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Review: Samsung Fascinate

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The Samsung Fascinate is a phone that might just push too many buttons. I love the Galaxy S aspects of the design. The phone is thin and light, glossy and classy all at once. The screen is fantastic, and it does nothing better than show off the top notch pictures I took with the 5 megapixel camera. Samsung has toned down TouchWIZ quite a bit, paring it back to a highly customizable interface theme and a few nice custom widgets. So why do I have reservations recommending this phone?

First, there's Bing. Then there's the social networking integration, which was buggy for me and felt half-baked. The music player is better than it first appears, but the experience is hurt by the V Cast Music Store. VZ Navigator and Bing Maps spoil what is otherwise an Android specialty, navigation. That said, the Fascinate has its benefits. It comes with the most storage of any Galaxy S phone. It's got an LED flash. It's open to third party apps, and it's got Wi-Fi Hotspot capabilities. It's also on Verizon, and The Network has enough fans to make that a meaningful selling point.

The Samsung Fascinate is a fine phone with a few troubling issues that might be outweighed by Verizon's provenance. But if these issues have you concerned, there are other Galaxy S phones that haven't been so deeply repurposed.

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