The Good Samsung Smiley has a functional range of mid-range features and respectable call quality.
The Bad The Samsung Smiley keyboard is short and has several shortcuts. Some messaging options require you to use a web browser.
The Bottom Line Unless you object to the small keyboard and pass the name fainting, T-Mobile’s Samsung Smiley is an easy-to-use messaging phone.
Samsung 🙂 Smiley
You can always expect Samsung to do these two things: bury us in new cell phone reviews and periodically announce phones with rather silly names. The last question is Innov8, TwoStep and theSunburstThese are the most important examples, and do not let the copy editors of CNET run this Messager. But leave it at Samsung to continue to excel, because just when we thought we’d heard it all, the company introduced a new phone name that introduced us to new ridiculous realms.
Our sources now say that one Samsung employee is being asked to call their phones. It’s more than believable from a huge multinational firm, but like Nicole Lee put it apparently this person lacks words. Samsung named its SGH-T359 Samsung :). That’s right, he used a smiley face, usually reserved for instant messaging and content with teens’ content. We were surprised when we first heard the news last month and have remained so today. In fact, we find it so absurd that we will refer to it as the “Smiley” Samsung in this review. This will show them.
Names aside, Smiley is a handy and functional text phone for T-Mobile. It has a respectable range of midrange features, and it offers decent performance. And best of all, it will only cost you $ 19.99. US with a two-year contract.
Outside, Smiley is very reminiscent of the Samsung Strive. It does not come in multiple colors, but has a similar slider phone design and is 3.9 inches long, 2.3 inches wide, 0.6 inches deep, about the same size. At 4 ounces, Smiley is only the smallest weightier than its predecessor, but it still feels a little wobbly in the hand due to the plastic sheath. Despite its longevity issues, it’s a pretty attractive phone, and we’re delighted that Samsung didn’t hide the look of the smiley face.
The Smiley 2.6-inch TFT display shows 262,000 colors with a resolution of 320×240 pixels. Of course, it can’t compare to the quirky displays on the latest smartphones, but it’s more than suitable for a mid-range text tube. Its colors, graphics and photos are bright, though the direct-light screen is vastly unreadable. The menu interface is typical of Samsung, which means it’s easy to use. Display personalization options include brightness, backlight time, and wallpaper.
At the bottom of the display is a navigation array. It feels pretty tight, but we think smaller users may not have the same issues. There is a square four-way switch with a central OK button, two softkeys, Talk and End / Control, a return button and a shortcut for the messaging feature. Most keys are flat, though the switch is raised. However, we prefer the OK button to go to the standby menu. Now it does nothing.
Smiley’s keyboard is a bit tight.
Swipe up Smiley to display the combination numeric keypad and messaging keypad. Like the Stride, the keys are small and squeezed together. There are only four rows of keys, so most buttons are dual-purpose (numbers and letters, or characters and letters). Overall, this is a fairly standard location, though we prefer faster controls. The combination of “www” and “.com” keys will save you some time, and of course there is a special smiley button. Okay Samsung thatis pretty clever.
Remaining external features include the volume and volume of microSD memory cards on the left spine. Smiley gets a point for not hiding the last one on the battery. On the right side of the spine you’ll find a camera shutter and a Micro-USB headset and a charger socket. We welcome the standard charger connection, though this means that you will need an adapter to use 2.5mm or 3.5mm wired headsets. The camera lens and the self-portrait mirror are on the back of the front slider; you will need to have your phone open to take a photo.
The Smiley Phone Book contains 1,000 healthy room contacts in each entry for several types of phone numbers, a nickname, email address, URL, instant messaging, birthday, notes and street address. As you might expect, you can save subscribers to groups and connect them to a photo and one of 21, 72-chord polyphonic ringtones.
Other basic items include calculator, notepad, alarm clock, to-do list, tooltip calculator, world clock, unit and currency converter, timer and stopwatch. More demanding users can use Bluetooth stereo, Wi-Fi, RSS reader, voice recorder and USB storage. Smiley also offers a supported GPS service with support for Google Maps and TeleNav routes.
Given the full keyboard, Smiley has many messaging options. In addition to standard text and multimedia messages, you also receive instant messages and even support for Outlook Exchange e-mail. Remember that all messaging options will result in data being collected, and the last two settings require a web interface. And if you prefer social media, Samsung’s Social Buzz option offers access to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
The 1.3-megapixel camera takes pictures in three resolutions and three quality settings. Other settings include night mode, four color effects, adjustable brightness tool, four white balance modes, auto-timer, 20 fun frames, and multi-shot, panorama and mosaic modes. In Advanced Smile mode, the camera should take a picture when it detects that the subject is smiling. Smiley also has 2x digital zoom, but you can’t use it with the highest photo resolution. The quality of the photo was great, but nothing special.
Smiley has average photo quality.
The camcorder shoots clips in only one resolution (176×144 pixels), but it offers a set of editing options similar to the camera. Clips intended for multimedia messaging are limited to approximately 1 minute, 30 seconds, but you can take much longer in normal mode. Strive has 50MB of shared memory for storage. It’s low enough, but you can use a microSD card up to 16GB for more storage.
The main music player completes the functions of Smiley. The interface is simple, but you get a couple of options like equalizer, render and playlists. As for apps, the phone offers access to YouTube and a selection of demos, including Where’s Waldo, Pac-Man, Guitar Hero 5, Bubble Bash 2 and Bejewled. You can download more options using a wireless web browser.
We tested a four-band phone (GSM 850/900/1800/1 900 MHz) in San Francisco using T-Mobile. The call quality was satisfactory on all fronts. The volume was loud, the clarity was sharp, and our friends’ voices sounded natural. On our part, the phone raised a nominal amount of background noise, but that was the extent of our problems.
Subscribers were also pleased to hear. Although they could say we were using a mobile phone and some also reported background noise, we heard few other complaints. Loudspeaker calls were also enjoyable, with only slight distortion of sound at the loudest volume levels. Automated call systems could easily understand us if we were near the phone.
Smiley’s battery life is 5.5 hours and its standby time is 12.5 days. Has a talk time of 5 hours and 2 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, Smiley has a digital SAR of 0.43 watts per kilogram.