Customer Review

243 of 272 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looks great - but doesn't quite deliver, April 14, 2006
This review is from: TMOBILE SAMSUNG T809 SPRUCE PHONE (Wireless Phone)
I've had Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, and Motorola phones - and each has had features that I found to be incredibly useful. I've heard a lot about Samsung phones in the international community and I was excited when I saw that T-Mobile began offering this phone. I was hoping it would be a combination of all that I ever wanted in a phone - but I was disappointed.

To begin with, this phone looks great. Well-built, sturdy, and with a high-gloss finish that screams class it received many compliments every time I brought it out. The screen is bright and delivers detailed images and video. By far, this is the nicest screen I've seen on any portable product - including the iPod Video. It slides open and closes smoothly, and the keypad it reveals is backlit and easy to see in the dark. As an MP3 player, it delivers crisper sound than I heard from my Nokia 6600. The Bluetooth worked flawlessly and instanly hooked up with my other phones and my laptop. The camera is as good as any other cell phone camera that promises 1.3MP. In short, what this phone promised ... it delivered.

However, I was disappointed mainly because it appeared that the user interface was not as cleverly designed as the physical package. The phonebook only allows three phone entries per name. Looking up names, you can only search by typing the first letters of the last name. For example, suppose you have an entry for "John Smith" - if you use the search feature and type in "Jo" it will NOT list all the Johns. You have to search for "Sm..". Why? Sure you can sort the phone by either the first or last name, but you can only search using one or the other. Not both. My Nokia and Ericsson could do both. Another phonebook problem - suppose you've just called someone's home and now you want to call their cell. You have to start the search over. It doesn't remember your last search.

Headset works fine. But if you have the headset on and the phone rings, you don't hear the ring through the earpiece. The phone rings normally and you activate the call by pressing the button on the headset. That sort of negates the purpose. You can listen to MP3s using the headset, but since the headset uses a proprietary connector, you can't use your "good" headphones. Maybe when the phone becomes more popular, adapters to standard headphones will be made.

The keys under the screen aren't soft - meaning they cannot be reassigned. The left button opens the menu and the right buttom opens the phonebook. My Nokia let me reassign these keys - so, because I use SMS a lot, I could assign one key to open up the message center.

Speaking of keys - the entire keypad is nearly flat. This makes it hard to "feel" for a key (while driving for example). I don't have particularly large fingers, but I found myself making a lot of mistakes.

Another irritating problem - each menu option has a submenu but the submenus have no relation to one another. (This is a hard one to explain). For example, you are going through your list of audio files. You want to delete one. You click "Options" and you get a submenu of seven items. #6 is "Delete". You can scroll down, but it is faster to just type in the number 6 as a shortcut. So far so good. Now, you are going through your text messages. You want to delete one. The submenu shows the delete as #7. You want to delete a phonebook entry, the delete is #4 in the submenu. No consistency makes it very hard to use shortcuts. All my prior phones had a dedicated "Clear" button that can be used anywhere - but if the people at Samsung don't want to "waste" a button, they should've at least made the submenus more consistent.

By the way, everytime you delete something it asks you if you want to delete "All or Selected" - this is an unnecessary step.

You can listen to MP3s, but you can't use them as ringtones unless they are converted to 3gp. This is as easy as changing the extention from .mp3 to .3gp on your computer before uploading the song (via bluetooth or USB). Why the extra step?

Battery life is terrible. As expected, using the MP3/video player causes a serious drain on your power. One thing I found weird - after listening to MP3s on the phone during a 1-hour flight, the phone became quite warm. I'm not sure if this will affect the phone's general life-span.

The beautiful case looks shiny and great - but it smudges really easily. If you aren't using a headset and you have to press this phone to your ear, be prepared for major smudgeness - especially after a long phone call.

Another weird thing - you can only use the supplied charger to charge this phone. Even if you have another Samsung phone, you can't use another phone's charger. All my Nokia phones used the same charger.

I ended up returning the phone on the last day of my 14-day trial period. It just didn't deliver what I needed, and the annoyances were just too much for me. I am still waiting for the perfect phone - one that combines the best features of all the other phones. I want the appearance of this Samsung (I love the way it looks and feels), but I want the features in all the other phones. I also want it to use standard plugs.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2007 6:13:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2007 6:14:38 PM PDT
D. Donavos says:
This review is a perfect example of woefully unrealistic expectations. The reviewer, in no uncertain terms, maintains as their meauring stick the "perfect phone." For example, they enthusiastically endorse the phones high polish (gloss) exterior, then complain that it is prone to smudges. Does one not necessitate the other? I have never come across any high polish surface that was not prone to smudging. If the "perfect" phone existed, we wouldn't have a need for commenting on its usefullness - we'd all be busy enjoying its splendors...

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2007 7:19:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 6, 2007 7:21:33 AM PDT
MacGuffin says:
I think you're the one who's woefully unrealistic. The reviewer lists quite a few valid complaints and you select, in order to have something about which to quibble, the most minor of the lot. And besides, if one's planning to spend a lot of money for a phone (not all of us get them free with plans), by what yardstick would one measure other than an ideal which contains all the features wanted?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2007 8:03:29 PM PDT
Kathlin says:
I think I'm more worried that this person had problems dialing the phone WHILE DRIVING!
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Location: Iowa City, IA

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