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printed October 23, 2014
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Review: Samsung T259

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The T259 has inner and outer displays. The exterior display measures 1.3 inches across the diagonal. Most of the time, it merely shows the clock, and other alerts and/or indicators. It also doubles as a camera viewfinder when taking self portraits. The resolution is low, but at least its colorful. Brightness isn't that great, however.

The main display packs 240 x 320 pixels into a 2.23-inch screen. The result is an amazingly nice looking display for such an inexpensive handset. It's colorful, bright, and offers enough pixels so that most text, icons and graphics on the screen look smooth and free of ragged edges. It works well enough outdoors.

Signal

The T259 easily picked up T-Mobile's 3G network where I live in NJ. During most of my testing period, it displayed two or three bars of service. This is a hair under what I normally see from T-Mobile devices. In a known T-Mobile weak spot, however, the T259 remained connected to the network and had no problems placing a call. The device didn't drop any calls while I tested it, but it did miss one, which went straight to voicemail. Data sessions were decent via 3G, and speeds felt consistent no matter what the signal indicator read.

Sound

Since the T259 is a voice-centric device, I had high expectations for it. Believe it or not, the T259 exceeded them. Voice calls were crystal clear 99% of the time. Only once did I hear a slight echo-y sound. Otherwise, voices came through the speaker with superb clarity. Better yet, the earpiece was capable of loudspeaker-esque volumes. Set to maximum, the T259 still maintained its cool, and though calls were really loud through the earpiece, they didn't distort and instead remained free of noise. Well done, Samsung! The speakerphone was not quite able to reach the same perceived decibel level, but the clarity still came through and it was loud enough for most use cases. Ringers and alert tones were acceptably noisy, though the vibrate alert was a bit on the weak side.

Battery

As I hoped, the T259 maintained a charge through a bare minimum two full days of use. Despite extensive testing -- especially of voice calls -- the battery indicator barely budged. Since a phone like this is probably going to be used less than a constantly-connected smartphone, it can probably go four or more days between charges.

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