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Review: ZTE Salute

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  

Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

Veteran Verizon customers will feel right at home with the Salute, as it uses Verizon's tried-and-true (tho stale-and-stingy) feature phone operating system.

The home screen is a simple look at wallpaper, with three choices (Message, Menu, Contacts). The D-pad has been pre-programmed with shortcuts for certain applications, such as the browser and calendar. These can be customized by the end user. I really liked one of the stock choices, however. Pressing the D-pad to the right opened a short drop-down menu with quick links to New TXT, Email, Bluetooth On/Off, and the Alarm clock.

The main menu is a simple 9-icon grid. Pressing the corresponding number of the dial pad will open each menu item. Open any of them, and the familiar Verizon system appears, with a dock running along the top and the line items appear underneath each icon as users navigate sideways through the menu. This menu system has been around forever, so pretty much anyone who's ever used a Verizon Wireless feature phone in the past five years will feel at home.

I wish that each individual drop-down menu were customizable. Allowing users to re-order the sequence of selections would really speed up the Salute's usability and reduce the number of clicks required to take some actions.

For example, the first option in the Media Center is "Search." That's not typically what I want to do when I open the Media Center. I probably want to listen to music. Too many of the options are redundant. Guess what the "Tunes & Tones," "Browse & Download," and "Extras" selections all do: take you to Verizon's BREW-based Get It Now mobile content stores. Lame.

Instead of offering concrete applications, it offers cryptic folders. Just give me apps that do what I want!


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