rigid, resulting in a slow and somewhat complicated typing experience. It was something else we were used to, but then again, it took a while. We were also not happy with the keyboard navigation keys. The arrow buttons in the far right corner are fine, but we prefer that the OK button is not on the far far side. The softkeys also look a bit weird because they are not directly below the corresponding commands on the display.
The Phone Book contains 1000 room contacts in each entry for multiple phone numbers, email, URL, anniversary, street address, birthday and notes. You can save subscribers in groups and combine them with a photo and a ringtone. Other basic items include messaging and email, alarm clock, to-do list, overlays, calculator, world clock, tooltip calculator, timer and stopwatch.
As we said earlier, Gravity Txt is far from being a smartphone, but it does offer a few extra features that go beyond the basics. Inside are Bluetooth, USB sync, voice and dialing, TeleNav GPS, an RSS reader, and Social Buzz, which offers access to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. There is also a rudimentary music player, but it will have limited appeal to audiophiles.
The 2 megapixel camera takes photos in four resolutions, from full 2 megapixels (1600×1200 pixels) to QVGA (320×240 pixels). Other features include white balance, spot metering, digital zoom (not available in all resolutions), multi-shot and mosaic shooting modes, panoramic function, smile setting (the camera will detect when the subject is smiling and taking pictures automatically), self-timer and three shutter sounds.
The camcorder shoots clips in two resolutions (322×240 pixels and 176×144 pixels) and offers most of the same editing options as the camera. Multimedia message clips are limited to about a minute, but you can shoot longer in standard mode.
Gravity Txt makes decent photos.
The picture quality was better than we expected, with bright colors and little image noise. On the other hand, the video looked just as grainy and cunning as you would expect from a low-resolution shooter. Once you’re done, you can save photos and videos to Gravity’s Txt memory of 115 MB. It’s not much, but the microSD card slot offers more space. And just in case, a handy counter tells you how much space you have left. To share your work, your phone offers fast downloads in Flickr, Kodak, Photobucket and Snapfish.
Gravity Txt has a standard WAP browser. It’s no worse than any other WAP browser, but it certainly can’t compare to what you get even on the simplest smartphone. It can do the job, but just know what you are looking for. There are three demo games in the phone: Scrabble, Tetris and Uno. You can get the full versions and applications from T-Mobile.
We tested the four-band (850/900/1800/1900) Samsung Gravity Txt phone in San Francisco using T-Mobile. The overall quality of the calls was satisfactory. The signal remained strong in most places, calls were quickly connected, and we did not detect static or interference. Moreover, our friends’ voices sounded natural. On the other hand, the volume could be a little louder. For example, we have trouble listening on the street. Gravity Txt also supports the 3G T-Mobile network, although this will be limited in use, given the basic browser and data features.
AT&T Samsung Gravity Txt call quality sampleListen now:
In the end, the subscribers were also satisfied. Most people could say that we were using a cell phone, but they did not report any issues beyond wind noise and a single feedback event. The loudspeaker calls were wonderful but not impressive. The sound was surprisingly clear on our end, though the background was sizzling at the highest volume levels. The callers could hear us while we were near the phone.
Gravity Txt has an estimated battery life of 6.5 hours of talk time and 18.75 days of standby time. According to FCC radiation tests, Gravity Txt has a digital SAR of 0.87 watts per kilogram.
After all, Gravity Txt is no better or worse than the models it came out with. We like the simple design, basic features and good quality of the calls, but there are design aspects that remain annoying. As we said, we are used to them, but we wish they had not. But if you’re looking for a reliable messaging phone that won’t break the bank, given that Gravity Txt is only $ 9.99. US with the service, you can’t go wrong.