SAMSUNG Transform Review

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In this article, I give you my Samsung Transform review with specs included. I got this phone from Sprint (mobile currier). This is one of a trio of Samsung phones that are running the new Sprint ID service. One such phone is also Kyocera Sanyo Zeo which I also reviewed.

Samsung Transform is a little bit more high-end than the Zeo (that sells for $99) and more expensive. The MSRP on the release date was $149 (US dollars). So, what do you get for your money? You get a multi-touch 3.5-inch display, though the resolution is actually lower than the Sanyo phone. This is a standard 320 by 480-pixel display. And, you do get a slide-out keyboard similar to the one on Samsung Epic.

As to which keyboard I like better this or the Epics keyboard, they’re both pretty good. I think this definitely could be a budget Epic if you don’t want 4G or don’t want to be paying $10 extra a month for 4G that you may or may not have in your area. Of course, this doesn’t have the high-end specs of the Epic but shares a similar design and overall look.

Samsung Transform Back
Samsung Transform Back

Samsung Transform has a 3.2-megapixel camera on the back. Also, it does have a flash. The back cover has kind of a nice soft-touch rugged material on it. On the front side, there is the usual gloss-black Samsung front that’s pretty attractive with the touch-sensitive buttons that light up when you touch the phone.

Upon examining the Samsung Transform, we notice several key features and design elements worth discussing. At the top of the device, there is a standard 3.5-millimeter stereo jack, a familiar inclusion for many smartphones. However, Samsung has opted to position the MicroUSB port at the top as well, concealed beneath a door. While this arrangement may seem unconventional, it may pose an inconvenience for users who wish to charge their device while engaging in phone calls without utilizing a headset. Nevertheless, this design choice appears to be consistent with current industry trends.

Moving to the sides of the device, we find the volume control buttons, providing users with tactile feedback for adjusting audio levels. At the bottom, there is no notable feature present, indicating a clean and minimalistic design approach. For users interested in accessing the battery compartment, the back panel can be pried off from this location, revealing the 1500-milliamp battery. Additionally, the MicroSD card slot is conveniently located here, eliminating the need to remove the battery for memory expansion. Notably, Sprint includes a MicroSD card with the phone, enhancing its value proposition.

On the opposite side of the device, we encounter the power button, voice command button, and a dedicated camera key, a thoughtful inclusion for quick access to the camera function. Upon powering on the device, users are greeted with a familiar Android 2.1 interface, showcasing the standard Sprint ID experience. In its default state, prior to any customization with Sprint ID packs, the interface features weather and calendar widgets, recent contacts, and a selection of pre-installed applications arranged on the home screen.

Notably, the Sprint ID widget provides users with the ability to customize their device experience by selecting from various pre-configured packs tailored to specific interests or lifestyles. These packs encompass a diverse range of themes, including entertainment, automotive enthusiasts, business, fashion, fitness, social networking, and gaming. Each pack comes equipped with curated applications, desktop wallpapers, and widgets designed to cater to the respective theme’s audience.

For instance, selecting the “golf enthusiasts” pack provides users with access to golf-related applications such as Green Finder GPS, Par-72, and weather updates tailored for golfing conditions. Upon installation, users can enjoy a themed home screen with dedicated widgets and backgrounds, immersing themselves in their chosen interests.

Furthermore, the device’s keyboard interface offers a full QWERTY layout with an embedded number row, facilitating efficient text input. Noteworthy features include an FN key for accessing additional characters, a “.com” extension key for quick website entry, and emoticon support for enhanced communication. Additionally, the inclusion of arrow keys enhances navigation precision, contributing to a seamless typing experience.

Following the installation of the chosen Sprint ID pack, users can enjoy the tailored content and functionality it offers. For instance, the golf-themed pack introduces a visually appealing golf clock widget and integrates weather updates from Weather Bug, ensuring users are equipped with relevant information for their golfing activities.

The Samsung Transform presents itself as a versatile and user-friendly device, offering a blend of essential features and customization options through Sprint ID packs. Despite its budget-friendly price point, the device boasts a robust battery, expandable storage, and convenient hardware elements such as dedicated camera controls. While some design choices may deviate from conventional norms, such as the placement of the MicroUSB port, they do not detract significantly from the overall user experience. Ultimately, the Samsung Transform caters to consumers seeking an affordable yet feature-rich smartphone solution with the added flexibility of customization.

The current weather forecast seems to be experiencing some difficulties at the moment, with the inclusion of Sweet Caster, a seemingly unrelated application installed on the device. Additionally, there are a couple of free golf-themed games available, such as Par-72 Golf and Finger Bowling, though their direct relevance to golf may be questionable. Nevertheless, there are some noteworthy applications present, including Golf Week Shortcut and Green Finder, which utilize GPS technology to assist users in locating golf courses and related amenities.

Underneath the hood, the Samsung Transform is powered by an 800 megahertz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, a member of the ARM Cortex-A family. While this CPU configuration may vary depending on the specific model, the performance of the 800 megahertz ARM Cortex-A8 found in this device is generally satisfactory, although it may struggle at times when tasked with running multiple applications simultaneously, particularly when Sprint ID packs are loaded, as they tend to consume system resources with their plethora of widgets and background applications. Users may need to exercise caution and consider disabling unnecessary widgets and applications to maintain optimal performance.

In terms of software, the device comes preloaded with various Sprint applications, including Sprint TV, TeleNav GPS Navigation, Sprint Navigation, NASCAR, Football, and Handmark Express. Additionally, Google Maps provides free turn-by-turn navigation, complemented by a suite of Google applications such as YouTube, Google Search, and Google Places. As the device runs on vanilla Android 2.1 with Sprint ID overlay, core Android applications remain largely unchanged, offering users a familiar interface for managing contacts, calendars, and calls.

The Samsung Transform features a multi-touch display with a proximity sensor and accelerometer, enhancing user interaction and functionality. During testing, the device exhibited good reception on CDMA networks, particularly Sprint and Verizon, with signal strength averaging between 50 to 60 percent. The speakerphone delivered clear and loud audio, with minimal distortion, contributing to a satisfactory hands-free calling experience.

Navigating the web browser revealed decent performance, albeit slightly slower than desired, likely attributed to the absence of Flash Player support and the device’s reliance on Sprint’s 3G EVDO Rev A network. While scrolling may not be as fluid as preferred, the device’s 800 megahertz CPU should theoretically provide adequate processing power for smoother browsing experiences. However, users may find themselves contemplating alternative options, such as the Epic 4G, which offers superior performance and a higher-resolution display for a slightly higher price point.

Ultimately, the decision between the Samsung Transform and its predecessor, the Samsung Intrepid, priced at $99, or the Epic 4G, depends on individual preferences and priorities. The Samsung Transform, priced at $149, offers full access to Sprint ID services, a sharp display, and a hardware QWERTY keyboard, making it a compelling choice for users seeking customization options and essential smartphone features.

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Samsung Transform
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    Performance - 96%
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    Price - 95%
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    Value - 96%