Samsung Blade in-depth review -

Look and feel

The Samsung Blade takes its name from the prism shaped D-pad. It bears a strong resemblance to the Jet, and has a vibrant 2.8-inch display.

Ease of use

As a result of a slightly smaller touch-screen than we’re accustomed to from Samsung, the widget bar to the left of the screen was thinner and therefore less effective. However, the touch-screen was nice and responsive.

Features

The camera is adequate at 3.2 megapixels, and we were impressed by the quality of video playback. Samsung has also rectified some touch-screen issues from earlier touch-screen models, by making it virtually impossible to accidentally hit the mute key mid conversation.

Performance

The Blade really excels in the internet department and video playback was also good, although you are restricted when it comes to format. We held some issues with the widget options on the home screen, but nothing too serious.

Battery life

Battery performance was fair.

The verdict

As a mid-range touch-screen, the Samsung Blade is firmly up there with the best. There are a few minor glitches, but it has excellent internet capabilities and looks pretty good too.

 Samsung Blade Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:56:04 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

The internet experience is a smooth affair with rapid browsing speeds and an innovative zooming feature.

Cons:

The lack of a virtual QWERTY keyboard seems a strange omission.

Despite the harsh sounding nature of its name, you can rest easy in the knowledge that the only sharpness linked to Vodafone’s exclusive Samsung Blade is that of the vibrant display.

Look and feel

The phone takes its name from the D-pad that is said to resemble a blade-like prism. We’d suggest it’s more of a squashed diamond, and it sits just below the 2.8-inch screen. In fact, to call it a D-pad is a tad misleading. Its purpose is nothing more than a glorified back button. Those of you up to speed with Samsung’s latest offerings will notice a striking similiarity between the Blade and the much lauded Jet. As big fans of the Jet’s sleek piano finish, this is no bad thing.


The Blade is a tad shorter than the Jet but slightly wider and thicker. However, despite its extra girth, the Blade’s widget bar – found on the left-hand side of the screen – is marginally thinner than on the Tocco Ultra and Jet, for example. This resulted in us, on more than one occasion, accidentally dragging the list of widgets onto the homescreen. Should you wish to purposefully drop and drag your widgets, you have three home screens to choose from, and a swipe of the finger will alternate between them. Unfortunately, you can’t place the same widget on each home screen. For example, the Google search bar can only be placed on one home screen at any one time.


The touch-screen is a fairly slick affair, which is a relief, as it is the sole means of navigating around the handset due to the lack of keyboard. Typing text messages, emails and web addresses relies on a virtual standard keypad. While the keys are easy to identify, we can’t help but feel Samsung has missed a trick here by not including a virtual QWERTY keyboard when you turn the phone horizontally.

Internet capabilities

It is with the internet that the Blade really excels. When surfing the web, you can view pages in landscape thanks to the built-in accelerometers. Although there’s no Wi-Fi, we enjoyed super quick browsing on Vodafone’s network, and the novel zooming process was a joy to use. Press your finger on the webpage for longer than a second and then simply slide up to zoom in, or down to zoom out.


Samsung also seems to have heard our concerns over making calls on its touch-screen devices. On previous models it was a common occurrence to inadvertently hit the mute key with your ear while talking, leading to a rather confusing one way conversation. For this to happen on the Blade, you will need to press the unlock key to access any features such as muting or loudspeaker.


While we were impressed by the Blade’s video playback quality, you will be restricted to MPEG4 formats as opposed to the more widely available DivX or XviD. We were also unable to play any videos we transferred that had a resolution of 480x270 pixels or more. The 3.2-megapixel camera is acceptable for capturing the odd reminder rather than for the family album, and its lack of features reaffirms the handset in the mid-tier market.

Conclusion

The Samsung Blade is a viable alternative for customers wanting a touch-screen phone that has the high-end looks but with an affordable price tag. Early adopters will opt for the far superior Jet, but with a growing mid-tier market, the Blade is a welcome addition to the Samsung family.