The smartphone world is periodically changing, with companies like Samsung always trying to stay ahead of the competition by predicting what the next big thing will be and thatís where the new Samsung Continuum comes in. This device that is part of the Galaxy S line of phones comes with something no other device currently in circulation hasÖ Duel screens for constant information at your fingertips. With that said, letís get to this device you all came here to read about.
This Android powered device comes with some decent specs that might make the lower end users appreciate the device. Starting off with the display, this device comes with an innovative two display technology. The device is marketed to the people that might want to be constantly updated with sports information or news, but the problem with that is you actually have to turn on both screens for the little one to show you anything unless itís updated automatically, and then new news updates pop up and vibrates to let you know of changes. Now in test I found this too be less useful than I would like to think and the practicality for that being a selling point to be lower than desired.
Now to talk about the device as a whole, it is a bit on the tick side relative to other devices. I actually had many people that when I presented the device to ask me if there is a slide out keyboard because of the size of the phone, and when told otherwise, became a little less interested in the device as a whole. The screen was also a big turn off for not only myself, but the others who played with the phone were disappointed of the screen size being a simple 3.4 inches in a world ran by 3.8+ inches devices. That alone makes this device very hard for people like me, who are used to huge 4.3inches to adapt their eyes and hand movements to something a full inch smaller.
The other features in terms of hardware are pretty typical. Wi-Fi, which seems to have become standard for just about all the devices in the world. GPS, which sadly is not Google Maps rather itís Bing. 3G, Verizon will be putting this on all new phones till next year when 4G comes in the world so maybe you should take note of that. The device has the Wi-Fi hotspot hardware, and the software is also available without charge, which is becoming uncommon in due to carriers trying to make a little extra by charging for the service. The processor is 1GHz, but in use, it feels like I am running on some last gen 800Mhz processor. The lag on this device is just too much.
This device certainly has all the needed hardware inside. But sadly I think the whole second screen idea is not as great as it sounds. The main screen itself is much too small for anyone to even enjoy using it, much less me, using the second screen for anything. I am split on the hardware aspect of this device, but one thing I can say is that this device is nowhere close to the other Galaxy S devices in terms of hardware features (mainly thinness).
Now when it comes to the software on this device it is again the same Galaxy S device software with nothing really changed. The TouchWiz Ui is on top of Android 2.1 and some Verizon Wireless software. The app launcher has an iPhone style menu system which has the first three rows of applications reserved for the pre-installed Samsung, Android, Bing, and VZW software.
The core applications donít change. The Gmail application is the same as you will see on other Android devices, and all the basics are still just there. The real difference between this and a Droid, other than the UI overlay, is this runs on Bing software. Meaning you will not get any turn by turn free from Google, or simple Google Maps. You only get a Binged out device, with Google Android roots.
Video experience on this is very dissatisfying. The main screen is just too small to get the real movie experience or even just make you slightly interested, but at least Samsung used a great video player to enhance the software side of all this. Playing any game on this device is also not very fun because of the screen size, but thatís relative to what you are used to.
The overall experience I had with the software was not too great. I mean it was leggy regardless of the 1GHz hardware aspect. Menus loaded very slowly and apps constantly crashed. I did an SMS Bomb test, and this device failed it. After I sent 400 messages to the deviceÖ It slowed down and practically crashed after 50 text messages and that says how weak the processor is because my Windows Phone 7 device and G2 did not have even one problem while getting all these texts (slight slowdowns, but not too bad).
When everything comes into consideration, I donít think this is a device I would like to own. The device has a nice concept behind it, but I think the world has really moved to the 4 inch or larger range and a 3.4 inch just donít do it anymore. This under pare in terms of hardware is not justified with the software, with Bing and lag pledging the deviceÖ it really just doesnít add up to be anything worth the price.
Would I recommend this? No!
Hardware rating: 7/10óThe hardware specifications meet todayís standards with everything but that screen does not cut it, and the thickness of the device is peculiar next to the others that we get from the Galaxy S Line of phones
Software Rating: 6.5/10óThe software is laggy, but is still the essential Android experience and so you cannot down it too much.
Overall User Experience: 7/10óThe lag of this device makes user experience a bit unpleasant, and for might not be the best for someone just coming to Android or upgrading.
Total Rating: 7.5/10 Decent device, but not really anything next to the other great Droids and the Fascinate that our beloved VZW has to offer.
I am reviewing this as a high end power user, and as such, my views are more towards meeting the heavy usersí standards. Some, not all, of you readers might see this the same way I do.