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printed September 18, 2014
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Review: Samsung Dart

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The Dart doesn't quite live up to its sports-bar-themed name. I mean, when I think "dart", I think pointy, sharp, streamlined, and missile-like. The Samsung Dart is none of these. It is, however, small and compact. The Dart has a great footprint, feels amazing in the hand, and looks pretty good all at the same time. It feels quite solid, and, thanks to its design, slides in and out of pockets with ease. The materials aren't top-notch, but they are very good, and the manufacturing is perfect. It is one well-put-together little phone -- just don't throw it at anyone.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Samsung doesn't set any new benchmarks in terms of design language or styling. The front face of the Dart has the same old black-framed display, with four capacitive touch controls placed at the bottom. I found these buttons to be responsive.

On the left side, you'll find the volume toggle near the top. The toggle feels great. It protrudes from the side of the Dart just the right amount, and travel and feedback are rewarding. On the right, Samsung has positioned the power/lock key. Samsung has a tendency to put this button here, but I'd prefer it to be on the top of the phone. Even so, it is easy to find and offers good travel and feedback. A hatch covering the microSD slot is blow it. The slot is easy to open.

The microUSB port is hidden under a hatch on the top edge of the Dart. This hatch is big and feels clumsy to open. It needs to be pried off and then rotated away so that the cable can be inserted properly. A 3.5mm headset jack joins the microUSB port on the top.

The battery cover peels off easily, and the battery and SIM card are accessible once it is removed.

There's no dedicated camera key, which is a shame, but the Dart makes few other missteps.

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