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Samsung Behold SGH-T919

>> Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Samsung Behold's candy bar design resembles previous touch screen phones like the Omnia and the Dare. Below the prominent touch screen are the few physical controls the camera lens sits on the phone's rear face. It's not terribly unique, but it is slick and eye catching. You can get it in two colors (espresso or rose), but the features are the same on both models.

At 4.12 inches tall by 2.1 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep, the Behold is almost the same size as the Dare, but is a bit smaller than the Omnia. And at 4 ounces, it falls just between the two in weight. We liked the comfortable, sturdy feel in the hand and the way it slips easily into a bag and a larger pocket when you're on the go. The 3 inch display doesn't offer the biggest touch screen around, but we're glad that Samsung took full advantage of the Behold's real estate.

With support for 262,000 colors (240x400 pixels), it is bright and beautiful, with vibrant colors and sharp graphics. You can change the brightness, the back lighting time, and the font type. You also can change the intensity of the vibrating feedback. The touch interface is responsive and intuitive in many ways the internal menus are not unlike the Instinct. We had no issues with misdials or pressing the wrong button, but if you have problems, you can adjust the calibration.

Thumbing through long lists presented few problems as well. As on the iPhone, the Behold has a sensor that dims its display automatically when you raise the phone to your ear during a conversation. The Behold also has an accelerometer that will change the display's orientation as you rotate the phone. On the bottom of the display you'll notice four icons for the phone dialer, the phone book, the Web browser, and the main menu.

The phone dialer features large, alphanumeric buttons with readable numbers and text. You'll also find shortcuts for voice mail, the call log, the messaging menu, and the phone book. An on screen "back" button will let you correct mistakes when dialing. Like the Omnia, the Behold features Samsung's new TouchWiz user interface, which allows for an extra level of personalization on your Home screen.

On the left side of the display there is a bar with a series of "widgets" for applications like the clock, music player, photo gallery, calendar Bluetooth, Web browser, and notepad. By tapping the widgets, you get one touch access to the corresponding feature. That's handy by itself, but the TouchWiz goes a step further. If you slide certain widgets from the bar to the home screen, you can get a miniature view of that feature.

So for example, if you slide the music player widget over, a tiny version of the player will appear right on the home screen. You then can play tunes without opening the main menu. To end the application, simply slide the widget back onto the bar. You also can close the bar, by touching the small arrow icon in its middle.

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