Review: Samsung Fascinate
My first experience with a Samsung Galaxy S device was the Samsung Epic 4G on Sprint, so I didn't realize just how thin and light the Galaxy S phones feel. The Samsung Fascinate is covered in glossy glass and plastic, which does make it feel more like a toy than the metal-plated competition from HTC and Apple. But the light weight and the sturdy feel alleviate all concerns quickly. The phone wasn't too large in the hand, but it did feel sharp thanks to its thin shell. Still, it's nicely curved on the back with no sharp corners, so it fits comfortably in a well-fitted pair of pants.
The front of the device is dominated by the 4-inch touchscreen, and it really steals the show. There are four touch sensitive buttons beneath the screen, for Menu, Home, Back and Search. These buttons were plenty sensitive, but they did not stay lit when the screen was on, and sometimes the faint button symbol below the screen would fade into the glossy black, making the buttons hard to see. I wish these buttons would just stay lit while the screen is on, or paint them a brighter white.
On the left side of the phone is a volume rocker, nicely raised and easy to find during a phone call. On the right side is the power / screen lock button. This was more difficult to locate, and I often found myself squeezing the volume keys, since they were so much larger. That's it for buttons, and I really missed the dedicated camera button. I don't need many button shortcuts, but a real camera button beats an onscreen button any day.
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Up top you'll find a microUSB port hiding behind a sliding port cover. It seems sturdy enough, and more secure than a pop-off port door. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack. Samsung keeps a fairly minimalist look, and the Samsung Fascinate is a sharp looking tablet.
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Samsung Fascinate Hits Verizon Stores September 9
Verizon Wireless today announced that the Samsung Fascinate Galaxy S Android device will be available from its online store starting Wednesday, September 8, and will be available in Verizon retail stores starting Thursday, September 9. The Fascinate will cost $200 after mail-in rebate with a new contract.
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Verizon Confirms Google Search Coming to Samsung Fascinate
Verizon Wireless has confirmed to Phone Scoop via email that the Samsung Fascinate, which shipped with Bing as the default search engine, will be able to download the official Android Google Search application once the Fascinate is updated to Android 2.2. Verizon Wireless would not confirm when that update is scheduled to take place, but suggested that users who want to use Google Search instead of Bing set Google.com as their Android browser home page.