Mobility

Samsung Continuum review: Ticker keeps you up to date with your messaging

Is the Samsung Continuum's unique ticker feature compelling enough to make EVO or Droid X power users replace their phones? Jack Wallen answers this question in his review of the Continuum.

The new Samsung Continuum Galaxy S phone from Verizon is an Android phone that will help you stay up to date with your messaging, Facebook account, and more. But is this device worthy of replacing your current smartphone? Let's find out. Here are the Continuum's specs, and then I share my take on the phone's good, bad, and unique features.

Specifications

  • CPU: 1 Ghz
  • Frequency: CDMA 800/1900
  • Main display: 3.4" Super Amoled 480x800 pixels
  • Ticker display: 1.8" Super Amoled 96x480 pixels
  • OS: Android 2.1
  • Battery: 1500 mAh Li-ion standard
  • Internal memory: 2 GB
  • ROM: 512 MB
  • RAM: 384 MB
  • microSD: 8 GB card included
  • Price: $579.99 full retail, $99.99 with a two-year contract and mail-in rebate

The good

  • Android: It's an Android smartphone, so you know you're in for a fairly powerful and highly customizable experience. For instance, users can add a different UI to the phone.
  • Battery life: I think this is the first Android phone I've tried that lives up to its standby battery life claims. After having the phone on standby, I let it be for three days. When I went back to the phone, it woke up and reported nearly a full battery. My Captivate and EVO do not come close to that battery life.
  • Handset size: The handset dimensions are 4.94x2.28x.48, and it fit perfectly in my hand.
  • Power: Samsung managed to get as much power out of the processor as it can. The Continuum feels like a much more powerful handset than it claims to be. Application launch and use speed rival any other phone I've used, and there was zero lag in switching screens, closing applications, or updating feeds or applications.

The unique

  • Ticker: The Continuum's most unique feature is the ticker. Below the standard screen, you can have the ticker running any of the update services — SMS messaging, Facebook status, etc. You can scroll through the various included tickers by swiping your finger over the ticker either to the left or to the right. I really like that the ticker removes the need for placing widgets on precious home screen space for updates.

The bad

  • Screen size: Some users might prefer to have a larger standard screen than the Continuum's somewhat smaller screen.
  • Ticker: The ticker takes up real estate on the main screen.
  • Various features reduce flexibility: Some of the Samsung features, such as the desktop icon row at the bottom of the screen, get in the way of one of Android's best feature: flexibility.
  • Lag in OS updates: Samsung charges the carriers for the updates they provide — this is why your Continuum or any Samsung Android device lags behind on the Android update (my Captivate is still at Android 2.1). Verizon, AT&T, or any other carrier should not have to pay for updates for an OS. This is the Achilles' heel of the Samsung line of phones.

Bottom line

The Continuum is not the phone to replace your EVO or Droid X. However, it might be a great fit for first-time Android users, social network junkies, or business users who like the idea of setting the ticker feature to alert them about incoming email, SMS, and phone messages.

Samsung Continuum side view. (Photo credit: Verizon)

Samsung Continuum back. (Photo credit: Verizon)

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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