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Hands On with the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G

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Feb 27, 2012, 3:18 PM   by Rich Brome

Samsung is showing off - for the first time in public - the speedy Galaxy S Blaze 4G for T-Mobile. The phone pairs a blazing fast processor with blazing fast data, in an affordable little package. Read on for our first impressions.

The Blaze gets its name from its blazing fast data speeds - 42 Mbps, to be precise - and its blazing fast processor, a Snapdragon S3 with dual cores clocking in at 1.5 GHz. This isn't quite a flagship model, though; in other respects, it's quite ordinary, with a design that looks like any other mid-range Samsung, and a middling display.

Galaxy S Blaze 4G Body  

The display is actually somewhat disappointing. It's basically the same as the very first Samsung Super AMOLED displays. It's crazy how far display technology has come in just a few short years. The unit on the Blaze isn't terribly high-resolution, made worse by its very noticeable PenTile pixel arrangement. It's not a terrible display, but if you know what PenTile is and it bothers you, you won't like this phone. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, you'll probably think this is a fine display. It does have the eye-poppingly saturated colors OLED displays are known for. The display spans 3.97 inches, smaller than the 4.5-inch monsters that are in vogue these days. Of course the advantage is a smaller phone that fits better in your hand and pocket.

The build quality is excellent. You're dealing with a mostly plastic phone, but it's well-designed and feels solid. The back is rubberized with a fine texture, making it very grippy. The sides are a dark, reddish metal-like finish. The side keys are easy to find, feel good, and work well. The microSD card slot is handily located on the side, behind a small door.

The interface is standard Samsung TouchWiz over Android. It's very colorful, and there are tweaks to the way the home screen and app menu work, which Apple lawyers would say make it look more like the iPhone. The notification shade gets handy shortcuts to turn off Wi-Fi, etc.

Galaxy S Blaze 4G Interface  

The camera interface is typical for Samsung, which is to say great. Handy shortcuts run down the side of the viewfinder, and - like other newer Samsung phones - you can customize those shortcuts to be the camera settings you want to access most often. There is, of course, the great sweep panorama mode, where you just pan the camera to the side to grab a whole panorama in one automatic step. There's also a flash and touch-to-focus. You'll know this isn't a top-end phone, though, when you go to snap a photo, as it takes a whole two seconds to snap each photo.

The dual-core processor powers the phone admirably. I noticed no stutters or delays putting it through its paces.

If your priority is data speed, or price, or you just want a decently powerful phone that actually fits in your pocket, this is a phone to keep an eye out for.

Look for the Galaxy S Blaze 4G on T-mobile shelves in April.

About the author, Rich Brome:

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.


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Feb 28, 2012, 10:23 AM

Cant wait to sell this phone

Galaxy S II essentially with biggest difference being a camera and price point.
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