Review: Samsung Intensity II
The messaging features on the Samsung Intensity II are simple, but Samsung gets messaging right in some key ways. First of all, the phone uses the threaded, conversational style for text messaging that I prefer. Messages come through in speech balloons, so you can see both sides of the conversation in a long column. The email app is not especially attractive, but it is tenacious. The phone always alerted me to new messages, even when the app wasn't active. Sometimes, it alerted me multiple times when I had numerous new messages in my inbox. The font choice in the email app is atrocious, a very wiry font that's tough to read for a long stretch.
For instant messaging, the Intensity II uses the same app Verizon Wireless has been using for 20 years now (at least, it feels that way). There's support for AIM, Yahoo and Windows Live messaging, and though the app doesn't look good, it functions fairly well. There was an occasional delay on some of my messages, but most of the time chat was quick and painless. Still, I'd like to see Verizon update this app and perhaps add support for other messaging platforms. The phone does support Google Talk, but it's somewhat hidden. Instead of grouping Gtalk with the IM app, it's part of the Social Beat social networking app.
Social Beat lets you read status updates and news from Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. For some reason, it also supports Gmail and Google Talk. I found the email app handled Gmail better than Social Beat. Alerts from Social Beat could be confusing, since the app does not take you to new messages after you confirm a notification. You have to figure out what's new on your own. Otherwise, Social Beat is a simple way to read your daily feeds, but it doesn't offer the robust support I'd like from a dedicated app. On Facebook, you can post pictures and read updates on your Wall or new messages in your inbox, but there isn't much to do beyond that. On Twitter, you can't search or check trending topics, just read and reply to messages.
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