Cell phone reviews: Samsung Transform and the LG Neon II
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Today we're going to review two smartphones at somewhat different ends of the spectrum: the Samsung Transform and the LG Neon II. The Transform looks like a great option for fans of Google's Android operating system, while the Neon II could be an excellent choice for your first smartphone.
The Samsung Transform is an Android-based smartphone for Sprint users. Packed with plenty of features, a touch-screen, and a full QWERTY keyboard, the Transform has a lot to offer. Sprint offers the phone for $149.99 after rebates and a two-year contract.
The feature set of the Transform begins with the basics, such as a speakerphone, an alarm clock, a calculator, a calendar, and the usual standard fare found on phones these days. You can store as many contacts as will fit in the phone's internal memory, with the option to input several phone numbers, email addresses, notes, and more for each. Each contact can also have its own photo and ringtone.
Since the Transform runs on Android 2.1, you get plenty of Google-related features that come already installed. Among those features are apps for Gmail, Google Talk, Google Places, Google Latitude, Google Goggles, Google Maps, YouTube, and more. To keep you organized, there is a Google calendar on board. Being an Android phone also allows the Transform's users to access the Android Market and its huge catalog of apps.
Other features of the Transform are highlighted by Bluetooth support for various profiles, such as stereo headsets, hands-free car kits, and more. The phone also supports voice dialing. The integrated GPS works well when you need turn-by-turn directions while on the road.
Internet access can be had either via the phone's integrated Wi-Fi or 3G using Sprint's EV-DO Rev. A network. Once connected, you can use the web browser to surf the net. The browser lets you save bookmarks, have multiple sites open at once, and more.
Messaging options begin with text and multimedia messaging. Instant messaging is supported as well. The mobile email allows you to access accounts from popular services such as AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail. The phone can also be synchronized with Microsoft Exchange accounts to receive and send corporate email. Visual voicemail comes with the phone as well, for skipping to the most important messages first.
For entertainment, Samsung included a music player on the Transform. The music player supports standard audio formats as well as album art, playlists, and shuffle and repeat modes. Music can be loaded onto the phone via downloads from Sprint, a SD card, or USB. Video entertainment comes in the form of the aforementioned YouTube app, as well as Sprint TV and its catalog of on-demand content. Other entertainment options include apps from the Android Market, games, and a handful of apps that come pre-installed on the phone, such as Sprint Football Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile.
Samsung also ships the Transform with an integrated 3.2-megapixel camera that can shoot photos as well as record video in a variety of different resolutions and settings. As a bonus, the Transform also has a front-facing camera that can be used for video conferencing.
The Transform has the typical rectangular design found on most smartphones. It is portable enough to fit into a pocket, and weighs 5.4 ounces. It measures 4.6 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick. The front of the phone is dominated by a 3.5-inch touch-screen display with 480 x 320 resolution. The display offers good graphics and is also responsive to the touch. Beneath the display are four touch-sensitive buttons for navigating the user-friendly interface.
Placing the phone into landscape mode and sliding upward reveals a full QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard is quite large, and offers plenty of room to type comfortably. Its built-in design makes the Transform ideal for messaging fans.
Sprint users in the market for an Android phone should find the Samsung Transform to fit their needs. Its feature set does not miss a step, and its touch-screen and physical keyboard combination offer the best of both worlds.
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