Are you out looking for a feature phone? For whatever reason you might be looking for a feature phone, do you find it a bit hard to do so these days? There are so many smartphones out there that it’s becoming harder to find feature phones. Nevertheless, in this where high end smartphones are considered a fashion symbol, feature phones live on and Samsung Brightside is another addition to that family. For those who are looking to just make phone calls and text, Verizon has released the Samsung Brightside. Let’s see if it appeals to many.
The phone measures in at 4.37 x 2.37 x 0.56 inches which we must say is pretty compact for a phone that offers a QWERTY keyboard. However, design wise the Samsung Brightside has nothing very attractive about it that we can talk about. It’s very obvious that it’s a low end feature phone just from its looks. The body is made of what seems like plastic of almost the cheapest kind, so you really get the feeling that dropping it once could mean the graveyard for the Samsung Brightside. Nevertheless, if you want to take the positives out of the build, then it comes in the form of the weight of the phone since it tips the scales at only 4.3 oz.
The 3.1 inch QVGA screen reminds you immediately that this is a feature phone. If you were expecting to hear that under the screen you will find the Android capacitive buttons, then well you are in the wrong place. Nevertheless, it does have a landscape sliding keyboard that is pretty good to use. It’s spaced just enough to feel pretty comfortable although it doesn’t look very attractive. It’s also very responsive, so that’s really nice. Talking about the buttons around this phone, you will find the volume rocker on the left while the power and camera keys are on the right side of the phone. On the top you will see the standard audio jack while on the bottom is the microUSB port. Finally, to cap it all off, the Samsung Brightside offers a 3.2MP camera on the back.
The Samsung Brightside is running on a BREW-based interface, so you can imagine that it’s very easy to use. You will be able to start using it right out of the box, unlike smartphones that might take you a while to get used to. Get out of the unlock screen and you can get to the grid-like main menu where all your functions are available. Of course there are no live wallpapers but the Samsung Brightside does have some transition effects. It’s simple by today’s standards, but it’s not bad that they have put in an effort. Since the effects are kept to a minimum, you actually get a pretty good performance from the phone. You don’t face any issues like lag while navigating through the phone.
A 3.1 inch screen with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels will undoubtedly remind you of a phone that you used to own sometime in the past. It just reminds you that it is a feature phone that we have in our hands. The screen definitely does not give much detail, and the colors are also bland to say the least. The viewing angles are a disaster too as you don’t get much of it to be honest. Bring it outdoors and you can really forget about making anything off the screen. The screen on the Samsung Brightside is not a resistive screen mind you; it’s actually a capacitive one.
Another reminder for you that the Samsung Brightside is just a feature phone is the 3.2MP camera that comes with it. Of course, our mantra is that numbers don’t mean anything. I guess we have to draw the line somewhere on that one, maybe you can stick to that mantra if you are talking about a smartphone. Now back to the camera on the Samsung Brightside, the photos taken outdoors on a bright sunny day turned out rather good actually. Now, we can’t say the same when we moved indoors or when the lighting got dimmer. The results were very grainy shots with a lot of artifacting. Nevertheless, we won’t write it off as a disaster of a camera. Recording is done at a maximum resolution of 174 x 144. To exacerbate things, the recording rate is just 15 fps and the audio recording is abysmal. So we really recommend you stay away from the video camera.
Browsing the internet on the Samsung Brightside is done on the Opera Mini, so that’s welcome news. We found internet browsing to be pretty good. Loading pages took longer than what we are used to, but the navigational tools made us forget about that. It was not too bad to use at all. In terms of connectivity options, it offers 3G connectivity. However, since it’s a Verizon phone, which means it’s a CDMA phone. So you can’t use it anywhere other than the US.
A feature phone will never be forgiven if its call quality is bad. So it’s a good thing that the volume we get on the earpiece was quite good. Although our friends on the other end had some trouble making out our voice from the squeaky tones, it was still not too shabby. The Samsung Brightside comes with only a 1000 mAh battery, so the results are of course as bad as you can imagine. It could have been a lot better as the battery drains out in a little more than a day with average use.
Pros and Cons
The QWERTY keyboard was a highlight for this phone. The Samsung Brightside phone also offers good calling quality, a must for a feature phone.
Sadly, we think it’s too expensive and the screen is of course a major downer. It also gives a very cheap feeling when held in our hands. Video recording was really bad too.
Going at a price of $100 with a 2 year contract, Verizon has got it all wrong. We think it’s too expensive for what this phone has to offer. So if you are looking for a feature phone, then it’s best to look elsewhere rather than picking the Samsung Brightside.