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CTIA 2009

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Palm Pre more Samsung WristFone  

Magnet A257

The Magnet is a very affordable messaging phone. It's designed to be basic, so it has a keyboard... and that's about it. No memory card slot, and no 3G on this one. It does have quad-band GSM for world roaming, though, and a cursory VGA camera.

Samsung Magnet A257  

The display isn't QVGA, and it shows. That means this is not an ideal phone for web browsing, nor advanced email, (though it can do email.) For text messaging, though, the display is more than adequate.

The QWERTY keyboard isn't bad, but it's not great, either. It's a lot like the keyboard on the Propel Pro - which is great - but smaller. Specifically, it's not as tall. The missing 1mm of height on each row of keys is quite noticeable. I was able to type without making mistakes, but it felt cramped and slightly uncomfortable, and that's with small hands.

Our only other gripe is the size and location of the soft keys. Ideally, they should be large and directly under the display. The Magnet has small soft keys tucked off toward the left and right edge. It's certainly something you can adjust to, but it's awkward at first.

Otherwise, the Magnet seems solidly built and pleasant to use. It is a good size that will slip into pockets easily.

New Glyde

Samsung is quietly showing off an updated version of the Glyde here at CTIA. The new version looks exactly the same, but has a new touch screen module that should be dramatically more reliable, according to Samsung. It also has an updated home screen with a slide-out dock based on TouchWiz, but for shortcut icons instead of widgets. It's actually a unique kind of double-dock. The first slide-out dock is a full-screen menu of your shortcut icons. A second slide-out dock contains a single scrolling column of all possible icons, for drag-and-drop customization.

Samsung (new) Glyde  

What's really odd about the new Glyde is how they're marketing it: they're not. Although launch plans have not been 100% finalized, we were told that new Glydes will simply replace old Glydes in stores, but there will be no designation to differentiate, such as "Glyde+", etc.

The Glyde is a great concept for a phone, but the first version had serious flaws, and a reputation to match. If they've finally got it right, you'd think they'd want to let people know. Otherwise, why go to the trouble of re-engineering it? Regardless, we had some time to try it out, and does in fact seem much improved.


The Finesse is essentially a MetroPCS-ified Delve. It's the same basic shape and hardware inside as the Delve and original Instinct. It does borrow some styling cues from the Behold, although the Behold is considerably smaller than its CDMA cousins.

Samsung Finesse  

Ignoring button styling, it's a Delve, just with MetroPCS apps loaded. It is quite notable as MetroPCS's first touch-screen phone.


We don't know much about this one, since it hasn't been properly announced, but it was on display at the Samsung booth.

Samsung A167  

It appears to be a very basic clamshell phone for AT&T, with a camera and external display. We know from FCC documents that it won't have Bluetooth, which is a shame. It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that FCC docs hint that it might not have EDGE, and the camera will be VGA (that last bit of info isn't perfectly reliable, though.)

The Widget widget

Samsung has all sorts of developer and app store news here at the show, but most of it is early-stage plans with little to actually demo. The exception is the widget widget: a widget for TouchWiz that lets you browse and download new widgets.

Samsung Widget Widget  

Although it looks neat, it's honestly not the best experience. Any app store is a complex enough experience that it really needs to be full screen. Trying to search and browse apps on something smaller than a matchbook is frustrating. At least when you select an app, it does launch the web browser full-screen to show you details about that app.

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