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Review: Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G for T-Mobile

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Apps

The Blaze is not wanting for apps; there are plenty preinstalled for you to try, delete, or try to delete. The two biggest stand-outs are Game Base and Tags. Game Base is a T-Mobile-run gaming service that lets users rent or buy games. The selection ranges from Angry Birds to Cut the Rope, to Twilight, Tetris, and Solitaire. Purchases are billed to your T-Mobile account. Tags uses the Blaze's near-field communications chip to read NFC tags. Neat! But it comes with no tags, and no information on where to find and use tags. In other words, the Blaze supports NFC-based actions, but it's up to you to discover them out in the world.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth works as expected on the Blaze. I had no trouble connecting it to other devices, but phone calls were pretty much useless through mono headsets. The quality was fine, but even with the phone and the headset turned all the way up, conversations were difficult to hear. The only place it worked was in my car, where I could really crank up the volume. Music sent to stereo Bluetooth headphones sounded excellent and was free of problems.

Clock

The lock screen clock behaves just as on other Samsung TouchWiz phones. It's placed at the bottom of the lock screen in large, white numbers. As I've opined before, I wish the font were thicker or bolder to make the time stand out against the background better. Indoors you'll have no problem reading it, but it's hard to check the time outside.

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GPS

The Blaze ships with Google Maps and TeleNav's navigation service. Both are capable applications for searching maps and planning routes. The TeleNav service offers a free service with basic navigation tools, and a premium service that adds features such as real-time traffic, speed limit alerts, and lane assistance. The free version works great for managing traveled routes, but is sparse on the options. The Blaze's GPS performance was excellent, and the device was typically able to pinpoint my location to within 10 feet.

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