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printed July 22, 2014
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Review: Samsung Craft

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Menus Calls / Contacts Messaging Social Networking  

I have never been a fan of the TouchWIZ interface that Samsung uses on the Samsung Craft. The interface relies on a drawer full of widgets that you drop onto one of the three panels of the main home screen. It gets cluttered easily, and even if you do manage to arrange the widgets neatly, they simply don’t offer many interesting features or shortcuts.

The Main Menu screens are little help. The two menu screens offer an icon grid with 12 items on each page. The first page is completely dominated by “Metro” branded apps, to the point that it’s almost funny. Eight of the twelve apps have “Metro” in the name, and it’s hard to remember which leads to what service. If I want to check Metro’s custom-built social networking app, is that “mail@metro,” “metroSTUDIO,” “myMetro,” or “@metro?” Actually, that’s a trick question. The app is called “IM and Social,” (no metro?) and it gets its own menu item.

On the next page, you get more useful stuff, but some of these items seem to repeat themselves. For instance, “metroSTUDIO” offers downloadable movie clips and access to your multimedia library. So why is there a “Multimedia” option on page 2? Why a separate music player icon, and another for YouTube? There is a menu for “Tools,” and another for “Widgets,” even though many of the widgets are just like the small apps offered under Tools.

Open the keyboard in landscape mode and things change just a bit. Now, where the widget drawer used to be, you get a smaller selection of apps that you can’t drag or change. You get the Web browser, music player, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth menu. I almost thought my TouchWIZ widgets had disappeared, until I noticed the tiny tab sticking up from the bottom of the screen. That’s where the widgets hide in landscape mode.

 

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