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Review: Samsung Craft

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After talking with MetroPCS

by Philip Berne    Oct 1, 2010, 8:09 AM

I talked to MetroPCS about this phone before I wrote the review. The strategy behind it is fascinating.

First, MetroPCS isn't focused on new customers with this phone. They seem to be thinking about their existing base. They imagine folks who already bought the Samsung TouchWIZ 1xRTT folks they offered will be thrilled with this phone. It's got faster networking and the fantastic AMOLED display. Those customers won't mind the interface.

Second, LTE is MetroPCS' 3G. Their network performance is disappointing if you've used T-Mobile's HSPA+, Clear's WiMAX or even AT&T's and Verizon Wireless' networks on a very good day. But if you've been using 1xRTT for the last couple years, it isn't so bad.

Third, this is the most expensive phone on MetroPCS' lineup. They don't offer subsidies, so phones that cost $200 on Sprint might cost $500 or more on MetroPCS. If they had launched a Samsung Galaxy S phone as their first LTE device, it might have cost $600, and it would have been roundly panned for low battery life, an inevitably thicker shell from the new LTE technology, and other shortcomings compared to the Vibrant or the Fascinate.

So, I don't think MetroPCS is simply trying to be first to market with an LTE phone. I think that their focus with the Craft is on their existing user base. New customers are always welcome, but MetroPCS launched the Craft for existing customers, I think.

MetroPCS reps were very clear that newer, better phones are forthcoming. Their reps brought up Android numerous times in our discussion, I never had to mention it once.

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