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Preview: Samsung BlackJack

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In areas with 3G coverage, the BlackJack immediately switches over to the advanced network. When in areas of weak signal strength or 2G coverage, it had no trouble switching down to GSM without any delays. Although it could only operate there in GSM mode, the BlackJack passed our vault test with flying colors. It held on to a signal even in the farthest corners of the vault, and rejoined the 3G network almost immediately upon exiting the building. This isn't just one of the performances from a smartphone, it's one of the best performances from any GSM phone.

The BlackJack is the second Windows Mobile phone for Cingular with HSDPA data. In San Francisco speeds are fairly impressive. DSL Reports kept asking us to use a larger file so that it could actually register the speed. Finally with the largest file on the mobile speed test, the BlackJack managed a respectable 775-800 Kbps. Even though Cingular's HSDPA is supposed to be capable of 3.6 Mbps in a maximum burst, 800 K is pretty impressive over a 600 KB transfer.


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The BlackJack also deserves kudos for it's loud and high quality sound. We often found ourselves turning down the volume during a call, which is a pleasant rarity. It was also easy to hear the loud ringer in crowds or from across the house. The speakerphone is equally loud.

After our experience with the Dash, we expected more from the BlackJack's battery life. With normal use, each charge only last about one and a half days. This is better than the performance of the Motorola Q, in that you can at least use your phone for a full day without having to recharge it, however you still can't leave home, even for just an overnight trip, without your charger.


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