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Preview: Samsung BlackJack

Article Comments  100+  

Nov 13, 2006, 11:30 AM   by Eric Lin

Our exclusive hands-on preview of the small, slim BlackJack for Cingular, with Windows Mobile and HSDPA.


It is amazing that the BlackJack is the newest member of a crowded category that did not even exist a year ago. The list of small, thin, QWERTY smartphones is getting longer and longer, and Windows Mobile phones comprise the bulk of the list. We've reviewed enough of these devices that we're sure you know all about the software by now. So we'll focus on the hardware and any other unique aspects of the BlackJack for this preview.

The BlackJack is also known as the Samsung i607. Like Samsung's other recent entry into this category, the i320, it is narrower than the Q, Dash or almost any other QWERTY phone. Thus despite its rectangular shape, the BlackJack fits nicely in the hand. The edges along the left and right sides are slightly rounded, increasing the comfort factor. It is easy to wrap your hand around it if you are using it one handed.

It is possible to use the BlackJack one handed, especially for reading email or web pages, thanks to the scroll wheel and back button on the right hand side. Other than needing the D-pad for right and left navigation, we found ourselves primarily relying on the scroll wheel.

When held in two hands to type, the BlackJack is well balanced and sits on your fingertips comfortably. The keyboard is pretty easy to to get used to. After about three days with it, we were typing with about 90-95% accuracy. Although the keys look like those from the Q, they feel much better. They are only slightly rounded, and are much easier to press.

The navigation keys, outside of the scroll wheel on the side, are the BlackJack's weakness. The entire set of buttons, including the directions on the D-pad are all flat and even with each other. There is no way to feel which key you're on except for the center select button. Not only are the all the same height, but there are no divisions or ridges between the keys. This means that unless you are watching where you fingers are, you will likely press the wrong key or multiple keys a few times per day. We often find ourselves pressing the end key or right soft key instead of right on the D-pad even after four days of pretty heavy use.

On the back of the unit, the camera and loud speaker bulge out slightly at the top, which seems unnecessary for a simple 1.3 Megapixel shooter. However this doesn't seem to hamper how the BlackJack slides in and out of a pocket - even in tight pants.


In areas with 3G coverage, the BlackJack immediately switches over to the advanced network. When in areas of weak signal strength or 2G coverage, it had no trouble switching down to GSM without any delays. Although it could only operate there in GSM mode, the BlackJack passed our vault test with flying colors. It held on to a signal even in the farthest corners of the vault, and rejoined the 3G network almost immediately upon exiting the building. This isn't just one of the performances from a smartphone, it's one of the best performances from any GSM phone.

The BlackJack is the second Windows Mobile phone for Cingular with HSDPA data. In San Francisco speeds are fairly impressive. DSL Reports kept asking us to use a larger file so that it could actually register the speed. Finally with the largest file on the mobile speed test, the BlackJack managed a respectable 775-800 Kbps. Even though Cingular's HSDPA is supposed to be capable of 3.6 Mbps in a maximum burst, 800 K is pretty impressive over a 600 KB transfer.

The BlackJack also deserves kudos for it's loud and high quality sound. We often found ourselves turning down the volume during a call, which is a pleasant rarity. It was also easy to hear the loud ringer in crowds or from across the house. The speakerphone is equally loud.

After our experience with the Dash, we expected more from the BlackJack's battery life. With normal use, each charge only last about one and a half days. This is better than the performance of the Motorola Q, in that you can at least use your phone for a full day without having to recharge it, however you still can't leave home, even for just an overnight trip, without your charger.


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.

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.

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Mar 27, 2007, 11:37 AM

Using Blackjack as a modem for a computer

I currently use a Treo 650 and a program called PDANet to connect to my laptop as a modem for DUN. Does anyone know if there is a similar program for the Blackjack, or if there is a way to set up the blackjack for it to work with DUN?


Nov 26, 2006, 4:58 PM

Blackjack w/out data plan?

I think the Blackjack looks great. I've played with a few at my local Cingular stores. My problem is I don't want to pay the $39.99 a month Cingular is requiring for a data plan. I need to replace my old pda and my old phone. The Blackjack will work great. I use my phone for talking and texting, but don't want to pay the extra $39/mo. Is there a work around that people are aware of? I'm guessing I could just cancel the $39.95 data plan after I get my rebate money but I'm afraid the phone won't work, or worse, that I get a crazy $1000 bill for a month's worth of phone service.

Any help would be great.

