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Review: Samsung Highnote

Form Basics Extras Conclusion Comments  14  

Music Camera Photos/Video Browse/Customize Extras  

Apps

While not as pretty as the mapping on iPhone or the T-Mobile G1, Sprint Navigation was as fast if not faster since it doesn't have to render large touch maps on a 3-inch-plus screen, and just as informational. But unlike the free navigation services offered on other phones (i.e. iPhone, T-Mobile G1), you'll have to pay $9.99 a month for Sprint Navigation.

Once subscribed to, Sprint Navigation is zippier than I expected. It located me on a map in around 10 seconds even though I was indoors, and after initiating a search for local McDonald's, it listed all of Ronald's places with two miles in about the same zippy time. Each of the listings provided contact and address info and flagged all the locations on a map.

A complementary service is Sprint's Family Locator, a $5/month service that let's you find up to four opt-in cellphone numbers on a map, either on a phone or a PC.

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Highnote also is compatible with Sprint TV, Sprint's streaming subscription video services, which loaded in around 8-10 seconds. Sprint TV includes both 2-4 minute video clips from almost all the major broadcast and cable channels tiered into a variety of basic and premium bundles, as well as Sprint Radio and the pay-per-view Sprint Movies, 24-hour movie rentals that run between $3.99 and $5.99 each.

Our sample phone included demos for Boom Blox, Puzzle Question: Warlord and Street Fighter II CE.

Bluetooth

It's a bit disappointing that Highnote doesn't include Bluetooth 2.1, but you still get all the wireless connectivity using 2.0 you need.

Fortunately, Highnote has two generous "visibility" or discovery options, for 3 minutes or always visible. But why are there TWO Bluetooth menu options, one in Settings and one in Tools? You can turn Bluetooth on from either spot. But you can only turn Bluetooth off and change the visibility options in the Settings menu, and you can only pair devices in Tools menu. Duplicating these Bluetooth options – giving you the same set of options in both places – makes a lot more sense than splitting them in half.

Connecting to Bluetooth earpieces and to both PCs and Macs was nearly trouble free; I always have difficulty with the timing of when I get the security code from a PC and when the phone wants me to input them. It usually takes me a couple of tries to get the PC sync security code precisely when the phone asks for it.

We had no trouble up- and downloading photos or using Bluetooth to explore Highnote's content folders.

Clock

Highnote will not make a good substitute clock. The time is displayed only on the home screen and the menu grid screen, in between the soft menu options just below the One Click carousel.

There is no "clock" option in settings to change the font or style (e.g. military time). In the Tools menu, you get three alarm settings and a world clock.

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