Customer Review

114 of 125 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passable. Sadly that's probably the best one can hope for, March 5, 2012
This review is from: Samsung Brightside (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
I must begin by saying I feel Verizon feature phones are rather terrible. Their cameras are bad even by 2008 standards. They have little customizability, and they often feel very very cheap.

I used an enV3 for three years, and despite random shut-down problems and freak-outs when exposed to japanese characters, it was a decent phone. The env3 took acceptable pictures and had good volume and call quality. The Brightside is about the same thickness and has a slightly larger footprint. The construction feels solid and the buttons on the QWERTY keypad are quieter but spaced closer together than those on the enV3 which makes texting a bit tougher.

My main complaint about the Brightside is that you can't do much to customize it. You have two options for font size - big and REALLY big. That means you can't see much on the screen when reading/writing text messages. When you look at call history or contacts, you can only see a few entries at a time. My enV3 has a smaller screen but can fit at least 50% more information.

If a text alert is set to "vibrate" the thing vibrates three times every time you get a text message which I find annoying. Some icons on the front screen can be moved or changed but others are permanent. Many of them require a data plan to use, which is ridiculous because no one in their right mind would buy such a low end phone while paying for data.

For a resistive touch screen, the phone response is excellent. I can't scroll as quickly as I can on an iPhone, but that's only a minor inconvenience. I haven't used the phone enough to comment on call quality, picture taking, or battery life. A 3.2 MP camera is pretty low by today's standards, but it's hard to do any better without getting a smart phone. The phone also has great volume.

In short, I feel this phone could be a ton better if programmers tweaked the UI just a little. As it is, I like it more than the Convoy (which I purchased and returned) but less than the enV3.

If anyone has specific questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them.

P.S. The reason I'm replacing my old phone is because the battery has gone to pot, and despite using 3 different new replacement batteries, I can't get more than about 1 day of standby time out of it. It also shuts down when it sees characters with accents making it impossible to receive text messages from some friends and colleagues.

UPDATE 3/18/2012: The OS on this phone is pretty buggy. It allows you to set custom sounds and ringtones as the primary alert and ring sounds, but often when the phone rings or makes its "alert" sound, it plays the default sounds. Additionally, you can only associate the built in tones and alerts with specific people. The menus will not allow you to select anything you've added to memory.

I've also found that it's very easy to accidentally touch the wrong "button" on the touch screen. I find myself frequently accidentally calling voice mail. Using the touch screen to send messages is problematic. The captive screen IS very sensitive, but it's still nowhere near as good as an iPhone. When I try to type quickly, letters often get missed, and I have to delete the word and start over. I always use the QWERTY keypad for texting now.

The only reason I am not giving this phone two stars is because it has done well with calls so far, which at the end of the day is primarily what a phone is supposed to do.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 7, 2012 9:18:53 PM PST
It's not a resistive touch screen, it's capacitive. Only Feature phone I've ever known to come with one.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2012 9:41:07 PM PST
You seem to be right. I can't get the phone to respond if I use a stylus. I thought I'd read somewhere that the display was resistive.

Nevertheless, it's still not nearly responsive as my 4g iPod touch. Texting with the touch screen is difficult because the key taps don't always register.

Posted on Mar 8, 2012 11:44:48 AM PST
A. Vincent says:
Can you personalize the screen with a personal picture? I feel like I read somewhere that you can't but I can't find it anywhere. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2012 5:45:48 PM PST
Ya it's not gonna be even close to the iphone but that's why it's so cheap. You can personalize the lock screen with a picture but not the actual menu. The only options for the menu are green or orange, and large menu bottons or smaller buttons with a scroll for favorites.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2012 5:48:02 PM PST
Well, you CAN set a picture to the screen, but it only shows up when the phone is locked. As you can see from screen shots, the screen is so cluttered with the different options, there's no background to look at.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2012 8:10:23 AM PST
A. Vincent says:
Thanks to you both. I suppose that is not too bad. It seems like this is the best option without upgrading to a smartphone (which I really have no need for). Now to decide if I wanna lock myself into another two year contract with verizon. Ah decisions decisions...

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 5:56:47 AM PDT
Truth says:
every time i use t9 word my phone freezes and shuts off, anyone else having this problem?

Posted on Apr 6, 2012 6:49:48 PM PDT
Chelsea E. says:
Is the phone wi-fi capable? Specifically with social networking apps?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 6:16:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 6:17:17 PM PDT
You can't personalize the screen :(

Posted on Jun 6, 2012 1:36:45 PM PDT
Tim Cupery says:
Thanks for your review. I have a few questions. If you can answer ones that you know of the top of your head, I'd greatly appreciate it.
(1) Can the music player multitask? (i.e., listen to music while texting or browsing web)
(2) Do you know if the phone functions well for talking with headphones that have a built-in mic?
(3) How do you find the call quality?
(4) How do you find the reception strength, compared to other Verizon phones you've used?
(5) Does the screen work reasonably well for displaying a series of photographs? Also, can you organize photos in separate albums? (e.g., by placing multiple subfolders on the SD card)
(6) You say the text interface is frustrating b/c large font fills up the screen. Can you at least see the message you are replying to, while writing a new message?
(7) Can the phone handle longer-than-160-character texts to/from other Verizon customers? Verizon's network allows this, and some phones can handle it (e.g., the EnV3), others force breaking up into 160-character chunks (e.g., the Kin TwoM, most BlackBerries).
(8) I assume there is still no way (that you may have figured out since your review) to use personally-loaded ringtones (whether in "ringtones" or "my sounds"), even if you move them from SD card to the phone's memory?
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