Samsung makes some excellent cell phones. I’ve been using a Samsung Rant phone (Sprint carrier) for several years, and it does everything I could want and more. I recently became eligible for a free upgrade on my phone, so I took a visit to a local Sprint store to see what was on display. Having had such a positive experience with the Samsung brand, I was lured to the Samsung Seek phone, as it is a fusion of the Rants positive qualities with recent improvements in cell phone design such as a touchscreen and an improved web browser.
First things first: how does it handle? I hate flimsy phones, or ultrathin phones, as they’re fragile and often break if dropped. At the same time, some “smartphones” are getting so large that they can barely fit into your pants pocket. The Samsung Seek plays it safe and is quite compact. It fits comfortably in my hand, about 4 inches by 2 inches and maybe half an inch thick. It has nice, smooth corners and the back of the phone isn’t hard plastic but some type of soft gray material. Like the Samsung Rant, the Samsung Seek is a “sliding” cellphone, which means it looks like a regular (nonflip) cell phone until you slide out the bottom half, and out pops a standard (if tiny) QWERTY keyboard. I find this to be a wonderful addition as it makes text messaging and web browsing a whole lot easier. Like the Samsung Rant, the Seek has a very sturdy sliding mechanism – there’s nothing flimsy or clunky about it, the lower half keyboard clicks nicely into place.
The real draw for me – as a consumer upgrading from a still-servicable Rant model – was the touchscreen, which I have to say, didn’t impress me all that much. I really wish it had, as I had a little extra money and I like having the latest gadgets; also, I’ve been longing to try out a phone with a touch screen for the longest time. However, the Seeks touchscreen lacked quality. The graphics were not very high resolution, making it a little difficult on the eyes to read the icon labels – although, to be true, I do need glasses. Still, the touchscreen failed to impress – it didn’t seem very responsive, for one thing. The salesmen said it was something to do with the type of touchscreen, but either way, there was more effort involved on my part to get a response out of the phone than seemed necessary. Also, the phone insisted on dividing up its applications into folders permanently labeled things like “Fun”. I think email is “fun”, but that’s under “Main” – surprisingly, not under “Web”. All a little unintuitive and that shouldn’t be the case with a new electronic device. What a way to upset your potential customers – make your product difficult to use.
There is room for a flash storage card for the camera, but the camera is only 1.3-megapixels. Photo quality – and I’m by no means a visual snob when it comes to these type of things – was below average. Everything was a bit blurry and a little dark. That’s a fantastic shame, as my 3-year old Rant phone takes better quality pictures, and many users use their cell phones to capture those impromptu moments via their cell phone cameras. They’re going to be disappointed with the photo quality of the Samsung Seek phone. Samsung kinda dropped the ball on this part of the Seek model.
I suppose there were some features that I liked. The phone felt very “solid” – I had the feeling that if I did purchase it, it would last several years of hard use. It felt quite tough but yet still had the rounded corners and softness in my palm which made it a pleasure to use for long periods. I liked the fact that it had a decent music player application loaded, as my life revolves around music and I’m constantly listening to it during my waking hours. Another plus was the Contact list – there was plenty of room for adding extra phone numbers under each contact, and adding a description to each number – Work phone #1, public cell phone, private number, home number, Skype number, etc – and that’s very useful for me as many of my friends and family utilize a wide variety of contact numbers depending on where they are throughout the day. The contact list also had room for hundreds of contacts, which is way more than I would ever use – honestly if you find yourself needing to constantly keep track of that many people, you either run a Fortune 500 company or a small country.
The final plus for the Samsung Seek phone was the price: only $80 if I renewed my two year contract with Sprint, after all the discounts were tossed in. Did I fall for it? I have to say, I did not. I simply wasn’t ready to let go of my Rant phone. Going to the Seek phone felt more like a sideways step in terms of quality and function, rather than a true upgrade. I was let down by the touchscreen. My search continues for a new phone, but I suppose it will take my Rant phone falling down a storm drain to fully convince me to upgrade. When I do, it will probably be another Samsung phone as they make darn good products. It won’t, however, be the Seek model – not this years model, at least.
The Sprint Shopping Website.
Samsungs Website discussing the Seek model of cell phone.