Preview: Samsung BlackJack
In addition to the typical applications included on every Windows Mobile Smartphone, the BlackJack includes access to all the new Cingular multimedia services the carriers has recently been touting.
Most of these are simply links to online sites or stores, however a few are actually stand alone applications. Links to the online services such as Cingular Video, Shop Music and Music Videos direct you to sites that are designed for smaller screens and less data-centric phones. The sites all demand many clicks to get to anything other than the one or two featured tracks.
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The one exception was a search box on the front page of the Shop Music site for ringtones. There was no apparent way to sign into a music service and shop for tracks online, though Cingular said they would offer that service.
Quickly finding anything other than a ringtone is impossible and especially frustrating on a smartphone, where you're accustomed to having quick access to lots of data.
The XM radio streams and video clips both require a media subscription, as they are data heavy applications. XM radio offers streams in about 10 different categories, but most have multiple stations. Video offers short clips from many broadcast and cable channels.
One of Cingular's most unique media applications is the music ID system, which is a well designed little program that lets you hold your BlackJack up to the stereo while a song is playing, and will try to tell you what song it is. As long as you are not trying to ID a repetitive electronic track, the system is surprisingly fast and accurate. Once a song is identified, the application stores the artist, album and track in a list for you. The new SYNC A707 has the same application.
The rest of the BlackJack's software is Windows Mobile Smartphone AKU3, just like the Dash. It is priced like the Dash too. The two are similar in most every respect. In fact the biggest difference other than carrier, is whether you get your high speed data over WiFi or over the 3G network.