Erik Weibust
I just bought the blackjack at Cingular, and was told that the rebate is still available if you go with the 1000 text messages for $19.99 plan. This is what I did...but am sort of regretting it, now that I realize I am missing out on all the cool stu...
Cingular offers a refurbished Blackjack online as of yesterday. Like you I didn't want to be forced to commit to a data plan that was as much as my voice plan. I have a laptop and I'm not on my feet all the time that would justify using my phone as a ...

Feb 24, 2007, 2:03 PM

Need Help About the Black Jack

I am considering purchasing a Black Jack from my local Cingular store. What I want to know is does it have the capability to play a PodCast? I would like to hear (and possibly see) a podcast send out each day from a Public Policy Organization I am a member of. Would that be possible with the BlackJack. Any help would be appreciated.

Triple b

Feb 7, 2007, 5:46 AM

Closing a web page

I hope this isn't too dumb a question, the answer might be obvious, but can anyone tell me how to x out or close out a web page on the blackjack? Whenever I go to internet explorer it's still on the last page I was on. Thanks in advance.
open the start menu
go to applications
go to task manager

Jan 27, 2007, 3:52 PM

Considering purchase - MicroSD WiFi question

I am looking at the Blackjack as my next phone purchase. So far from what I've found the good outweighs the bad, except for the lack of builtin WiFi. This would be nice as I'm not interested in paying $40 for a data package.

Has anyone used the Spectec MicroSD Wifi card with the Blackjack? This could solve the problem, but I haven't been able to find out if it's compatible with this phone. »

Dec 24, 2006, 8:19 PM



I own a Blackjack with a Cingular unlimited data plan. I'm traveling and didn't bring the cd with me.

I'm assuming that the driver is on that disc and I can't seem to find it anywhere on-line.

Does anyone know how I can use this phone as a modem with my laptop for access to the 'net? Cingular is of no help.

I'd appreciate as detailed instructions as anyone cares to provide.

Thanks in advance.

Been looking also....can't find that driver anywhere on the net...

Nov 29, 2006, 1:51 PM


Does anyone know if the blackjack can edit and send an excel spreadsheet? Also I was told the battery is only good for about 3 hours is this true? Please help I'm trying to decide between the blackjack and the nokia e 62 THANKS, Shane
My battery is lasting a full day or 2, with light to medium use, and you get 2 batteries, so you can switch off and always have one charged. I haven't tried excel, but I remember the Cingular guy telling me that the Microsoft office features were rea...
yah its just data, then youll probly wanna add a text plan max is 3000 for 19.99 and that also includes instant messaging, plus a decent voice plan...makes for pretty penny
You can edit excel spreadsheets on your Samsung Blackjack by PTab spreadsheet -

Dec 16, 2006, 3:20 PM

Using Lotus Notes

Can you access lotus notes through this phone? If you can what is the minimum data plan that you have to sign up for?

Dec 1, 2006, 6:10 PM

Storing Notes.

I understand that the Micrsoft software can only be use to read data (is this correct?).

I am wondering if there is a feature that allows for the storage of notes. I have not been able to see the phone in person and really want to know what the abilities are.

I frequently do stock trading with via my PC with Ameritrade and would like to be able to edit notes pertaining to my transactions. I was considering the Cingular 8125 which I understand can be used to edit spreadsheet info. but I'm not certain what type of editing you can do with the BlackJack.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Art... There is a Notes feature on the BlackJack much like you have notes in Outlook on a PC... There is NO Word or Excel installed on the device BUT it DOES open them if you have attachments in that format...

Does this help? Feel free to write (I...

Nov 17, 2006, 3:43 PM

will it synch with a mac?

I know it runs windows mobile OS... does this mean I won't be able to synch my contacts and calendar on my mac?
I have a blackjack and I also have a mac... I had this same issue when I had the Razr and wanted to sync... There was a program you could get that would sync the data with the address book, so I am sure there either IS one or WILL be a program to do t...

Dec 6, 2006, 1:59 PM

Help with error

I keep getting the error

Could not retrieve data. Please check the connection settings and try again later.

Does anyone know how to make this stop?
What are you trying to do?

Do you have a data plan?

Nov 17, 2006, 4:35 PM


First off, great phone! I highly recommend it (knock on wood). Go get it! The form factor, features, etc. are all great.

My only challenge so far is getting the installed IM client to work. Has anyone tried it? I get through the sign in and when it starts to get my buddy kist, it freezes. I get a "communication error. check your settings" error. Well, there are no settings (port, etc.) to check. Any thoughts??
i have the same thing i turn the phone on and off and it seems to work not a good fix Mad

Dec 7, 2006, 8:37 PM

Is BlackJack A2DP Enabled?

