So far it has been a typical trend to associate the touchscreen interface only with smartphones and with phones that feature high-end technologies. However, there are mid-range devices too that offer a touchscreen interface, and the Samsung Seek from Sprint is a great example. Let us move on to the features of this durable and fully functional midrange messaging touchscreen phone to get to know it better.
Design (4 out of 5)
Pitched as a simple messaging phone with an inclination towards social networking, the Samsung Seek is a compact handset with dimensions of 4.1 x 2.1 x 0.6 inches and it weighs around 3.9 ounces. The phone looks extremely decent with its rounded corners, slightly curved sides and a soft gray backing. The front of the phone is made of glossy black plastic and the keyboard is either in pink or blue.
The front part of the Seek sports a small QVGA touchscreen display of 2.6-inches that looks bright and colorful with a 240x320 pixel resolution and 262,000 colors. The brightness, touch sensitivity of the display and the backlighting time can be adjusted. Below the display you’ll find three physical keys – the Back, Call and Home buttons. The Call button of the phone leads you to the phone menu, whereas the Home button leads to the Favs menu that contains the shortcuts to your favorite applications. The phone menu is further divided into four categories which are the Favorite Contacts Screen, Phone Dialer, Contacts List and the Recent Call List. The Dialer offers a virtual keypad with large comfortable keys for easy dialing. However, the Seek doesn’t offer any such virtual keyboard for messaging.
The Samsung Seek features a smooth sliding mechanism that perfectly locks into place. The display of the phone is also capable of changing its orientation automatically if you change the display mode. The phone features a fully functional QWERTY keyboard with highlighted numbers in blue. The keys are slightly raised and comfortable for easy typing along with a large spacebar key in the middle and arrow keys on the right for navigation. The left spine of Seek contains the volume rocker and the microSD card slot, whereas the charger jack, power/lock key and the camera key are placed on the right spine. The 3.5mm headset jack is placed on the top of the handset and a camera lens at the back of it.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
The Samsung Seek features a very easy to use interface with fully furnished categories and it requires only a single or sometimes two clicks to reach most of the applications. The touch interface of the phone is divided into four different menus such as, Favs, which can be customized with the shortcuts of favorite applications; Main, which holds all the basic functions like Notes and Messaging; Fun, which houses the multimedia applications and shortcuts to social networking websites and lastly Web, which contains the browser along with some of the popular bookmark links.
Features (4 out of 5)
The Samsung Seek features a phone book that has room for 600 entries with each entry giving space for five numbers, a street address, a memo, an instant messenger handle, a birthday, three email addresses, a web URL and a photo for caller ID. Each of the contacts can be further customized with any one of 20 polyphonic ring tones or four vibration modes. The handset comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard for dialing numbers or texting messages easily and efficiently.
The Seek features an integrated 1.3 megapixel camera which is capable of taking images in 4 resolutions along with settings such as white balance control, brightness, self timer, night mode, shooting modes, six color effects, center/spot metering and three shutter sounds with a silent feature. The Samsung Seek from Sprint also comes with a pretty good music player that allows creating and editing playlists along with repeat and shuffle modes and player controls. The phone has an internal memory of 128MB that can be extended up to 32GB via microSD card. However, the music player will work only when the microSD card is inserted.
Other basics of Sprint’s Samsung Seek include a speakerphone, calculator, voice dialing, notepad, a world clock, calendar and vibration mode. The messaging feature of the phone supports threaded messages, so that you can view all the discussions back and forth just like a typical chat interface. You also get options for text and multimedia messaging in addition to instant messaging support for Windows Live, Yahoo and AOL. You can access any of the mostly used Web mail services such as Yahoo Mail, Gmail and your own personal POP3 or IMAP servers as well with Samsung’s Seek. Moreover, you can get access to your work email too with Outlook Web Access and Microsoft Exchange.
Performance (4 out of 5)
The call quality of the Samsung Seek was quite satisfactory and impressive with clear and natural voice quality and without any distortion. However, the speakerphone calls are not so smooth if the mic is held around 7 inches away and there is a slight echoing effect.
The audio quality of the music player is pretty cool, although not great. I would suggest the use of a headset instead of the speaker for a better experience as the speaker offers loud and harsh sound. Surfing the Web on the Seek is a bit slow since the phone is limited to only 1xRTT speeds. The Samsung Seek has a rated battery life with a talk time of 5.8 hours and standby time of 10 days. According to the FCC, the device has 1.08 watts per kilogram of digital SAR.
The Verdict (4 out of 5)
In all, the Samsung Seek is a decent and durable midrange messaging touchscreen phone with a nice QWERTY keyboard, multimedia features and threaded text messaging. Available at $79.99 with a new two year Sprint service agreement, the Seek is indeed a decent choice for Sprint customers.