Are you in the market for a new Android smartphone? If so, you might want to consider the newly released Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G for T-Mobile. This review will take a closer look at its design, features, and performance.
Samsung was right on the mark when it named its new Galaxy S 4G smartphone the “Blaze,” thanks to its snappy performance. Although the name may be a mouthful, it at least steers away from being a misnomer. Throw in a well-rounded set of features that includes a nice camera, and you have yourself a quality choice for Android shoppers.
The Galaxy S Blaze 4G is not the sexiest smartphone you will find, but its overall appeal should satisfy most casual users looking to jump into a new Android device. Priced at $149.99 after rebates and a two-year contract from T-Mobile, the Galaxy S Blaze comes in at a fair price point as well.
Jumping into the design first, the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze has a rather common appearance. It is similar in style to most other smartphones in Samsung’s portfolio, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The phone is simply free of frills, which may not matter to some, but to others seeking a flashy phone, it could become a point of contention when shopping. The Blaze 4G is characterized by smooth, round edges and a plastic body. It does appear to be solidly built and able to withstand everyday bumps and bruises, however.
The Blaze 4G can easily fit into pockets. It weighs just 4.5 ounces. Its official measurements are listed as 4.8 inches tall by 2.5 inches wide by 0.4 inch thick. The back of the phone has a soft-touch finish that adds a nice grip and allows it to sit comfortably in your hands while performing various tasks. Like most touch-screen smartphones, the Blaze 4G’s front is dominated by its 4-inch Super AMOLED display with 480 x 800 resolution. The large display is a major plus in the design department, and makes the Blaze an excellent device for browsing the Web, messaging, viewing media, and more. Colors are bright and graphics are sharp across all functions.
Beyond the display, the Galaxy S Blaze 4G’s design features four capacitive Android buttons just above the bottom edge of the front panel. The buttons are somewhat close to one another, so you may find yourself accidentally pressing more than one at a time if you have large fingers. A front-facing camera sits near the top of the front panel as well. Other physical features include a dedicated power button, volume control, microUSB port, microSD card slot, 3.5mm headset jack, and a rear-facing camera.
The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G comes equipped with the Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread operating system. This gives you various Google apps, such as Gmail, Google Talk, Google Maps, YouTube, and more. In addition, you get access to Google Play and its collection of apps and entertainment to extend the Blaze 4G’s functionality even further.
The phone offers Samsung’s TouchWiz interface that sits atop Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. The interface allows for plenty of personalization to fit your needs. As mentioned, the responsive touch-screen is good for messaging, and the inclusion of the Swype feature allows you to type quickly with fluid gestures.
Turning to the core of the Galaxy S Blaze 4G that drives its performance, the smartphone comes with a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor with 1 GB of RAM. The processor offers plenty of power that shines through when using the Blaze 4G. All tasks appear to run smoothly without delays or hiccups, giving you an experience that is free from frustration.
Staying on the topic of speed and performance, the Blaze boasts 4G capability from America’s largest 4G network. Its promise of 42 Mbps HSPA+ data connectivity will undoubtedly turn some heads, and the phone offers Web browsing that is satisfactory to say the least. Other connectivity features on the Blaze 4G include integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and GPS. You can also convert the phone into a mobile hotspot with the optional Smartphone Mobile HotSpot service.
The Blaze 4G is first and foremost a phone, so reviewing it without discussing call quality would be a mistake. Luckily, the Blaze 4G is a winner in this department, with calls that are loud and clear. You can also use Wi-Fi calling if you’d like some extra flexibility. Samsung rates the phone’s battery at seven hours of talk time. After some usage, it is safe to say that the Blaze 4G offers excellent battery life, and you can make use of its various features without having to worry about recharging immediately.
In terms of entertainment, the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G has various options to keep you busy. The TouchWiz music player is rather standard, but gets the job done for music lovers. Videos look great thanks to the aforementioned Super AMOLED display. If apps are your thing, you can peruse Google Play’s wide selection. Casual games look good as well, and the touch-screen adds an extra level of interactivity when playing. T-Mobile also throws in a handful of proprietary apps for you to use.
The Blaze 4G’s 5-megapixel camera comes in handy when you want to snap photos or record video. Photo quality is not bad, but it can be a pain to hold the phone steady while shooting. Failing to do so will create images that are sometimes blurry. Likewise, recording video in 720p offers an experience that is decent at best. Still, it is nice to have the functionality there when you need it.
After taking into account all that it has to offer, the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G is a solid phone overall. It may not be overly impressive in terms of its design, but the Blaze does have Samsung’s quality craftsmanship and is comfortable to use. Its complete set of features and speedy performance add to the phone’s appeal, too. The Galaxy S Blaze 4G is a good alternative to the popular Samsung Galaxy S II if you are looking for something that is more affordable but does not skimp on features.
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