Introduction to the Samsung Moment
The Samsung Moment was one of the two initial Sprint devices to run Google’s Android operating system. Unlike the other Sprint device, the HTC Hero, the Moment does not have any custom operating system overlay, leaving just the bare Android version 1.5. It was a risk to release a phone with such a bare-bones operating system, but the phone has an 800 MHz processor and a host of features to make up for it.
Design (2 out of 5)
The centerpiece of the phone is a 3.2-inch AMOLED display. The 320 x 480 pixel touchscreen features bright colors and smooth animations. The screen is on the large size, but unfortunately it is only because the rest of the phone is large as well. The phone measures 4.3 by 2.3 inches and weighs in at almost 6 oz. For a phone with a 5.15-inch diagonal, you would wish that the screen was a little larger.
A QWERTY keyboard slides out from the left side of the Samsung Moment. The keys are well spaced and the keyboard includes a dedicated row for numbers, a very nice feature. The bottom row of letters is cut in two by the space bar, so that row of keys is offset a little compared to a real keyboard. This gave me a good deal of mistypes early on.
Below the screen there are three touch-sensitive areas for the home, menu and back keys. There is also a green call button and a red end call button, separated by an optical trackpad.
User Interface (3 out of 5)
The Samsung Moment shipped with the 1.5 version of the Android operating system, but Sprint released an upgrade to version 2.1 in May of 2010. Although it took way too long for the upgrade to be released, current Moment owners now have access to many features and improvements in a much more robust software version.
You can scroll through three customizable home pages by flicking your finger and access programs by touching the icon. The main menu is hidden on a tab at the bottom of the screen. You can drag the tab up to show the menu, and then flick your finger to scroll through the options. The user interface is fairly responsive and quick to scroll through items. Like any device, it begins to slow down when you have a lot of applications loaded up, but the 2.1 upgrade seemed to speed things up nicely overall.
Features (3 out of 5)
The Samsung Moment comes with a 3.2-megapixel camera that was unspectacular for a long time. The 2.1 upgrade added some needed features like flash support, digital zoom and white balance, but the camera still takes a while to load and sometime a while to take a picture. Samsung offers an integrated service to automatically upload your pictures to several social networking and image storing sites.
The Moment has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB port, both underneath pull-out covers. The Moment includes a microSD card slot, but for some reason you have to remove the back cover and the battery to access the slot. The battery offers a little less than the reported 5.5 hours of talk time. The upgrade to 2.1 included a keypad backlight optimization, so the battery life has been a tad better since then.
The Moment has Bluetooth support and GPS that can be used with Sprint’s navigation or any of the Google navigation or maps programs. The browser is fairly basic and runs a little slowly, although I have difficulty determining if this is mostly the network or the device. After the 2.1 upgrade the browser allows for double-tap zooming, so that is a big plus compared to the earlier version.
Performance (3 out of 5)
Call quality on the Samsung Moment is exceptional. I can hear the person on the other end loud and clear, and rarely have to repeat myself. Dropped calls are an extreme rarity, but I live in an area with excellent Sprint coverage.
The menu systems are quick and responsive, so navigating through the Moment is pretty easy. The software begins to slow down when you get a lot of applications or data on the phone, but the 2.1 upgrade improved performance across the board.
The startup process takes a little more than a minute, which is a little long. Since you have to restart the device to change the memory card, the length of the startup can be a little frustrating at times. The applications open up quick, with just a little lag on some of them, but not long enough to complain about.
Verdict for the Samsung Moment (3 out of 5)
The Samsung Moment is a decent device. It had a few unbearable issues before the recent upgrade, but 2.1 has given the phone some new life. The biggest drawbacks are the shape and weight (think brick), and the wasted chance to add a nice operating system overlay to the basic Android OS. The Moment isn’t going to knock your socks off, but it’s a perfectly serviceable device with a handful of nice features running an operating system that seems to be getting more popular.