Samsung Behold Review

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by Franz Bicar

Almost everybody knows of the Samsung Omnia. It is Samsung’s entry in the touchscreen market. But did you know that the Omnia has a younger sibling? The Samsung Behold is a responsive touch-screen cell phone with a few advanced features and an excellent camera.

beholdThe 3G Samsung Behold is considered as the younger sibling of the Samsung Omnia. It is a very slick cellphone that looks so much like its older brother. It has a bevy of advanced multimedia features and a responsive touch screen. However, as it is the lesser sibling, it lacks several functionality that is otherwise present in Omnia. It lacks Wi-Fi and a standard headphone jack, and its Web browser is a bit counterintuitive.

Slightly smaller than the Omnia, the Behold measures 2.1 by 4.1 by 0.5 inches. Weighing 3.9 ounces, it’s light but feels solid in the hand.

Like the Omnia, the Behold features a 3-inch touch screen display that takes up majority of the phone’s front surface. There are three keys included - the end, send and back keys. The landscape touch-screen QWERTY keyboard, with generously spaced keys and vibrating feedback, is comfortable to use. Its touchscreen functionality is also very responsive. There is no noticeable lag between typing and when the results appears on the screen. The Behold’s predictive text feature gives two word choices, but you can also turn predictive text off with a dedicated key on the keyboard.

Same as the Omnia, the Behold utilizes Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. However, unlike the Omnia, which sometimes tend to become sluggish, the Behold is very responisive. The accelerometer, which reacted slowly on the Omnia, flipped from portrait to landscape quickly and smoothly on this handset.

The lens for the Behold’s 5-megapixel camera, along with a flash, is located on the phone’s metallic back. A volume rocker and a headphone/USB jack lie on the left spine of the device, while a dedicated camera key and a phone-lock key sit on the right.

The Behold’s home screen - has a widget bar running along its left side. You can arrange the widgets in any order, as well as drag one into the main part of the screen to launch its respective app. To end the application, you slide the widget back onto the bar.

Available widgets include a calendar, a phone book, a music player, and a clock. But other than rearranging widgets and removing them, you don’t have a lot of room for customization; you can’t add new widgets to the bar or buy new programs, which makes it very disappointing.

The Behold also offers a full HTML browser. The browser is good overall but not comparable to the iPhone’s Safari. In fact, among the touchscreen phones in the market, nobody has ever given us a browser comparable or even similar to Apple’s Safari on the iPhone.

The Behold’s standout feature is its 5-megapixel camera, with 4X digital zoom and a power LED flash. The camera has four resolution settings, light metering, adjustable ISO, a self-timer, a self-portrait mirror on the back cover, an antishake feature, and a setting for shooting backlit subjects. It also has three fun shooting modes (continuous, panorama, and mosaic), as well as a smile-shot mode that will take another shot if the subject is frowning.

Image quality is very good on the Behold. Colors are sharp and clear in photos taken both indoors and outdoors. The camera’s touch menu is intuitive. Luckily, the Behold has 180MB of internal memory and a microSD slot for expanding the storage up to 16GB, so you have plenty of space for pictures. You can also shoot video in two resolutions (320 by 240 and 176 by 144).

The Samsung Behold has some of the advanced features of a smart phone but isn’t actually a smart phone. Overall, however, the Behold is a well-designed touch-screen phone with an impressive feature set.

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