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printed April 21, 2014
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Review: Samsung Intercept

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's Touch  

I expected a very responsive touch interface, and was disappointed by the touch performance from the capacitive screen on the Samsung Intercept. The phone runs at the same processor clock speed as the Samsung Moment, but pushes fewer pixels. That should mean a speedy interface, but there was plenty of lag on the Intercept. On many touch actions, there was a delay so slight it was hardly noticeable. At worst, when the phone was bogged down with tasks, this grew into serious stuttering.

I couldn't help but notice the biggest troublemaker spots are the interface features Samsung redesigned. The lock screen can be unresponsive, and the long contact list could also stall and hop around as I swiped. Both of these were reworked by Samsung.

I had similar trouble with the touch sensitive keys beneath the screen. The keys would often ignore my taps. Sometimes they would not illuminate when I tapped them, and they were impossible to see in a dark room. Sometimes the phone would give me a haptic vibrating buzz to let me know it felt my tap, but then nothing would happen. At least the Send and End keys are real buttons. It would be terrible to have this problem while trying to hang up.

Finally, the Samsung Intercept uses a touch sensitive optical joystick on the main center button. You can swipe your finger over the top of the button and the selector on screen will respond. In practice, I didn't find the optical button very useful or responsive. I almost only used it for fine-tuned text corrections. It was very easy to swipe too far on the joystick and end up tapping the screen by accident. It was also easy to press the button accidentally during a fast swipe. Both of these inadvertent actions can kill the task on screen. Thankfully, Android is touch friendly enough that a joystick isn't necessary.

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