Does anyone know if BlackJack is A2DP enabled?

I'd like to use Bluetooth Stereo Headphones, and want to make sure it works with the phone.
yes it does and it works very well too!! Very Happy

Nov 14, 2006, 12:24 AM

BlackJack vs. 8125 Pocket PC

Does anyone know if the blackjack will offer the ability to edit Excel, powerpoint and word? I think I read somewhere the docs can be viewed? Is the blackjack wifi ready? Eh?
the blackjack is a SmartPhone and does not have native capability to edit Word/Excel/PPT docs. you can, however, view the docs. the cingular version does not have wifi, but my understanding is that the non-cingular version (i600) will.
It does come with Picsel Viewer software. As the name implies, it is only for viewing, not editing.
8125 allows viewing, creation and editing of these files, has wifi, and has the mini SD memory card slot to hold more of them.

Dec 2, 2006, 2:44 AM

Blackjack Features Vs Treo 650

Alright I am in a bit of a pickle here ha. I have a treo 650 right now, but I really like the ascetics of the new BlackJack, but I cant quite commit to wanting it 100% without asking a few questions. These might seem like stupid questions to some, but little things like this matter to me when it comes to cell phones. Can the background on the main screen be changed to my liking, pictures and so forth? How easy is it to upload say pictures from my computer, is it like Hoysync with the treo, just plug and boom? As far as MP3's as ringtones, do I have to download anything special, any programs or anything in order to set those tones like the treo? And does it use an SD card for outside storage as well, or is it a different format? Is the phoneb...
id be happy to answer your questions
1) the background CAN be changed to your likings (pictures, etc.)
2) lol you live in a bluetooth world now! there is a data cable included with the blackjack, yet its much easier to just send from computer to bla...
forgot the phone book question
i believe it does store all kinds of info into phone book and organizes very well. i do know that there are I.D. ringtones and I.D. photos.
thanks and hope my answers help

Dec 2, 2006, 12:18 PM

HELP!! blackjack audio issues

when you turn on the blackjack, the audio is amazing. the sound it automatically makes when it powers on and off is LOUD and in STEREO. Yet when i play a song, it isn't very loud and certainly isn't in stereo. the instruction manual is really not very good. any ideas? have i missed a setting or what?

I also can't figure out how to play a song over my bluetooth either.

Dec 1, 2006, 2:12 AM

Having a problem with internet enabled java apps.

I just got this phone, and right away, I tried installing some normal java apps such as the gmail one and was in for a rude surprise, they either don't work or are continuously interrupted with prompts.

I tried Gmail, Goodle maps, and Opera mini and for all of them, java keeps asking whether the app running should be allowed to connect to the internet. There is no way to disable this prompt and gmail tries a few times then gives up, while the other ones seem to run, but the prompts are really annoying.

The other thing that pissed me off was the subscription price Cingular is trying to make you pay because it's a "PDA" phone instead of a "Smartphone". The price difference is staggering while my usage is probably no different.

Nov 14, 2006, 12:44 AM

features and plans..

does anyone know if i will be able to downlaod mp3 ringtones i make from "" to the Blackjack? also, i am currently with t-mobile but more than willing to switch for 3G purposes and to obtain this phone over my Dash. i became interested in this phone when it was being promoted only as the i320. when i heard Cingular was picking it up, i shied away from it because of Cingular's data plans. BUT, it would appear fromt he Cingular website that the Max 3000 plan is offered in my area for $39.99(Indianapolis). But, i do not know if that's data only or voice & data. Does anyone know?
The Media Max Plan is a feature add on for 3G phones mostly, although the feature can be added for customers with EDGE phones. Since it is a feature it requires a voice plan as well. Since the Blackjack is a Smartphone I would think it would need a S...

Nov 26, 2006, 2:22 AM

Awesome Phone...loads of free stuff available for it!!

Hey got my Blackjack a couple of days ago and i love is fantastic and i just love the size of the thing.

I have also been trawling around looking for some stuff i can pimp it out with like blackjack homescreesn, blackjack free software or blackjack tweaks and hacks and i came accross this site which is packed with stuff for the blackjack. »

i would definately recommend checking it out if you want to get some cool stuff for your blackjack.

Hey Sorry all,

I just realized i posted an incorrect link, the actual link is »

i put in www by mistake.


Nov 23, 2006, 4:52 PM

Software options

I've never used a Windows device before, so I'm wondering if all of the available software for pocket pc's can be downloaded on to the Blackjack?

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