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Samsung SPH-M510


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hands-on with the M510

by Rich Brome (Moderator)    May 17, 2007, 4:42 PM

Most of the physical design is nice. It has a good feel to it. It's sleek and fairly thin. Not crazy thin, but not thick at all.

The color scheme is unusual. Ours has blue trim on the inside, but is black on the front and back. If you buy one online that's "blue", don't expect it to be blue on the outside.

The keys are huge and have a great EL backlight that's white, bright, and even. Unfortunately, the keypad is the same exact type as the M610, which I hate. It's just a single perfectly flat surface, with only a slight change in texture to separate the keys.

The prototype we saw at CES had a better keypad. At the time, I thought it was terrible, but somehow they managed to replace a bad keypad with a worse keypad, IMHO. The prototype keypad felt cheaper, but was more usable. The final keypad is much nicer to look at and touch, but at the expense of actual usability.

It has an interesting menu on the home screen, with four options: Main menu, On Demand, Music, and Messaging. It's kind of ugly and blurry.

If you go right to Music when you first get it, it says you need to activate data, then tells you how, but following the instructions does nothing at all. Activating data via On Demand failed the first time, but worked the second time I tried it. I hope these glitches aren't an indication of rushed testing that might affect other areas.

Once you get data working, if you leave the home menu on On Demand, it will show live data on your home screen, which is neat.

If you can deal with the keypad, my first impression is that this seems like an otherwise solid mid-range choice for Sprint.

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