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Review: Samsung Intensity II

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The screen on the Samsung Intensity II is colorful, but it has some of the flaws of cheap LCD displays. The viewing angle on the screen is so narrow that some colors, especially darker hues, looked slightly different in my right and left eyes. This created an unpleasant shimmering effect. The display was also not very bright. At full brightness, some whites on screen looked grey, and though colors looked nicely saturated, they didn't pop like I'd want. Outside, the screen lost much of its brightness. It was very difficult taking photographs outdoors on a bright, sunny day. If the screen was not directly in front of me, I could barely see my subject, which made it difficult to take a picture at an angle, sometimes necessary to get the shot you want.


I was disappointed with the sound quality on the Intensity II during calls. On my end, callers sounded like they were being trampled by a heavily digital effect through the phone's earpiece. If my callers spoke quickly or mumbled, I could not understand what they were saying. On the other end, things did not sound as bad, but there was still a heavy digital quality to my voice as I listened back to messages I recorded. On both ends of the call, voices occasonally dropped out for a brief instant, and sometimes the phone seemed to clip the beginning of sentences, as if the mic was slow to react to my talking.

Ringtones, on the other hand, were loud and clear through the phone's speaker. The speakerphone sounded even better than the earpiece, and it was loud enough that I could carry on a conversation over the noise of a fast moving car. With the sound turned off, the vibration was good, but I'd prefer it be stronger to feel it in a stuffed pants pocket.

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The Intensity II uses Verizon Wireless' older 1xRTT network. Reception on the phone was questionable. The phone usually reported only a bar or two of service in my area, and this also affected calls. Some calls did not go through, giving me a network error message when I tried to connect. Incoming calls were less of a problem, and only a couple calls didn't find the Intensity II during my test run. Data on the device was very slow, but always reliable. Even when the phone reported low reception, I never had trouble connecting to the data network and chugging through long Web page downloads.


Battery life on the Intensity II is very good. After a couple days testing, I still had battery left and probably could have lasted through much of a third day. I did not use GPS much, but I did let the phone check my email and social networking feeds in the background, and this didn't cause much trouble. I would bring the charger on a weekend getaway, just in case, but you won't need to charge this phone during your work day to make sure you have juice for the commute home.

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