Hands-On: Samsung Gravity Smart
We spent some hands-on time with the new Gravity Smart from Samsung. Like previous Gravity models for T-Mobile, the emphasis is on the keyboard and messaging, with everything else being pretty bare-bones. The main new feature is Android. It has one major drawback, but our first impressions were generally positive. Read on to see what we liked and what we didn't during our brief first encounter with it.
Samsung's Gravity Smart is a a basic messaging phone, and it feels like it, although it feels like well-built one. The body is plastic, but the sides and back feel solid, and have enough of a matte finish to feel nice in hand. The front has a button area that feels cheap, but the physical home button - as opposed to touch - is appreciated.
The slide mechanism has some wiggle when open, but you have to be looking for it. In typical operation, it feels good and the spring action is excellent. The keyboard is quite flat, but that's typical for a slider. As sliders go, the keyboard is good. The keys are separated, have just enough dome shape, and have just enough travel and feedback. It's not the best keyboard, but it works well enough.
The only real downer is the screen. The low resolution and low quality of the screen could be a deal-breaker for anyone coming from an smartphone with a better display. But if you're upgrading from a Gravity 3 or Gravity Touch, you'll probably be perfectly happy with this screen. It's just a shame that Samsung couldn't stuff the same nice display as the Exhibit 4G (which is hardly a top-end phone, either) in the Gravity Smart.
On the software side, the Gravity Smart has Cloud Texting and Group Texting, just like the Sidekick 4G. Neat. Otherwise, the software is standard Android, with Samsung's typical interface tweaks (the ones that make it look and work just a bit more like an iPhone, and are thus the subject of an Apple lawsuit.)