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printed December 17, 2014
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Review: Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G for T-Mobile

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The Blaze has a 4.0-inch display with 800 x 480 pixels, and uses Samsung's Super AMOLED technology. It's not knock-you-over-the-head impressive, but it is a fine display that is more than adequate for this class of device. It's plenty bright, but I was able to see more individual pixels than I'd like.

Signal

The Blaze maintained a strong connection to T-Mobile's network no matter where I took it. In both strong and weak coverage areas, it remained connected and able to make calls and surf the web. During my tests, the Blaze never dropped a call, never missed a call, and always connected calls on the first attempt. Though data always worked, it was noticeably slower in areas with poor coverage. When a good HSPA+ signal was available, man, the Blaze was, well, blazing fast, as it is capable of (theoretical) download speeds of 42Mbps.

Sound

The Blaze is a decent -- but not great -- voice phone. The quality of calls was quite good. I found them to be clear of noise, and pleasing in tone. The earpiece volume isn't all that good, however. It's fine for quieter environments, but if you're anywhere near a significant source of noise (urban traffic, coffee shop, kids) you're not going to hear conversations all that well. Call quality deteriorates a little bit when routed to the speakerphone, but volume nose-dives further. It's simply not loud enough. Ringtones and alerts are hindered by the same weak powers as the speakerphone. They're not loud enough to overcome moderate background noise. The vibrate alert is excellent.

Battery

The Blaze's battery does pretty well. It makes it through an entire day with no problem, and that's about all I really need from a smartphone these days. There was consistently enough battery power left so that I wasn't worried about running out before bedtime. You're safe from 7AM to 11PM, no doubt, and probably until the next morning, but not much beyond that.

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