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printed October 20, 2014
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Review: Samsung Moment

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

 

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The Samsung Moment is one of the largest phones I've seen from Samsung. It is a brick in every sense of the word -- big, blocky and heavy. Whether you put it in your jeans, coat pocket or anywhere, you're going to know it is there. Though it is big, it feels solid as heck. We're talking tank. The hardware comes across as well engineered and well manufactured.

If you ask me, the design of the Moment is a bit on the boring side. Many of Samsung's touch phones have a similar appearance, and the Moment does nothing to set itself apart from the crowded field of Samsung touch phones (nor the other Android handsets, for that matter). Looks aside, the front has some things that are worth liking. The screen is generously sized. Below it, the Home, Menu and Back keys have been incorporated into the front of the capacitive display. In other words, they aren't real physical buttons. This is a change compared to other Android phones. They were responsive and worked well. Below these keys, you'll find two, physical send/end keys in the lower corners of the phone. These two buttons have excellent travel and feedback. Between them is an optical mouse pad for interacting with the screen. The trackpad works pretty well, but I found that it skipped around a bit. It can be used for jumping around on any given screen, as well as swiping from screen to screen on the home pages.

On the left side of the Moment the only control is the volume toggle. It is very easy to find and has excellent travel and feedback. On the right, there are two buttons. Closer to the bottom is the dedicated camera key. It is a two-stage key, and I have to say, the stages are very subtle. It's very easy to over-press and smush the button down all the way. What this means is you might take the picture instead of focusing the shot. The button is easy to find, though. Above it is the voice command key. It is also easy to find and activate. Travel and feedback was good. Above both of these is the hatch for the microUSB port. I can't stress enough how happy I am to see Samsung finally move away from its annoying proprietary data/charging port.

On the top of the Moment, you'll find a huge hatch covering the 3.5mm headset jack (victory dance!). This is a long-overdue feature that Samsung has slowly been rolling out to its devices. I am glad to see it on the Moment. Now, about that hatch. Why include it? It's a hassle.

If you want to get at the microSD card slot, you have to remove the battery cover. What's really disappointing is that you have to pull the battery to access it. Really, Samsung? No hot swapping? That stinks.

The slider mechanism is spring-assisted. The slider feels very solid, and I noticed very little play or give in the slider both when closed and open.

The QWERTY keyboard has four full rows and has offset rows, which I find makes for a much more usable keyboard. The top row is dedicated to numbers and via the function key gives you access to all the special characters. It includes a dedicated search key in the upper left corner, which, when pressed, takes you straight to the Search Box that is built into Android OS. The keys themselves are not very well defined. They have only the slightest contour to them. This makes them a little hard to tell apart when typing quickly on the device. They aren't smooth, but they aren't exactly rough either. They have a nice tactile feel to them. The travel and feedback of the keys is outstanding. They have the perfect amount of "click". I like that some 4-way directional keys are built into the keyboard, but this is redundant with a touch screen phone that also has an optical mouse pad. Still, it makes for fast on screen navigation and negates the need to move your hand from the keyboard to the screen.

In sum, the hardware isn't perfect, but it offers a lot of features.

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